What Red State Kansas Can Teach Blue State Mass. About Renewable Energy – WBUR Cognoscenti

Kansas is hardly a bastion of progressive politics, but it is a renewable energy frontrunner – way ahead of liberal Massachusetts. With my home state on the verge of launching its first serious foray into windpower off our shores, I suggest that we take inspiration from the unsentimental pragmatism that has made Kansas second-in-the-nation in wind’s share of electricity generation.

2020-08-14T15:36:53-04:00August 14th, 2018|

Reaching Across the Political Chasm – Beacon Broadside

In June, I traveled to Cloud County, a staunchly conservative farming and ranching community on the Kansas prairie where the research for my book, Harvest the Wind, began nine years ago. On this trip I was searching for a few strands of hope that might span the chasm between red and blue America. This article offers some insights on what I found.

2019-12-16T19:43:28-05:00August 9th, 2018|

Harvard Must Do More – Boston Herald

Harvard has long lagged behind many other colleges and universities in tackling the transition to a carbon-neutral future. Finally it has committed to curbing its use of fossil fuels, but its investment portfolio – replete with fossil fuel stock holdings – remains intact. In this letter I call on the university to exercise overdue leadership by cleaning up its endowment. I am responding to a short AP article lauding the university for committing to meet its operational needs through carbon-neutral fuels by 2050.

2019-12-16T22:09:06-05:00February 20th, 2018|

Solar over Nuclear – New York Times

In this letter, I argue that we should no longer be supplying life support to nuclear power given its exorbitant cost and grave environmental deficits. I am responding to Eduardo Porter’s column touting nuclear as a zero-carbon fuel that shouldn’t cede its turf to wind and solar. Porter ignores the huge price advantage that wind and solar have over nuclear, and his characterization of nuclear as zero-carbon overlooks many externalities, including the huge carbon footprint of cleaning up after nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima. Oh yes, the human suffering too.

2019-12-16T21:39:20-05:00November 22nd, 2017|

Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island Comes of Age – Beacon Broadside

At a time when President Trump and his followers in Congress are hell-bent on dismantling the clean energy architecture of the Obama era, many Americans are looking beyond Washington, and even abroad, for solutions to our energy crisis. Here’s an account of my recent visit to one of these transformative gems: the Danish island of Samso.

2019-12-16T19:44:35-05:00October 23rd, 2017|

Population Growth – New York Times

It’s appropriate to advocate for the use of more efficient, less carbon-emitting chemicals for air conditioning, but the growing number of people needing air conditioning in a warming world deserves equal or greater focus. I make this argument in response to an article that singles out the importance of finding a better refrigerant now that hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been proven to be a deeply flawed alternative to the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were poking a hole in our ozone layer before the Montreal Protocol reined it their use.

2019-12-16T21:40:50-05:00July 24th, 2017|

7.4 Billion and Counting: Could Curbing World Population Help Cool the Planet? – WBUR (Boston Public Radio) Cognoscenti

Will our growing world population, predicted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100, outstrip even our most determined efforts to rein in global greenhouse gas emissions? This article calls for a renewed look at an environmental issue that has received too little attention in recent decades.

2020-08-14T15:34:46-04:00September 6th, 2016|

Climate Denial Lives on at Exxon – Boston Globe

In this op-ed, I look closely at Exxon Mobil’s outreach to shareholders on the eve of its May 25 annual meeting. What I find is a high wall of resistance to reforms that might bring greater transparency or accountability to a company that has long obfuscated the risks and causes of climate change.

2019-12-16T19:51:39-05:00May 18th, 2016|
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