Author Archives: Ramez Naam

Win Copies of All Six Philip K. Dick Award Finalists

I’m up for the Philip K. Dick Award, which pleases me to no end, since Dick wrote some excellent, mind-bending, ground-breaking sci-fi about the nature of memory, identity, and much else. It also pleases me to no end that, on most … Continue reading

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How Far Can Renewables Go? Pretty Darn Far

This is part 4 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 1 looked at how cheap solar can get (very cheap indeed). Part 2 looked at the declining cost and rising reliability of wind … Continue reading

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How to Think About the Paris Climate Deal

Over the weekend, the world agreed to a new climate deal. Brad Plumer explains it well. Reactions range from celebration to dismissal of it as a fraud. It’s rare to see James Hansen (a tireless campaigner for addressing climate change) and … Continue reading

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Did the One Child Policy Matter? Probably Not.

China’s one-child policy is ending. The policy, started in 1979-80, was aimed at slowing population growth, which was much more of a concern in the late 70s than it is now. China’s one-child policy was also horribly coercive. Men bursting in … Continue reading

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How Cheap Can Energy Storage Get? Pretty Darn Cheap

This is part 3 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 1 looked at how cheap solar can get (very cheap indeed). Part 2 looked at the declining cost and rising reliability of wind … Continue reading

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Hunger is at an all-time low. We can drive it even lower.

A few observations on hunger, extracted from the latest FAO report on The State of Food Insecurity, 2015 1. The percent of humanity that’s hungry is at an all-time low. According to FAO, 11.3% of the world is undernourished. Most of … Continue reading

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How Steady Can Wind Power Blow?

This is part 2 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 1 looked at how cheap solar can get (very cheap indeed). Part 3 looks at how cheap energy storage can get (pretty darn … Continue reading

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How Cheap Can Solar Get? Very Cheap Indeed

This is part 1 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 2 looks at the dropping price and increasing reliability of wind power. Part 3 looks at how cheap energy storage can get (pretty … Continue reading

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New Solar Capacity Factor in the US is Now ~30%

The capacity factor of new utility scale solar deployed in the US in 2010 was 24%. By 2012 it had risen to roughly 30%. The rising capacity factor of new solar projects is part of why the cost of electricity … Continue reading

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Citizens Led on Gay Marriage and Pot. We Can on Climate Change Too.

A decade ago, it was nearly inconceivable that in 2015, gay marriage would be legal across the US and marijuana fully legal in four states plus the District of Columbia. Yet it happened. It happened because citizens who wanted change … Continue reading

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