Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Environmental Stewardship

Wind Power: Not So Novel After All

How different is this… In a recent WSJ story, “A Novel Way to Reduce Home Energy Bills,” Sara Schaefer Muñoz writes about the possibility of adding windmills to homes in order to cut down on the cost of utilities. Continue Reading...

Sharks for Social Change

“Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear / And it shows them pearly white… Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe / Scarlet billows start to spread…” –Bobby Darin, “Mack the Knife,” 1959 He asked for it. Continue Reading...

Chimera Nomenclature

Another round of stories are out about the possibility of creating a modern-day wooly mammoth, Jurassic Park-style. The process would include injecting frozen wooly mammoth sperm into an egg of a closely related species. Continue Reading...

‘Beyond Petroleum’ or ‘Big Problem’? UPDATED

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is asking, “Was the BP pipeline problem preventable?” It seems that BP has allegedly been giving required maintenance to the pipeline short shrift: “Allegations about BP’s maintenance practices have been so persistent that a criminal investigation now is under way into whether BP has for years deliberately shortchanged maintenance and falsified records to cover it up.” BP shut down the Prudhoe Bay oil field earlier this week, after a “spill” resulting from “unexpected corrosion.” While BP shuts down the field to repair 16 miles of pipeline, there are concerns that about 400,000 barrels per day will be taken out of production, and will deprive West Coast refineries of a quarter of their supply. Continue Reading...

GM Bacteria and Malaria

“Scientists have discovered a way to help stop the spread of malaria by genetically altering a bacterium that infects about 80 percent of the world’s insects. Malaria is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites and kills more than a million people every year.” Source: “Genetically Altered Bacteria Could Block Malaria Transmission,” by Lisa Pickoff-White, The National Academies, Science in the Headlines, August 2, 2006. Continue Reading...

Scarcity and Innovation

“Throughout history, shortages of vital resources have driven innovation, and energy has often starred in these technological dramas. The desperate search for new sources of energy and new materials has frequently produced remarkable advances that no one could have imagined when the shortage first became evident.” So says Stephen L. Continue Reading...

The Cash Cow

CRC has made two good articles available recently (these are Adobe .pdf linked documents) that dispell the myth that large corporations are conservative monoliths supporting anti-environment causes. The first is Funding Liberalism with Blue-Chip Profits; Fortune 100 Foundations Back Leftists Causes. Continue Reading...

Thar She Blows

Might these be the new “Cuisinarts of the sea”? This story, “Energy from the Restless Sea,” in today’s NYT examines the efforts of experimental inventors to find machines that excel in “harnessing the perpetual motion of the ocean and turning it into a commodity in high demand: energy.” There are a variety of designs and types of machines, so of course not all of them are a danger to chop up hapless fish. Continue Reading...