David Roberts
David Roberts
David Roberts is staff writer for the environmental website Grist.org. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons.Source
Seattle, Washington
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Electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out.

Electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out.

ByShareThe US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil. Renewable energy prices are . Natural gas production continues its . Coal, the golden child of the current administration, is .In all that bedlam, it’s easy to lose sight of an equally important (if less sexy) trend: .Thanks to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to . The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand...

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David Roberts
Feb 27, 2018
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The absurd controversy over Joe Biden’s "transition away from the oil industry"

The absurd controversy over Joe Biden’s "transition away from the oil industry"

Trump wants to make the shift to clean energy sound abrupt and scary.At the on Thursday, when asked by President Donald Trump if he would “close down the oil industry,” former Vice President Joe Biden said that he intends to “transition away from the oil industry, yes.” Republicans are to make this supposed admission into a scandal, hoping it will with oil-state Dems and swing voters and sow division in the party. The right sees energy as a as the election approaches.Trump himself put it in the most dramatic terms:Last week, Joe Biden made perhaps the most shocking admission ever uttered in...

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David Roberts
Oct 27
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How America can leave fossil fuels behind

How America can leave fossil fuels behind

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our . Please also read our and , which became effective December 20, 2019.By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.I Accept☰×What the 2020 US election means for climate change.All of recorded human history has happened during a period in which the average global temperature . But the burning of fossil fuels...

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David Roberts
Sep 10
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Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

“An engineering problem that, when solved, solves energy.”Geothermal power is the perpetual also-ran of renewable energy, chugging along in the background for decades, never quite breaking out of its little niche, forever causing energy experts to say, “Oh, yeah, geothermal ... what’s up with that?”Well, after approximately 15 years of reporting on energy, I finally took the time to do a deep dive into geothermal and I am here to report: This is a great time to start paying attention!After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its...

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David Roberts
Oct 21
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We have to accelerate clean energy innovation to curb the climate crisis. Here’s how.

We have to accelerate clean energy innovation to curb the climate crisis. Here’s how.

A detailed road map for building a US energy innovation ecosystem.“Innovation” is a fraught concept in climate politics. For years, it was used as a kind of fig leaf to cover for delaying tactics, as though climate progress must wait on some kind of technological breakthrough or miracle. That left climate advocates with an enduring suspicion toward the notion, and hostility toward those championing it.Lately, though, that has changed. Arguably, some Republicans in Congress as a way to create the illusion of climate concern (without any conflict with fossil fuel companies). But among people...

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David Roberts
Sep 16
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How America can leave fossil fuels behind

How America can leave fossil fuels behind

What the 2020 US election means for climate change.All of recorded human history has happened during a period in which the average global temperature . But the burning of fossil fuels has triggered a temperature rise projected to by the end of the century. It will be catastrophic. But it can be avoided if we massively scale back the burning of fossil fuels.The US isn’t the biggest in the world, but it has emitted more carbon dioxide in total than any other country. So the US has an important role to play in global decarbonization — the world basically can’t get there without the US’s full...

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David Roberts
Sep 10
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Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our . Please also read our and , which became effective December 20, 2019.By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.I Accept☰דAn engineering problem that, when solved, solves energy.”Geothermal power is the perpetual also-ran of renewable energy, chugging along in the background for decades, never quite...

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David Roberts
Oct 21
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How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.In the runup to World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enlisted the entire US economy in an effort to scale up production of war material. All of the country’s resources were bent to the task. In 1939, the US had 1,700 aircraft and no bombers; in 1945, it had 300,000 military aircraft and 18,500 B–24 bombers.By the time the war was won, the economy was up and humming with a massively expanded workforce (drawing in women and African Americans) and turbocharged productive capacity. Investments made during the war mobilization...

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David Roberts
Aug 6
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The entire world’s carbon emissions will finally be trackable in real time

The entire world’s carbon emissions will finally be trackable in real time

The new Climate TRACE Coalition is assembling the data and running the AI.There’s an old truism in the business world: what gets measured gets managed. One of the challenges in managing the greenhouse gas emissions warming the atmosphere is that they aren’t measured very well.“Currently, most countries do not know where most of their emissions come from,” says Kelly Sims Gallagher, a professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. “Even in advanced economies like the United States, emissions are estimated for many sectors.” Without this information “you...

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David Roberts
Jul 16
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The Earth itself could provide carbon-free heat for buildings

The Earth itself could provide carbon-free heat for buildings

The world needs clean heat, and geothermal energy has it.The heat stored in the Earth’s crust, known as geothermal energy, is carbon-free and effectively inexhaustible. There’s enough of it to run all of civilization for generations, if it could be cost-effectively tapped.Tapping it turns out to be no small feat, but efforts have ramped up recently due to new urgency by the climate crisis and the search for low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.The (including, yes, lasers) are devoted to drilling deeper and deeper, into hotter and hotter rock. Heat anywhere from 302°F (150°C) up to 703°F...

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David Roberts
Nov 13
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vox.com

vox.com

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theguardian.com

theguardian.com

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grist.org

grist.org

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