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Tag Archives: Energy

The High Cost of Fossil Fuels

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a working paper that attempts to quantify the total cost of subsidies we pay for fossil fuels. This includes not just direct payments and tax breaks for energy companies, but also the cost of “externalities” like cleaning up after oil spills and health costs directly attributable to the […]

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False Economy

Yes, today is the day that we all “spring forward”. The theory at least is that we are lowering our use of energy. Indeed, they do call it “Daylight Savings Time”, and it isn’t daylight we are saving, it is (supposedly) energy. With the high cost of energy, that could be a good thing. Except […]

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Amendments

The new Republican-controlled Senate immediately started paying back their largest campaign donors – the oil companies – by pushing for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Ironically, the beneficiaries of Keystone are mainly Canadian companies, but with our new rules that allow political contributions to remain completely anonymous, it is no surprise that there would […]

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Bachmann Gives Us Gas

Michele Bachmann may be leaving Congress, but she just had to make one last silly gesture. She took to Twitter this week and posted a photo of herself standing under a gasoline station sign with the caption “$2 gas, anyone?” Just in case you didn’t get the message, conservative writer Mollie Hemingway retweeted it with […]

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GOP Irony

So in the aftermath of the midterm election, some emboldened Republicans are making plans. For example, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) has said that impeachment “would be a consideration” if Obama moves forward with executive action to solve our immigration problems. In addition, Republicans have said that they will force the approval of the Keystone XL […]

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More Climate Propaganda

Yesterday’s post was an amazing video showing how climate change deniers cast doubt on the science when there really is not any significant scientific doubt. But there are many other ways that propaganda is used by the climate deniers. For example, in 2012 the New York Times (the poster child for the supposed left-wing media) […]

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Fracking and Earthquakes

States that are using the recently popular technique of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) are seeing a dramatic increase in earthquake activity. How dramatic? From 1978 to 2008, Oklahoma was struck with an average of two quakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. In the time period, June 2009 to June 19, 2014, there were 207 such quakes […]

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Republicans Say NO NO NO NO

The Republicans in the House just passed what is supposed to be a boring spending bill entitled “Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act”. Except that they riddled it with gifts to special interests and abject stupidity: They slashed funding for renewable energy programs, while boosting funding for coal and other fossil fuels. […]

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Solar has Won

As I’ve been predicting in this blog for a long time, solar energy just makes way more sense than burning fossil fuels, even ignoring environmental issues and just going on pure economics. The only thing keeping fossil fuels going now is huge governmental subsidies. The Guardian puts it bluntly — “Even if coal were free […]

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Starting to Mesh

You may have seen terms like “mesh network” and “power grid” but not paid much attention (or even knew their significance), but the ideas behind these terms are becoming very important in many diverse ways. Whenever you connect things together, there are generally two ways to do it: in a centralized way, or in a […]

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Pound Foolish

There has been quite a bit of attention focused on high frequency trading recently, partially brought on by the book “Flash Boys”. But in a must-read editorial in the NY Times, Paul Krugman points out that the stunning amounts of money being spent on high frequency trading systems is really just one symptom of an […]

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Resources and Energy?

I’m not just talking about natural resources or fuels. Do we have the political resources and energy to solve our most pressing national problems: namely global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity. While it is clear that our elected representatives don’t have the political resources or energy to tackle these problems, a group called The […]

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Thorium in China

This blog has promoted the use of nuclear power to help solve our energy and climate change problems, but only if we can solve the problems of nuclear power. One such solution is switching from using uranium as nuclear fuel to using thorium, but so far the nuclear power industry has ignored that solution. Well, […]

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Fuel for Thought

The prevailing discourse about energy is particularly interesting to me as an example of the politics of scarcity. The conventional wisdom (based on rampant misinformation) is that we are running out of energy, which is why we need to fight expensive and terrible wars for oil, pollute our air and water, build costly pipelines to […]

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Renewal

Despite all the noise about renewable energy sources — solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, and hydropower — not yet being ready for prime time, Yale University points out that all of the additional electricity-generating capacity added in the US in November came from renewable energy sources. Lest you think that was a fluke, in October 99% […]

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