QUICK NEWS, February 29: “FOR OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN”; SOLAR SHINES AS RECORDS SHATTER; IS NEW YORK THE NEXT NUCLEAR DISASTER?
“FOR OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN” Leonardo DiCaprio Uses Oscar Speech to Urge Action on Climate Change; The world must “stop procrastinating” and tackle “the most urgent threat facing our species”
Lisa Friedman, February 29, 2016 (Scientific American)
“Leonardo DiCaprio used his Oscar acceptance speech last night to declare that climate change ‘is real’ and to blast what he called the ‘politics of greed’…DiCaprio won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in ‘The Revenant’ as a 19th-century frontiersman…‘Climate change is real; it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating,’ DiCaprio said…Speaking to reporters after the Academy Awards ceremony, DiCaprio said he had hoped he’d be able to bring his message about climate urgency to the millions of people watching the Oscars. He…[again expressed gratitude and] addressed the upcoming 2016 presidential elections…‘The truth is this: If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in modern science or empirical truths’…[He is now] working on a documentary about climate change…” click here for more
SOLAR SHINES AS RECORDS SHATTER 3 Big Records in Solar Energy This Week; The U.S. solar industry had a big week of record-breaking announcements.
Travis Hoium, February 27, 2016 (Motley Fool)
“The solar industry is now on an unstoppable growth path that could make it the most important energy source of the next century. Costs are falling, installations are growing, and technology advancements seem to be picking up speed…This week alone, there were three major solar energy records announced…[T]he U.S. solar industry installed 7.3 GW of new capacity in 2015, up 14% from a year earlier. This is nearly 20-fold from just 385 MW installed in 2009 and was the first year solar has topped new natural gas capacity additions…[First Solar] said it achieved [its ninth efficiency record since 2011] of 22.1% for a CdTe solar cell…[and] SunPower announced that its X22 panels reached an efficiency record of 22.8%...This efficiency advantage allows SunPower to generate more electricity from every rooftop or acre of solar farms, which has become a major advantage as costs have fallen…Look for the companies leading this technology advancement to be big winners as investments…” click here for more
IS NEW YORK THE NEXT NUCLEAR DISASTER? Indian Point Leak Foreshadows the End of the Nuclear Age; New York could be the next Fukushima as world governments roll back nuclear power.
David Z. Morris, February 28, 2016 (Fortune)
“…The Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York State is leaking radioactive contaminant into nearby groundwater, and despite plant operator Entergy’s assurances that the leak has ‘no health or safety consequences,’ Governor Andrew Cuomo called earlier this month for a full investigation…The latest revelations add to a mounting list of recent accidents and problems at Indian Point…As of November of last year, Cuomo’s office actively opposed the continuing operation of Indian Point…[L]eaks have been found at as many as 75% of U.S. nuclear plants…[There is] a sharp global move away from nuclear power following 2011’s meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daichi reactor…[Led by Japan, countries including France and Germany have moved to] phase-outs, with Germany in 2011 pledging to phase out all nuclear power by 2022. Austria and Spain have stopped all construction on new nuclear plants. The U.S. had not constructed a new nuclear power plant in nearly twenty years when, in October of 2015, a plant in Tennessee was given the go-ahead…Nuclear plants represent huge threats to nearby areas, though the risk of a disaster at any one plant is small. While Stanford researchers have found that Fukushima’s fallout may directly cause only about 300 deaths worldwide, estimates of economic losses range from $250-$500 billion, stemming largely from the removal of 159,128 people from a zone the size of Connecticut—land which will be uninhabitable for centuries.” click here for more