Science & Technology

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 →

Unexpected NY Auto Show feature – carbon offsets

With the growing demand for newer, cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles, TerraPass has learned that several leading automobile manufacturers are poised to release the AERE (Automotive Efficiency to Reduce Emissions, pronounced "airy") carbon offset protocol at the New York International Auto Show. Our sources tell us that the AERE protocol has just undergone a final peer-review process, and its public… read more →

New transit system powered by magnets underground

An amusement park in South Korea recently unveiled a new transit system that powers itself via electricity transferred from subterranean magnetic strips. This is very cool. Electric buses are not particularly new, but there's something novel and fun about a transit system that recharges itself off magnetic strips hidden underground. Aside from reducing the ungainly system of overhead electric lines… read more →

Electric bikes on the rise

Can you stand one more post about electric bikes? The New York Times ran a follow-up recently, and it's worth revisiting the topic. First, the comment thread to the previous post about electric bikes has an interesting diversity of opinions, but to my mind pretty strongly underscores the potential value of this technology. Many everyday commuters and older riders find… read more →

Forests help cool the planet

Climate change can be counterintuitive. For example, one way to cool the planet would be to clear cut the entire Northern hemisphere. Trees are dark, and absorb heat much more strongly than snow, which reflects light very well. By replacing large swaths of the planet’s dark surfaces (the boreal forest) with light ones (snow and rock), we could pretty significantly… read more →

China set to dominate clean energy

China is the world's manufacturer, and increasingly that applies to energy infrastructure as well: > China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year. > China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to… read more →

Is ozone the enemy of the climate?

The logic of the New York Times: the ozone hole is mending (good), but in doing so it is speeding warming in Antarctica (bad). This is lazy journalism. In the author's defense, the biggest problem is in the headline: "Ozone Hole Is Mending. Now For The 'But'" followed by "Scientists say averting one threat may add to another: warming." The… read more →

E-bikes rolling forward…slowly

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Copenhagen Wheel, a fun new entry in the electric bicycle market. The New York Times declares that the market might finally be ready to take off, but to me it sounds like we have many years to go before e-bikes gain any sort of mainstream acceptance. The good news is that the… read more →

Brr. What happened to global warming?

Freezing temperatures are damaging oranges in Florida. In the UK they're canceling soccer games because the pitches are frozen. New England is seeing record snowfall. "So much for global warming" quipped a friend (who should know better), with that look that says *I'm making a joke, but I'm also beginning to wonder…* Uh oh. It's tempting to point out that… read more →

Avatar: green epic or epically silly?

James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar has irritated some conservative critics with its softheaded environmentalism. Watching conservatives tie themselves in knots over the movie's moralizing has in turn greatly amused a variety of liberal commentators. Which is all fine, I suppose, if parsing the political subtext of Hollywood action movies is your cup of tea. I'm just disappointed that anyone takes seriously… read more →
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