Bright, Hot, then Cold: The City After Nuclear Blast

Dec 28th, 2016 | By | Category: Arstechnica, Nukes

Nuclear war offers a multitude of bad ways to die. The bulk of the initial deaths from a nuclear bomb come from the intense heat from the detonation itself, followed by the firestorms triggered by the blast. Extrapolating from the incendiary bomb attacks in World War II (Tokyo and Dresden being among the more infamous), […]

Sustainability, Not Fear: What CFCs Can Teach Us About Beating Climate Change

Oct 28th, 2015 | By | Category: Energy, Environmental, Featured Articles, Lead Article, Science and Society

Cliff Mass (meterologist, and a smart man with a consistently different take on global warming issues), makes an interesting point in a recent post: By focusing on global warming as a moral issue (and from his perspective, using scare tactics about the weather to promote concern) environmental activists are failing to convince the public to […]

The Fukushima Disaster

Mar 17th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Nukes

Like many of you, I’ve been closely following the developments at the Fukushima reactor complex. Below is a set of links to articles I’ve written for the Stranger, as the events have unfolded. 3/12/2011 Explosion at Fukushima Nuclear Plant, Cesium Detected 3/14/2011 Don’t Panic Geiger Counter Readings Rise in Tokyo 3/15/2011 What’s on Fire at […]

One Superconducting Ring to Bind Them All

Oct 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Energy

The United States power grid is currently (get it? get it!?) split into three distinct chunks: an Eastern interconnection, a Western interconnection (of which Seattle and Washington State are members) and Texas. Why is Texas separate from the rest? Why indeed. Surplus power generated in one interconnection, at this time, cannot be transferred to another. […]

Making the Hard Choices for Energy

Mar 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Environmental, Nukes

We’re well past the point of being able to consider only the most pleasant energy sources. Looking at the number of people on the planet, and the increasingly dire reports of damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels, we need to be realistic. These steps, by the scientific community and the Obama administration, are heartening steps in what seems the right direction.

Wind Power

Jul 23rd, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Lead Article

For wind power, consistency is everything. The rub is, all of the pollutants we’ve added to the atmosphere are changing how the atmosphere interacts with sunlight in difficult to predict ways. Our continued belching out of greenhouse gasses makes building a wind farm increasingly risky (and therefore less attractive) than building a fossil fuel plant.

Carbon-Free Energy

Jul 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Lead Article

If we’re going to replace fossil fuels, we should understand why they’ve become such a central part of human life and civilization. Because, fossil fuels are pretty damn amazing.

Living and Working Energy

Jun 25th, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Transit

Adjusting to higher energy prices? You aren’t the only one. The insanity of shipping even the cheapest goods around the planet, to save a little on labor costs, is finally being recognized as insane: As the cost of shipping continues to soar along with fuel prices, homegrown manufacturing jobs are making a comeback after decades […]

Antarctic Winters, Not So Wintery Anymore

Jun 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Environmental, Nukes

From the ominously titled European Space Agency press release, Even the Antarctic winter cannot protect Wilkins Ice Shelf: Wilkins Ice Shelf, a broad plate of floating ice south of South America on the Antarctic Peninsula, is connected to two islands, Charcot and Latady. In February 2008, an area of about 400 kmĀ² broke off from […]

Nuclear Power: What’s Next.

Jun 6th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Nukes

Nuclear power plants were first proposed at the dawn of the cold war. It was assumed the best fuels–enriched the most for atoms releasing the most neutrons per fissioning–would forever be reserved for military use. We had bombs to build. Hundreds, thousands, millions–enough to scare the Soviets (and the Soviets to scare us.) Military first, […]