Sobering Notes on the Transportation Sector

Sobering Notes on the Transportation Sector

I had lunch today at the annual ACTExpo (alternative fuel vehicles) conference with Steven Johnston, an extremely senior consultant to the transportation industry, based in Michigan. I thought I’d simply list a few of his viewpoints that I found most important: Read more ›

Posted in Fossil Fuels Tagged with: , , , , ,

U.S. Political Theater Can Cause Interpersonal Friction

U.S. Political Theater Causes Interpersonal FrictionHere’s an awkward situation: I’m staying the night today at the house of a friend who, I just learned, will be throwing a party celebrating Donald Trump’s nomination.  Of course, my position on Trump is the same as that of journalist David Brooks, who wrote:

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. Read more ›

Posted in Renewables - Politics Tagged with: , ,

The Race for Clean Energy Has Several Entrants

The Race for Clean Energy Has Several EntrantsThe energy scene here on planet Earth can be summarized as follows: we’re trying to solve a problem so vast that the continuity of our civilization hangs in the balance.  We either replace fossil fuels over the next few decades, or we condemn our descendants to incredible levels of suffering.

Yes, the consequences of failure are extreme, but so are the opportunities for success.  In particular, we’re a (relative) hair’s breadth away from technology that can make the whole problem disappear overnight.  Read more ›

Posted in Nuclear Tagged with: , , , , ,

Monitoring the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice

Monitoring the Loss of Arctic Sea IceAccording to this article in Forbes, the satellites that monitor the disappearance of Arctic ice are in the process of dying, and, predictably, the funds required to keep this system running effectively are blocked in the U.S. Congress.

My colleague Gary Tulie notes: Read more ›

Posted in Climate Change Tagged with: , ,

Changes in Our Civilization Often Start with Outrage

Changes in Our Civilization Often Start with OutrageFrequent commenter MarcoPolo writes:  I can’t help wondering if your passionate crusade against “big oil” isn’t counter-productive….The average person doesn’t want an existing crusade, filled with revolutionary risk and perils.

Indignation at injustice is and has always been a key driver in change.  You’re a historian; this can’t be a new concept for you.

And I’m not sure what the average person wants, but whatever it is, it may change dramatically as our cities begin to sink into the sea.

Posted in Renewables - Politics Tagged with: ,

We Want a Sustainable Civilization, But There’s a Catch

We Want a Sustainable Civilization, But There’s a CatchAccording to the Writer’s Almanac:  It’s the birthday of novelist Joseph Heller (books by this author), born in Brooklyn (1923) and best known for the novel Catch-22 (1961), about an American bombardier named John Yossarian. During World War II, Yossarian attempts to get out of the Army by faking a liver ailment, sabotaging his plane, and trying to get himself declared insane. It became an international best-seller, with the title entering the lexicon to refer to an absurd, no-win situation. Read more ›

Posted in Renewables - Politics Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Cost-Effective Renewable Energy Is Today’s Reality

Cost-Effective Renewable Energy Is Today’s RealityHere’s something I wish every person on Earth could understand, i.e., how very, very close we are to a total migration from fossil fuels into renewable energy.  This guy, in particular, speaks about the continuing free-fall of solar PV prices given technologies that are improving every day.  Of course, this is the basic theme of my most recent book: Bullish on Renewable Energy – 14 Reasons that Clean Energy Investors Can’t Lose.

The problem here really is disinformation, i.e., propaganda from Big Energy to the effect that renewables are tinker toys, that cleantech is a job-killer, etc.  It’s all completely incorrect, but it’s constantly being shoved down the throats of all Americans.

Perhaps this, in turn, takes us back to our broken educational system.


Posted in Renewables - Business Tagged with: , , , , ,

Broken Educational System Underlies Apathy on Clean Energy, Climate Change

A Quick Look at American's Societal WoesWow, did this guy nail it or what?

And here’s another piece on our broken educational system and some related issues.

Posted in Sustainability Tagged with:

Improvements in Solar PV Come in Many Dimensions

Improvements in Solar PV Come in Many DimensionsWe all know that our world is becoming increasingly capable of migrating away from fossil fuels, and the plummeting costs of renewable energy are the chief driver.  But what factors lie behind this declining cost structure?  Actually, there are several.

In the world of solar PV, one of the key issues is scale, i.e., the benefits that accrue to mass production.  But, arguably, advancements in materials science, at least in the long-run, will be of even greater value. Read more ›

Posted in Photovoltaics Tagged with: , , , ,

Sustainable Fishing and Civil Disobedience

Sustainable Fishing and Civil DisobedienceAs you read this post, the crew aboard the Greenpeace ship “Esperanza” (or “hope”) is busily destroying fishing lines that catch tuna for Walmart in a most barbaric fashion, killing obscene numbers of other aquatic animals.  Is what Greenpeace is doing legal? Hardly. Is it right?  By my wits, absolutely.

We’re fortunate enough to live in a world where civil disobedience is flourishing;  it’s an important and well established tool in dismantling injustice.

If you would like to sign the petition demanding that Walmart cease these horribly abusive fishing practices, just click the link above.



Posted in Sustainability Tagged with: , , ,
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