Climate & Energy

Fortune Brainstorm Green

Lomborg does his shtick

God knows why, but they invited Bjorn Lomborg for a short one-on-one interview. Somewhat embarrassingly for Fortune, they got about a third of the crowd that’s come to most other sessions. Apparently people are tired …

A REDtime story

Recycled Energy Development is in The Atlantic this month, as a part of a larger story by Lisa Margonelli about the potential for waste energy recycling at U.S. industrials.

Google: energy glutton?

New server farm projected to use 103 MW of power

Interesting feature in the March issue of Harper's if you missed it: Google's server farms use a heckuva lot of energy. A planned server farm in The Dalles, Ore. will probably use 103 megawatts of mega-hydro electrons, enough to power 82,000 homes, according to the author, Ginger Strand. Server farms used more power than TVs in the U.S. in 2006, and this may increase as other search firms gear up to battle Google. Of course, the proliferation of flat-screen energy hogs since then may level that playing field ... But the point here is that internet search isn't impact-free, and Google's good efforts to develop the renewable industry through grants and investments might be better viewed as more of an offset for its own impacts.

Our third annual list of the year’s goodies, oddities, and inanities

It’s Earth Day time once again, and we are delighted to present the Third-Ever List of Grist Superlatives — our take on the good, the bad, and the weird of the past year. Think we …

Fortune Brainstorm Green

Peter Barnes sprints through cap-and-dividend

Peter Barnes was given exactly five minutes (!) to explain cap-and-dividend to the audience. Everybody’s so tired and frazzled that I don’t think it sank in very much. However, I talked with Barnes for a …

Fortune Brainstorm Green

An unusually interesting discussion of ‘clean coal’

Earlier today I attended a small roundtable discussion about clean coal. Most of the people there were basically pro-clean coal: people from NRG energy, railroad companies, venture capital firms, and David Hawkins from NRDC. Some …

Let them eat biofuel

Food vs. fuel debate, German edition

Defending her country’s biofuel mandates in a time of global food crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently denied that turning food crops into car fuel affects prices. Those looking for reasons behind the recent spike …

Bottoms up: Pollan on gardening

Growing your own food is fine, but governmental action is needed, and soon

I like Michael Pollan -- really, I do -- which is why it was frustrating to see his wilted-salad-green entreaty to act on climate change in yesterday's paper: The climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle -- of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences. For us to wait for legislation or technology to solve the problem of how we're living our lives suggests we're not really serious about changing -- something our politicians cannot fail to notice. They will not move until we do. Indeed, to look to leaders and experts, to laws and money and grand schemes, to save us from our predicament represents precisely the sort of thinking -- passive, delegated, dependent for solutions on specialists -- that helped get us into this mess in the first place. It's hard to believe that the same sort of thinking could now get us out of it. Pollan's grand solution? Plant a vegetable garden!

MO-mentum

The push for a renewable energy standard in Missouri

Know why they call Missouri the "Show Me" state? Me neither. What I do know is that our friends at Renew Missouri are trying to show the state some renewable energy. They've written language for a 15 percent renewable portfolio standard, but in order to get it on the ballot in November, they need to collect 150,000 signatures by May 4. It's an important battle in the heartland, so if you can, donate your time or money here.

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