Energy

Category archives for Energy

Hillary Clinton just came out with her climate change plan. Here it is. Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Modernizing North American Energy Infrastructure Flipping a light switch, adjusting the thermostat, or turning a car key in the ignition brings predictable results—the light goes on, the temperature changes, the car starts. But where the energy for those…

Making Liquid Fuels From Sun And Air

Liquid fuel powering internal combustion engines is inherently inefficient. This is because innumerable explosions causing kinetic work to be done also makes piles of heat, and for other reasons. The same amount of energy put into an electric motor and an internal combustion motor produce more usable work for the former than the latter. Also,…

Men and women are different, on average, in a number of ways. It all probably starts with who has the physiology to have babies and who doesn’t, and the differences spread out from there, affecting both the body and the mind. Decades of research show us that many of the body differences (but not all)…

There is a poorly secured railroad crossing in Saint Paul Park (south of Saint Paul, Minnesota) where a small industrial road crosses a BNSF track. The crossing has warning lights but no barriers. Yesterday (June 7, 2015) a semi crossing the tracks was hit by a Bakken oil train coming down the BNSF line. The…

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…