Energy

Tag archives for Energy

Harvesting clean energy in cities

There is a new technology that can convert both solar and wind energy into electricity in such a way that it is suitable for use on urban rooftops. Here’s the abstract from the paper describing this work: To realize the sustainable energy supply in a smart city, it is essential to maximize energy scavenging from…

We often hope, even assume, that technology will fix our problems. We also know that sometimes technology creates a problem. In this case, technology can help us fix the problem of needing to keep the fossil carbon in the ground by making use of the sun, but created the problem of vaporizing birds with intensely…

The big complaint people have about renewable energy, or at least, the big complaint that has some merit, is that renewables, such as wind and solar, are intermittent and to varying degrees, unpredictably intermittent. This makes it hard to match demand for electricity to supply. Some aspects of this argument are overstated. For example, a…

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)…

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,…

Gas prices have fallen to nearly half (or more depending on your starting point) in recent months. Therefore, according to Jevons Paradox, which does indeed appear to exist sans apostrophe, use of gas should have gone up. It did, but only by 1%. So, we are not impressed with Jevons paradox.

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…

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…