New: "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How do we know we're not wrong." A chapter by Professor Naomi Oreskes, from Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren, edited by Joseph F. C. DiMento and Pamela M. Doughman. Available Sept 2007, MIT Press.
This is a wonderful summary of the scientific consensus on climate change, as well as a wonderful description of how scientific discussion and knowledge proceeds in general. Used with permission by the author.
Books to Curl Up With (okay, some require sitting up straight and taking notes)
Magazines and Newspapers
A weekly news magazine that may be particularly helpful is The Economist. Nature is a weekly publication and a primary source for original research. Summaries of work can be found in the science sections of major newspapers, as well as in the more accessible magazines The New Scientist and Science News. These may be available in print at local libraries; summaries of contents are available online and can lead to ideas for an internet search if you do not have access to a subscription.
The online journal Slate carries a daily summary of major newspapers, as well as commentaries on specific subjects by contributors.
Many times interview and discussion shows have energy, climate change, or environment as their topic. Check your local stations for broadcast times and topics. Archived broadcasts are often available online and as pod-casts. Examples of NPR shows are the weekly shows Science Friday with Ira Flatow and Living on Earth with Steve Curwood. For example, Lester Brown was a guest on Science Friday on January 13, 2006.
- plato.stanford.edu/entries/thought-experiment/ is an entry on the power and contributions of thought experiments.
- pr.caltech.edu/periodicals/EandS/articles/LXVII3/wouk.html (PDF) has a fascinating and astonishing interview with Dr. Victor Wouk, the “father” of the hybrid car. Dr. Wouk built the first hybrid on a contract from EPA in the early 1970s, as part of the Federal Clean Car Initiative Program (FCCIP).
- www.viridiandesign.org. A call to arms established by science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, who currently lives in Texas. "A design movement about the Greenhouse Effect".
- www.worldchanging.com. Recommended by two independent young writers, including one who sometimes works as a "foresight" consultant for the Canadian government. His comment was "If you want a steady stream of ideas on this topic and a daily dose of optimism about the future, just point your web browser."
There are too many organizations concerned about clean energy to mention them all. This is a listing of some of the longest established organizations in this field; they can give you an idea of how people are thinking about energy and environmental issues.
- American Solar Energy Institute.
- Dark Sky Movement. The dark sky movement was begun by astronomers who were frustrated by the growing light pollution that interfered with seeing the stars. The site contains many articles on improved efficiency lighting. A map of earth at night is available here.
- Earth Policy Institute. Lester Brown and the Earth Policy Institute have been publishing books on energy, the environment and earth’s economies since the early 1970’s. Brown’s newest book, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.
- ICLEI. Founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, ICLEI is an international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.
- Rocky Mountain Institute. RMI was established in 1982 by resource analysts L. Hunter Lovins and Amory B. Lovins, beginning as a small group of colleagues focusing on energy policy.
- SEPA, The Solar Energy Power Association.
The Solar Electric Power Association is a nonprofit organization with 125 utility, electric service provider, manufacturer, installer, government, and research members. SEPA’s mission is to facilitate the use and integration of solar electric power by utilities, electric service providers, and their customers. www.solarelectricpower.org
Step It Up 2007! This April 14th, tens of thousands of Americans will gather all across the country at meaningful, iconic places to call for action on climate change. We will hike, bike, climb, walk, swim, kayak, canoe, or simply sit or stand with banners of our call to action: "Step It Up, Congress! Cut Carbon 80% by 2050."
- Union of Concerned Scientists, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an organization working for practical environmental solutions and policies. They have programs on global warming, clean vehicles, and clean energy.
- The World Watch Institute. An independent non-profit research organization created to analyze and focus attention on global problems. Also founded by Lester Brown, and publisher of research papers for the general public for more than 30 years.
- Energy Information Administration, www.eia.doe.gov
- Godard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, www.giss.nasa.gov
- Lawrence Berkley Laboratory, eetd.lbl.gov
- Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, www.mtpc.org
- MIT Laboratory for Energy and Environment, lfee.mit.edu/metadot/index.pl?id=0
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, www.noaa.gov
- National Renewable Energy Institute, www.nrel.gov. Although all Department of Energy Laboratories have energy as their focus in some form or another, the NREL is the only DOE lab focused on renewable energy research.
- New Jersey Clean Energy Program, www.njcleanenergy.com, to find out what other states are doing.
- Sandia National Laboratory, www.sandia.gov/Renewable_Energy/renewable.htm
- U.S. Department of Energy Home Page, www.energy.gov
Industrial organizations can be very useful for viewpoints on the issues of energy as well as descriptions of technologies and options that are already currently available. Many companies have white papers or other tutorials on energy issues.
- AWEA, The American Wind Energy Association
- SEIA, The Solar Energy Industry Association
46 Washington Street, Box 874, Ayer, MA, 01432 . 978.391.4479