A Little Skepticism About Algae Fuels
January 25, 2010

Making biofuels out of algae has always sounded like a promising idea. In theory, at least, you could create a green alternative to gasoline without any of the drawbacks of corn- or soy-based ethanol (spikes in food prices, increased deforestation, etc.). ExxonMobil's already sinking $600 million into R&D, and a lot of the $80 million that the Energy Department just handed out for biofuels research went toward algae-related projects. Trouble is, there are still kinks to work out.

Dueling Climate Bill Hit The Senate
December 11, 2009

Copenhagen's nabbing all the headlines, but there's been some big climate news in the Senate this week. Yesterday, John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman unveiled an outline of their "tri-partisan" climate legislation. You can see the rough framework here. As expected, it's similar to the House climate bill, only with more subsidies for coal, nuclear, and offshore drilling. Given that Graham, a conservative Republican, seems fairly committed to hammering out a deal, most of the Senate momentum is behind this bill right now.

Behind The Algae-Biofuel Hype
August 05, 2009

Lately, investors have been getting excited about the idea of using algae to generate new biofuels. Earlier this year, ExxonMobil inked a $600 million deal with Synthetic Genomics to develop algae biofuel using a new, seemingly promising technology. (Keith Johnson offers a fuller explanation here.) But over at Earth2Tech, Katie Fehrenbacher has a excellent post asking whether this summer's hottest clean-energy fad will really reduce carbon emissions.

A River in Egypt
April 02, 2007

Bradford Plumer: Global-warming denialism in retreat.

Greener Pastors
March 15, 2007

Bradford Plumer: Inside the evangelical war over climate change.

Crude Joke
February 12, 2007

IF THERE WAS one thing George W. Bush and his clique were supposed to know, it was oil. That, at least, was the widespread consensus back in 2000, when Bush first sought the White House, and it was easy to understand why. Bush’s grandfather was an oilman. His father was an oilman. He himself had worked in oil. His vice presidential nominee, Dick Cheney, was the former CEO of energy giant Halliburton. His campaign’s chairman, Donald Evans, was CEO of the oil company Tom Brown.

Has Exxon Really Reformed?
February 02, 2007

I've seen plenty of news reports lately about how ExxonMobil is trying to burnish its public image by becoming more green-friendly. See this story in today's Financial Times, for example. The company has even promised to stop bankrolling the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has waged a long disinformation campaign by attacking the science on global warming. This certainly sounds like good news, right? That's what I thought, too.

Smoked Out
February 06, 2006

IN HIS FINAL column of the year, FoxNews.com science columnist Steven Milloy listed “the top 10 junk science claims of 2005.” For number nine, Milloy attacked the research of Michael Mann, a Penn State scientist who, in 1999, published research showing a dramatic rise in global temperatures during the twentieth century, after hundreds of years with little climate change. Calling Mann’s science “dubious,” Milloy praised Representative Joe Barton of Texas, whose calls for an investigation into Mann’s methodology last June were cut short when the scientific community and members of Congress prote

Malabo Dispatch: Trade Union
April 07, 2003

On a Sunday just before Christmas in a village near Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the silent air is more reminiscent of a church service than of the presidential election taking place that day. A young woman approaches the open-air voting table, picks up a paper showing President Obiang Nguema's picture, and hands it to an officer for sealing and posting in the ballot box.