Secretary John Kerry Shifts Position on Nuclear Power to Face the Challenge of Climate Change

By Chris Lyon |

The debate over nuclear power is a hotly contested one. Opponents cite old and still important challenges like safety of citizens from atomic radiation, security of nuclear material, and the remaining waste product produced by nuclear power. Some of these issues had almost been forgotten by the public until the explosion of Fukushima Daiichi, a Generation II nuclear plant in Japan, in 2011. Nuclear disaster is a fear deeply embedded in our psyche. It’s the subject of countless movie plots and TV shows.… (more)

Updating the Rational Middle in 2016

By Chris Lyon |

As we say, energy is complicated. It’s ever-changing and often shifts dramatically directly beneath your feet. In light of recent events and the constant evolution of the discussion around energy and its impact on our environment and our civilization, the Rational Middle has seen fit to update two episodes at the center of this discussion. What’s at Stake and The Great Transition are two of our most popular episodes that focus on the larger picture surrounding energy issues. Since their original… (more)

The Polarizing Effect of a Presidential Election

By Gregory Kallenberg |

I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets mad when I’m watching the presidential debates. The candidates’ puerile anger and teenager-style bickering can be maddening (though, admittedly, highly entertaining). But while most of my friends seem to be angry because their candidate is getting attacked or the views of an opposing candidate seem to be a personal affront, my ire comes from a different place. My disdain for these events and, heck, the entire election this year is that… (more)

Will the Paris Climate Summit Save the World?

By Gregory Kallenberg |

The world of energy is abuzz with the news from the Paris climate talks. The national representatives are patting themselves on the back. The environmental groups are cautiously optimistic. The energy innovators are chomping at the bit. And the climate deniers are wringing their hands because, well, they’re still in denial. But, in the end what does this all mean? Have we solved the climate change issue? Can this group walk away and think to themselves that they’ve cured all… (more)

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Working Together: Cogeneration’s Benefit to the Energy Transition and Beyond

By Chris Lyon |

One of the biggest myths in renewable technology in my mind, aside from the “free lunch” concept, is that we can or should switch to 100% renewables right away. Yes, we all want the future to get here pronto, but the more anyone looks at the proposition of the mythical overnight switch can see that we’re looking toward at least a few decades of transition. You can’t take people’s cars away, you can’t force everyone to switch their gas stoves… (more)

The World Affairs Council IS The Rational Middle

By Gregory Kallenberg |

Sometimes I forget the power of the Rational Middle. Sometimes I forget the good it can do, and the idea that the Rational Middle can be the tip of the spear in creating the energy future. This week, I was reminded of those facts. I was also reminded that there are others out there who, like us, are laser-focused on having civil, solutions-based discussions about some of the globe’s toughest issues. This week, I went on a whirlwind tour of… (more)

Could Elon Musk Disrupt the Power Grid?

By Gregory Kallenberg |

Did you see Elon Musk announce his new lithium ion battery system for the home? Did you hear about it? If the answer is “no”, then you missed moment that could possibly go down in history as the moment that changed the way we think about energy and the way we generate and store our energy. A link to the Tesla Powerwall unveiling: http://goo.gl/Cd2p4r At the Rational Middle, we strive to strike the balance in the conversation about energy and to… (more)

The Reinvention of Detroit as an Energy City

By Gregory Kallenberg |

It’s been a couple of weeks since I was in Detroit for the Powering Progress Together and Eco Marathon events, and it’s interesting to think back on my impressions of the city. My first impression was that the city’s current state is pretty depressing. This comes, in part, with my new understanding of how the city was once considered one of the world’s grandest and most innovative metropolises, but now the city was a shadow of its former glorious self.… (more)

And Rational Middle’s EcoMarathon “My Energy Future is…” winner is…

By Gregory Kallenberg |

Ladies and gentlemen, DRUM ROLL PLEASE… The winner of the 1st Annual Rational Middle “My energy future is…” video challenge (and the winner of a brand new iPad Mini) is Katelyn Rose! Katelyn is from the EcoMarathon team Shop Girls from Granite Falls, Washington. Katelyn was one of many people who made a video that began “My energy future is…” Her video was great and her message is about doing the small and large things to help ensure a clean… (more)

Rational Middle at EcoMarathon: A Perfect Match

By Gregory Kallenberg |

I’m not sure that I knew what I had sign up for when I agreed to show a Rational Middle film at the Eco-Marathon in Detroit. To me and Team Rational Middle, we get asked to do events all the time, so this event took its place alongside all the others. We knew it would be fun, we knew we would have an engaged and energized (pun intended) conversation, but I had no idea of the awesomeness I was about… (more)