Posts by: pfreed

Impacts of our changing climate

A couple of recent studies (see here and here) have highlighted the impacts of global climate change in a very real way. It seems that we are having more extreme weather than natural cycles might explain, and that our warmer climate is having a primarily negative impact on global food crop production. These studies are as important for what they… read more →

The future is now

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-e) is a new branch of the US Department of Energy designed to fund and support early stage, potentially transformational energy technologies. The Agency was funded by the stimulus bill in 2009 and this week it’s showing off its successes at an Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. If you're an energy geek,… read more →

A history of global warming

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the 6th annual Poe Symposium at Cal State University - Channel Islands in Camarillo, CA. The symposium brought together a impressive line up of experts who discussed climate change from the perspective of policy, history, science and business. Because CSUCI is such a cutting edge campus they recorded the whole event and… read more →

Solar power gets thirsty

I'd love to believe that all renewable energy projects are a great way to generate power without putting a strain on our resources and the planet. Unfortunately, many projects present uncomfortable tradeoffs. The New York Times' greeninc blog reported recently that utility-scale solar power projects can be incredibly water intensive. Solar power projects are all about concentrating the energy of… read more →

Bike sharing comes big to Boston

Boston has just announced what is slated to become the largest bike sharing network in the U.S. and I'm awfully jealous. My first experience with bike sharing was love at first sight. It was the summer of 2006, I was in Berlin, and *everything was perfect*. Thronged with international visitors for the World Cup, the city was effortlessly navigable by… read more →

Ditching my wheels

I've recently been wondering just how green the car sharing service I use actually is. The service is certainly convenient, but am I actually reducing my carbon footprint? It appears the answer may well be yes. A new study in England suggests that each shared car replaces on average 23 privately owned cars. Further, car share participants take significantly fewer… read more →

Batteries not included

Almost a hundred million dollars of new investment in battery technology has been announced in the few days: first, Boston Power announced that it had received $55M in a fourth round of funding for their Sonata lithium-ion battery. The Sonata is advertised to have a very long lifetime, a quick charging cycle and makes a variety of environmentally friendly claims.… read more →

Cool technology harnesses energy from hot gas

I am well acquainted with hot air. Jokes about my fellow bloggers aside, I've spent much time in small, hot engine rooms while visiting TerraPass projects. Even clean energy generates copious amounts of waste heat. In the future, that lost energy might be put to productive use if efforts to harness low-temperature waste heat are successful. A new "near frictionless"… read more →

Put a pig in your tank

Over here on the carbon team we get pretty darn excited to see new and ingenious ways to handle animal waste, so it was with great enthusiasm that we learned about scientists who had successfully (or at least semi-successfully) turned pig poo into crude oil. As with most biofuels (and any other other fuel for that matter), there are positives… read more →

Off-grid living

We've all heard of the 'oldest profession' but how about the 'oldest energy emissions reduction'? That's right, off-grid living is going mainstream: > The cost of building such a home is little different from that of building any other home, and with a range of energy sipping appliances such as refrigerators, hi-fis and even hairdryers now available, the forced austerity… read more →
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