Here’s a little video I did two years after the “Christmas coal ash spill” in Tennessee. The long and the short of it is we still don’t know what to do with all the ash leftover after our coal burning. And, unlike CO2 and other air pollutants, coal ash doesn’t get a lot of attention. But all of our pollution controls are, essentially, moving the problem of pollutants from our air (via smokestacks) to our water (via leaching from coal ash).
I continue to work at a snail’s pace on my book (more literally my book proposal) on the slow-creeping tide of change in our energy supplies. I’m not just talking the current fad for wind farms and solar panels on rooftops, but an incremental but monumental effort to replace fire—mankind’s oldest technology, possibly—with some other way of harnessing energy for our needs. This is the work of decades if not centuries. After all, it took millennia for the harnessing of fire to bear full fruit in the form of the coal-fired power plant or an internal combustion engine.
Anyway, thoughts, suggestions, help welcome. The “green” revolution is dead, long live the clean revolution!
The world descended on Copenhagen these past two weeks—and ordinary Danes don’t like it. Beyond the snarled traffic and foreigners gazing mutely into their palms to try to figure out what coins are worth, there’s all the protesters disrupting orderly Danish Christmas lunches.
Yes, these are traditional opportunities for Danes to get drunk in the early afternoon. But there is a silver lining, according to my sources, since all the police in Denmark are in Copenhagen you can be pretty secure driving drunk in the rest of the country.
I suppose that’s a consolation for all the other inconveniences.
Did I mention drunk Danes stole my Earth Journalism Award?
Or at least Earth journalism. That’s right, I’m up for an Earth Journalism Award in Copenhagen this December, but I need your help to win.
(a) You can go to the Earth Journalism Awards site and vote for me directly.
(b) You can log in to Twitter and vote for me again by tweeting my story. It’s like democracy in old New York!
(c) Then you can log in to Facebook and vote for me yet again (!) by becoming a fan of my story. Now we’re talking real democracy…
And you don’t have to feel bad. I’m not making (too many) empty campaign promises. I gain no monetary reward from victory (merely a handshake from Rajendra Pachauri). And my story is about carbon capture and storage, which just might be the only hope for restraining the burgeoning amount of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. It’s a win-win-win (which is why I recommend the triple vote.) As the saying goes: vote early… and often.
This little electronic missive is to plant a stake in the ground as well as serving as the proverbial cri de coeur: here I am, sucking up electricity on some servers somewhere and taking up the real estate that might otherwise be squatted by mine enemies. So, expect the occasional post, and a little bit of lightheartedness. The kind of thing I can’t do over at my day job: Scientific American.