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Thunken Philosofers

Wind turbines on hill with sunrise
Episode 5 - Alternative Energy (Part 1)

In Episode 5 of Thunken Philosofers, we talk about alternative energy. Join our broad conversation about climate change, alternative fuels, and the future of the energy industry.

Show Notes:

  • The need for alternative energies
    • The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.
    • Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.
      • Responding to this will require a two tier approach from all the countries of the world using mitigation, through restricted management of non renewable resources, and adaptation to the realities of the changing climate that has already been set in motion

 

  • How we are addressing it so far
    • The Paris Agreement is a landmark environmental accord that was adopted by nearly every nation in 2015 to address climate change and its negative impacts.
      • At present, 188 countries have adopted the Paris Agreement with the only significant emitters left out being Iran and Turkey. Per President Trump’s declaration in 2016 the US will be withdrawing from the agreement as early as November 2020
        • Though since the agreement itself has no teeth and is not enforced between signatories the US has already adopted policies in opposition to the landmark international deal
    • The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for trying to address climate change
      • Climate change is seen as an opportunity to provide millions of good paying jobs in the renewable energy industry and in the process

 

  • The future of renewable energy
    • In the US over 335k jobs are in the solar industry and over 111k in the wind industry, compared to the 211k in the coal industry.  April 2019
    • Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, increasing 100 percent from 2000 to 2018

 

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