Recent Energy Coverage - NY Times and more

The past week saw several interesting articles focusing on energy issues, particularly in the NY Times. Kenneth S. Deffeyes explains peak oil and sets a date for peak world production: "late this year or early in 2006".  

Thomas Homer-Dixon (whose book, The Ingenuity Gap, intriguingly suggests some serious general problems with our modern world) and S. Julio Friedmann write about clean coal - specifically coal gasification and CO2 sequestration. Gasification could make a huge difference in more efficiently using the coal we have, though their suggestion on using hydrogen from coal as a transportation fuel is probably a bad idea, as we've discussed.

Oliver Sacks, a wonderful writer on science of various sorts, points out the logic in converting to hybrid cars now - enough oil could be saved that way to replace the expected content of the ANWR reserve every few years.

The April issue of Wired magazine also has an excellent cover story on hybrids and the new generations of efficient cars coming along, with their opionated comparison of the vehicles available (a little too heavily weighted in favor of performance over efficiency).

Meanwhile, back at the NY Times, Thomas Friedman fills out his geo-green strategy with a specific suggestion on gasoline taxes in the US: add federal taxes to keep pump prices fixed at $4 a gallon. This would still be less than Europeans pay, but could make a huge difference - though he wants the taxes to pay down the deficit, not necessarily fund energy research; he also advocates more nuclear power, probably a dead end.

Worldchanging and slashdot both discuss new super charge battery hardware developed by Toshiba - the batteries apparently use some "nanotechnology" to allow very fast recharge times (minutes) and high energy density. If this plays out commercially as a successful product, it could make a huge difference to the battery market - exactly the sort of innovation needed!

At least a few of these are about real actions that could indeed help solve our energy problem - kudos to the NY Times for starting to pay attention!

Created: 2005-03-31 04:34:31 by Arthur Smith