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Category Archives: Energy

Why Charging Your Gadgets Over 80% Is Such a Bad Idea

IFixIt: “Charging your phone’s battery to 100% is drastically shortening its useful life. But the fix is easy, and while auto companies have known about this and mitigated its consequences for some time, now most major smartphone brands—including Apple, Samsung, and Google—are finally jumping on board.  When we think about battery longevity, we think about the number of charging cycles that it can stand until it will no longer hold a useful charge. The li-ion batteries used in phones, laptops, and other rechargeable gadgets can be charge-cycled a limited number of times before they no longer hold a useful charge. That’s why we want manufacturers to design devices with replaceable batteries. But that’s not the whole story. How you charge the battery matters, and keeping the maximum charge below 100% can increase the most relevant stat: the total amount of energy the battery can deliver over its lifetime…”

Atrocious Air

First Street: “Since the middle of the last century, the United States has witnessed significant changes in air quality, driven by industrialization, technological advancements, regulatory measures, and public awareness. The most important of these interventions was the Clean Air Act of 1963, which served as the first federal legislation addressing air quality concerns. While air… Continue Reading

These States Are Basically Begging You to Get a Heat Pump

Wired [read free]: “You need a heat pump, ASAP. Now nine states are teaming up to accelerate the adoption of this climate superhero. Nine states have signed a memorandum of understanding that says that heat pumps should make up at least 65 percent of residential heating, air conditioning, and water-heating shipments by 2030. (“Shipments” here… Continue Reading

Secondhand EVs Are Starting to Look Like a Bargain

Bloomberg – The energy transition will falter unless consumers feel more comfortable about buying a used battery-powered vehicle. “You need at least £79,000 ($99,000) to buy a new electric Porsche Taycan in the UK; higher-specification versions of these sporty sedans cost tens of thousands more. However, three-year old Taycans are now available for less than… Continue Reading

Plastic bag bans work “Well-designed single-use plastic bag bans have successfully reduced plastic bag use and associated litter and pollution. Use the Single-use Plastic Bag Ban Waste Reduction Calculator to estimate the impact where you live. Single-use plastic bags pollute communities with litter, degrade in the environment and harm marine life. The good news is that states and… Continue Reading

PFAS Maryland Fish Consumption Advisory Map

“Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, has become an expert  on the growing issue of PFAS – toxic “legacy” chemicals – which we are finding in more and more places. He has created a map which identifies monitoring locations where Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE) collected fish tissue samples from various species, oyster sampling and… Continue Reading

Buried But Not Forgotten: Coal Ash in the Chesapeake

Waterkeepers Chesapeake – “The Chesapeake Bay region has a problem it thought it could bury and forget. But the solution for coal ash is not so simple. Coal ash, also referred to as coal combustion residuals or CCRs, is produced primarily from the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants. Coal ash contains hazardous pollutants… Continue Reading

Cracking the Gasoline Code

COLTURA – Using new gasoline consumption data to lift the most gasoline-burdened Americans and cut gasoline use faster and more efficiently. “The top 10% of drivers in the U.S. account for more than one-third of the nation’s gasoline use for private light-duty vehicles, according to the report. Extreme levels of gasoline use are deeply woven… Continue Reading

An environmental and socially just climate mitigation pathway for a planet in peril An environmental and socially just climate mitigation pathway for a planet in peril, Environmental Research Letters (2024). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ad059e “Oregon State’s William Ripple, former OSU postdoctoral researcher Christopher Wolf and collaborators argue their scenario should be included in climate models along with the five “shared socioeconomic pathways,” or SSPs, that are used by the… Continue Reading

Here’s what you’re really swallowing when you drink bottled water

Washington Post [read free]: “People are swallowing hundreds of thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic each time they drink a liter of bottled water, scientists have shown — a revelation that could have profound implications for human health A new paper released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found about 240,000… Continue Reading