The 10 Most Blogged Cleantech Stories of 2007

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What were Cleantech bloggers blogging about in 2007?  We don’t have to wonder… instead, I asked Brian,’s web guru, to do a special run of our Cleantech News Algorithm.

The Cleantech News Algorithm automatically by scans nearly 300 cleantech blogs and news sources, selected for their cleantech content. It takes three main criteria into account: 1) what other bloggers are saying about a news item, 2) how users across the Internet prefer a news item (which we call ‘social popularity’), and when the item was written.  Normally it gives high priority to fresh news items, but this time Brian tuned it to look at all of 2007.

The result is an eclectic list of 10 items green bloggers found interesting, controversial, or just worth a link.  Part of the fun is that we not only have the articles, but also a list of the blogs that had something to say about them… it’s a who’s-who of Cleantech blogging.

Do you see yourself here?  If not, you don’t have to write a controversial story to get a link on Cleantech News or  next year’s top 10.  You can write about the same stories that draw other bloggers’ attention… it’s rather like a bloggy Family Feud.  (If you write about cleantech or related subjects, and your feed isn’t in the list, you can submit it here.)

An Eclectic Look Back at 2007

#10 Part II: The Price of Biofuels
Technology Review’s second installment in their look into the state of the art of biofuels (part I is here) brought out the cellulosic skeptics at Energy Roundup, Earth2Tech, Gristmill, and After Gutenberg.

#9 Is There a Green Business Bubble?
Joel Makower asked on May 18th, 

Is all of this focus on the greening of business merely a fad? When will the bubble burst?

His answer, and the thought provoking reasons he gave for it, drew comments from: Triple Pundit, Mitra – Natural Innovation, Peak Energy, and Environmental Economics & Sustainable Development.

#8 Dean Kamen’s Stirling Solution.
Green Wombat’s August 2nd article about the inventor’s willingness to take a fall and use of Stirling engines to extend the range of electric vehicles and provide power to rural communities caught the attention of Earth2Tech, Peak Energy, After Gutenberg, EcoGeek, and AltEnergyStation.

#7 Algal Biodiesel: Fact or Fiction?  

Robert Rapier questioned another biofuel 2.0 at his R-Squared Energy Blog on May 18th, and his article became a standard counterpoint to the algae optimists in many articles atPeak Energy, Clean Auto Technology, The Oil Drum, Peak Oil Optimist, and Gristmill (where my own Biodiesel’s Nightmare article was unfortunately misattributed by the author.)

#6 Is IBM Going Solar?  

When’s Contributing Editor Neal Dikeman looked into IBM’s solar push at Cleantech Blog on July 26th, bloggers at Energy Answers, Triple Pundit, Peak Energy, Global Warming Watch, and GUNTHER Portfolio helped spread the news.

#5 TerraPass customer survey results: indulgence myth pretty much dead  

When TerraBlog from TerraPass boasted about how their customers claimed not to be buying their way out of guilt in a survey on August 22nd, AutoblogGreen and  Triple Pundit were somewhat skeptical, but, Environmental Economics, and Green Car Congress just relayed the news.  Gristmill made the best point about this "odd, moralistic, trope."

#4 Start here  

RealClimate did a public service back on May 22nd, when they published a good introduction to climate science for the uninitiated.   Reasic, Climate Progress, The Conscious Earth, Peak Energy, and TerraBlog all found it helpful.

#3 1934 and all that 

RealClimate then topped this in early August.  Climate skeptics were shooting off about an error in US temperature data, so they did everyone a favor on August 10th, and pointed out that it amounted to

A couple of hundredths of degrees in the US rankings and no chang
e in anything that could be considered climatically important.

Climate Progress (twice, no, three times,), Peak Energy, Gristmill (twice), TerraBlog,  and maribo helped debunk the "debunkers."

#2 TreeHugger Acquires Discovery Communications  

TreeHugger gave humourous spin to the site’s acquisition by Discovery on August first.  But It’s the Environment, Stupid., Practical Environmentalist, AutoblogGreen, Maria Energia, Greenway Communique, The Good Human, and Triple Pundit all took the acquisition of a green webportal by a mainstream media company seriously.

#1 Is the fuel-cell car dead?  

When Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break speculated about Hydrogen fuel-cell leader Ballard’s possible deal with Daimler and Ford to shed its automotive division on November 5th,  Peak Energy, After GutenbergClimate Progress, Gristmill and I joined in the speculation about the end of the politically driven fuel cell vehicle boondoggle.  However, Energy Problems and Solutions and  Hydrogen Cars and Vehicles Blog still hold out hope to for the Hydrogen economy.


  1. RE: Death of FCVs
    I continue to be puzzled by what I see as dated skepticism over FCVs from the green community. The future is clearly electric motors. And propulsion systems are almost certain to combine batteries, H2 fuel cells and capacitors. Not one system can meet all the performance requirements of automobiles. H2FCVs have received major endorsements this past year from GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, even Nissan. While GM moved 500 engineers into production mode, Toyota delayed it plug-in b/c of performance limits of batteries in automotive applications. Why make the ‘death’ of FCVs the lead story? Instead of recognizing the real progress that has occurred with nanoscale catalysts/materials which make H2 production/storage commercially feasible. Why continue to push the message of ‘batteries vs. fuel cells’? We need both to make electric vehicles a reality. They are not against each other.

  2. Thanks for your question, Garry.
    Speaking for myself, I see hydrogen as flawed as a transportation fuel for 4 reasons: 1) it requires space or pressurization, 2) if made with electricity or another fuel such as natural gas, you take an efficiency hit when converting to hydrogen; it’s better to take the original fuel and use that to propel your vehicle, 3) the cost of fuel cells, and 4) the need for a new transporation fuel infrastructure. #2 could possibly be addressed by directly making hydrogen with sunlight or algae, but both are far-off research projects… #1, and #3 are also being addressed, as you point out, but are also still in the research project stage. #4 could also be addressed with sufficient funding, but there is no reason to do so until 1,2, and 3 have been dealt with.
    All these reasons mean that the hydrogen economy is at least two decades away. To tackle our very real climate and energy problems, we need to start today. Therfore, we should channel limited funds towards technologies that work today, such as EVs and PHEVs. Perhaps someday the range-extending generator for our PHEVs will be a hydrogen fuel cell, but afforable, low emissions cars that can be built today do not include FCVs.
    By the way, I did not make the fuel cell controversy #1; it came out because Tyler’s story was the one that was most talked about in the blogs we follow. My only part in it was my own enrty which linked to the story. The result was basically democratic, not a decision by me. I think your comment just goes to show why that story came in #1: it’s still very controversial.

  3. Compressed hydrogen will never fuel common motor vehicles for a very simple reason: it is a terrorist’s dream. Even compressed air is dangerous in a terrorist’s hands; compressed H is unthinkable.
    There is some hope H can be stored in large easily-liberated quantities in certain kinds of metal foam, or using nano-tech. Those are the options, not compression, IMO.


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