Archives for February, 2011

Comments Off on ‘Carbon Nation’ Seeks to Change the Conversation

Is it an oxymoron: a global warming movie with a positive message? Not any more. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, recently found that how global warming messages are delivered makes a difference: people who believe the world is just are far more likely to accept the science if presented with a positive, solutions-based…

Almost 400 million Indians—about a third of the subcontinent’s population—don’t have access to electricity. This power deficit, which includes about 100,000 un-electrified villages, places India’s annual per-capita electricity consumption at just 639 kilowatthours—among the world’s lowest rates. The access gap is complicated by another problem: more than three-quarters of India’s electricity is produced by burning…

What does the future of energy look like? Today, Shell released the latest in the series of outlooks it has been writing for the past 40 years known as its “Energy Scenarios.” (See coverage here, here and here.)  Shell, sponsor of National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge initiative, pioneered scenario-writing as a business planning tool. It…

Comments Off on We’ve Found a Lot More Oil in the U.S. – Should We Rejoice or Worry?

Like so much else in the energy and environmental field, recent news about the discovery of “vast oil fields in the U.S.”, that could dramatically increase domestic oil production, is a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s go down the list: The good: According to projections by the U.S. Department of…

Kate Sheppard, energy and environmental politics writer for Mother Jones, recently answered some questions for Planet Forward about the future of energy efficiency (http://planetforward.org/ask-an-expert/ask-an-expert-kate-sheppard/). Sheppard addressed Obama’s goal to make 80% of the United States’ energy sources “clean energy” by 2035–she not only believes that the goal is attainable, but asserts that we are more than…

Building a Clean Energy Economy University Research Essential to Transformational Changes Raymond L. Orbach Director, Energy Institute at UT Austin In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama challenged the nation to produce 80% of the country’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Such investments are critical, he said, because “the nation…

As Texas suffers rolling blackouts on critical facilities like hospitals, politicians begin to understand how energy independence can support national security.

A decade ago, the United States urged Israel to lean more heavily on Egypt as an energy supplier, in hopes that such an economic tie would foster cooperation and peace. But those bonds looked more like shackles after a weekend explosion in the north Sinai desert on a terminal serving the natural gas pipeline that…

Despite my seriously mixed feelings about the State of the Union speeches, I tuned in to last week’s speech for the first time in several years. Like many, I was disappointed if not surprised that President Obama didn’t mention climate change even once. Climate policy is hard sell in a down economy. I hope Mother…

Comments Off on Ecosystem Services: Seeking to Improve Human and Ecological Health Together

While attending the CITES (Convention on Trade in Endangered Species) biodiversity summit in Nagoya, Japan, late last year, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that we must foster development and reduce poverty, and at the same time preserve and improve the planet’s biodiversity and ecological resilience. He noted during a speech at the Cancun COP16…