Cutler J. Cleveland and Heather Clifford introduce Visualizing Energy, a new project of the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability. Visualizing Energy is an open access, interdisciplinary science communication project that aims to increase actionable knowledge about a sustainable and just energy transition. The project knits data analysis, visualizations, and the written word into stories that reveal how our energy system can be transformed to reduce inequity, steer humanity from climate disaster, improve health and other social outcomes, and lead to healthy natural systems. Visualizing Energy is a public good; its motivations and methods are transparent, and its data products are freely available to all, making it an excellent tool for both research and teaching.
Many people first encounter energy history in museums, where they learn about heroic steam powered engines and fossil-fueled technologies. The history of solar energy technologies, argues Frédéric Caille, is often either forgotten or repressed in these spaces. Such forgetting distorts our understanding of the past and narrows our sense of future possibilities. With his collaborative project to recover, reconstruct, and display forgotten solar water pumps from the 1970s, Caille and his colleagues frame forgotten solar technologies as “cosmograms”: objects which describe the world as it could have been, and could yet become.
Recent discoveries of large oil reserves are poised to make the small country of Guyana one of the world's largest offshore oil producers. In this EH feature, Janette Bulkan explores the enmeshment of the dominant players from Guyana's old and corrupt natural resources sector (gold) in the new oil boom. In both gold and black gold, the lines between formal and informal, licit and illicit are blurred, with state complicity. Political party interests and private interests, transnational and local interests–all are interwoven for narrow personal gains.
In late January 2022, hundreds of big rigs bannered with Canadian flags rolled across the nation’s highways in “The Freedom Convoy,” a movement of purportedly ordinary truckers opposed to COVID-19 mandates. Throughout the whole ordeal, however, surprisingly little was said in the news media about the convoy’s energy politics. In this feature essay, Tanner Mirrlees, an Associate Professor in Communication and Digital Media Studies at Ontario Tech University, peels back the layers of energy politics at the heart of the convoy, revealing its alignment with carbon elites.
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