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Category Archives: Energy

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It

The Atlantic – Gregory H. Shill – The automobile took over because the legal system helped squeeze out the alternatives. “…In America, the freedom of movement comes with an asterisk: the obligation to drive. This truism has been echoed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has pronounced car ownership a “virtual necessity.” The Court’s pronouncement is telling. Yes, in a sense, America is car-dependent by choice—but it is also car-dependent by law. As I detail in a forthcoming journal article, over the course of several generations lawmakers rewrote the rules of American life to conform to the interests of Big Oil, the auto barons, and the car-loving 1 percenters of the Roaring Twenties. They gave legal force to a mind-set—let’s call it automobile supremacy—that kills 40,000 Americans a year and seriously injures more than 4 million more. Include all those harmed by emissions and climate change, and the damage is even greater. As a teenager growing up in the shadow of Detroit, I had no reason to feel this was unjust, much less encouraged by law. It is both…”

Bitcoin’s energy consumption ‘equals that of Switzerland’

BBC – “Bitcoin uses as much energy as the whole of Switzerland, a new online tool from the University of Cambridge shows. The tool makes it easier to see how the crypto-currency network’s energy usage compares with other entities. However, one expert argued that it was the crypto-currency’s carbon footprint that really mattered. Currently, the… Continue Reading

MIT Technology Review – 35 Innovators Under 35 2019

“As part of our ethos that technology can and should be a force for good. Our annual list of 35 innovators under 35 is a way of putting faces on that idea. In these profiles you’ll find people employing innovative methods to treat disease, to fight online harassment, and to create the next big battery… Continue Reading

Map identifies companies around the world most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions

The Decolonial Atlas – Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet – “Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The guys who run those companies – and they are mostly guys – have gotten rich on the backs of literally all life… Continue Reading

Check it out and save energy: Montgomery Co. libraries offer thermal imaging cameras

wtop.com – Montgomery County is the latest to offer library cardholders something that is not only unusual but also useful: thermal imaging cameras to monitor home energy use. “These days, some libraries offer musical instruments, power tools and board games. And Montgomery County is the latest to offer library cardholders something that is not only… Continue Reading

House Democrats launch probe into EPA officials’ ties to utilities

POLITICO: “The House Energy and Commerce Committee is launching an investigation into whether top EPA officials violated ethics rules by launching a rollback of air pollution regulations that benefited their former lobbying clients in the electric utility sector. The committee’s Democrats are seeking to probe communications between the utilities and an industry group that was… Continue Reading

In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018

International Energy Agency: “Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3% last year, its fastest pace this decade, an exceptional performance driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for 45% of the rise in energy… Continue Reading

Terabytes of Enron data have quietly gone missing from the Department of Energy

Muckrock – Two terabytes on the 2000-2001 Western Energy Crisis were unpublished by FERC, and not even its custodians know why: “Government investigations into California’s electricity shortage, ultimately determined to be caused by intentional market manipulations and capped retail electricity prices by the now infamous Enron Corporation, resulted in terabytes of information being collected by the… Continue Reading

New Urban Centres Database sets new standards for information on cities at global scale

EU Science Hub: “Data analysis highlights very diverse development patterns and inequalities across cities and world regions. Building on the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL), the new database provides more detailed information on the cities’ location and size as well as characteristics such as greenness, night time light emission, population size, the built-up areas exposed… Continue Reading

Watch the Doomsday Clock announcement January 24 at 10 a.m. Eastern time

“The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live international news conference at 10 a.m. EST/1500 GMT on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to announce the 2019 time of the Doomsday Clock. The news conference will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Watch the announcement live on clock.thebulletin.org, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.  … Continue Reading