Posts by: tim

No, we can’t predict the weather

One of my favorite global warming denier talking points is that “you can’t predict the weather!” OK, yes, it’s true: long-term weather forecasting is basically impossible because of sensitive dependence on initial conditions, aka the Butterfly Effect. To summarize the problem, (though you should really read James Gleick’s 1988 masterpiece Chaos: Making a New Science) in the 1950’s, a former… read more →

Orbital satellite includes tiny digester

To follow up on what must be the most exciting topic to grace these electronic pages, the final frontier of anaerobic digesters is, of course, space. Only slightly different from the technology that powers all of our dairy projects, a new experiment by Florida Institute of Technology researchers will test whether a particular strain of bacteria that can convert human… read more →

Offshore wind getting some backbone

Google and a renewable electricity investment company are investing in an offshore, 350-mile long high-voltage transmission line off the coast of New Jersey, with spurs making landfall in Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and just outside of New York City. Each company is in it for about $200 million, which is about 75% of the total investment. New transmission lines aren't… read more →

Walk Score adds Transit Score

  • September 28, 2010
  • Society
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The folks at Front Seat - a Seattle company creating software for civic life - have launched three new extensions to their popular Walk Score website: a public transportation score, a commuting function, and a cost calculator that emphasizes the connections between where you live and what it costs to move between home and work. The Transit Score is a… read more →

Your own, personal biodigester

  • September 27, 2010
  • Society
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The Park Spark Project, brainchild of conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta and supported by MIT and the City of Cambridge, has created a piece that combines a small methane digester at a dog park with an "eternal flame" lit from the gas coming off decomposing dog poop. I am completely on board with the concept: dog waste, picked up with biodegradable… read more →

Recovery Act creating a new energy economy

It may not be the most popular term to throw around these days, but the $787 billion stimulus package passed in the early days of the Obama administration is still handing out dollars, and has the potential to transform how we use and store energy in this country. Two-thirds of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was devoted to avoiding a… read more →

“Doubt is our product.”

I just finished reading Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway's exhaustively researched new book, ***Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming***, and must recommend this work to anybody interested in how science is communicated and debated in the public sphere. Oreskes and Conway are science historians, at UC-San… read more →

Payments for livestock loss not changing opinions

It turns out that even though ranchers and farmers get paid for any livestock killed by reintroduced wolves, that cash doesn't change negative opinions about wolves one bit. Retributional compensation is supposed to help. Whether local governments, voluntary insurance cooperatives, or NGOs provide the financial support, the idea is that livestock losses caused by reintroduced predator species could be mitigated… read more →

Copenhagen Wheel competing for Dyson Award

Looks like the Copenhagen Wheel Adam was so gaga about has topped the list of US regional entries, and will compete against 17 other inventions from around the world for the James Dyson Award of design. The winner will be announced on August 24, but in the meantime, we can all enjoy the snappy marketing video above. At a retail… read more →

EPA rejects attempts to reconsider endangerment finding

The EPA recently responded to 10 petitions challenging the historic Endangerment Finding that linked increases in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases with a decline in human welfare. The petitioners challenging the Finding - mostly conservative groups including the Ohio Coal Association, the Southeastern Legal Foundation and the State of Texas - argued that the EPA should reconsider based on… read more →
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