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The Law of Incremental Suck (Why to Never Give Up)

It seems like every month or so, I get a press release in my inbox saying something like "Scientists Say that The World Will Explode if We Don't Do X by Y." I have some news for you.

1. No one has any idea what will happen if we don't do X by Y
2. That headline was written by a journalist, not by a scientist

Sure, in their models, scientists can see a precise date of when the gulf-stream will shut down or when decreasing global albedo will take over and free viagra sample global warming will be irreversible. But scientists recognize that models, however sophisticated, are not as sophisticated as the real world. Only a fool would take the date the model spit out and assume that that's the day of reckoning.

Unfortunately, journalists (myself included) are often foolish. Our business is to get people to read things, preferably things that are true. But by the time it goes through three editors, each with a mind on the business, the chances of a headline with more units of sensation per unit of truth get pretty high.

Plus, I think that we, as journalists, have an artificial fascination with deadlines. We think they make the world work because they make us work.

But I'm here to tell you, once and for all, that we need not worry about when the day of reckoning is because every day is a day of reckoning. Every day that the Ford F-150 is the top selling vehicle in America (as it has been for 27 years) is a day of reckoning, and every time someone chooses to pay two cents extra per kilo-watt hour for wind power is a moment of cheap viagra online without prescritpion reckoning.

Malcolm Gladwell be damned, there is no defined law for a tipping point.

No matter what we do, global warming will adversely effect our planet, we've seen it already. But the more we do, the less horrible things will get. And if we give up hope, and say that it's all for naught, things will get much much worse.

Success and failure are not absolute, they are defined in increments. The more we do, the better off we'll be. The less we do, the worse off we'll be, and that is the law of incremental suck. Every innovation we discuss here at EcoGeek, every decision you make at home, every graduate who decides to online viagra go into clean energy, every investor who thinks of her planet as well as her wallet, every single one will make things a incrementally better for this and future generations.

Some actions (inventing a cheap solar panel) will have a larger effect than others (buying a Prius) of course. But there is no one cure, and there will be no day on which the i recommend buy levitra where Earth is saved, just as there will be no day on which it dies. These things are defined in increments, so let's stop worrying about our deadline and get to work writing the story. It's not going to be the happiest or easiest story to write, but it is going to be a good one.


EcoBleak: Top Economists Discuss The Downturn And Cleantech

The NYT Freakonomics column is attempting to figure out what affect the economic downturn is going to have on the clean technology industry. By asking three of the leading experts in the field (George Tolley, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago and president of RCF Inc.; John Whitehead, professor in the Department of levitra where to buy Economics at Appalachian State University and wow)) cialis for women contributor to the usefull link buy canada in levitra blog Environmental Economics; and Ethan Zindler, head of North American research at New Energy Finance) Freakonomics has done a pretty good job of summarizing what 2009 will probably look like.

If you're looking for a great wealth of analysis, head to the original article. But if you don't have time for that, here's a quick summary:

The cost of fossil fuel is dropping once again, so the cost differential between renewables and fossil fuels is widening, not closing (like it was for years.) In short, that's bad news. It's also bad news that people will have less disposable income with which they will choose renewables (when given the choice.)

And, in the short term, there's less capital for investments and IPO's, for certain. But the fundamentals of the sector are extremely strong. Oil and natural gas prices remain historically high, state and federal renewable energy mandates remain in place, and the possibility for further carbon regulation is extremely strong.

In short, everyone expects things to price viagra stagnate for a little while, but the sector will remain an important growth industry, and the possibilities for exponential growth in wind, solar and other renewables remain strong.

Via Freakonomics


We're Fans of Obama's Energy / Environment / Jobs Plan

The US's new President has a lot on his plate. An unsustainable and unstable energy supply, a crumbling economy with skyrocketing unemployment, and an environmental crisis the likes of which have never been seen.

And, I suppose, he could take on all of these issues one by one...but that just wouldn't be in the spirit of things. Obama seems to have a "one plan to cure them all" kind of attitude and, so far, I'm a fan.

According to his weekly YouTube address, shown above, Obama plans to add three million jobs to the American economy by doubling renewable energy production and cialis generic online cialis generic vastly improving the efficiency of existing buildings. Jobs, Energy and Environment in one sentence! And if he's including hydro-electric in his renewable energy production numbers, than this is a HUGE commitment. Of course, he doesn't say when it will be done, so we should all reserve judgment until we get a few more specifics.

Of course, this approach is dangerous. By focusing on all three, it's possible that none of them are going to be addressed adequately. Indeed, this plan might be the worst way of all to create jobs and deal with our environmental crisis. But that's not the cialis dose way it looks to ordering viagra without prescription me.

By focusing on efficiency, Obama guarantees energy savings for his buck, and also the creation of levitra pfizer canada infinitely employable jobs retrofitting existing buildings. This creates a very high number of jobs per dollar spent, and they are jobs that can never be outsourced.

Additionally, by setting high but achievable goals for renewable energy production, he creates the foundation of a long-term energy strategy in which we don't just use less, but we replace existing power generation with clean sources. And, theoretically, this plan might breathe a little life into the all-promising growth sector of renewable energy.

Now, I could be wrong about this, I might just be a fanboy with very little economic training (OK, I definitely am.) But I think the time is ripe for a real domestic energy strategy that utilizes the innovation and dedication of the American people.


7 Cleantech Stories of 2008 that will Change Everything

It can sometimes be a little unclear (especially first day of a new year) how the previous year changed the world. No one guessed in 1946 that the Magnetron Spencer Percy was developing for use in a RADAR system (and that subsequently melted a candy bar in his pocket) would one day become the microwave oven. But I like to think that we can make some pretty good guesses about which of this year's innovations are going to be with us, and changing our world, for a good long time.

Here's my list of best buy for viagra the top ten clean tech innovations of 2008.

Light Antennas
You know how you can capture and produce radio waves with antennas? Well, what if you could built an antenna so small, it could capture and emit light? The first large array of these nano-antennas was produced this year, and the possibilities for them are endless. They may become efficient light sources, efficient solar panels, or simple ways to transfer energy we feel as heat into energy that we don't feel at all, making them a kind of passive climate control system.

President Barack Obama
Maybe not an innovation in the traditional sense, though, I like to think that it took some innovative thinking to get this man elected president. But President Obama's Administration has already grown to include clean technology advocates and researchers, and carries with it promises of green collar jobs, carbon markets, and restored protections for many of our imperiled ecosystems.

EEStor Begins to Emerge
The power storage company, EEstor, which we're still not 100% sure isn't full of crap did finally begin to tell us some things about their miraculous-sounding power storage technology. If true, vehicles could have batteries lighter than gas tanks, that could charge in five minutes and would never degrade. These ceramic "electrical energy storage units" have not yet seen the light of day (or independent verification) but they do already have contracts with Lockheed Martin and tramadol pets no prescription plans to deliver their first unit to buy viagra online no prescription an electric car company shortly.

The Gas Crunch
Hey...remember back when gas was freaking ridiculously expensive? Well, while the market may not (the Ford F-150 is, once again, America's most popular vehicle) the innovations that poured into the market to try and help consumers deal with high gas prices will not go away. Better hybrid systems, more efficient engines, massive investments in biofuels, the re-emergence of diesel in America were all direct implications of skyrocketing gas prices.

Solar at Grid Parity
The cost of delivering electrons to the grid has gone up a little bit in the past year, and the cost of delivering electrons to the grid using solar power has dropped dramatically. The first solar electrons costing roughly the same amount as natural gas electrons were produced this year. There's no reason to think that this trend will end, as natural gas gets more expensive, and solar systems get more efficient. In fact, one company is already promising solar power at the same price as coal!

Project Better Place Expands Wildly
While I'm still not 100% sure that Better Place, with it's many battery swapping stations, cell phone-like payment plans and "one sized battery fits all" platform makes the most sense, they have managed to get a lot of governments to bite. California, Hawaii, Australia and Denmark have all signed deals with Agassi's gigantically ambitious electric car program. It could all become extremely passe if EEStor's technology pans out. But otherwise it's one of the few solutions that will work now, instead of waiting for battery technology to catch up with our goals as car drivers.

Pickens Counterbalances Gore with a Real Vision
We've tired of Al Gore. The love affair was great while it lasted, but he's been attacked from too many angles to very good site discount cialis cialis really latch onto his message anymore. But what about an ultra-conservative, Texas oil man? Now that's the kind of champion clean technology needs! And not only does he provide a different perspective, he provides a clear plan for how he wants to change our energy future. And while it might be a plan that would make him one of the richest people in the world, it's also actually a pretty good plan.


Monster Trucks and Biodiesel

There are many shades between brown and green. Somewhere in between devil-may-care, pollute-as-you-go, overindulgent consumerism (Dubai’s planned air-conditioned beach being a perfect, albeit cartoonish example) and the eco-ascetic philosophy - that we must learn to live without any of the things we like – is a man named Johnathan Goodwin.

Mr. Goodwin, a native Kansan, retrofits cars so that they can run on renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, hydrogen, or electric batteries. In that sense, he’s just doing what lots of order levitra canada other ecogeeks out there are doing – tinkering with cars so that they don’t need to run on gas. But Goodwin’s projects are no frugal economy vehicles – they exude luxury, size, power and style.

Consider, for example, his 1400 pound Ford F450 that runs on diesel, hydrogen or natural gas. Or a ’64 Impala that has a raging 850 horsepower engine and levitra to order gets 25 mpg. Goodwin works on projects for the rich and famous; his clients include Neil Young – whose 1959 Lincoln was converted into an EV with a 100 mile range – and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose 1984 Jeep now gets twice its old fuel economy (in addition to received souped-up power and handling). And then of course there’s his literally green Hummer that gets 40 mpg.

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