I read lots of articles these days pointing to the rapid expansion of renewable energy as a reason to be hopeful about our unfolding climate crisis. Unfortunately, the climate doesn't care how many solar panels and wind farms we build.
At the People’s Climate March back last spring, all along that vast river of people, the atmosphere was electric. But many of the signs and banners were far too focused on electricity. Yes, here and there were solid “System Change, Not Climate Change”-themed signs and banners. But far too many of the slogans on display asserted or implied that ending the climate emergency and avoiding climatic catastrophes like those that would occur months later — hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the mega-wildfires in the U.S.
THIS year has seen renewable records smashed in the UK. On 21 April, the country went a whole day without using coal to generate electricity – the first such day for 135 years. Then on 7 June, particularly sunny and windy conditions meant that renewable sources supplied more than half the UK’s electricity.
Achievements like these make it sound like the green revolution is well under way. Many think the growth of renewables is now unstoppable, and that clean energy will entirely replace fossil fuels in the not-too-distant future.
As record-breaking rainfall and unprecedented flooding continue to batter the greater Houston area and along the Gulf coast on Tuesday, energy watchdogs groups are warning of "a credible threat of a severe accident" at two nuclear reactors still operating at full capacity in nearby Bay City, Texas.
In July,UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon highlighted the role of hydropower in boosting the use of renewable energy globally, when he visited a nonprofit institute in China that helps emerging nations develop and build hydropower plants. Many countries consider hydroelectricity a clean source of power because it doesn’t involve burning dirty fossil fuels. But that’s far from true. Hydropower is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions: a new study shows that the world’s hydroelectric dams are responsible for as much methane emissions as Canada.
Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. electric utility industry was warned about potential risks posed by climate change if it continued to rely on fossil fuels. Rather than heed those warnings, the industry spent the following decades instilling public doubt and making substantial investments in fossil fuels—according to a report released Tuesday by the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI).
Mayors across the country have vowed to deliver on the goals of the Paris climate accord in defiance of President Trump’s decision to back out. But how can they, realistically, when the national government is questioning climate science and promoting coal, fracking, and pipelines?
"When a local economy is dominated by enterprises that work to extract value for Wall Street banks or corporations controlled by absentee owners, communities are drained of their common wealth."
PNAS published a paper today by nuclear and fossil fuel supporters, which is replete with false information for the sole purpose of criticizing a 2015 paper colleagues and I published in the same journal on the potential for the U.S.