Energy & Resources

energy

Wal-Mart to use wind energy

Wal-Mart’s reputation for cheap prices precedes it, but recently the retailer showed its greener side when it announced plans to supply 15 percent of its total energy load with wind power.

The energy will come from Texas wind farms constructed by Duke Energy, which will go online this spring, a Wal-Mart press release said.

That avoids releasing more than 139,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — the equivalent of taking about 25,000 cars off the road, Wal-Mart said.

25 Nov 2008

Montreal Protocol affects more than just ozone

In 1987, nearly 200 nations signed the Montreal Protocol to restrict the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. The international treaty helped keep the ozone hole over Antarctica from growing further, preventing an increase in harmful radiation reaching Earth’s surface. Twenty years later, new research suggests that the treaty helped the planet dodge more than one bullet: The Montreal Protocol also prevented significant regional climate change.

13 Nov 2008

USGS finds giant gas hydrate deposits on North Slope

Buried beneath Alaska's North Slope are about 85.4 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas hydrates, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey assessment. That would be a significant source of energy to add to the U.S. energy mix — enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 10 years, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced Wednesday.

12 Nov 2008

The Thirsty Dragon and the Wealthy Bear

How China, Russia and High Oil Prices Influence Global Dynamics

The world is changing. Gone are the days of Middle Eastern sheikhs controlling the world’s oil and our purse strings. Russia and China are changing the rules of the game.

10 Nov 2008

Geologic Column: Saving the World? Or Just Saving Money?

It all started with a reporter.

I had just signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which pledges that my university will try to decrease its carbon footprint and develop a plan to become carbon neutral, when a reporter from the local newspaper challenged my personal credentials, my knowledge of and commitment to the environment. Forget my background as an earth scientist, the many years I taught environmental geology, the summers I worked at a conservation-education camp. He wanted to know what kind of car I drove.

31 Oct 2008

With falling oil prices, short-sellers may win big

Blogging on EARTH

We all heard it this summer: national politicians blasting speculators for driving up oil prices. Journalists and academics may never sort out the actual significance of speculators in this regard. But those same speculators have likely lost big time the last several weeks, says James Hamilton, an economist at the University of San Diego.

30 Oct 2008

Energy mission: "Kilowatt Ours"

“What if every time you flipped a light switch, a mountain exploded in West Virginia?”

In the new documentary “Kilowatt Ours,” filmmaker Jeff Barrie explains why that idea isn’t as preposterous as it sounds.

29 Oct 2008

Hot enough for ya? Investigating climate change in "Heat"

In FRONTLINE's urgent, ambitious new special "Heat," producer and reporter Martin Smith takes on a sweeping canvas of climate change, journeying from the disappearing glaciers of the Himalayas to the cement factories of India to the coal mines of the United States. There's a revealing look into the U.S.' role in the climate change conference in Bali last December, as well as into the plans of China's largest car company.

21 Oct 2008

GSA meeting: Biofuels vs. food - developing countries suffer most

HOUSTON – Perhaps it’s because the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting is being held in conjunction with the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America, or perhaps it’s because it has been a much-discussed topic this year, but biofuels are big at this meeting.

08 Oct 2008

GSA meeting: Hydrocarbons not going into the sunset just yet

HOUSTON – Energy — in particular biofuels (and developing sustainable feedstock for biofuels), oil and hydrocarbons — was a primary topic on Monday at the Geological Society of America meeting. And one particularly interesting presentation examined global fossil fuel resources and just how much oil is left.

07 Oct 2008

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