If Only We Had Free Energy

I thought I’d do a thought experiment. Suppose tomorrow morning a hypothetical university—let’s call it T.I.M.—sends out their weekly press release claiming a “revolutionary breakthrough” that will change the way we think about energy. Unlike every other time in the past decade they’ve made this claim, though, suppose this time it’s actually true: they’ve discovered … Continue Reading

Reversalism and Hedging Strategies

It seems there are many camps when it comes to our energy future. Some don’t think there’s a problem. Some think we’ll not only solve our problems, but produce even more energy more cleanly. Some think we’re doomed and have no chance of anything other than catastrophe. Some think we’re in for a long, slow … Continue Reading

An Oil, Energy, and Alternatives FAQ

Over the past two years I’ve had the chance to give presentations on energy in front of different audiences, and have enjoyed the discussions that followed. However, I’ve found that there’s a lot of background material that needs covering on energy, economics, oil, growth, ecology, etc. that makes it difficult to get the conversation going. … Continue Reading

The roads to our alternative energy future

A while back I tried to figure out whether we can keep running things the way we’re running them: do we need to transition off of fossil fuels, how fast, and would we be able to provide today’s level of energy supply using alternatives?  I didn’t include many of the details in that post, so … Continue Reading

Tapping Our Oil

You and I own some oil.  It’s in the ground in Texas and Louisiana. Much has been made of the recent decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  Some are for it, and others are against it. But there’s something missing in this discussion – something that affects our economy, the future of alternative … Continue Reading

If we don’t contrapose…

Our about page reads: We’ve noticed that much of the sustainability/green/environmental community likes to reason in only one direction: (1) If we’re going to maintain the current economy (p), then we’ll need alternative fuels that meet current energy needs (q). But why not contrapose? (2) If we can’t get alternative fuels to meet current energy … Continue Reading

Nine Pitfalls of Alternative Energy

As gas prices remain high and climate chaos becomes ever more apparent, people and institutions are right to argue ever more insistently for a shift to alternative energy sources that are likely to be available for the long haul and that are less harmful to our environment. However, these options are unlikely to deliver what … Continue Reading

Future Transportation Options

I’d like to explore a bit about the future of transportation. Our transportation system uses oil. Or maybe it’s better to say it is oil. Currently we get over 95% of the energy used for transportation of all kinds from oil. This is going to have to change. What are our options? Just as a … Continue Reading