Electric airplanes will be friendlier to our environment (and your wallet too).

By Brielle Elise, on Trippy Tech, Medium.com, April 2017 I was pretty surprised that my last round trip flight from San Francisco to Taipei was cheaper than a one way ticket from San Francisco to Newark. It wasn’t seasonality that dictated the stark price differential either; over and over again I have found international roundtrip flights to be anywhere from …

Why telecommuting is on the rise and working better now

By Yonatan Zunger, Shift NewCo.  April 2017 There’s a common theme in news analysis about the economy: it tells you about how some new development will prove excellent for the rich, terrible for everyone else, and help bring about the decline of civilization. So it’s a bit hard for me to say this, but I think there may be some actually …

Solar now cheaper than coal in India

By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Change News, 12 April 2017, Indian power minister celebrates record low solar price Kids sitting under a solar panel at Dharnai village in India. (Pic: Greenpeace) India’s power minister has hailed a new clean energy record, with a solar plant winning a contract to sell to the grid at the country’s lowest price ever. The contract to build the …

When smart-city programs aren’t designed to correct social inequality, they end up furthering it. We need our platforms to be real democracies.

The technology that brought us Airbnb and Uber can do so much more.  From Grist.com, By Amelia Urry, 7 April 2017 There’s a problem with the sharing economy, says Julian Agyeman, an urban studies and environmental policy scholar at Tufts University. “While useful in some ways,” he says, “the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ limits this very human value — sharing — …

Our average electricity in the US is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, whereas new low prices for utility-scale renewables are 2.91 cents per kWh

By Joe Romm, April 6, 2017.  Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down:  The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Last year, solar in Chile set a record low global price for unsubsidized electricity by any technology. CREDIT: ACERA. Stunning drops in the cost of wind …

What drove the driving downturn?

In an (academic) brawl over sprawl, planners are debating whether compact development contributed to a recent decrease in vehicles miles traveled. See Journal of the American Planning Association and CityLab By Richard Florida, 6 April 2017 Wikimedia Commons Since 2004, driving as measured by the number of vehicle miles traveled declined, reaching a two-decade low in 2012. Slumping figures for …

The hybrid plane that could halve the cost (and travel time) of flights: Boeing and JetBlue back hybrid-electric craft

Zunum Aero building 10-50 seat planes that ‘sip fuel only when they have to’ Firm claims this could allow them to tap into underutilized regional airports They say this could decrease travel times by 40 percent on busy routes  By Cheyenne MacDonald, Originally published in The Daily Mail, 6 April 2017 Boeing and JetBlue have turned their sights to hybrid-electric …

On a 100-year timescale, dams produce more methane than rice plantations & biomass burning, + push people off land and livelihood

Impact of dams on climate change has been underestimated, researchers warn, as rotting vegetation creates 25% more methane than previously thought The Guardian, 24 March 2017 Hydroelectric dams contribute more to global warming than previously estimated, according to a study published in BioScience. It appears that the current and planned boom of hydroelectric projects would double the current cover of …

If you trust your employees to do the right thing, everything gets easier

4,227 days at Google. Braden Kowitz writes about his first and last day and Google, and their organizational philosophy in between.  Today is my last day at Google, but I still clearly remember my first day on the job. That morning I was parked in a training room for an onboarding lecture. My eyes were glazing over as some nice person explained …