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Jeff McMahon
Works at Forbes
Attended University of Chicago
Lives in Chicago
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Jeff McMahon

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Arrays of small vertical-axis wind turbines, optimized to take advantage of each other's turbulence, can outperform conventional wind farms, according to a Stanford University researcher—and they don't kill birds.
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The U.S. almost repeated its "standard mistake" of regulating new sources of methane pollution without addressing existing sources, a leading policy expert said Thursday. But all that changed last month when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Washington.
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First the good news: most of the nation's natural gas leakage can be halted by plugging up a relatively small number of "super emitters," according to the Stanford researcher who first documented the government's underestimate of the methane problem.
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It's not easy being green, Kermit the Frog lamented in 1970 when he first recorded the hit single "Bein' Green." But it's becoming easier as the flow of capital shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, a law and policy expert said in Chicago Friday.
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Only next-generation solar technology can offset humanity's use of fossil fuels, meet our energy needs, and do it in the time frame dictated by climate change, an Argonne National Laboratory scientist said in Chicago last night.
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When autonomous vehicles take over the roads, they will eliminate the estimated 90 percent of traffic accidents caused by human error, which could save 30,000 lives per year and, according to an advisor to insurance companies, could wipe out car insurance companies.
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California could boost the output of solar and wind energy by nearly 50 percent and reduce volatility just by planning where new plants are installed, according to a Stanford economist.
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Scientists are racing to deploy foolproof quantum encryption before quantum computers come along that render all our passwords useless.
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As the Department of Energy embarked Tuesday on its third quest to find a permanent disposal site for nuclear waste—this time with community consent—a Chicago audience gave officials a fresh reminder of the difficulties ahead.
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The carbon bubble that's driving investors away from stranded coal, oil and gas assets may be a scare tactic, the chief economist for ConocoPhillips said in Chicago yesterday—and if it succeeds, we may all find our assets stranded.
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Ford Motor Company expects drivers to be able take control of its autonomous vehicles, according to a patent revealed last week, when they're not watching movies in their mobile theater.
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Electric vehicle sales may be driven mostly by policy and preference right now, but they'll soon be powered by dominant economics, according to a mobility expert who formerly headed research at General Motors—including a profitable symbiosis between electrical drive and autonomous control.
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Reporter, teacher
Employment
  • Forbes
    Contributor, 2011 - present
    Jeff McMahon covers green technology, energy and the environment for Forbes.
  • University Of Chicago
    Lecturer and Writing Advisor, 2002 - present
    Jeff McMahon teaches journalism and argument.
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Currently
Chicago
Previously
Chicago - Tucson - San Luis Obispo
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Contributor at Forbes, Lecturer at University of Chicago
Introduction

Jeff McMahon covers green technology, energy, and the environment for Forbes. He lives in Chicago and teaches journalism and argument at the University of Chicago.

Bragging rights
Won first place awards in environmental reporting from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Newspaper Association. His column won top honors from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and was twice named the best by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.
Education
  • University of Chicago
    Humanities
  • University of Arizona
    English
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Gender
Male
Jeff McMahon's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Clean Power Plan To Algae Companies: Prove It
www.forbes.com

The final version of the Clean Power Plan includes a carrot for companies that use algae, or other processes, to turn captured carbon dioxid

Fossil Carbon Muddies The New Clean Fuels
www.forbes.com

The burgeoning biofuels industry will do too little too late to help balance carbon emissions if it relies on CO2 drawn from the earth rathe

CEO Tip For Energy Startups: Make Utilities Money
www.forbes.com

Energy startups can increase their chance of success by ensuring they offer a profit incentive to utilities, John Rowe, former CEO and chair

Renewables Cost Twice What Carbon Cuts Might Have Cost: Rowe
www.forbes.com

The United States missed an opportunity to fuel its renewables revolution at a much lower cost, John Rowe, former CEO and chairman emeritus

China Is Quietly Burning A Fuel Dirtier Than Coal -- And Buying It From US
www.forbes.com

China's efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an

3 Ways To Keep Solar and Wind Booming
www.forbes.com

Extending subsidies may not be the best way to maintain the revolutionary growth of renewable energy, the International Energy Agency's poli

$8B-$16B Investment Could Double Solar Market By 2020
www.forbes.com

Almost half of homes and business in the United States are unfit for rooftop solar installation, either because of building structure, credi

America Will Achieve Its Sunshot
www.forbes.com

Solar energy will be cost competitive with fossil fuels by 2020, if not before, the director of the Department of Energy's Solar Technologie

Want To Build A Better Battery? Don't Talk To Battery Experts
www.forbes.com

When MIT Professor Donald Sadoway hires people for his promising battery startup, Ambri, he makes sure they don't have any battery experienc

Mastercard CEO: The Rich Should Ride The Bus
www.forbes.com

Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga wasn't sure why he was on a panel last night with two former Treasury secretaries and a former prime

Did Tesla Just Kill Nuclear Power?
www.forbes.com

It would be almost three hours until Tesla's big announcement, but inside a Northwestern University classroom near Chicago Thursday night, t

China: Electric Vehicle-To-Grid Technology Could Solve Renewable Energy ...
www.forbes.com

China could use an expected boom in electric vehicles to stabilize a grid that depends heavily on wind and solar energy, officials from an i

EPA: We're Not Picking Fuels!
www.forbes.com

Facing a sudden shift from coal to natural gas, the Environmental Protection Agency is most likely to revise its Clean Power Plan to give st

States Ignoring Mitch McConnell, Working On Clean Power Plan: EPA
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Last month Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged states to ignore the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, but the sta

Forget Global Warming And Climate Change, Call It 'Climate Disruption'
www.forbes.com

People have been trained to deal with change by thinking it's not all bad, but climate change is all bad, according to a research meteorolog

Don't Worry About Methane Hydrates, Government Scientist Says: You Have ...
www.forbes.com

Worrying about methane hydrates warming the atmosphere is like worrying about your house burning down after it's been leveled by a hurricane

Four Sites Where You Can Monitor U.S. Radiation Levels
www.forbes.com

EPA map of U.S. radiation monitoring stations UPDATED with a fourth site, EPA's RadNet Lab Open Data system. Radiation from Japan's Fukushim

Low Oil Price May Stifle Deepwater Drilling And Oil Sands But Not Fracking
www.forbes.com

Saudi Arabia and OPEC may have dropped oil prices to stifle competition from America and other boom time locations, but they didn't drop it

U.S. Fracking Boom Won't Bring Manufacturing Home: Analysts
www.forbes.com

While cheap natural gas and oil is drawing petrochemical companies back to the United States, companies that produce consumer goods are unli