Marianne Lavelle, energy editor for National Geographic Digital Media, has spent more than two decades covering environment, business, climate and policy in Washington, D.C. Previously, she spearheaded a project tracking climate change lobbying for the nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization The Center for Public Integrity. Before that, she was a senior writer at U.S. News and World Report magazine, where she wrote the Beyond the Barrel blog. Before joining U.S. News, she created a beat on federal regulation for The National Law Journal, and led a team of reporters in a series on environmental justice, “Unequal Protection," winner of the George Polk Award and numerous other honors.

In last night’s episode of the NBC post-apocalyptic drama, Revolution, each of the characters faced the consequences of the risky alliances they made in their struggle to survive in a world without electricity. That world—complete with water-borne disease, warlords, and refugee camps—is a reality for many of the 1.2 billion people who live each day…

The last effort in the U.S. Congress to tackle climate change head-on died in 2010, amid ferocious lobbying by interests who argued it would wreck the economy. That bill would have cut carbon dioxide emissions 3 percent below their 2005 level by 2012. The actual 2012 figures are now out and in fact, the United…

The International Energy Agency made headlines nearly one year ago with its bold forecast that the United States was on track to being the world’s top oil and natural gas producer by 2017. (See related, “U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia, Russia as World’s Top Energy Producer.”) It turns out that the United States is fracking…

Comments Off on Forum on Arctic ‘Science of Change’ Focuses on Decisions at the Top of the World

The United Kingdom may not be an Arctic nation, but it has a unique perch on the front line of the dramatic change reshaping the polar north. The U.K. government now is preparing to unveil an Arctic policy framework, its own version of the strategy documents  put forth by nations in the thick of decision-making…

Comments Off on New U.S. Limits on Power Plant Carbon Emissions: Five Points

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled the first-ever national limits for carbon emissions from new power plants in the United States–a step that seeks to reshape the debate on climate change in the inevitable political and legal battles that lie ahead. (See related, “Four Ways to Look at Global Carbon Footprints.”) “We must meet our…

When student engineers set out to design fuel-efficient cars, some choose to rely on high-tech tools like computer simulation, while others go back to basics, with lightweight, low-impact materials like wood and rattan.  Both approaches earned honors this summer in Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2013’s off-track awards. The actual road race, scheduled for early July in…

Q What Breakthroughs Do Biofuels Need? Check out the ideas from our panelists and rate them below. What inventions and technical innovations are needed for biofuels to become a true challenge and sustainable alternative to petroleum-based transportation? This is one of the questions we put before two dozen experts from industry, universities, and environmental groups…

When President Obama unveiled his long-awaited climate change strategy this week, he never mentioned biofuels. (See “Obama Unveils Climate Strategy.”) But with nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions due to burning petroleum for transportation, a key and controversial question is what role plant-based alternatives can play in cutting the nation’s carbon emissions. As…

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…

Comments Off on Stichting Rootbox: Sustainable Design Through Collaboration, With or Without Wind Turbine

A hot pink wind turbine turned above one paddock at Shell Eco-marathon Europe this year; it was the stall of the team from Inholland University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The students, all studying aeronautical engineering, have designed a vehicle with a detachable rear end that can be changed in few minutes and converted…