A few weeks ago, there were a number of reactions to a recent front page article in Scientific American titled A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables. John Wheeler produced a This Week In Nuclear episode in response to that article that he called Un-Scientific American in which he expressed his disappointment as a long time fan of the magazine and his decision to think “long and hard” before ever buying another issue.
Barry Brook wrote about the article on his excellent Brave New Climate blog in an entry titled Critique of ‘A path to sustainable energy by 2030′. That post generated 160 comments, many that were full of facts and some strong emotion from normally restrained engineers and scientists.
I recently followed a link from a Twitter post from someone interested in energy that landed me on the Scientific American web site. Before I could view the article of interest, I was asked to take a survey that started with the following statement: “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel.” The poll then asked me to answer a multiple choice question selecting the largest hurdle to an increased use of Liquified Natural Gas. My problem in answering the poll, which I had to do to progress to the article I wanted to read, was that the best answer was not on the list of choices – All of the Above. (I always hated that situation when taking multiple guess tests.)
After taking the poll, here is what the page looked like.