Posts by: bret

NASA says global icecaps melting

When it rains, it pours, or so the saying goes, and data showing global warming has been appearing at an increasing rate lately. Last year has already been labeled the warmest on record, and now NASA has declared that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have shrunk in the last decade, with a corresponding increase the sea level. Armed with… read more →

Hybrid economics

When fashion and function collide, great things happen. Or, at least, trendy things that aren't as vacuous and faddish as they may seem; things that can actually be justified to your friends, yet leave you reveling in their very hipness. And so the hybrid went from design exercise to cult item to Hollywood high fashion, and the justifications flew. Until… read more →

US wind energy boom

Good news about alternative energy development is always welcome, and I was happy to read that 2005 was a banner year for wind power. The US installed more new wind energy generating capacity than any other country (2400 megawatts, or enough for up to 3.5 million homes annually), and, while we still trail in our total capacity, we're quickly catching… read more →

Conservation tip: remove your roof rack

Improve your gas mileage by 10% instantly, without modifying your car or driving habits! If I saw that in the subject line of an email, it'd get deposited, unread, in my junk folder along with the impotence-related drug ads and mortgage plugs that take up a sizable fraction of my inbox. It just so happens, however, that the claim above… read more →

Conservation tip: Idle engines are the devil’s tools

Should we all be turning off our engines at stoplights? Driving up to Lake Tahoe last weekend, I pulled off for gas in Auburn. I turned off my engine at the stoplight, which earned me a curious glance from my passenger and the comment "Don't you know that turning your engine off at lights causes more pollution and engine damage… read more →