On March 11, 2011, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Berlin, dressed appropriately in a black turtleneck and leather jacket, reading about the terrible Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. The next day I read that the German government was pushing for “Atomausstieg,” which is German for “let’s retire all … More >
Renewable energy technologies have made outstanding progress in the last decade. The cost of solar panels has plummeted. Wind turbines have become massively more efficient. In many places some forms of renewable energy are cost competitive. And yet…just as these exciting changes are taking place, the renewables movement seems to … More >
My office light switch recently acquired a little sticker that politely reminds me to turn it off when I leave.
And over the past year, an edgy Lawn dude and an amicable Bear have been urging Californians to cut back on water use in order to meet our drought-stricken state’s water … More >
Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In … More >
It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to … More >
If you work outside your home, chances are you don’t pay (directly) for the energy you use at work. At my place of work, the UC Berkeley campus, most employees never see – let alone pay – their energy bills.
Of course, there are plenty of pro-social reasons to be conscientious … More >
The rapid fall in oil prices seems to have taken everyone by surprise. I’ve noted before that it puts the viability of the Keystone XL project in doubt. But its other effects are worth considering.
Overall, the fall in prices should have a beneficial effect on the U.S. economy. Since gasoline … More >
I used to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my in-laws in Portland, Oregon. A couple years ago, it snowed for two days straight, and the city shut down. My brother-in-law has taken it upon himself to find a warm-weather holiday destination for the family ever since.
As … More >
The safest prediction is that our Democratic President and Republican Congress will not in fact be able to work together. Their present gestures toward cooperation may mean nothing more than a willingness to accept the other side’s surrender.
But hope springs eternal. Are there areas where common ground exists? That seems … More >