Tom Randall

Deputy Sustainability Editor

  • Energy Investors Are an Uncertain Kitten

    We're at a turning point, where renewables are becoming the cheapest form of energy, even without subsidies. Last year the kitten hesitated. Soon it will pounce.

  • Energy Taxes Are a 'Rotting Carcass' That Keeps Smelling Worse

    It's tax time -- the time of the year when every working American is reminded of the tortures of the U.S. tax code. The head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee sums it up best:

  • U.S. Wind Power Blows New Records. Again. And Again.

    Wind is breaking records. Again. These two charts show why wind's rising prominence in the U.S. energy mix isn't going to end any time soon.

  • These Guys Get Paid to Play the Claw All Day

    Remember the arcade Claw game, where you steer and drop a mechanical claw for a (negligible) chance to win a 10-cent stuffed animal? Well, that's what these guys get to do all day.

  • All Your M&Ms Will Be Green by 2040: The Mars Mission

    Mars Inc., which sells about $30 billion of deliciousness a year, is going green. Like St. Patricks Day in New York green. But don't worry: Your green M&Ms will cost not a penny more than the coal-colored ones

  • High Cost of Climate Earns Exxon Rare Environmental Win

    It was news when the world’s biggest oil company agreed to share its plans for dealing with climate change. A look at what we already know about Exxon’s climate strategy shows why disclosure is a savvy move.

  • How to Keep Your Job When Your Boss Is a Robot

    Technology that first comes across as a gimmick, in a few years evolves into your trusty sidekick. Give it a few years more, and it will stab you in the back and take your job. Avoid "technological unemployment" by doing what the robots can’t. Be human.

  • Marijuana Legalization Makes TV Commercials Funny

    Remember that really funny ad from the Super Bowl this year? Yeah, me neither. TV commercials just aren’t as funny as we’d like to remember them being. Fortunately, someone has discovered the secret ingredient that makes TV ads funny again: marijuana.

  • Ignore the Venezuelan Uprising and Check Out This Sparkly New Building

    Did you hear the big news out of Venezuela this week? No, not that news. An oil-and-gas engineering company received a fancy environmental certification for a new building. I know, right?

  • Wind Power Is Boring; This Isn't

    Wind is a boring industry. We build towers, the wind blows, we harvest the energy. Unlike the rock-em sock-em world of oil drilling, where billion-dollar rigs can go down in flames, wind power comes with few surprises. In energy production, that's a good thing.

  • Data Made Beautiful: Weather, Climate and Fracking Water

    Data are ruthless. They reduce all of human experience to seconds on a watch and measure inches of snowfall without regard to snow angels. A datum sees the sun set and calls it just another day.

  • America’s Out-of-Control Heroin Problem, in Two Charts

    The U.S. has a heroin problem. These charts show what happens as heroin becomes cheaper, more pure and easier to score on America's streets. It’s easy to write off Philip Seymour Hoffman's death as a cautionary tale of celebrity excess. We shouldn’t.

  • This Is Not the Keystone Decision That You Think It Is

    The U.S. State Department released its long-awaited report on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would connect the Alberta oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico. If you think it’s time to break out the shovels, this is not the Keystone decision that you think it is.

  • Enlightened Power: New Eco Warriors Are Really Well Armed

    Windmill-hugging Europeans announced a plan last week to get 27 percent of their energy from renewables by 2030. If they don’t watch out, they may soon be upstaged by an unlikely eco warrior: the U.S. military.

  • Musk’s Fire Numbers Are a Stretch, But Teslas Are Safe

    Elon Musk, maker of sports cars, solar farms and space ships, tends to make dramatic claims that challenge popular wisdom, and he’s often right. Not always.

  • Renewable Energy at $254 Billion? Let’s Make It a Clean Trillion

    Billionaire bankers gathered at the United Nations yesterday to call for more investment in renewable energy -- $1 trillion a year, to be exact.

  • Why Does New York Hate the Sharing Economy?

    Ask a bunch of New Yorkers where they spend their money: apartments, cars, vacation lodgings, maybe designer handbags. In the new American “sharing economy,” these can all be enjoyed at a fraction of their normal cost. Just not if you’re a New Yorker.

  • Top IPhone Designer Now Works for the Google Grid

    There are only a few success stories of the “Internet of things,” and Google just bought one for $3.2 billion. Nest isn’t just a pretty device with an Internet connection. It’s also the consumer interface to the world’s biggest machine: the U.S. power grid.

  • Ford’s New Solar Car Is a Supercool Fantasy

    Every once in a while, there’s a big idea that forever changes the way we live. Think electric light bulbs, washing machines and, maybe, Amazon’s dream of drone deliveries. Ford’s new concept car with rooftop solar looks like it could be next on the list. Don’t bet on it.

  • Oil's Future Draws Blood and Gore in Investment Portfolios

    Al Gore seems to be having a sort of come-to-Wall-Street moment, and he’s not alone. If some analysts are right, fossil fuels are about to get sucker punched. Peak coal? Peak oil? Peak fossil fuels? It all depends on China.

  • America Is Winning a Race That It Never Signed Up For

    When it comes to reaching deals on climate change, the U.S. hasn’t had much success. That’s too bad, because when it comes to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, it ranks among the best.

  • Wal-Mart Now Draws More Solar Power Than 38 U.S. States

    In the race for commercial solar power, Wal-Mart is killing it. The company now converts more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states.

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