The GOOD 100: The Oil Drum

We're running out of oil, but search for the phrase "peak oil" on the websites of 31 major U.S. newspapers, and you'll get a mere 941 hits, total.

Crude Blogging

We're running out of oil, but search for the phrase "peak oil" on the websites of 31 major U.S. newspapers, and you'll get a mere 941 hits, total. That's the kind of thing the Oil Drum would like to address. The online think tank, launched in 2005, is filling that void with grounded writing on natural resources and energy.According to co-founder Kyle L. Saunders, a political-science professor at Colorado State University, "We started off like a relatively normal blog, but then, because of our complex subject matter, started discovering a lot of other people concerned about resource depletion and sustainability." Before long, the Oil Drum had attracted a roster of expert contributors that included engineers, physicists, and security analysts.Posts on the Oil Drum-often supported with compelling charts and data-can be dazzling in their scope and depth. A recent post explored how reward pathways in the human brain have been "hijacked" by advertising and a status-obsessed culture to drive compulsive consumption, compounding the strain on our natural resources.At its best, the Oil Drum is the perfect blend of blog, research journal, and newspaper. And it isn't alone. A few other sites-including the Baseline Scenario, which focuses on economics, and the Tehran Bureau, a source of news on Iran-are providing original, authoritative analysis on a regular basis. This could be a model for the future of media. If we can listen in on the discussions of experts, the landscape might not be limited to lazy bloggers and expensive, old-school reporting after all.For now, however, Saunders is focused on a different goal: "We want to provide a comprehensive picture of what is going on with regard to our energy future-and try to sound a clarion call that steps need to be taken as quickly as possible to soften the landing."


McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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