Energy

Category archives for Energy

Oil train derailments are becoming more common, mainly because of the very large number of oil trains, often with over 100 tank cars, taking oil out of the Bakken fields and bringing it to coastal refineries or storage facilities. You are certainly aware of the recent Amtrak derailment in Pennsylvania. From Reuters: An Amtrak train…

Bjorn Lomborg has written an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the decision of the University of Western Australia (UWA) to nix previously developed plans to accept a $4 million dollar payment from the conservative Australian government, to be matched by university money, to implement a version of Lomborg’s Copenhagen Institute there, to…

As an anthropologist, I find the interface between technology and the larger culture in which it is embedded fascinating. You all know the old story of the family cook who habitually cuts the ends off the roast before slipping it in the oven. One day her child, hoping some day to be the family cook,…

It is reported that ten cars exploded or burned when a BNSF oil train derailed near a small town in North Dakota. Look at the picture above. Huxley’s day care is very close to these tracks, close enough that the day care home would be totally within that zone of buring fiery debris. There are…

The title of this post is the beginning of a more extensive comment, as follows: Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change. But there is growing hope. Every 2.5 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight this battle by flipping the switch on another completed solar…

RMU Announces Solar Plant Completion Rochelle Municipal Utilities, in Rochelle, Illinois, has. started operation of a large Photovoltaic Solar Plant providing power to their water treatment facility. This is a great example of a project that should be done in more places. In the Spring of 2014, RMU was awarded a $500,000 grant from the…

Should you buy a hybrid car?

Last summer we were driving up north, in our Prius, and one of those coal rollers tailgated us for a while, then passed us. On the right. On the median. Jerk. When we were trying to decide whether or not to buy a Prius, last winter, I looked into the usual things one looks into.…

What can we do about climate change?

I could rephrase this question. What should we do about climate change. The reason I might rephrase this is because we may not be that sure of what we can do, but we should do something. Or, more accurately, some things. There are a lot of possible things we can do, and we have little…

I’ve been collecting information on this topic for a while, and yesterday, I sat down to write a post that would clarify the question of the impacts of windmills on bird populations. It turns out, however, that I was totally unsatisfied with the available data on everything from windmills to building strikes to cats, so…

Climate Smart and Energy Wise

Climate Smart & Energy Wise: Advancing Science Literacy, Knowledge, and Know-How by Mark McCaffrey is a book written primarily for teachers, to give them the information and tools they need to bring the topic of climate change effectively to their classrooms. It addresses the Climate Literacy and Energy Literacy frameworks, designed to guide teaching this…