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Burning Down the House: The Shocking Economics of Energy

Imagine if Mitt Romney’s sons burned through their entire family fortune in less time than it takes to watch Titanic in 3D. That would be crazy, right? But that’s exactly what we’re doing when it comes to energy: we’re burning our inheritance instead of collecting our income. We don’t normally … Read more »

Are We Investing Enough in Clean Energy?

Consider the following recent news from Ernst & Young about investment in cleantech companies this quarter: –U.S. Department of Energy announced loans and guarantees of $32 billion, including over $10 billion for solar projects. –First Solar secured $4.5 billion in loan guarantees. –A group of 11 wealthy U.S. families formed … Read more »

10 Trends Driving Action on Climate Change in 2011

Nobody expects the incoming Congress to take dramatic action on climate change, just as nobody was surprised that the international leaders meeting in Cancun couldn’t reach strong, binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s no wonder – reinventing our whole relationship to energy and the environment is a … Read more »

Solar Income Is Key to Fiscal Responsibility

With all the talk in Washington about being fiscally conservative, it’s time to remember that true fiscal responsibility begins with solar income. Everything we do depends on energy — markets, communication, industry, agriculture — all of it. Aside from nuclear power, the only energy we get is from the sun. … Read more »

Why the BP Oil Spill is a Tragedy of the Commons, Part II

In Part I of this column, we asked: Can we use the BP oil spill to create systems which protect our shared resources in a way that is fair, transparent and profitable for all of us? Here’s why we must try. Three Types of Commons As Americans, we are familiar … Read more »

Latest Oil-Based Catastrophe Shaping Up in California

Even as the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is washing ashore in Louisiana, another oil-based catastrophe is shaping up in California. Opponents of CA’s landmark global warming legislation AB32 – led by Texas oil giant Valero and other out-of-state oil interests – recently spent nearly $2 million dollars in … Read more »

Will 2010 be the Year Home Efficiency Finally Takes Off?

It’s a perfect storm out there for residential energy-efficiency retrofits, and many of the pieces of this tricky puzzle are coming together. But there’s one big catch – us. Here’s why: Efficiency is Cheaper, Safer, Faster and Smarter Okay, so we’ve known this since efficiency guru Amory Lovins first coined … Read more »

Without Efficiency, Electric Vehicles Are Just Another Huge Appliance

The competition between electric vehicles and hybrids is heating up . But even as consumers are being encouraged to save energy at home, and use energy-saving appliances, the dawn of the electric vehicle age represents a huge increase in home power use. This year’s LA Auto Show was all about … Read more »

Could Climate Change be the End of the Third World?

The news that international leaders in Italy were not able to commit to strong, binding climate change agreements probably doesn’t surprise anybody. “It is no small task for 17 leaders to bridge their differences on an issue like climate change,” said President Obama. But tackling an issue of this urgency, … Read more »

Focus on Innovators, Not Polluters, for Climate Solutions

The Waxman-Markey bill trickling its way through Congress is both historic and problematic. As loopholes are inserted, and interests appeased, the bill will inevitably get watered down to something that is both more passable, and less effective. While the eventual result may be the best we can get out of … Read more »

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