World Energy Outlook 2017

I went to a talk last night at the Council on Foreign Relations:  Dr. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency IEA), sat down with Amy Myers Jaffe, the Council’s senior fellow for energy and the environment, for an interesting discussion.  (The video is here, along with a transcript.)  The IEA was founded in 1974 to help the world’s major economies respond to the Arab oil shocks of that time.  It has since become a well of knowledge about the world’s energy resources, now and for the future, and many of the critical aspects of our energy production and use, not the least of which are climate change, pollution, and energy poverty.  This year’s World Energy Outlook, in fact, contains an important report on the outlook for energy access for those billion of our fellow world citizens who have no modern energy services. Continue reading

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China’s Nuclear Boondoggle


According to the IAEA here, there are 31 operational nuclear power reactors in China, and 24 more under construction.  But, according to the excellent “World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015,” there is a deep slowdown underway in the planning for more new plants. Continue reading

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Breakthrough! US – China Climate Targets

11_12_14_BK_TopEmittersin2013_1050_822_s_c1_c_cHere are the world’s four largest emitters of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production.  In 2013, China accounted for twice of America’s carbon dioxide output.  Collectively, the world blasted 36 billion tons of CO2 into the climate system – nearly ¾ of the total global burden of greenhouse gases. Continue reading

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A Nice, Thoughtful Review of ANW

EagleNeb2ANW is, if you hadn’t guessed, my shorthand for A Newer World.  The erudite Christopher P. Winter put a nice review of the book out there on the net recently at his interesting website, To Open The Sky.

The review notes that “…things can be done about climate change because, as this book thoroughly documents, things are being done about it.”  Describing me, Winter goes on to say Continue reading

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Nero’s Still Fiddling

no need for nuclear

(graphic from The Ecologist)

I can’t really say it often enough:  nuclear power is a scandal.  It’s squandered trillions of dollars, generated waste that will be lethal for hundreds of thousands of years, blighted vast areas of Japan and the Ukraine – and is still an accident waiting to happen.  But, you say, in this age of warming, we need clean nuclear power to cut our greenhouse gas emissions.  Utter, unadulterated, dangerously stupid bullshit!  Okay?  Can it be said any more clearly than that?  Part of the extraordinary tragedy of commercial nuclear power is the fact that while the planet is truly burning, the Nukefists are fiddling away time, money, expertise and political will with this proven outrage of a technology. Continue reading

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