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Is the Tesla Model S the Future of Electric Cars?

From Scientifc American October 23, 2013, By David Biello

Every hour, there are an average of 17 automobile fires somewhere in the U.S., according to government data. Mechanical failure in internal combustion engines cause the majority, and burning cars filled with gasoline result in more than 200 deaths per year. Yet far more attention is being paid to one all-electric Tesla Model S that caught fire on October 1 after metallic debris pierced a module in its battery pack. The driver of the car walked away. A video of the fire went viral online this week... [Read more...]

 

"All of the Above" Energy Means More Fracking, Renewables, Nukes and Clean Coal

From Scientific American August 27, 2013, By David Biello

There is no technical issue with fracking, the controversial technique of fracturing shale rock with high-pressure, chemically treated water to release natural gas. But there is clearly a political one, judging by the multiple interruptions to a talk at Columbia University by new Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz. The affable former M.I.T. professor and Scientific American advisor could chuckle about these gas-related outbursts, but the endurance of the fracking moratorium in New York State—six years and counting—points to the volatility of the issue in some parts of the country... [Read more...]

 

U.S. Military Links Alternative Energy Research to Lives--and Dollars—Saved

From Scientific American March 3, 2011, By David Biello

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Flexible solar cells now power communications equipment used by U.S. Marines fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, enabling them to shed 315 kilograms worth of batteries while on foot patrol. But an F-16 fighter jet flying over Miramar training base in California burns 105 liters of jet fuel a minute with its afterburners engaged whereas the C-17 cargo consumes 11,350 liters an hour. That heavy reliance on oil—much of it imported—presents a real challenge to the U.S. military. As Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., put it in an address to the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-e) conference here on March 2: "We are reliant on our adversaries for our national security."... [Read more...]

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