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  • Cats and wind turbines vie for the title of ‘biggest avian menace’

    Finally, we are starting to get answers to that universal question: Who would win in a fight, cats or wind? If the fight is "who can kill the most birds," the cats are way ahead, says a new study in the Journal of Ornithology. For sheer avian death tolls, wind turbines can't even hold a […]

  • U.S. energy policy as a teenage boy

    With all the media frenzy around the Japanese nuclear situation, one topic hasn’t been covered much : Why don’t the Japanese love fossil fuels? Not only have they pushed hard into nuke but they’re also world-beaters in photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency. How come? The economic incentives are pretty obvious: Japan doesn’t have any […]

  • Bingaman tells the truth about gas prices, is lonely in doing so

    So I’m reading in Politico about Democratic fecklessness. (Yes, half my posts begin this way.) The problem is, whenever gas prices go up, Republicans benefit. They have a simple, powerful message ready to go, right off the shelf: drill here, drill now, pay less. Not enough drilling: that’s why gas prices are high. Drilling more: […]

  • Hans Rosling at TED: Civilization depends on washing machines

    Hans Rosling's little fable about "the air people, the wash people, the bulb people, and the fire people" addresses some pretty big questions about wealth, economic growth, and energy use. For Rosling, it all centers around the humble washing machine. In the end, says Rosling, washing machines mean a more intellectual society — people use […]

  • Germany’s solar panels produce more power than Japan’s entire Fukushima complex

    Germany is the world leader in installed solar photovoltaic panels — and they also just shut down seven of their oldest nuclear reactors. Coincidence? Maaaaybe… Anyway, it's worth noting that just today, total power output of Germany's installed solar PV panels hit 12.1 GW — greater than the total power output (10 GW) of Japan's […]

  • U.S. vehicles’ fuel economy to suck pretty much forever

    This projection, based on fuel efficiency standards that are currently on the books, shows that — absent radical legislative action, or everyone in the U.S. suddenly coming over all French — American cars' fuel economy is primed to suck out loud for the foreseeable future. Anyone complaining about overly stringent regulations can therefore bite it […]

  • Five reasons every wonk in DC is humping the leg of natural gas right about now

    The Times wants you to know that our energy crisis is over, because there’s at least one abundant fossil fuel still standing between civilization and the abyss of energy poverty. In a piece remarkable for its complete failure to mention the option of renewables, a bunch of old-economy energy analysts describe a 21st century that […]

  • Destroying world’s largest spam network saves energy, decreases access to dick pills

    Easily Add 13 Terawatts to the Longevity of Your Energy Supply! Prolong Your Planet’s Pleasure! Get The Long Lasting Energy She Craves, Cheap! Power One Million Homes Harder, Longer, and Faster! Wait, don’t hit delete, this is good news. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (nerdiest Law and Order spinoff EVER) has brought down the world’s largest […]

  • At Chernobyl, it was all under control

    A memorial rests in the shadow of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Photo: Matti PaavonenThis piece was written by John Perlin. As a visiting scholar last year at the Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells, I met Valery N. Bliznyuk, a visiting professor at Linz and a permanent faculty member at Western Michigan University. His fascinating work in […]

  • Drilling down on oil

    It may be true, but domestic oil drilling won’t help.This post originally appeared on the Great Energy Challenge blog, in partnership with National Geographic and Planet Forward.  It’s an unfortunate fact that stress has a way of making people crazy. At the moment, rising oil prices are creating a lot of stress. One of the […]