Energy Efficiency

dim bulbs

Stephen Colbert is having none of your wimpy girl light bulbs

Right-wingers are now pro-choice, but only for light bulbs. Here’s everyone’s favorite talking head, Stephen Colbert, on their move to save what they’re now calling “traditional” bulbs (ah, yes, our storied national tradition of inefficient lighting! It’s the core of what it means to be an American). The Colbert ReportTags: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive   Yeah! Go back to your own country, curlicues! We know what freedom of choice truly means: nestling forever in our comfortable womb of round, warm, expensive, familiar bulbs, suitable for use in baking. (Note: Other wombs not eligible. Only light …

A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: While Congress debates climate science, China and Europe move ahead

This picture is out of date. The race begun long ago, but the guy on the right is still pacing around trying to decide whether he should start.Republicans are far more skeptical of “global warming” than of “climate change,” a study led by a University of Michigan psychologist found. Among Democrats, on the other hand, about 85 percent believe the planet is getting hotter and weather getting weirder, no matter which label you use. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Congress, hearings continued about a bill to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment — specifically, “from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking …

beat-boxin'

Is the Bloom Box cheaper than solar?

This is part of a series on distributed renewable energy posted to Grist. It originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. The Bloom Box has received a lot of media attention for its plug-and-play approach to electricity from fuel cells. The 100 kilowatt boxes generate electricity from natural gas, with lower carbon emissions than traditional natural gas-fired power plants, and they can be connected right into the grid alongside commercial and industrial buildings. But will this well-marketed, distributed fuel cell make economic sense? Compared to retail electricity prices in a few …

real genius

MIT geeks pull energy solutions out of their pocket protectors

Photo: Jon PariseHarvard hasn’t cornered the market on inventing the future, starting businesses, and all the other Zuckerbergian things people do when they’re not getting laid. At this year’s MIT Energy Conference, students and grads came out of their nerd caves to serve up a Jabba-sized heap of tech: personal turbines, wind-collecting balloons, bathysphere batteries, and a way to convert commercial fleet vehicles into hybrids. Witness: StranWind makes arty little turbines that you can install at home, to produce up to 4 extra kilowatts of energy. Altaeros Energies is developing giant helium-filled donuts that hang out 2,000 feet in the …

plan on it

How does China’s 12th Five-Year Plan address energy and the environment?

China’s got ambition.Cross-posted from the World Resources Institute. The post was written by Deborah Seligsohn, WRI’s principal advisor on climate and energy in Beijing, and Angel Hsu, doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The draft of China’s much-anticipated 12th Five-Year Plan was released this Saturday, March 5 at the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). The plan will actually be brought to a vote at the close of the session later this week. While there may be some changes to the plan, in past years these have not been large. The 118-page draft …

... but they'll go green if they it makes them more greenbacks

Why companies don’t care about climate change

Businesses would be more interested in saving trees if money grew on them.Cross-posted from TriplePundit. In 2009, I cofounded a company called CO2 IMPACT to develop high quality carbon offset projects in the Americas. While I have a Ph.D. in business, I have frequently been too focused on my values to justify the business case for a lower carbon footprint. I guess I care too much about what we are doing to the planet and what we are leaving behind for my son, Mateo. Along the way, I have learned a painful lesson that hopefully can help other aspiring climate …

A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, including Fox News, goes carbon neutral

“Maybe climate change is a hoax, but my company is going to reduce its footprint anyway.”Photo: World Economic ForumAn email has linked Fox News to deliberately casting doubt on climate change, but their parent company — Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp — seems to take climate change very seriously. News Corp announced it is now carbon neutral, claiming it is no longer contributing to global warming. It’s no small feat for the huge company, which also owns the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. On the site for the company’s Global Energy Initiative, Murdoch never utters the words “climate change” or “global warming,” but he says: …

The Big Red Elephant in the Room

Climate challenge hinges on fueling China with clean and cheap energy

We must make renewables affordable if we ever hope to curb China's steady rise in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Soft machine

If Watson can win Jeopardy, can IBM make cities smarter?

Photo: Rodrigo SennaIBM has generated a lot of buzz lately for Watson, its game-show-playing supercomputer that recently bested a couple of skin jobs on “Jeopardy.” Less high profile is the expansion of Big Blue’s computer and software systems designed to monitor and control municipal water, energy, and transportation systems. Developed under the umbrella of IBM’s Smarter Planet effort, such systems are designed to cut water and energy consumption and save cities money. On Monday, IBM announced a series of projects showing that in the future, public works may be just as much about sensors and cloud computing as pipes and …