The scenario: Out of the ashes of some global catastrophe, humanity rises to re-establish civilization. The question: How far could such a society realistically rebuild without the aid of fossil fuels?
In its starkest warning yet, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that we need to drop carbon emissions down to zero by the end of this century if we're to have a decent chance of keeping global temperatures below dangerous levels.
Writing in the latest issue of Environmental Science & Technology, NASA scientists Pushker A. Kharecha and James E. Hansen report that nuclear energy leads to fewer pollution-related deaths and greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil-fuel sources:
The major oil fields in the Gulf region have pumped more than half their oil, which is the point at which production usually begins to decline, one expert tells the Wall Street Journal.
By intensely focusing the suns rays on a rare earth oxide, researchers have discovered a reactor that could produce fuel from water.
Biofuels like ethanol could help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but growing crops for ethanol involves using up huge swaths of valuable farmland. Now we might have a solution - thanks to some re-engineered yeast.
The Deepwater Horizon oil leak is still spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico, but just how much oil is being wasted daily? This infographic breaks down the disaster with absolutely depressing lucidity. [David McCandless via Information Is Beautiful]
The fallout from the Louisiana oil rig explosion is continuing to be horrendous, and efforts to stop the damage aren't looking promising. But this isn't the worst fossil fuel disaster we've ever had. Here are 10 of the worst.
One of the most well-respected climatologists in the world, James Hansen was pissed off about global warming way before it was cool to be 'green' — like, 1988. He's such a baddass that in 2006 he took on his employer, NASA, and the Bush Administration, publicly accusing them of supressing his research, which provided…
The end of fossil fuels on Earth is coming, probably within the next century. This is a unique event in the history of our planet, but one that science fiction hasn't dealt with all that much. Our sophisticated global civilization is built on the the foundation of cheap, readily available oil. So what happens when we…