Clean energy companies have made money for some investors, but that doesn't mean they're successful businesses. Clean energy – or clean tech – will create winners eventually, but maybe not in the United States.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – to collect natural gas can be done 'in a safe way.' New federal fracking rules are in the works.
Our tax system is in desperate need of reform, and the most promising path to reform is to reexamine the many tax preferences in our code.
Imagining worlds without oil sounds like the easy work of daydreams. But the future is a complicated place, even when we're making it up. Even the most outrageous fantasies – from inter-galactic, cross-species space flights to time travel – must also be plausible. This is something every movie maker knows, or learns the hard way -- from fans. Popular series have always inspired "fan fiction," in which story buffs spin new tales about their favorite characters. Today, there are Internet forums and unofficial web shrines where fans discuss the finer points of sci fi. The worlds fans love may not exist, but they are experts in them anyway. They know what powers a lightsaber, where the USS Enterprise gets its fuel, or how The Matrix “really” works. Even fantasy worlds have rules, and the best fans know them. Do you?
Every energy source is a Faustian bargain. We trade comfort and convenience for deforestation, soot, radioactive waste, oil spills. But perhaps the most unsettling resource we tapped to light our homes was the one that the petroleum age displaced: the slaughter of whales for their oil.
The Monitor asked two energy experts to share their lists of the best books on the future of energy.