The Atlantic on future sources of energy Deliberating on the fate of energy — both renewable and fossil-based — Charles C. Mann turns to natural gas, obtained from both hydraulic fracturing and deep-sea methane deposits, and asks if we will ever run out of fossil fuels. At the very least, gas may help us transition into renewable energy, he writes in The Atlantic's May issue cover story: "Nobody can predict the future, but it is dumbfounding to hear left and right alike bemoaning the 'reality' that society cannot change, particularly at a time when both sides are bemoaning the consequences of convulsive social change. Natural gas, both from fracking and in methane hydrate, gives us a way to cut back on carbon emissions while we work toward a more complete solution. It could be a useful crutch. But only if we have the wit to know that we will soon have to lay it down."
National Geographic on energy scarcity in South Africa The profound lack of dependable energy in South African slums isn't an occasion for cynicism, says Saleem Ali, who witnessed South Africans become entrepreneurs as they searched for a reliable source of electricity. For South Africans, Ali writes, "utility connections are by no means adequate for the population density and people are forced to be creative in finding ways to serve their needs. The slum dwellers of Khayelitsha have come up with an informal market for electricity and share connections between homes which have a connection and those which do not. There are entrepreneurs who are selling small solar-powered lighting with battery packs through organizations such as the Micro Energy Alliance."