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Monday, July 11, 2011

Chat with the experts on the past and future of green energy

Solar-powered clothes dryers, circa 1904.

Experts answer your questions about the failures and future of the green energy revolution.


ScienceLive is a live weekly chat on the hottest topics in science. Hosted by the award-winning news department of the journal Science, the chat gives readers access to the world's top scientists. Tune in every Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT to learn about the search for alien life, the latest on human origins, and much, much, more.

This week's topic: How new is renewable energy? And will there be a green power revolution? In his new book, Powering the Dream, Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic charts the booms and busts of previous green energy efforts like electric cars in the 1890s and solar water heaters in the 1910s. And in her upcoming book, Before the Lights Go Out, Maggie Koerth-Baker of Boing Boing lays out the three big obstacles to green power. These include the ancient electrical grid and the disturbing phenomenon that more efficient power often gets wasted.

Join both authors for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 14 July, to explore the forgotten history of American renewable energy and the barriers that will have to fall for the industry to flourish. You can submit questions before the chat starts, or submit your address to get an e-mail reminder. Buttons on the chat page allow you to download the event to either your Yahoo or Google calendar. A transcript of the chat will be available afterward if you miss it live.