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Powering the Dream by Alexis Madrigal

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Introduction
YOU COULD BE EXCUSED for thinking that there is no history of what we call green technology. If you’re reading Time or watching television or listening to Sarah Palin or Barack Obama, according to them, solar and wind are new, geothermal has barely been tried, and efficiency begins tomorrow. Perhaps some hippies toyed with off-grid living in the ’60s and there was some boondoggle in the Carter administration, but the hippies abandoned their communes in the woods and Carter lost to Reagan, so nothing much happened. Maybe a few windmills once creaked on your great grandfather’s farm, or you’ve heard him tell about how the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed a river with some farm boys (“Just hear their hammers ringing / They’ll build ...

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