We are reading a lot about the windfall coming to consumers due to falling gas prices now that oil is under $50/barrel. But cheap energy also represents a windfall for governments, including governments who are hard pressed for cash. read more »
Over the last decade, progressives have successfully painted conservative climate skepticism as the major stumbling block to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon and the Koch brothers, the story goes, fund conservative think tanks to sow doubt about climate change and block legislative action. As evidence mounts that anthropogenic global warming is underway, conservatives’ flight from reason is putting us all at risk. read more »
Over the last year, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Mario Batali, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon have spoken out against the expansion of natural gas drilling. “Fracking kills,” says Ono, who has a country home in New York. “It threatens the air we breathe,” says Redford. read more »
Coal electricity declined by 12.5 percent in 2012, mostly driven by the switch to natural gas, which increased by almost the exact same amount (217 terrawatt-hours) as coal declined (216 TWh), according to new annual numbers released by the US Energy Information Administration.
Wind electricity increased as well — by about one-tenth (20.5 TWh) as much as gas. Solar increased a little more than one-hundredth as much as gas (2.5 TWh). read more »
Over the last four years, emissions in the United States declined more than in any other country in the world. Coal plants and coal mines are being shuttered. That's not from increased use of solar panels and wind turbines, as laudable as those technologies are. Rather it's due, in large measure, to the technological revolution allowing for the cheap extraction of natural gas from shale. By contrast, Europe, with its cap and trade program, and price on carbon, is returning to coal-burning. read more »
Der Speigel reports that Germany's rushed program to convert to renewable energy is already imposing an economic burden. Part of the problem is the inherent instability of power produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar: read more »
America has two basic economies, and the division increasingly defines its politics. One, concentrated on the coasts and in college towns, focuses on the business of images, digits and transactions. The other, located largely in the southeast, Texas and the Heartland, makes its living in more traditional industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to fossil fuel development. read more »
Anaheim Convention Center, Southern California, last week was a hot bed of one of the ultimate forms of renewable energy. The “fuel” used by wind turbines (really the wind) is free for the 30 year life span of the windmill installation, is considered inflation proof, and is 100 % domestically available.
Just a brief walk through the trade exhibition convinces any visitor of European as well as Chinese commitment to wind energy. One guest speaker, Ted Turner put it: “Just do not look at the next 30 years, look for at least a few hundred years of human energy needs.” read more »
The potential for a symbiotic relationship between the environment, cars and people may be about to take a giant leap forward. London's Daily Telegraph reports that a group of engineers from Genco have developed a bio-bug (Volkswagen bug) that runs on human waste. The car is powered for 10,000 miles from the excrement from 70 households (annually). The human waste bio-bug would be carbon neutral because it would not add any greenhouse gas to that already produced. read more »
A new study by researchers at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University suggests that President Obama’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal will require gasoline prices of from $7.15 to $8.71 per gallon by 2030. This is not only untrue, but also represents a “roadmap” to economic and environmental folly. read more »