The New Republic

Are Sustainable Biofuels Even Possible?
July 21, 2009

Just five years ago, biofuels were being touted as a cure for global warming and America's oil addiction. We'll just fill up our cars with liquid corn, the thinking went, and everything will be grand. Yeah. So much for that. In the time since, biofuels have become one of the most maligned clean-energy technologies out there. And not without reason: The U.S.

Is Speculation A Reason To Oppose Cap-and-trade?
July 21, 2009

One of the concerns that critics of a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases sometimes raise, on both the left and the right, is that a market for carbon would be prone to speculation and other forms of Wall Street shadiness. Paul Krugman argues that these fears are mostly unfounded: But wait—don’t we have examples of energy markets being manipulated by speculators?

Best. Correction. Ever.
July 21, 2009

From Fox News: A steam-powered, biomass-eating military robot being designed for the Pentagon is a vegetarian, its maker says. Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that's right, "EATR" — "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site. But, contrary to reports, including one that appeared on FOXNews.com, the EATR wil

Far and Away
July 20, 2009

Compared to the destruction of six million European Jews in the Holocaust, the fate of the few hundred thousand Jews who fled Germany in the years before World War II can seem like a footnote. In the introduction to Flight From the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946 (W.W.

Press Release Of The Week
July 20, 2009

This blog trends toward the apocalyptic, sure, but even I didn't think things would get this bad until at least 2012: "Company Denies Its Robots Feed On The Dead." --Bradford Plumer

Methane: The Good, The Bad, The Really Hideous
July 20, 2009

Fred Pearce has a fascinating story in New Scientist this week on methane, which he dubs "the next fossil fuel." At first glance, the vast frozen deposits of methane clathrates around the Arctic look like an attractive stopgap solution for reducing emissions. Burning methane for fuel produces only half as much carbon-dioxide as coal does, and the clathrates themselves—found in the Siberian permafrost and in various seabeds around the world—are fairly accessible, it turns out.

Last-minute Climate Bill Add-ons
July 20, 2009

Jim Tankersley of the Los Angeles Times has a good story today about the flurry of last-minute additions to the House climate bill. For instance, less than 24 hours before the vote, Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter snuck in some incentives for home energy efficiency, as well as language preventing homeowner associations from banning solar panels. There's absolutely no reason to add these provisions by stealth, though they sound like defensible policy. But what about this?

Why Aren't Efficient Buildings A No-brainer?
July 20, 2009

In The New York Times, Clifford Krauss reports on one of the cheapest, easiest ways to cut greenhouse-gas emissions—ratchet up America's outdated and often incredibly lax building codes: Since the energy crises of the 1970s, the United States has known it has an energy problem. Yet today, the energy requirements in building codes remain weak across half the country, and at least seven states have virtually no rules.

A Tale Of Two Governors
July 20, 2009

From across the pond, Daniel Finkelstein offers words of caution for conservatives stateside: In April Governor [Jon] Huntsman of Utah was riding high. He was one of the most popular governors in the country, having been re-elected with 78 per cent of the vote. His popularity wasn’t a mystery. He is lucid, moderate, likeable, an accomplished individual with a good grasp of economics and the ability to speak fluent Mandarin. He has a strong business background and had been Ambassador to Singapore.

Press Release Of The Week, 7/20
July 20, 2009

The Gorilla Glue Company Responds to Zell Miller's Recent Comments: We Do Not Advocate Attempting to Glue the Leader of the Free World to His Chair News Facts In response to Zell Miller's recent comments, The Gorilla Glue Company sends letter to President Obama. The response was sent today from the desk of Peter Ragland, President, The Gorilla Glue Company. The Gorilla Glue Company does not advocate the gluing of President Obama to his chair with their product. --Christopher Orr

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