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It’s Not Too Late: Special Report on Energy

July 2006

The energy technologies that might forestall global warming already exist. Cleaner coal, smarter nuclear, bioengineered ethanol, and more.

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Letter from the editor

The Alternative


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    The Messenger

    The best scientists, scrutinizing atmosphere, ice, earth, and sea, say global warming is approaching a tipping point. But we still have time to keep it from reaching catastrophic levels.
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    The Oil Frontier

    Don’t expect the scarcity of fossil fuels to drive us toward alternative energy sources anytime soon: we’re getting smarter about finding and extracting oil.
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    The Dirty Secret

    Better technologies exist for extracting coal, a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge is getting people to adopt them.
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    The Best Nuclear Option

    The U.S. Energy Department’s fuel-recycling initiative could be a distraction from a more achievable goal: reviving today’s nuclear industry and averting some carbon emissions in the short term.
  • Genetically engineered organisms can more efficiently produce ethanol from cheap and abundant sources of biomass, such as agricultural waste. It could make ethanol cost competitive.
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    It’s Not Too Early

    We know where we must go eventually: toward a sustainable energy infrastructure. Why not head there now?
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    The Un-Coal

    By investing in energy efficiency, we could vastly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save money.
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    Seeing Your Pain

    Learning to consciously alter brain activity through MRI feedback could help control pain and other disorders.

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