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Lessons from the Shale Revolution

IntroductionThe ability to economically extract natural gas and oil from shale is one of the biggest events in energy since the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. After developing the combination of technologies to cheaply fracture, map, and directionally drill...

Posted August 11, 2015    

Ecomodernism and the Anthropocene

Sometime next year, the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) may or may not decide that humans have changed the Earth so significantly that we have entered a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, or age of humans.1 The idea that humans...

Posted June 17, 2015    

On Pragmatic Conservation

 The last few years have seen a big debate among leading conservationists over the future of parks and protected areas. On one side are groups like The Nature Conservancy that work with foreign countries to site hydroelectric dams so they...

Posted June 11, 2015    

Climate of Incivility

On April 23, 2010, the Attorney General of the state of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, initiated an investigation into the research of climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann is the creator of the so-called “hockey stick” graph, which used tree-ring...

Posted March 6, 2015    

Did the US Kill OPEC?

"Did the US kill OPEC?"This is the question that New York Times economics columnist Eduardo Porter recently asked, referencing the Breakthrough Institute’s research, which found that 35 years of public-private investments led to the technologies...

Posted January 27, 2015    

Why Having A Realistic View of Energy Efficiency Matters to Climate Change

A Response to Our Rebound CriticsIn response to our New York Times op-ed about the limits of energy efficiency and the furious reaction to it from some quarters, Andy Revkin asks whether we can find room for agreement on the rebound effect.To some...

Posted November 3, 2014    

Why Energy Efficiency Can Increase Energy Consumption in Poor Countries

Pent-Up Energy Demand in Developing Economies Points to High Levels of Global ReboundEnergy efficiency rebound may not be very high in developed countries, where people are actually driving less and using things like highly efficient lightbulbs. But...

Posted October 16, 2014    

On Becoming an Ecomodernist

A Positive Vision of Our Environmental FutureThe emergence of ecomodernism in the past half decade has been marked by a growing number of environmentalists who reject Romantic ideas about nature as unscientific and reactionary, and embrace advanced...

Posted September 11, 2014    

Prepare for High Energy Growth, Climate Experts Warn

World leaders are failing to come to grips with the implications of rapidly rising energy consumption for climate change, climate experts said at last week’s Breakthrough Dialogue.“If everyone in the world were to consume energy at Germany’s highly...

Posted July 26, 2014    

High-Efficiency Planet

When most people think of energy efficiency, they think of modern amenities, like their squiggly compact fluorescent light bulbs. But according to one of the world’s experts on the history of energy, lighting has become more efficient for 700...

Posted July 25, 2014    

High-Energy Africa

Africa has experienced massive economic growth over the last decade, but in order for this growth to translate into significant development outcomes, big investments will be needed to provide electricity to the 600 million sub-Saharan Africans who...

Posted July 23, 2014    

Fracking's War on Coal

In 1981, an independent Texas natural gas producer named George Mitchell realized that his shallow gas wells in the Barnett gas fields of Texas were running dry. He had sunk millions into his operation and was looking for a way to generate more...

Posted June 9, 2014