Blog

Electric Car on Steroids

As a belated Father's Day gift, my daughter Tali arranged for and accompanied me on a Tesla test drive yesterday.  It is an amazing vehicle.  Too amazing for my staid tastes, though.

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A Call for Honesty and Humanity in Wildlife Filmmaking

My friend Chris Palmer has written an extraordinarily important and deeply disturbing book about the wildlife film industry. In Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings are King, this seasoned filmmaker exposes the deceptive practices and the brutality that have become all too common in an industry whose original intention was to educate the public about wildlife protection.

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A Courageous Critique of America's Cattle Industry

Want to know what 93 million factory-fed cows have brought to American diets, the American environment, and the global climate? In their new book Cowed, Earth Day 1970 coordinator Denis Hayes and environmental lawyer Gail Boyer Hayes provide some sobering answers.

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Solar in Snow

It's been a very rough season for Bostonians and other New Englanders, but that hasn't stopped our home solar system from capturing lots of winter sun.  In a blog post that just ran in Beacon Broadside, I describe how well our 23 solar panels have performed, even in the immediate aftermath of major snowfall.  Luckily for us, photovoltaic cells work even better in cold weather than in the summer's warmth.

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Paths Diverge on the EPA's New Carbon Initiative

On Iowa Public Radio's "River to River," I joined a panel this past Thursday assessing the EPA's proposed rule to bring about a 30% drop in power plant carbon emissions by 2030.  The views ranged from enthusiasm about this decisive move to rejection of the very idea that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are pollutants worthy of regulation under the Clean Air Act.  To listen to this debate, moderated by Iowa Public Radio's Ben Kieffer, click here.

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Renewable Energy in the Ideasphere

A few months after Harvest the Wind's publication in 2012, I spoke at Chicago Ideas Week, a lively exchange of disruptive ideas that takes place annually in the Windy City.  Earlier this week a follow-up interview with Erin Robertson appeared in Chicago Ideas Week's blog, The Ideasphere.  We talk about the new solar panels on our home in chilly Massachusetts and my reasons for guarded optimism about renewable energy's prospects for America.  The interview also appeared in the Chicago Tribune's Blue Sky Innovation hub.

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State of the Union Wish List

On the eve of President Obama's State of the Union address, my publisher Beacon Press asked various of its authors to weigh in on what they hope the President will say in his speech to the U.S. Congress this evening, and on what they hope he will accomplish during the coming year.  I weighed in on coal plants and climate change.

Here is a link to the State of the Union Wish List.

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Joe Nocera's Fracking Rorschach Test

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera takes easy comfort in a highly selective industry-funded survey of methane gas emissions from U.S. fracking operations.  Too bad he's not looking at the bigger-picture damage that fracking is causing to our environment and the global climate.

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Iowa Lawmaker Combines Errands

Iowa State Senator Rob Hogg decided to combine errands.  Along with dropping his son off at Harvard, he felt the timing was right for delivering an important message to New England - about climate change.

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The Place Where I Live

.... or swim, walk, and reflect.

Orion Magazine, one of my favorite publications, runs a column called "The Place Where You Live," inviting readers to describe spots that are near and dear to them.  I chose to write about Walden Pond, the closest I have to a spiritual touchstone. 

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Yet Another Bone-Chilling Summer

In the Boston Globe this past Sunday, Leon Neyfakh argues for jettisoning what UC Berkeley architecture professor Gail Brager calls the "thermal monotony" of our air-conditioned lives.  It's well worth the read, if only to remind us how thermally resilient we all used to be.

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"Cape Spin" Comes Ashore at Lincoln Center

"Riotous."  "Gripping."  "Tragicomic."  That's what critics have said about Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle. This smart and sassy film incisively captures the epic "Cape Wind" battle, over the siting of America's first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound.  From May 17-24, Cape Spin! will have thrice-a-day screenings at Lincoln Center, and following the screenings I will join the filmmakers for a public discussion of the Cape Wind controversy within the broader context of wind power's dramatic American ascent.  Check film times here.

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