Archives for May, 2011

In a planet running out of resources, the most important public policy tool may be the measuring stick. This becomes important to remember amid the remarkable swings of pessimism and guarded optimism we’ve seen over the past two years on the ability of individual nations to scale-up the sustainable energy agenda. COP15 in Copenhagen 2009…

Comments Off on Aspen Environment Forum Looks at the Human Role in Global Calamities

Yesterday evening, the opening panel of the 2011 Aspen Environment Forum looked at our increasingly disaster-prone world and asked how we can cope with calamity on a more and more crowded planet. Stewart Brand of the Long Now Foundation, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University, and Marcia McNutt of the U.S.…

Comments Off on New Mileage Records Set in Fuel-Efficiency Race

Teams competing in the Shell* Eco-marathon Europe achieved new milestones in solar and hydrogen fuel cell efficiency Sunday. Italian team mecc-Sun traveled 688 miles (1,108 kilometers) on just 1 kilowatt hour of energy with its solar-powered car, while French team Polytech Nantes beat its own record by driving 366 miles (590 kilometers) per kilowatt hour…

In Africa, where two-thirds of farmers are women, the potential of biofuels as a low or lower-carbon alternative fuel, with applications at the household energy, community and village level, to a national resource or export commodity, has a critical gender dimension. The key question is: how will increased biofuel production affect women? To look at the…

Anaheim, CA – Over the past few months, I’ve made the case that dirty energy lobby plays a full contact game against clean energy, using lobbying and disinformation as business weapons to drive the idea that clean energy is “expensive, unreliable and not ready.” Cleantech, I’ve said, needs to step up its advocacy game dramatically, including driving…

Comments Off on New Fuel-Economy Labels for U.S. Vehicles

Car buyers in the United States will soon see a change on vehicles when they shop: All will carry a new window sticker unveiled Wednesday by the EPA and the Department of Transportation. The black label, which will be required starting with 2013 models of all passenger cars and trucks, will include details on the…

Comments Off on UK Panel Rejects Shale Gas Moratorium

A British parliamentary report issued Monday said that the UK should not pursue a moratorium on shale gas exploration, even while it acknowledged that the country’s supply was “unlikely to be a ‘game changer’” as it has been in the United States. The report was good news for Cuadrilla Resources, which has an interest in…

Comments Off on The Great Generational ‘Green Thing’ Debate

Scientist and lawyer duke it out over who is the greener generation. A lawyer I know, who, I am convinced, likes to rattle my chain from time to time, recently sent me an essay entitled “The Green Thing.” (It’s all over the web, but it looks like it may have originated here.) It’s about an…

Comments Off on Why Is It that Other Countries Can Change Their Energy Mix, and We Can’t?

Here’s a depressing fact about energy use in the United States. According to the government’s current projections, we get about 80 percent of our energy from fossil fuels now. And in 20 years, we’ll still be getting 80 percent of our energy from fossil fuels. Yes, we’ll be adding more renewable energy to the mix,…

Comments Off on More Theater: Will DC Raise Taxes on Renewables?

This was a funny week to be in Washington DC. I happened to be in town on Tuesday when the Senate was debating whether to repeal the numerous tax subsidies given to the oil and gas industry. To give you a sense of scale, the subsidies on the block add up to $21 billion over…