Amanda Little

Amanda Little, Grist's former Muckraker columnist, is author of Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair with Energy. She teaches investigative journalism at Vanderbilt University and her articles on energy and the environment have appeared in publications including Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter: @littletrip.

The new Newt thing

Gingrich slams Obama on Gulf gusher and sounds off on climate

Newt Gingrich, green conservative.Photo: Gage SkidmoreA couple of years ago, Newt Gingrich was sounding like a climate activist. The former Republican speaker of the House posed with current Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a couch in front of the Capitol for a 2008 ad sponsored by Al Gore’s organization, the Alliance for Climate Protection. “[O]ur country must take action to address climate change,” Gingrich said, calling on Americans to “demand action from our leaders.” In his new book To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine, Gingrich pushes a strikingly different view, decrying “the doomsday theory of climate change,” which he …

Welcome to a warmer world

As Nashville floods recede, an opportunity emerges

Homes in Nashville.Photo courtesy Eric Hamiter via FlickrNASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four days after rainstorms pummeled my hometown, problems mount. Major portions of the city are still submerged beneath floodwaters. Thousands are displaced from their homes, the contents of their lives soaked, mud-caked, and molding. Thousands more have no electricity or plumbing. The city faces severe drinking water shortages, with several water treatment facilities paralyzed. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama declared Nashville a federal disaster area. On stoops and porches around the city, Nashvillians are sharing stories of shock, anguish, and wonder. They are recounting images of the homes and churches …

Energy X-games

Meet America’s most extreme energy geeks

Photo courtesy PNNL via FlickrJet-engine wind turbines, fuel made from big batches of algae, enzymes that trap power plant CO2. Sound seriously far-fetched? They may be. But these concepts are fetching serious investment dollars from the Department of Energy. DOE Secretary Steven Chu — a Nobel Prize-winning inventor himself — has launched a new program dubbed “ARPA-E.” It’s modeled after DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Pentagon’s technology-innovation program that was responsible for the internet, cell phones, GPS, and other technical breakthroughs. ARPA-E is doling out multimillion dollar grants to the nation’s most visionary energy innovators — thrill-seeking, over-achieving …

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