Arrays of small vertical-axis wind turbines, optimized to take advantage of each other's turbulence, can outperform conventional wind farms, according to a Stanford University researcher—and they don't kill birds.
The U.S. almost repeated its "standard mistake" of regulating new sources of methane pollution without addressing existing sources, a leading policy expert said Thursday. But all that changed last month when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Washington.
First the good news: most of the nation's natural gas leakage can be halted by plugging up a relatively small number of "super emitters," according to the Stanford researcher who first documented the government's underestimate of the methane problem.
As the Department of Energy embarked Tuesday on its third quest to find a permanent disposal site for nuclear waste—this time with community consent—a Chicago audience gave officials a fresh reminder of the difficulties ahead.
It's not easy being green, Kermit the Frog lamented in 1970 when he first recorded the hit single "Bein' Green." But it's becoming easier as the flow of capital shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, a law and policy expert said in Chicago Friday.
The carbon bubble that's driving investors away from stranded coal, oil and gas assets may be a scare tactic, the chief economist for ConocoPhillips said in Chicago yesterday—and if it succeeds, we may all find our assets stranded.
Only next-generation solar technology can offset humanity's use of fossil fuels, meet our energy needs, and do it in the time frame dictated by climate change, an Argonne National Laboratory scientist said in Chicago last night.
Ford Motor Company envisions its autonomous vehicles as mobile movie theaters, with screens and projectors that vanish into the ceiling as passengers take over the wheel, according to a patent issued last week.
A Self Made of Words by Carl H. Klaus Iowa, 2013 Recently a Buddhist acquaintance suggested I read Simone Weil because of her work on attention. She writes, for example, that “Absolute undivided attention is prayer,” which lends a Buddhist flavor to her Judeo-Christian theology. Attention can be aimed at anything, after all, not necessarily […]
Since Roger Ebert died I’ve been watching the tribute writers struggle to express his contribution. At The Atlantic, Christopher Orr rightly describes Ebert as a movie enthusiast, but here’s the analysis that follows: “The movies he loved, he truly loved. And the movies he hated, he truly hated.” That’s so truly true Orr can reuse it for […]
It wasn’t the great science fiction novels, “Fahrenheit 451” or “The Martian Chronicles,” that most reflected Ray Bradbury’s life, but a play he wrote—”Something Wicked This Way Comes”— “It’s a metaphor for all of life,” Bradbury said of his play, which you may know better as a 1983 movie starring Jonathan Pryce, Jason Robards and […]
[capti on id=”attachment_2694″ align=”alignright” width=”300″ caption=”By fox_kiyo via flickr”][/caption] When we published the summer issue of Contrary two days ago, we had less than $2 in the bank. We’ve been scraping by since the recession hit, but this marked the first time we had published an issue without knowing how we’d pay for it. Scary, […]
Lauren Berlant speaking on media sensationalism? I couldn’ t miss that. So I found my way to the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center to have a listen. Only to find out I’d overlooked the comma between media and sensationalism. Lauren Berlant is an English professor at the University of Chicago, but that title can’t contain […]
Juliana Baggott wrote a smart and calm defense of the Osama bin Laden death celebration for NPR last week. Americans should be free to release their fear, she contends: their cheering shows they are paying attention, are emotionally invested, and are participating in an act of unity. She didn’t convince me, but she helped me […]
For a lifetime Mary Oliver has gently secluded herself, walked the woods, sent bottles out on the tide bearing simple messages that reconnect humanity to a beauty beyond us. Now we know why. In an interview with Maria Shriver Mary Oliver reveals she was sexually abused when very young, that with eroded trust she withdrew […]
I left the daily life of journalism at the turn of the Century, just before the daily life of journalism collapsed. That left me feeling a bit like Charlie Chaplin, who sold all his stocks in 1928. Since then I’ve maintained journalism as a practice more cyclically, and less cynically, focusing more on reporting and […]
The genius of James Fallows’ new piece in The Atlantic is that he takes some of the best values of traditional journalism—skepticism, research, fairness, eagerness to question authority and topple conventional wisdom—and he applies them to traditional journalism. He disputes the tediously common view that old journalism is better than new. Unless they are different from […]
Last week when my friend David Alm published his lament of digital publishing in these pages, I happened to be writing an introduction for a visiting writer. I recognized in my draft a soft rebuttal to David’s post, but I decided it had to complete its original mission before I could post it. This introduction […]