discussion forum


Mar 23 2015 - 20:00
Matt Huber
Oil field in 1940

We tend to associate oil and crisis with high prices and scarcity. Yet when prices plummet — as they have over the last few months — it creates a different kind of problem for oil producers. As this shock reverberates through the state coffers of Russia and Venezuela, and the oil fields of Texas and North Dakota, how might the Left respond?

Mar 8 2015 - 12:45
Joby Warrick
Solar installation

Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.

Feb 27 2015 - 17:15
Hamza Hamouchene
Solar farm

A plan to power Europe from Saharan solar plants seems to have stalled, but several large North African solar projects are still going ahead despite local concerns. Hamza Hamouchene asks: where did the Desertec project go wrong, and can desert solar power yet play a role in a democratic and sustainable future?

If you use social media, you may well have seen a graphic going around, showing a tiny square in the Sahara desert with the caption: ‘This much solar power in the Sahara would provide enough energy for the whole world!’

Feb 25 2015 - 19:30
David Roberts
poppies and turbines

An energy revolution is breaking out in California and a few other states, one that could radically increase the amount of renewable energy available to citizens and end the tyranny of foot-dragging utilities. Outside of the rapidly falling costs of solar power, it’s just about my main source of domestic optimism these days.

Feb 19 2015 - 23:00
Sean Sweeney

During its first days in office, Syriza has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the EU’s neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.

Jan 23 2015 - 13:15
Jimmy Betts
BXE activists at FERC

Washington, DC – In a bold moment of non-violent coordinated efforts, 16 members of the climate, energy, environmental, social, and ecological justice community coalition Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) successfully disrupted the monthly “business-as-usual” Commissioner’s Meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Jan 8 2015 - 07:30
Eric Ruder

A drastic fall in oil prices is having far-reaching consequences, reports Eric Ruder. AT BELOW $50 a barrel on January 7, the price of benchmark crude oil was well under half its high of $107.68 less than seven months before. The price plunge has been so rapid that even Wall Street's seasoned traders are alternately downing shots of whiskey and Pepto-Bismol--and that's before noon.

Nov 12 2014 - 20:15
Juan Cole

The good news is that US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have reached an agreement on limiting carbon emissions in their two countries.

The US puts out 5.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, and China does 7 – 9 billion. The US did 5 billion metric tons in 1990 but went on up to 5.5 in 1996 and 6 in the mid-zeroes.

Oct 24 2014 - 08:00
Peter Rugh

No matter what metric we use, the price of adapting to climate change and mitigating against it runs high. However, the cost of doing little to nothing runs even steeper and, unlike the apathetic approach, taking action comes with some significant economic benefits.

Oct 9 2014 - 22:15
John Queally

In order to build an adequate low-carbon 21st century energy system that scientists have said is necessary to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, a new report argues that the world must look beyond large-scale, centralized renewable projects—such as industrial solar and wind farms—and take up efforts to build more democratically-controlled and decentralized power grids.



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