Dr. Gene R. H. Fry created this website as a library for presentations, articles, graphs, and maps about global warming and climate change. Many website visitors have already received a CD with a similar, but earlier and smaller, library.
About the Author
Dr. Fry grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He got his PhD in Resource Economics from Cornell University in 1989. His research there focused on the economics of home solar water heating and the economics of nuclear power plants as they age. His findings were published in Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, Land Economics, and the Energy Journal.
At Cornell, he also met his wife, a PhD environmental educator. They now live outside a small town in central Massachusetts, featuring forests, hills, and farms.
Gene has testified before the Maine and New York utility commissions and a nuclear plant siting board.
He was policy director at the Maine energy office in 1988-89. There, among other things, he developed and carried out a commercial-industrial energy use survey. In 1990 he joined the Electric Power Division at the Massachusetts utility commission. There he served 13 years as an economist. He spent half his time there on energy efficiency programs, analyzing savings estimates and reviewing program plans. He helped assure that Massachusetts programs were among the best in the world.
In a 1991 case to assign damage costs to air pollution, he was point person for greenhouse gases (plus analysis for sulfates, particulates, and carbon monoxide). He reviewed scores of studies on the evidence for global warming, air pollution, and their consequences. His own unpublished research was on global temperatures as a function of solar activity, atmospheric opacity, and greenhouse gases.
During 2009-11, he managed evaluations of energy efficiency programs for Western Massachusetts Electric Company and Connecticut Light and Power. In that capacity, he worked with many researchers across New England and elsewhere. In 2004, he did some analysis for two savings evaluation studies.
Dr. Fry was a consultant, writer and lecturer during 2004-8 and again since 2011. He has reviewed thousands of global warming studies. He wrote hundreds of summary articles about climate change for the monthly newsletters Global Environmental Change Report and Business and the Environment.
His current research is on (1) the role of albedo effects and rising non-human greenhouse gas emissions on temperatures, (2) how and how fast albedo and other effects will lead to the much higher (+5°C or more) temperatures that prevailed the last time we had this much CO2 in the air (millions of years ago), and (3) trends (+10°F per century in summer) in daily high and low temperatures for 348 US places over > 40 years.
He has presented information on global warming to some 60 audiences. He was the opening keynote speaker at international climate change conferences in Valencia, Spain in 2016; Zurich in 2018; and Vancouver BC in 2019. He has also presented at international conferences at MIT (twice), and in Nagoya, Japan. He addressed 90 people in a medical school in Bijapur, India. He has distributed his CDs with information on climate change, now on this website also, to some 25,000 people over some 14 years, in 100s of editions.
Gene has three ~ 2,000 mile bicycle trips to his credit, the most recent from Seattle to Boston with his son in 2003.
In September 2017, Gene and his wife bought our 1st electric car, a Chevrolet Bolt. It has averaged 4.54 mi / kWh (155 mpg equivalent), over 101,000 miles. The efficiency ranges from 6 miles / kWh sometimes in fall and spring, to under 3 in the dead of winter. Efficiency and range decline 10-35% at expressway speeds and rise 20-35% above average on local roads (30-45 miles per hour). Nominal range has varied from 156 (deep winter) to 359 miles (fall / spring for local roads, improved 8% by battery repacement in a recall). Range has averaged 270 miles. Electric car efficiency plummets in winter when the battery is used to heat driver, passenger, and itself in lots of sub-freezing driving. As for all cars, its efficiency falls a lot at higher speeds - as it needs to push more air per seond out of the way.
In November, driving 400+ miles to DC and 400+ back, to lobby for a carbon fee & dividend, he parked beside 4 Tesla chargers so he could use an EVGo charger. Later, a ChargePoint charger. 2 big “fast charges”, over 2 hours, got him to DC. Same thing returning 400+ miles. The number of available chargers that can handle a Bolt has roughly doubled each year. With more frequent and longer refueling (with meal and bathroom) stops, it takes Gene 10-20% longer to drive from Massachusetts to DC in an electric car, compared to a petroleum one. So, he gets better exercise and more relaxed dining.
Before the electric car, Gene averaged 41 mpg over 39 years, using 7 oil-powered cars. Gene looks forward to vehicle-to-grid & vehicle-to-building capability. And a self-driving car for the many 25-70 mile drives home after evening contra dances.
His home formerly consumed 355 kWh per month, 100% wind, over 5+ years. That was in the bottom 10% of local kWh and the bottom 5% nationally (for 2 people, 1250 square feet, no electric heat).
But then, he and his wife got an air source heat pump to heat their home in 2015, to eliminate that fossil fuel use. We have not used our propane furnace since then, even at -13°F. But our home uses much more than 355 kWh per month in the winter, just no fossil fuels directly for heating. Plus about 470 kWh a month for our electric car.
On top of 100% green electricity from the grid, we also get about 450 kWh a month from community solar (8 miles away, since our home is shaded deep in forest) to power our electric car.
In 2019, he bought 2 tons of CO2 removal per year, to be stored in agricultural soils, from Indigo Ag. He also bought 600 kg of CO2 removal per year from Climeworks, for $55 per month, to be stored in Iceland basalt. These cut our carbon footprint further, leaving 20% of the original carbon footprint, mostly what’s embodied in stuff and services we buy, but also powering our gasoline 2nd car (263K miles, 3-6K miles/year, 37 mpg), air travel, and heating our water.
Our daughter graduated in 2013 from the U of Massachusetts, summa cum laude in Geosciences. She took climate change courses along the way and began reading climate records in Texas caves and Alaska glaciers. After a stint in environmental consulting, she finished her Master’s degree in geology at the U of Washington in March 2018, followed in April by 2 treks in the Himalayas with Gene. She has resumed geological consulting. Gene’s wife organized a climate change short course for teachers in 2020, co-taught one in 2019 with Gene for seniors, and taught a larger one for teachers in early 2020. Gene’s brother has taught graduate climate change courses; his research finds effects of heating and acidification on marine life.
Gene and his wife enjoy contra dancing with friends, walks and hikes, playing bridge, traveling, and visits with their 2 children.
Audio Memoirs of Gene Fry's Parents, Arthur & Lois Gunning Fry