There is a hopeful report out this week that the cost of solar energy has dropped so dramatically that it is not cheaper than wind power in emerging markets like China and India. Indeed, Popular Mechanics is now calling solar energy the “cheapest energy” option. In Chile, electricity is being produced by solar power for $29.10 per megawatt hour–half the price of power produced by coal. These countries are seeing the benefits in the investment into alternative energy sources in both cost and the environment. The pledge of the Trump Administration to expand drilling and “clean coal” use runs against the trend in other countries.
There are new reports confirming not only climate change but escalating losses of arctic ice. US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s annual Arctic report card has found that this is the hottest year on record in the Arctic and it is now twice as fast as any other place on Earth. Another international study found that the rapid loss of glaciers is caused by climate change to a certainty of 99 percent.
We have discussed previously how the United States has lost the lead in environmental sciences and policy. The latest such example is Sweden, which is now importing garbage from other countries to keep its recycling plants going. Less than 1 per cent of Swedish household waste was sent to landfill since 2011 because Swedish families are so good at recycling waste.
The Weather Channel is not where one would expect a media scrum but the venerable channel went after conservative site Breitbart with a haymaker of a video after Breitbart used one of its reporters, Kait Parker, for a story suggesting that the Earth is actually getting colder. The video is below.
Germany has pledged to cut carbon emissions by up to 95 percent by 2050 by virtually ending the use of coal for energy. However, that will not come in time to save the spectacular Hambach Forest, an ancient woodlands in Germany that lies between the cities of Cologne and Aachen. The forest is 12,000-years-old and is irreplaceable. However, the government has given the go ahead to Germany’s second-largest electricity producer RWE to clear cut the ancient trees to extract the coal underneath.
Young people left a hilarious prank for park rangers after they installed motion-activated cameras near Gardner, Kansas to capture images of mountain lions. What they later found were images of people dressed as animals, monsters and even Santa Claus.
We have previously discussed outrageous acts by people passing around dolphins or other sea creatures for selfies — only to kill the animals (here and here and here). The latest alleged moron is Granger Ray Wooten, 21, who is accused of beaching a hammerhead shark, repeatedly punching it, and then taking photos of it.