The Impact of Barry Commoner

As one of America’s most influential environmentalist, Barry Commoner devoted his life and career to ecology, awareness, education, and enacting positive change. He was among the first to begin advocating for recycling and organic farming, as well as raising awareness about the threats of the greenhouse effect and the dangers of radioactive fallout. As the … Continue reading The Impact of Barry Commoner

microalgae through a microscope

Algae as a Biofuel

With the exception of chemosynthetic life forms such as many of those who reside at the openings of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the vast majority of biological energy has the sun to thank for its origins. Whether it be thermal, or through photonic collisions within the chloroplasts of plant cells, the energy of life comes from … Continue reading Algae as a Biofuel

Grid-Scale Storage

The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine—and not always equally or consistently. Even in the sunniest of places, like deserts, “the amount of sunlight can vary from minute to minute.” (The Economist, 2014) On the flipside, demand itself is also irregular, and times of highest demand won’t always match with highest … Continue reading Grid-Scale Storage

Let the Sun Shine

In February of 2014, 40 minutes outside of Las Vegas, the Ivanpah solar-thermal plant made its debut. Able to deliver 377 MW of power to 140,000 southern California homes, it’s “a sea of 347,000 mirrors, reflecting the rays of the desert sun on to boilers mounted on three 460-foot towers”. (The Economist) It’s an astoundingly … Continue reading Let the Sun Shine

No Fracking Way

Short for hydraulic fracturing, fracking was introduced into the oil and gas industries in the late 1940s as a method of extracting petroleum or natural gas. Nowadays, it is estimated that “90% of the natural gas wells in the United States” (Dunlap, 2019, 97) employ fracking as a method of extraction. To put it simply, … Continue reading No Fracking Way

Why is Renewable Energy So Expensive?

Any major socioeconomic transition is going to have its costs and trade off’s, and renewable energies are certainly no exception. A major argument regularly used against renewable energies is their high cost in comparison to their more traditional, fossil fuel-based counterparts. Many of these costs, however, are not so much an artifact of the cost … Continue reading Why is Renewable Energy So Expensive?

Series Preview: Why Us?

First, an ask: please excuse the audio quality, and focus on the content 🙂 Devon Bowker here, I wasn't originally going to post this. This was a recorded conversation that we had when talking about the reasons behind our upcoming series 'Us', an ongoing series examining our connections and impact on the environment, sustainability, and … Continue reading Series Preview: Why Us?

Can the Market Save the World?

Welcome to part two in an ongoing series examining our connections and impact on the environment, sustainability, and our changing climate. Part 1 through roughly 9 will focus on laying the groundwork for understanding these complicated issues from a variety of perspectives, while parts 10 through 20 or so will place the first half into … Continue reading Can the Market Save the World?

The Danger Zone

This was originally written as an essay in 2015 based on a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert entitled “A New Climate-Change Danger Zone?” and reflects my opinions at the time. Much has changed in the world and the climate crisis has only gotten worse and my understanding of that crisis as well as the … Continue reading The Danger Zone

Facebook Live Q&A: September 20, 2017

Devon answers YOUR questions on Facebook LIVE during a Q&A on September 20, 2017