How cool is this? Accelerated geologic weathering by creating rocks from carbon dioxide

Geologic weathering is an important, but slow, part of the carbon cycle in which rocks essentially absorb carbon dioxide. A research team in Iceland has invented a method of creating rocks using carbon dioxide, water, and basalt rock. A chemical reaction among them enables the basalt to absorb the carbon dioxide. A Washington Post article … More How cool is this? Accelerated geologic weathering by creating rocks from carbon dioxide

Social costs of oil and gas leasing on federal lands, carefully considered

OVERVIEW: A report filed with the US Department of the Interior recommended that terms governing the leasing of federal land for oil and gas development be updated to reflect social costs associated with such development. While such costs may be policy relevant, I suggest social costs are smaller than the report indicates¬†and the recommended policy … More Social costs of oil and gas leasing on federal lands, carefully considered

Energy poverty and clean technology

For the past three years, I’ve team-taught a class that’s part of our Institute for Energy and Sustainability at Northwestern (ISEN) curriculum. It’s an introductory class, primarily focused on ethics and philosophy. One of my earth science colleagues kicks us off with the carbon cycle, the evidence for anthropogenic global warming, and interpretations of that … More Energy poverty and clean technology

Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

A couple of years ago, I was transfixed by the research from Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie highlighted in their TedX video on the future of nuclear power.   A recent IEEE Spectrum article highlights what Dewan and Massie have been up to since then, which is founding a startup called Transatomic Power in partnership … More Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

Interpreting Google’s purchase of Nest

Were you surprised to hear of Google’s acquisition of Nest? Probably not; nor was I. Google has long been interested in energy monitoring technologies and the effect that access to energy information can have on individual consumption decisions. In 2009 they introduced Power Meter, which was an energy monitoring and visualization tool; I wrote about … More Interpreting Google’s purchase of Nest

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013

Last week I attended Mark Finley’s presentation in Chicago of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy for this year. In his role as General Manager of Global Energy Markets at BP, Mark is responsible for this annual analytical survey of world energy production, consumption, and trends. He’s an outstanding economist whose presentations are a master … More BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013

NYT Energy For Tomorrow Closing Plenary video

Lynne Kiesling Last week the New York Times hosted a conference called “Energy For Tomorrow”, and they have made video from all of the sessions available; there are several sessions discussing energy efficiency, natural gas, renewables, etc. I watched the closing plenary on Friday, for which the topic was subsidies in any or all energy … More NYT Energy For Tomorrow Closing Plenary video

Waterless fracking?

Lynne Kiesling Pale Rider is one of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies. One of its central themes revolves around classic property rights concepts in a community of miners that includes a number of small pan miners and a family that has built a larger, hydraulic mining operation that essentially uses pressurized water to blast rock … More Waterless fracking?

An SEA meetings coda

Lynne Kiesling John Whitehead already mentioned our joint AERE/USAEE session at the SEA meetings last week. It turned out well, a combination of carbon offsets analysis and electricity market design experiments. Rim Baltaduonis from Gettysburg College presented two different, interesting experimental papers, one on designing rules for enabling contracts for carbon sequestration in soil (which … More An SEA meetings coda