Renewable Energy: Beyond Wind and Solar
Beyond wind and solar, a variety of carbon-free energy sources—biofuels, geothermal and advanced nuclear energy—are seen as possible ways of meeting rising global demand.
What's the Latest Development?
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Initiative turns five next month. To celebrate, the college is examining which renewable technologies can be scaled to make a truly significant difference in the global energy supply. Biofuels and tidal power hold the least promise, according to the Institute. The former currently makes land unavailable for growing food and may also encourage the cutting down of forests; the latter simply supplies too little. The most energy that could ever be captured using waves is less than one terawatt.
What's the Big Idea?
Geothermal and advanced nuclear power hold the most promise for substituting fossil fuels in the coming decades. The Earth constantly produces 44 trillion watts of power which is three times humanity's current energy use. Hot dry rock technology can be used to heat water deep underground, bringing steam to the surface to turn turbines. For the next several decades, nuclear power faces obstacles, not the least of which are political. The Institute reminds us that harvesting energy requires energy: no system is pollution-free.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.
- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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