Archives for May, 2013

On a recent late night at the office, I got a warning from the cleaning woman: “You know the lights all shut off at 10 o’clock, right?” Fortunately, I had never stayed at National Geographic late enough to learn that fact. But I had noticed before that at 8:00 p.m., my computer sends a message…

We generally complain that action on climate change is mired in polarized partisan politics and thus nothing can be done.  True to an extent, but let’s hold on a bit. In terms of generating important discussion about the clarity that exists around the conclusion that the scientific debate over climate change as an anthropogenic process…

Comments Off on Forests Fuel Hydropower in Brazil

In the Amazon you don’t need to burn wood for a forest to contribute to energy production. Once Upon a Time… People thought the worth of a forest was determined by the value of its timber. We now know that leads to a gross undervaluation. Forests, like most ecosystems, provide a host of services whose…

Iraq is longing for renewable and sustainable energy solutions, National Geographic Explorer Thomas H. Culhane found out. It just takes a little extra time to don body armor and get through security when you’re packing food-waste grinders, solar panels, water pumps, and bio-gas systems. Culhane filed this report from his travels to Iraq, a place…

U.S. Representative Lamar Smith’s strutting his science cred. Smith, a Republican, represents the 21st District of Texas, which includes his hometown of San Antonio, and chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. I met him a few weeks ago at a hearing on climate held by the Subcommittee on the Environment. He was the consummate…

Comments Off on With a New Look, French Teams Take Top Prizes in Shell Eco-marathon Europe

For several years running, French engineering students from two neighboring Loire Valley schools, Polytech Nantes and La Joliverie, have shared engineering and effort to build rocket-shaped vehicles that captured top prizes at Shell Eco-marathon Europe fuel efficiency race. But the students began to feel there was something lacking in their cars’ perennially award-winning profile. “It…

In his first official remarks as Energy Secretary Tuesday, Ernest Moniz focused on an aspect of energy policy that lends itself to consensus perhaps a bit more easily than others:  the need for greater efficiency. Speaking at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington, Moniz noted it was fortuitous that the annual event followed his…

Comments Off on The Aftermath of Rotterdam 2013

A mere few days after Shell Eco-marathon 2013, everyone from Eco-Runner Team Delft is still in a whirl. The team did a great job getting second place in the hydrogen prototype class. Even though we fought and hoped for first place, second is still a great achievement. The week started perfectly. The Ecorunner managed to…

Comments Off on A New Record for Our Team at Eco-marathon

After a really hard night, with some very last minute tweaking, we installed a Kinetic Energy Recovery System on our car at Shell Eco-marathon Europe. Even though the KERS system was pretty untested, we still chose to give it a chance, since we already had already set a new record of 612.3 kilometers on one…

A lot of the debate over energy and climate change has focused on changing how people live. But in a lot of ways, where someone lives is as important as how they live. Not all parts of the United States are the same when it comes to how much and what kind of energy is…