Posts

July 24, 2014

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1:49 AM | Feds Propose New Safety Rules for Oil Trains
There have been several fiery oil train derailments in other parts of the country in the past year. The new rules include lower speed limits, better brakes and safer rail cars.

July 23, 2014

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11:30 PM | Harnessing the power of waves
Ocean waves are one of the most powerful natural forces on our planet. Dense with energy, they pack a lot of punch and travel enormous distances across our oceans.  What’s more, they’re very reliable - it is very easy to predict which way a wave will move. It’s for these reasons that waves are being touted […]
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9:33 PM | Richmond Nearly Ready to Approve Chevron Refinery Project
The Richmond City Council is considering Chevron's plans for a $1 billion project at its refinery there. If it's approved, this is one of the last steps before construction on the project would actually begin.
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8:20 PM | Offshore Wind Farms Are Turning Into Artificial Reefs
Wind farms are built offshore to take advantage of strong coastal winds. But scientists have learned that there is an unexpected environmental price to pay for these environmentally-friendly energy generators: the farms are causing havoc for the ocean's food chain.Read more...

July 22, 2014

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8:12 PM | Congressional briefing highlights climate adaptation, mitigation efforts in Midwestern United States
On July 17th, the Environment and Energy Study Institut […]
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11:21 AM | Our variable star (part 2): Explaining the variations
(co-authored by Maria Dasi-Espuig - profile) We know from direct observations that the Sun varies. We’ve been monitoring the energy received from the Sun at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the solar ‘irradiance’, for more than three decades. But, this is not enough time to understand the Sun’s contribution to climate change. Human-induced changes […]

July 21, 2014

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9:03 PM | A Better Class Of Garbage: Open, Accessible Science
“When you push the leading edge of analysis, you risk giving away proprietary information.” – a manager at almost every science-technology company today vs. “Tesla knows that its best chance of dominating a large electric vehicle industry depends on there being a large electric vehicle industry.” – Matt Hall on Tesla’s decision to share its […]
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1:11 PM | Fuel/Cost Savings of Improving Fuel Economy from 12->15 mpg = 30->60 mpg
Consumer tip-of-the-day: increasing efficiency of fuel economy on a miles-per-gallon scale is not linear, as more miles-per-gallon (mpg) are initially better for your wallet and the planet than you... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:45 AM | 10 Ways to Boost Your Energy
“Energy is your most precious resource,” writes Susannah Seton in the introduction of Everyday Energy Boosters: 365 Tips and Tricks to Help You Feel Like a Million Bucks, co-written with Sondra Kornblatt. “Without it, you simply go through the motions of your life.” With energy, she notes, we’re able to engage in our work and […]
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7:01 AM | California Has Little Say Over Oil Train Safety
The state can't set speed limits on trains. It can't tell railroads to choose less hazardous routes. It can't tell oil companies not to bring trains carrying volatile crude through cities.

July 20, 2014

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5:20 PM | DOE, commercial partners start world’s largest carbon capture project
Emissions from a coal plant will be captured and used to liberate oil.

July 18, 2014

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5:02 PM | 10 reasons why policy makers should take direct air capture seriously
Despite the fact that the impacts of manmade climate change are already being felt and that failure to mitigate these effects by lessening fossil fuel CO2 emissions could result in dire consequences, policies enacted to reduce these emissions have been grossly insufficient. While there is no one silver bullet to “solve” climate change, many technologically [...]
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1:09 PM | New solar material goes hole-free for greater durability
A perovskite-based photovoltaic leaves positive charges in place.

July 17, 2014

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7:28 PM | White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives
The White House on Wednesday announced executive actions to help states and communities build their resilience to more intense storms, high heat, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. The actions, which involve several federal agencies, were among the recommendations by the president’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. “…Climate…
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1:07 AM | Labour’s dodgy drilling policy avoids climate reality
In his interview on TV3’s The Nation last weekend David Shearer declared a Labour Party policy on oil and gas drilling which, like the Government’s, fails to confront the reality of climate change. Drilling will continue. The approval processes will be improved, the regulations will be tight, the money gained will be used well, but […]

July 15, 2014

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9:13 PM | Researchers at UCLA have developed this organic solar cell,...
Researchers at UCLA have developed this organic solar cell, which promises a cheaper and more effective way to harness the sun’s power.  The new cells could serve as a power-generating layer on windows and smartphones without obstructing a person’s ability to see through the surface.
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4:32 PM | Oil consumption in US outpaces China for #1 spot
Looks like recession is ending and leading to increased oil use in the US.. or could be just because of the shale oil boom? http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140714/americas-oil-consumption-rising-not-falling-outpacing-chinas Rühl said the rise in U.S. oil demand stemmed from industrial users of petrochemicals and other … Continue reading →
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3:20 PM | By 2025, networked devices will account for 6% of global electricity demand at 1,140 terawatt-hours.
By 2025, networked devices will account for 6% of global electricity demand at 1,140 terawatt-hours. Most of that energy is used just to maintain a network connection. Developing ways to minimize power consumption in standby mode could reduce that demand by 600 terawatt-hours annually by 2020.Read more...

July 14, 2014

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2:18 PM | Beach sand for long cycle life batteries
#sand #battery #chemistry #energy This is the holy grail – a low cost, non-toxic, environmentally friendly way to produce high performance lithium ion battery anodesZachary FavorsSchematic of the heat scavenger-assisted Mg reduction process.Herein, porous nano-silicon has been synthesized via a highly scalable heat scavenger-assisted magnesiothermic reduction of beach sand. This environmentally benign, highly abundant, and low cost SiO2 source allows for production of nano-silicon at the […]
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1:30 PM | Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots
Activists are hoping local residents will do what state legislators haven’t done -- shut down the controversial oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
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1:30 PM | Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots
Activists are hoping local residents will do what state legislators haven’t done -- shut down the controversial oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

July 12, 2014

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12:30 AM | California’s New Fracking Regulations Delayed Half a Year
State lawmakers approved the delay in late June, and at the same time tightened up the environmental review process for fracking permits.

July 11, 2014

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10:30 PM | Benicia Extends Public Comment Period on Bay Area Crude-by-Rail
Benicia city officials are giving people more time to comment on a proposal to bring crude oil by rail to Valero’s refinery there.
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9:46 PM | ESA Policy News July 11: Report urges US military to improve climate planning, House DOE, Interior spending bills advance
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]

July 10, 2014

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10:02 PM | Episode 200 – The Big Two-Hundo
00:00:00 – Since we spend so much time promoting everyone else’s work, we decided to be a bit selfish and spend the first segment talking about our own science. Charlie has a paper coming out in Nature Climate Change about moving forward into a low-carbon, sustainable energy future. No big deal. Patrick has 2 papers […]
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6:06 PM | China and U.S. Sign Pacts on Climate Change
The world’s two largest carbon emitters have signed pacts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The deals—actually eight projects demonstrating smart grids and carbon capture, utilization and storage—were made through the China-U.S. Climate Change Working Group and will involve companies and research bodies. “The significance of these two nations coming together can’t be understated,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at […]
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12:42 AM | Soaking up the sun’s rays
Ever dreamt of charging your phone on the fly? Or thought about how the plants outside your house could power your home? Imagination could become reality thanks to Dr Scott Watkins and the clever folks in our flexible electronics team who are creating new ways to soak up and store the sun’s rays. Watch this […]

July 09, 2014

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7:05 PM | The Advances and Challenges of Carbon Capture and Storage
While in energy policy discussions, I heard carbon capture, utilization and storage consistently dismissed as either too expensive or too uncertain in a low-carbon future that favors natural gas, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Yet as was made clear during the three-day Research Coordination Network on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage annual meeting hosted by the Lenfest Center in April, much can be done, and much more should be done at a much quicker rate than we’re doing

July 08, 2014

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11:05 PM | New report calls for “deep decarbonization” to stay within 2°C limit
The challenge? We don't have all the technology we need.
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1:35 PM | Lithium-Ion Batteries Last 30 Percent Longer With A Silicon Sponge
Batteries are common in the devices we use - everything from electric cars to laptops. Unfortunately the last real breakthrough in battery technology was lithium-ion and it's been 25 years of not much since. We're no longer using a 386 PC but our devices are using that equivalent in battery power. There are efforts to try and get the most performance out of this legacy technology and one effort is replacing the graphite traditionally used in one of the battery's electrodes  with a […]
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