Energy & Environment

Driving Out of the Red with Greener Cars

  • By
  • Lisa Margonelli,
  • New America Foundation
March 24, 2014

Income inequality in California is already high, and it continues to increase. This income inequality is exacerbated by unequal access to jobs, credit, and efficient vehicles. Wages in California's Central Valley are lower than in the rest of the state, and workers there must commute long distances, with little access to alternative transportation, in older, inefficient cars. As a result, some working families in the Central Valley spend as much as a third to half of their income on fueling and maintaining their vehicle.

In The Tank: The Energy Holy Grail

March 5, 2013
You want to change the world, with one simple device? Build a better battery. Yep, the humble battery. If scientists can improve its power and range, the battery has the potential to dramatically change how we fuel planes, trains and, in particular, automobiles. A better battery is also one big hurdle that lies between here and much wider use of renewable energy. That makes a better battery a big weapon in the fight against climate change. As Schwartz Fellow Steve LeVine says, batteries are the one technology that really worries oil and gas companies.

The Sidebar: Of Asteroids and Men

February 22, 2013
Konstantin Kakaes and Dan Sarewitz explain how - theoretically - we could avert an asteroid impact, and how the asteroid tracking industry has evolved. John Williams, former meteorite-hunter, tells us why the meteorite market is so murky legally. Sarewitz and Kakaes critique the president's State of the Union science and technology proposals. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

President Obama: Start the Climate Conversation Now

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
January 10, 2013 |

Dear Mr. President,
 
You promised, days after you were re-elected, that you would lead a national conversation about climate change during your second term. Well, here’s your chance, sir. Yesterday your own administration’s scientists have announced that 2012 was the hottest year on record for the Lower 48 states. This disturbing news provides all the opening you need.

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A New U.S. Grand Strategy

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
January 9, 2013 |

The strategic landscape of the 21st century has finally come into focus. The great global project is no longer to stop communism, counter terrorists, or promote a superficial notion of freedom. Rather, the world must accommodate 3 billion additional middle-class aspirants in two short decades -- without provoking resource wars, insurgencies, and the devastation of our planet's ecosystem. For this we need a strategy.

Bakken Oil Boom and Climate Change Threaten the Future of Pasta

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
December 10, 2012 |

A world without pasta seems inconceivable. Mac-and-cheese-loving children across the United States would howl in protest. Italy might suffer a cultural heart attack. Social unrest could explode in northern China, where noodles are the main staple.

But if humans want to keep eating pasta, we will have to take much more aggressive action against global warming. Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead.

Latinos Are Ready to Fight Climate Change—Are Green Groups Ready for Them?

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
December 6, 2012 |

Smart Republican strategists—yes, they do exist—acknowledge that their party’s loss of Latinos was critical to President Obama’s re-election. Alienated by Mitt Romney’s call for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants, a whopping 75 percent of Latino voters backed Obama. And they turned out in large enough numbers—nearly 13 million voted, roughly 10 percent of all ballots cast—to make a decisive difference in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the website Latino Decisions, which tracks Latino politics.

How U.S. Can Once Again Define the Future

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
November 27, 2012 |

Washington is all about the fiscal cliff these days. In Doha, Qatar, world leaders are negotiating over climate change. Federal debt and carbon emissions are indeed two big problems on the nation's front burner. But they are just the beginning.

As the fog of the election season lifts, America has a lot to worry about -- everything from competing economically with China to housing rapidly retiring baby boomers.

How We Could Blow the Energy Boom

  • By
  • Jeffrey Leonard,
  • New America Foundation
November 7, 2012 |

For the first time in four decades, spanning the last eight presidents, America is poised to break free of its energy crisis. The country finds itself suddenly awash in domestic energy, especially new supplies of natural gas extracted from shale rock. The economic windfall is already enormous. According to a recent study by energy analysts, consumers saved more than $100 billion in 2010 alone as a direct result of the natural gas boom.

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