Why renewables can’t save the planet We're doomed if solar energy 2 days ago   17:33

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Environmentalists have long promoted renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind farms to save the climate. But what about when those technologies destroy the environment? In this provocative talk, Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and energy expert, Michael Shellenberger explains why solar and wind farms require so much land for mining and energy production, and an alternative path to saving both the climate and the natural environment. Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization. A lifelong environmentalist, Michael changed his mind about nuclear energy and has helped save enough nuclear reactors to prevent an increase in carbon emissions equivalent to adding more than 10 million cars to the road. He lives in Berkeley, California. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
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TheJaybrone
Nuclear power is the cleanest safest and most reliable energy source we have.
Juhász István
Also Hungary is building a new nuclear power plant.
Eric Walla
First, enter "Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor" in your YT search bar, and watch the resulting videos.

Now - compared to what other forms of equivalent energy production, is nuclear energy considered "unsafe?" Hundreds of workers, from the oil riggers, to the drivers of the oil trucks, to the people building the pipelines, to the tens of thousands killed each year over the dirt and rights to draw that oil - especially in the Middle East - all dead, to make use of that oil, or coal, or other desirable source of energy. And the innocent civilians and children that go along with war. And the enormous monetary cost added by the wars...

Start adding those up, and the statistics show that the historical Light Water nuclear power (the stereotype with the big towers) safety has been far more effective as preserving human life and natural habitat, than even the cleanest and greenest of clean coal (how about all of those coal miners that die?), destructive land clearing for solar, or murderous wind farms.

And yes, there are the drawbacks of both, weaponization of nuclear energy materials, and the problem of dealing with the extraordinarily dangerous waste, that will remain dangerous for 10,000 years or more. I'll get to that in a minute.



Add in that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and public outcry keeping us from building NEW nuclear energy plants from the ground up, and nuclear energy hasn't even had a chance to prove itself by fully modern designs - here in the US anyway.


However, put in Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors - and the safety ratings go even higher. Because Thorium reactors don't produce the extremely high pressures of Light Water Reactors. And the LFTR automatically goes into a self-containment, shut down mode, that naturally stops the reaction almost immediately, IF there is an emergency with the system.

So, it's very safe. And, you can't make bombs from the waste of a LFTR. And, LFTR waste is 80% devoid of it's hazardous state, in the duration of a single human lifetime. And, it can be used to burn up the waste we already have generated from our nuclear energy program Light Water Reactors. And, Thorium is extremely plentiful. And, (I know enough with the 'and's' - last one) just a cue ball size lump of it, can produce the entirety of a person's lifetime energy needs - from house, heat, water production and distribution, to transportation. All of it. One little cue ball of something that is literally all over the Earth, and plentiful enough to last us 10,000 years...


LFTR designs have been essentially a proven design since the 70s...

We just have to have the motivation to use them.
Cian Finlay
Fukushima.
Chernobyl.
hartie95
In Germany the market price of electricity is getting lower and lower, but there is a fee that many companies using a lot of energie are being free of. But somebody needs to pay for it, so the fee is increased for everybody else, resulting in the in rising prices for the end user.
SteNo
Obama supported a campaign that had no detailed project just cool words and then they got problems.
Ethan Bunch
Okay i have an interesting idea. So renewable energy is very spotty and difficult to integrate on earth. I see the future of renewable energy sources used on other planetary bodies. For instance, the moon experiences large amounts of sunlight at one time. If we created an infastructure on the moon, we can strategically place solar reflectors without the concern for wildlife. They would also probably be way more efficient, as the moon has nothing to block the sun's energy from the surface. As far as wind, if we could improve how sturdy the system is, we can possibly use these on planets with more constant wind than on earth. Please leave your thoughts and please bw respectful! Thank you
Nick Nova
Amazing TEDx speech....unless he's lying....but I don't think he is
Ragna8859
ALEXANDRA CORTEZ HAS LEFT THE CHAT
Paul Temple
I wonder what the cost of the armed guards protecting the nuclear waste from terrorists for the next 10,000 years will be?
The Bridgeburner
Why don't any of these environmentalists talk about fusion?
Gabriel Sampaio
How there are no deaths related to nuclear power in recent history? He is talking about the US/EU only? Or those close to 600 people who died because of fukoshima don't count?

The reason most people are against it is if some sort of accident happens the effects are really long term.
shem mey
Its a shame we cannot launch the nuclear waste into space. Or obtain our energy from space and beam it down into Earth
David James
Bolderdash! What about the 3000 birds that died after they crashed in to the cooling towers of the Crystal River Atomic plant in fog over two nights - solar panels can be added to new build houses so they don't need all that cement etc.
Stuart Branson - Theme Composer
So put the solar panels on the sea instead of the land and combine them with wave energy collectors.
tSp289
One narrow slice of the picture has been chosen here, and it's the bit that makes nuclear sound like a good idea. Don't get me wrong, it has its place, but every objection to renewables here is localised and misses many of the solutions that have been proposed and tried. Also completely misses offshore wind (by far the best kind, and actually increases biodiversity where it's put in), wave and tidal, large-scale battery storage using long-life, low-pollutant batteries like sodium ion, and use of excess energy to create synthetic fuels (synthetic methane and hydrogen) that can be burned in existing gas turbines, or all the other means of storing energy that don't involve water e.g. block towers, gravity feeds in old mineshafts, compressed air storage etc.

Low-zero emissions is not an engineering challenge, it's a political one, and by giving such a narrow argument, he is muddying the waters.

And of course, he missed the primary factor, which is human behaviour change. If you say 'we need nuclear, all the rest is rubbish', then you put the entire responsibility onto governments to implement more nuclear power, so people will just blame it on the government. Also, nuclear may be considered fine in those countries that already have it, but are you going to propose a different solution for those countries where we don't trust them not to weaponise it?
Abdulhadi Kus
i think the sentence should be " why renewables might not be enough to save the planet"
Ben Daulton
Solar in space.
Bill Youmans
But isn’t nuclear energy based on a fossil fuel, and therefore in limited supply? Won’t we eventually run out of it?
thowa1
You lost me when you prsented two "wind casualties" and failed to mention any of the very real nuclear victims...
Sad, because there are a couple of points that are worth thinking.
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We're doomed if solar energy Why renewables can’t save the planet 2 days ago   14:48

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Solar energy is the world’s cheapest and fastest-growing power source, but its rise is in danger of stalling, risking catastrophic climate change. Energy expert Varun Sivaram argues that realizing solar's potential will require innovation—creative financing, revolutionary technologies, and flexible energy systems. Dr. Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the book, "Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet" (MIT Press, 2018), which the Financial Times called "the best available overview of the solar industry and a roadmap for how to achieve that brighter future." Dr. Sivaram is also a Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches "Clean Energy Innovation"; an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University; and a board member for the Stanford University energy and environment institutes. He has served as Senior Energy Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of New York, and he holds a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Oxford University. Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. He is the author of the book Taming the Sun (MIT University Press, 2018). Dr. Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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