Archives for February, 2012

Bill Gates sees the transformative potential of low-cost energy. “Cheaper energy would be on the list of the three or four things you would want for the poorest people in the world,” he said Tuesday at the 2012 Energy Innovation Summit, sponsored by ARPA-E, the Department of Energy’s three-year-old advanced energy research agency. Cheaper energy…

If you’re a primary voter, you’ve got your pick of candidates who’ll promise to bring down the price of gasoline. Unfortunately, whoever wins is going to run up against the limits of presidential power pretty quickly. The fact is that presidents don’t have that much authority over the price of oil, for a number of…

Earlier this week, top scientists released a paper urging governments to take restorative steps for the planet’s ecosystem. Faced with today’s challenges, “Society has no choice but to take dramatic action,” the authors write. They note the important role that energy –- and particularly reliance on fossil fuel — plays in climate change, biodiversity loss…

Frito Lay has been steadily making inroads on sustainability throughout their operations. Beginning in late 2010, they launched an innovative electric fleet of delivery vehicles around the U.S., and have steadily been building out the fleet in key markets since then. EarthTechling recently sat down with Frito Lay’s National Fleet Sustainability Manager, Steve Hanson, and…

Comments Off on Climate Researcher Lied to Get Documents, Triggering Ethics Debate

A top climate researcher—Peter Gleick, head of the Pacific Institute—admitted he lied to obtain documents from the Heartland Institute, which he then leaked to media and revealed the organization’s plans to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change. Gleick resigned from the board of the National Center on Science Education, and stepped down as chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s…

The recent plummet of the natural gas spot price to a 28-month low has stirred discussion about implications for renewable energy—the majority electrical generating component in RMI’s vision of the 2050 U.S. energy economy. Since mid-2009, it has been increasingly clear that the amount of natural gas supplied via hydraulic fracturing (popularly known as “fracking”) will create…

Congressional deadlock and new scientific insights force new direction. The news on the avoid-dangerous-climate-change front seems to get ever bleaker. On the Policy Side, Little to No Progress The probability of a U.S. policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions any time soon is as close to zero as you can get — President Obama said…

More than two years after the 2010 earthquake that left Haiti in rubble and displaced 2.3 million people, recovery has been slow in coming. Hundreds of thousands are still living in camps such as Corail-Cesselesse, a relocation area set up in the aftermath of the quake. And the cholera outbreak that has taken nearly 7,000…

Comments Off on David Owen’s Efficiency Views Rebound With Error

David Owen continues to blame energy efficiency for the ills he ascribes to growth and wealth. His misunderstandings of “rebound” in energy use were devastatingly rebutted when he published them in The New Yorker, and now he’s expanded them to book length. But his post in last week’s Wall Street Journal lucidly confirms that his…

Comments Off on Coal-Fired Haze Mars the Dark Skies of Big Bend

Big Bend National Park is known for its beauty — and its haze problem. So it might come as a surprise to some that it recently earned the designation of a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park. The designation makes the 801,000-acre (324,153-hectare) West Texas park, which borders the Rio Grande, one of only 10…