Why renewables can’t save the planet | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxDanubia

Translator: Amanda Chu
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Thank you very much. When I was a boy, my parents would sometimes
take me camping in California. We would camp in the beaches,
in the forests, in the deserts. Some people think the deserts
are empty of life, but my parents taught me
to see the wildlife all around us, the hawks, the eagles, the tortoises. One time when we were setting up camp, we found a baby scorpion
with its stinger out, and I remember thinking how cool it was that something could be
both so cute and also so dangerous. After college, I moved to California, and I started working
on a number of environmental campaigns. I got involved in helping to save
the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocking a proposed
radioactive waste repository set for the desert. Shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate
a significant amount of my life to solving climate change. I was worried that global warming
would end up destroying many of the natural environments
that people had worked so hard to protect. I thought the technical solutions
were pretty straightforward – solar panels on every roof,
electric car in the driveway – that the main obstacles were political. And so I helped to organize a coalition of the country’s biggest labor unions
and biggest environmental groups. Our proposal was for a 300-billion-dollar
investment in renewables. And the idea was not only
would we prevent climate change, but we would also create
millions of new jobs in a very fast-growing high-tech sector. Our efforts really paid off in 2007, when then-presidential candidate
Barack Obama embraced our vision. And between 2009 and 2015,
the US invested 150 billion dollars in renewables and other
kinds of clean tech. But right away, we started
to encounter some problems. So first of all, the electricity
from solar rooftops ends up costing about twice as much
as the electricity from solar farms. And both solar farms and wind farms require covering a pretty
significant amount of land with solar panels and wind turbines and also building
very big transmission lines to bring all that electricity
from the countryside into the city. Both of those things were often very
strongly resisted by local communities, as well as by conservation biologists who were concerned about the impacts
on wild-bird species and other animals. Now, there was a lot of other people working on technical
solutions at the time. One of the big challenges, of course,
is the intermittency of solar and wind. They only generate electricity
about 10 to 30 percent of the time during most of year. But some of the solutions being proposed were to convert hydroelectric dams
into gigantic batteries. The idea was that when the sun
was shining and the wind was blowing, you would pump the water uphill,
store it for later, and then when you needed electricity,
run it over the turbines. In terms of wildlife,
some of these problems just didn’t seem like
a significant concern. So when I learned that house cats
kill billions of birds every year, it put into perspective the hundreds
of thousands of birds that are killed by wind turbines. It basically seemed to me at the time that most, if not all, of the problems
of scaling up solar and wind could be solved through more
technological innovation. But as the years went by, these problems persisted
and, in many cases, grew worse. So California is a state that’s really
committed to renewable energy, but we still haven’t converted
many of our hydroelectric dams into big batteries. Some of the problems are just geographic; it’s just you have to have
a very particular kind of formation to be able to do that, and even in those cases, it’s quite expensive
to make those conversions. Other challenges are just
that there’s other uses for water, like irrigation, and maybe the most significant problem is just that in California
the water in our rivers and reservoirs is growing increasingly
scarce and unreliable due to climate change. In terms of this issue of reliability,
as a consequence of it, we’ve actually had to stop the electricity coming from the solar
farms into the cities because there’s just been
too much of it at times. Or we’ve been starting to pay
our neighboring states, like Arizona, to take that solar electricity. The alternative is to suffer
from blowouts of the grid. And it turns out that
when it comes to birds and cats – cats don’t kill eagles; eagles kill cats. What cats kill are the small common
sparrows and jays and robins, birds that are not endangered
and not at risk of going extinct. What do kill eagles and other big birds, like this kite as well as owls and condors and other threatened
and endangered species, are wind turbines; in fact, they’re one
of the most significant threats to those big bird species that we have. We just haven’t been introducing
the airspace with many other objects like we have wind turbines
over the last several years. And in terms of solar, you know, building a solar farm is a lot
like building any other kind of farm: you have to clear
the whole area of wildlife. So this is a picture of one third of one
of the biggest solar farms in California, called Ivanpah. In order to build this, they had to clear
the whole area of desert tortoises, literally pulling desert tortoises
and their babies out of burrows, putting them on the back of pickup trucks,
and transporting them to captivity, where many of them ended up dying. And the current estimates are that
about 6,000 birds are killed every year, actually catching on fire
above the solar farm and plunging to their deaths. Over time, it gradually struck me that there was really no amount
of technological innovation that was going to make
the sun shine more regularly or wind blow more reliably; in fact, you could make
solar panels cheaper, and you could make
wind turbines bigger, but sunlight and wind
are just really dilute fuels, and in order to produce
significant amounts of electricity, you just have to cover
a very large land mass with them. In other words, all of the major problems
with renewables aren’t technical, they’re natural. Well, dealing with
all of this unreliability and the big environmental impacts obviously comes at a
pretty high economic cost. We’ve been hearing a lot about how solar panels and wind turbines
have come down in cost in recent years, but that cost has been
significantly outweighed by just the challenges of integrating all
of that unreliable power onto the grid. Just take, for instance,
what’s happened in California. At the period in which solar panels
have come down in price very significantly, same with wind, we’ve seen our electricity prices go up five times more
than the rest of the country. And it’s not unique to us. You can see the same phenomenon
happened in Germany, which is really the world’s leader in solar, wind and other
renewable technologies. Their prices increased 50 percent
during their big renewable-energy push. Now you might think, well,
dealing with climate change is just going to require
that we all pay more for energy. That’s what I used to think. But consider the case of France. France actually gets
twice as much of its electricity from clean zero-emission sources
than does Germany, and yet France pays almost half
as much for its electricity. How can that be? You might have already
anticipated the answer. France gets most of its electricity
from nuclear power, about 75% in total. And nuclear just ends up
being a lot more reliable, generating power 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, for about 90% of the year. We see this phenomenon
show up at a global level. So, for example, there’s been
a natural experiment over the last 40 years, even more than that, in terms of the deployment of nuclear
and the deployment of solar. You can see that
at a little bit higher cost, we got about half as much electricity
from solar and wind than we did from nuclear. Well, what does all this mean
for going forward? I think one of the most significant
findings to date is this one. Had Germany spent 580 billion dollars
on nuclear instead of renewables, it would already be getting
a hundred percent of its electricity from clean energy sources,
and all of its transportation energy. Now I think you might be wondering,
and it’s quite reasonable to ask: Is nuclear power safe?
And what do you do with the waste? Well, those are very reasonable questions. Turns out that there’s been
scientific studies on this going over 40 years. This is just the most recent study, that was done by the prestigious
British medical journal Lancet, finds that nuclear power is the safest. It’s easy to understand why. According to the WHO, about 7 million people die
annually from air pollution. And nuclear plants don’t emit that. As a result, the climate scientist
James Hansen looked at it. He calculated that nuclear power
has already saved almost two million lives to date. It turns out that even wind energy
is more deadly than nuclear. This is a photograph taken
of two maintenance workers in the Netherlands, shortly before one of them
fell to his death to avoid the fire, and the other one was engulfed in flames. Now, what about environmental impact? I think a really easy way
to think about it is that uranium fuel, which is
what we used to power nuclear plants, is just really energy dense. About the same amount
of uranium as this Rubik’s Cube can power all of the energy
you need in your entire life. As a consequence, you just don’t need that much land in order to produce
a significant amount of electricity. Here you can compare the solar farm
I just described, Ivanpah, to California’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon. It takes 450 times more land
to generate the same amount of electricity as it does from nuclear. You would need 17
more solar farms like Ivanpah in order to generate
the same output as Diablo Canyon, and of course,
it would then be unreliable. Well, what about the mining and the waste
and the material throughput. This has been studied
pretty closely as well, and it just turns out that solar panels require 17 times
more materials than nuclear plants do, in the form of cement,
glass, concrete, steel – and that includes all the fuel
used for those nuclear plants. The consequence is that what comes out
at the end, since its material throughput, is just not a lot of waste from nuclear. All of the waste from the Swiss
nuclear program fits into this room. Nuclear waste is actually the only waste
from electricity production that’s safely contained and internalized. Every other way of making electricity emits that waste
into the natural environment, either as pollution or as material waste. We tend to think of solar panels as clean, but the truth is that there is no plan to deal with solar panels
at the end of their 20 or 25-year life. A lot of experts are actually
very concerned that solar panels are just going to be shipped
to poor countries in Africa or Asia, with the rest of our
electronic-waste stream, to be disassembled, often exposing people
to really high level of toxic elements, including lead, cadmium and chromium, elements that because they’re elements,
their toxicity never declines over time. I think we have an intuitive sense that nuclear is a really powerful
strong energy source and that sunlight is really dilute
and diffuse and weak, which is why you have to spread
solar collectors or wind collectors over such a large amount of land. Maybe that’s why nobody was surprised when in the recent science-fiction
remake of Blade Runner, the film opens with a very
dark dystopian scene where California’s deserts have been
entirely paved with solar farms. All of which, I think, raises
a really uncomfortable question: In the effort to try to save the climate,
are we destroying the environment? The interesting thing is
that over the last several hundred years, human beings have actually
been trying to move away from what you would consider
matter-dense fuels towards energy-dense ones. That means, really, from wood and dung
towards coal, oil, natural gas, uranium. This is a phenomenon
that’s been going on for a long time. Poor countries around the world
are in the process still of moving away from wood
and dung as primary energies. And for the most part,
this is a positive thing. As you stop using wood
as your major source of fuel, it allows the forests to grow back
and the wildlife to return. As you stop burning wood in your home, you no longer need to breath
that toxic smoke. And as you go from coal
to natural gas and uranium as your main sources of energy, it holds out the possibility of basically
eliminating air pollution altogether. There’s just this problem with nuclear – While it’s been pretty popular to move
from dirtier to cleaner energy sources, from energy-diffuse
to energy-dense sources, nuclear is just really unpopular
for a bunch of historical reasons. And as a consequence, in the past, I and I think a lot of others
have sort of said, “In order to deal with climate change, we’re just going to need all the different
kinds of clean energy that we have.” The problem is that it just
turns out not to be true. You remember, I discussed
France a little bit ago. France gets most of its
electricity from nuclear. If France were to try to significantly
scale up solar and wind, it would also have to significantly reduce
how much electricity it gets from nuclear. That’s because in order to handle the huge
variability of solar and wind on the grid, they would need to burn more natural gas. Think of it this way, it’s just really hard to ramp
up and down a nuclear plant whereas I think we’re all pretty
familiar with turning natural gas up and down on our stove. A similar process works
in managing the grid. Of course, it goes without saying that oil and gas companies
understand this pretty well, which is why we’ve seen them invest
millions of dollars in recent years in promoting solar and wind. This just raises, I think,
another challenging question, which is that in places
that are using a lot of nuclear – half of their grids that are
mostly nuclear and hydro – going towards solar and wind
and other renewables would actually increase carbon emissions. I think a better alternative
is just to tell the truth. That’s what a number
of scientists have been doing. I mentioned earlier that hundreds of thousands of birds
are killed every year by wind turbines; what I didn’t mention
is that a million bats, at a minimum, are killed every year by wind. The consequence has been that bat scientists
have been speaking out about this. This particular bat species,
the hoary bat, which is a migratory bat species, is literally at risk
of going extinct right now because of the significant
expansion of wind. It’s not just wind, it’s also on solar. The scientists who were involved
in creating the Ivanpah solar farm, who were involved in clearing
that land, have been speaking out. One of them wrote, “Everybody knows that translocation
of desert tortoises doesn’t work. When you’re walking
in front of a bulldozer, crying and moving animals
and cacti out of the way, it’s hard to think
that the project is a good idea.” And now we can see these phenomena
at work at an international level. In my home state of California, we’ve been stuffing a lot of natural gas
into the side of a mountain in order to handle all that
intermittent solar and wind. It’s sprung a leak. It was equivalent to putting
500,000 cars on the road. And currently in Germany, there’s protesters trying to block
a new coal mining project that would involve destroying
the ancient Hambacher Forest in order to get to the coal underneath, all in an effort to phase out nuclear
and expand solar and wind. The good news is that I think that people still care about nature enough
for these facts to matter. We saw last year in South Korea a citizen’s jury deliberated
for several months weighing these different issues. They had to decide whether they were
going to phase out nuclear or keep it and expand it. They started out 40%
in favor of expanding nuclear, but after several months
and considering these issues, they ended up voting 60%
to expand nuclear. A similar phenomenon
just happened last week in Arizona. The voters had a ballot initiative to vote on whether or not
to continue with nuclear or to phase it out and try to replace it
with natural gas and solar. They ended up rejecting at 70 to 30. And even here in Europe, we saw the Netherlands is one of the first
countries in recent memory to actually announce,
as they did last week, that they’re going to start to increase
their reliance on nuclear power in recognition that there’s just no way they could generate significant amounts
of energy enough from solar and wind to meet their climate targets. I think it’s natural that those of us that became
very concerned about climate change, such a big environmental issue, would gravitate towards
really romantic solutions like harmonizing human civilization
with the natural world using renewable energies. But I think it’s also understandable
that as the facts have come in, many of us have started to question
our prior beliefs and change our minds. For me the question now is, Now that we know that renewables
can’t save the planet, are we going to keep
letting them destroy it? Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Why renewables can’t save the planet | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxDanubia

  1. Nothing like changing minds with a sledgehammer ! Maybe you could sell the condos built on all that room full of clean nuclear wast !

  2. Not taking a stand here, but this talk is full of fallacies and cherry-picking. You cannot talk that long about bats and eagles and only dedicate a few seconds to nuclear waste management. Moreover, just to inform the viewers since it slipped the presenter's mind, there is a thing called nuclear accidents. Again I am not taking a stand here; I just hate confirmation bias and the selective use of evidence.

  3. We need honest discussions and not wishful thinking based on hot air. The connections of the renewable energy lobby to well meaning ideologs and influence makers within media industry shall be noted. Germanies well meaning ideologs destroyed their nuclear power plants. This is a one way street that we don't need to follow blindly.

  4. I've been saying this for years.  Sane, safe nuclear energy is viable.  They're using it in Europe as we speak.  The Chernobyl Russian example shows us the dangers, but also shows us how not to do it.  Obviously we shouldn't place nuclear plants on earthquake fault lines or where hurricanes could wreck things. Obviously there must be fail-safe backup systems and containment systems and brakes against mishaps and accidents.  But a responsible committee overseeing nuclear development makes sense.  The committee should include environmentalists as well as scientists, engineers, geologists, meteorologists, and consumer advocates, to consult with industrialists.  The ideologues who are fanatics against sane nuclear policy remind me of PETA fanatics.  They're marginal personalities and flakes.

  5. Even considering nuclear the more sustainable source, have you thought about the insane amount of politics behind utilization of nuclear energy in different countries ? In a sense, only a handful of countries get to enjoy the nuclear while others are completely forbidden due to "possibility" of military applications.

  6. I live in Germany and the easy equation: more renewables – higher prices is wrong. It is MUCH more complex, why we had such an high increase of energy prices.

  7. He says wind turbines kill large birds. Couldn't we put a cage around the blades just like many of our house fans. Wouldn't that prevent them from killing the birds. We simply need to redesign them

  8. I wonder, if every person on earth were to use cannabis in 1 way or another, how would the addition of all the plants to accommodate the use rate, affect the world? The total O2 produced vs total CO2 produced when smoked, is likely a pretty interesting figure when you scale it. It grows anywhere, grows fast, has potential economical gain for every plant you plant, which encourages it. Nothing will clean the atmosphere quite like growing a f ton of weed would. I am also pretty sure we havent figured out a 10th of the uses of cannabis oil, the amount of energy stored in the buds means that in a compression combustion engine like a diesel, it could potentially work as a fuel, provided the pressure and mixture is right. I'd highly suggest research on dab, created from running butane through the buds, releases the oils, collects on a tray while butane evaporates. it also dissolves in alcohols, which means combined with an easy ignite at x pressure, alcohol, it will light and it will produce an increase in power output.

  9. Also solution for nuclear. Dump the waste on the moon. We have remote piloted space shuttles, why not put the nuclear waste somewhere where it causes no harm (because ambient radiation in space is well in excess of any amount we can add), gamma radiation is something we need to study more, best place to do that is in a vacuum, but you need mounting for your machines and a little gravity wont hurt ease of life and safety. Globally funded research station on the moon to do low grav and radiation research. Combined with strategically placed nuclear plants across the globe to provide a network of power that has no deadzones. With infinite electricity, the use of electric vehicles can becomes more viable, no shortages on electricity, which hopefully gets set up along with data lines for a global web network for a new internet, means that no person in the world does not have free, open access to information and with global communication, comes global cooperation. Like the EU has had free trade internally and thrives off of distributing resources where needed, they have very little internal waste. With excess power, electrifying a global transport fleet wouldnt be an issue, along with ai, brings the cost of transport globally to 0, before tax, which should also become standardized. a citizen of the world with equal opportunities should pay equally for the upkeep, globally. The day people stop acting as parties and start acting as a singular unit, extraordinary things happen and we learn so much during those times (the good and the bad).

  10. The only way to save ourselves is to start living more the way people lived hundreds of years ago (with some improvements, like better medicine). The irony is that, BECAUSE we refuse to do that in a stepwise, peaceful manner, we will be forced to it through a series of horrible disasters.

  11. It is said that carbon dioxide stands for 14-25 percent of the greenhouse effect. I strongly doubt that it is that much for several reasons (it also defies logic that the 0.04% CO2 would cause as much as 14-25% of the greenhouse effect).
    This means that out of the raise of 0.8-1 degree Celsius since preindustrial times the burning of fossile fuels results in at the most 0.2 degrees Celsius. I'm however pretty sure – for several reasons – that the burning of fossile fuels has resulted in substantially less than a 0.2 degrees Celsius increase of the global temperature during the last 150 years.
    And when you add the fact that the burning of fossile fuels only has added 3-4% (maybe less) of the 0,04% CO2 in the atmosphere, then the burning of coal, oil and gas of – at the very most – the 0.2 degrees becomes much less.
    SOURCE: G. A. Schmidt, R. A. Ruedy, R. L. Miller and A. A. Lacis (2010). ”Attribution of the present‐day total greenhouse effect”. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D20106.

  12. … Totally in denial concerning the real dangers of nuclear fission and nuclear waist…. Reality is that the world will drastically reduce the generation and consumption of energy, …and life styles, consumption and expectations will also be reduced as the new paradigm is established. …. Don't kid yourselves.

  13. Michael and the Breakthrough Institute have a history of cherry-picking information to suit their claims about the environment and the social effects therein. Take everything he is saying with a grain of salt.

  14. Do we really need to tell people renewables can't save the planet? How about, we can't save the planet, or destroy it. As matter of fact, we have very little influence on the planet. The subject of this video is amazingly arrogant, pure hubris.

  15. It is common sense and logical that the best way to reduce is to use the smallest and most powerful option possible. Nuclear is the best option, with Thorium reactors coming into the limelight after decades of coverups, we can get back on track to moving towards cheap energy. I'm paying $0.16/kWh and would love to see that number go down as much as possible.

  16. There is about 450 nuclear power plants world wide producing approximately 2500 TWh per year, i.e. 5.56 TWh per year average. The yearly global consumption was about 21500 TWh in 2018. If global consumption only grows by 2% per year between now and 2030 we'll need about 26700 TWh. If we want to get 50 % of the world electricity supply from nuclear by that year and if all the new plants produce the current average we'll have to commision about 1970* new plants in 10 years. Currently 50 are under construction.

    As prof Kevin Anderson (he's got a number of videos on YouTube) continuously says: We're not going to engineer ourselves out of climate change. The biggest consumers are going to have to drastically reduce the amount of carbon fuels they consume starting five years ago or their grandkids are going to be toast.

    *(26700 x 50% = 13350-2500 = 10850/5.5 = 1972.7)

  17. The obvious solution is a blend of energy production- some gas/coal, some nuclear, some hydro, some solar/wind.

    If your all nuclear, civil unrest in south africa and poor relations with russia could interrupt world uranium supply.

    If your all wind/solar, poor weather patterns or a particularly cloudy & rainy month could cause energy shortfalls.

    If your all gas/coal you will be increasing output of air pollution.

    Just like a balanced diet is healthiest, drawing from a blend of power sources seems to be the most reliable way to help mitigate the pitfalls and side effects of any one technology.

  18. Lol, it all paid off when Barak Obama threw everyones tax money at us….
    Umm thats not success. Thats other peoples money that you did nothing to earn, you lib-tard.

  19. I've been saying this for years. Nuclear is great option. Some say cost of decommissioning not factored in so that needs looking at. Here in Australia we so should go nuclear. We are opposed in theory but have a medical reactor and 2/3s of the worlds uranium!

  20. I am agreed with this person 100%, and my best recommendation to all is to combine Nuclear with TERRICOLA 1 in order to reduce the nuclear waste to 50% prolonging that way the life of the power plant. In addition to that, TERRICOLA 1 will do the same with all coal power plants and eventually turn off all of them. TERRICOLA 1 will clean up the oceans and the oxygen that come from the ocean will be perfect.

  21. This guy is pretty sneaky. He works for the Breakthrough Institute which is funded by Pritzker Innovation Fund. Pritzker Innovation Fund is associated with Third Way. Third Way is Wall Street's political arm.

  22. "Why renewables can’t save the planet" Because they are very low power-dense intermittent energy sources. It's just that simple.

  23. One great danger, which makes Nuclear energy very very dangerous is if a terrorist bombs the place due to laps in security in some way God forbid, we are all doomed… One nuclear reactor explosion could reach a neighboring country with a nuclear reactor and in this way the whole world could get cooked.

  24. So that begs the question:

    Why has nuclear power been built up in the media as bad and "clean energy" as good?

    My theories:
    We've already exhausted nuclear powers viability. Nothing more to learn, no where else to go with it. So try something new?

    Corporations would produce more profit from selling solar panels, wind farms and alternative energy than nuclear power plants would generate?

    Governments worldwide need advancement in the battery, Solar and alternative energy sectors for space exploration or possible E.L.E events in the future… NOT near future, just future lol. I'm not holding a sign on the boulevard saying "Repent your sins the end is near."

  25. It may not safe the planet, but what should we do? Hope for some miracle energy source to appear in the next 50 years while we use coal, gas, nuclear and oil? Which btw, not only cause massive polution during energy production, but also destroy the enviroment just like you claim solar and wind does. renewables are without alternatives, and we need to stop talking about how they are not the perfect solution, because guess what, their is no perfect solution.

  26. "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

    To save the cattle from the wolf you must be willing to be overrun with rabbits.

    Everything has a cost. Ladies and gentlemen place your bets!

    I'll bet that every drop of oil will eventually be pumped.

  27. What is puzzling to me is how this man never questions the hiper consumerist system that has created this demand for resources and energy.

  28. California's population has been growing ~3 million a decade. It's approaching 40 million mark now. Add to that ever increasing technological power, and the ever increasing demands for energy and materials per each person.
    The water table of the California state is a finite resource. It runs out eventually. Obviously.
    What will we say publicly as the politically correct official version? Climate change. Obviously.

    We can't live without the official lies now can we?

  29. In Germany this man is discribed as "a radioactive wolf in green clothing: Dissecting the latest pro-nuclear spin". He is a Nuclear-Lobbyist. Bring this comment up to the top!

  30. Essentially in ones persons life time look what we have done to our planet. Other countries are just beginning their industrial revolution. Jobs or environment. Mother Nature has one on her side. Environment will win over jobs. We are destroying our health with pollution as well as the planet. Animals, humans, are very fragile.

  31. nuclear is a good energy source, but a terrible one solution fits all, power consumption is not constant during the day, and nuclear production is, you need similar amounts of storage from wind and solar as nuclear if just one energy source is used, and solar will never over use land, for example, if you fill an area of the size of south Australia (its the reference i know)of solar panels, you could produce enough energy to power the entire world, which is 1/10 of the land that is currently used for crops, making farming an exceedingly more damaging production than solar farms.

  32. The Germans closed their nuclear plants, now they burn gas and coal and produce 20% more CO2. Thank you die Grüne! Nuclear is the only solution right now. Vive la France!

  33. Compared to birds burnt alive by solar panels or cut into pieces by wind turbines, the 3 eyes fishes of the Simpson's Springfield are peanuts.

  34. Half-hearted applause from the pussies who thought they were going to hear a man spouting Gretha Thunberg-type foll-da-roll i.e., "I've already made up my mind. Don't confuse me with facts."

  35. Clean like Fukushima and Chernobyl. France tries to dump its nuclear waste on every other continent but their own.
    CO2 ends up a harmless CaCO3 precipitate in the ocean.

  36. The funny part is: Most of this could be anticipated by doing a basic course in physics. People like to dream about having flying unicorns instead of asking themselves if they could actually exist.

  37. What these schemes omit is the moderation and changing of our demands. People in the past consumed a great deal less energy per capita. We needed to listen to Paul Erlich and we have turned a blind eye to the need to change our demands and expectations.

  38. Building them large solar and wind farms destroys the landscape and everything around them. Total destruction of the land, animals, 10x waste. Wow, why are we sending people to college for? Trying to solve energy complexity with more complexity only makes it worse. Renewable means taking one thing like wood and other materials and using them again again without having to make them again or putting them in the garabge. It will take a total change in everything form the way we work, eat, culture. Our way of life is not sustainable for the environment in which we live. We must slow down and think hard about what we need energy for.

  39. I think we must begin eliminating all vehicles by building only Tower cities connected to maglev Trains worldwide. And on top of every Tower put a Tesla coil or however many we’d need, but that eliminates the need for spreading out all the power to millions of small buildings. We should have built only T&T for over 100 years…but a few rich capitalists didn’t want to give free power to everyone, it would eliminate the “buy and sell” aspect of power and everything else. Maybe it’ll take 5-10 Tesla coils, so someone needs to start looking into that. Tesla coils will get free power from the skies. Cars kill 40-50 thousand people every year so we need to eliminate cars ASAP!

  40. In the 1990's the biggest killer of eagles in the US was hunters. Yes. Your national symbol blown away by buckshot. You can assume a lot of that still happens.

    But don't worry as we have plenty of eagles here in Canada and have been selling them to the states for years. It's only business.

  41. Yes, I'm sure we all know about the big explosion of that wind turbine which was responsible for the death of 30 thousand people and almost make Europe inhabitable for 1000 years, in Chernobyl.

  42. This analysis is correct, but the appropriate solution is going to be different for different countries and regions and relative to a number of variables. For example solar works best in homes or buildings that aren't more than 3 stories and areas that have more access to sunlight year round. And it continues to evolve in energy density, life, and cost. Nuclear poses a bigger risk for devastation in the case of a failure or attack. And it should be something spearheaded by a government that is non-corrupt to provide low cost energy for its' people. So the answer is probably a combination of a variety of energy sources that are different for each country. Or maybe we can one day tap into the same energy that UFO's use or one day someone will come up with something close to it. Fact is oil/gas/mining companies are never going to stop until they completely deplete the earth of it. I like solar combined with batteries because it is a solution I can at least act on now and not rely on somebody else or the government.

  43. You lost me with Climate Change. There's no proof that climate change exists or is man made if it does. Keep your religion to yourself.

  44. Refreshing, but the risks of nuclear are not properly discussed imo. You cannot compare the waste products as simple 'pollution',

  45. See that illustration of scientist Marie Curie (the discoverer of nuclear energy) on this guy's T-shirt? She ultimately died of radiation poisoning caused by ionizing radiation, which causes cancer, genetic mutations, birth defects, etc. Such diseases and deaths are not as obvious as the more immediate harm caused by other forms of energy production, because cancer can take 10-30 years to develop, and often it is never traced back to what originally caused it…exposure to nuclear radiation.

  46. Growing up in calif (both parents born raised Nyc)
    So as a child my brother and i taught our parents about all that nature stuff
    Just sayin

  47. While interesting, this chat doesn't really touch on private ownership of energy production and utilities as it is in a lot of countries.

    These corporations set costs and look to drive profit for shareholders.

    Dentralised grid with solar on rooftops with effective battery storage and a tradable market place for additional power would be the best-case scenario imo.

  48. Before even watching this video, I can give a very simple explanation to why renewables can't save the planet. It's very simple actually, it's called restriction on Patents. This is a list of things which when entered into the patent office will instantly be ushered into the hands of the military industrial complex. Some of these things are Solar Panels which are greater than 25% efficiency are taken to NASA and not allowed to be put into production. Even wind farm generators are capped on how much efficiency is capable of being exchanged.

    This is purely to be able to prevent the status quo to be able to change. Could you imagine a house which see's high percentage of sunlight being able to charge up a significant sized battery capable of supplying the energy to a house for the day with only the use of 4 panels. Or to actually use the design which is in the Nikola Tesla patent, where a highly efficient motor is connected to the system in order to create AC power. This is far different to the inverters which are being sold, which are highly inefficient due to the amount of heat loss which occurs through the on-board mosfet's. There are plenty of inventions which would eliminate the need for demand on the power grid, but nothing like that exists in the market.

    If you were to set up a system which had a decent amount of highly efficient solar panels, like the ones which are used on Satellites which use upwards of 90% efficiency, and then were to have a bank of batteries which fed a DC pulse motor, which in tern then spun a flywheel heavy enough to overcome the magnetic resistance which occurs during AC generation, you'd easily be able to supply enough electricity for several hundred thousand houses and industry. This could easily be utilized in places which have high sun cycles such as anywhere which is near the equator. The best thing about this system too, is that it doesn't rely upon the sun being out all the time, it has several fall backs, including just the momentum of the flywheel itself, let alone pending on the efficiency balance of the motor, it could once running even be kept in operation with something as small as a 12 led acid car battery of decent size for at least a day and a half.

    The biggest problem, isn't that renewable energy isn't a viable option, it's that no country is looking at the true viability of it, and ensures that any type of renewable which is put into place is kept as crippled as it can to ensure that we can get quotes from the media like "clouds turn off country running on solar panels". It's hugely ironic that the people who created the electrical world that we live in have their patents ignored so much.

  49. Toot cause of that price hike is…? Let's make certain we know exactly what that is. I suspect, that it's something similar to organic food being treated like a niche market.

  50. these environmentalists have terrorised police law enforcement and energyproducers only to have enough time to get technically literate. horrible poor policeworkers. they had to suffer for their stupidity

  51. I'm thankful for your effort. People are needlessly scared of nuclear power and idealise "clean" energy. Not sure if that's ignorance or intentional propaganda by fuel companies.

  52. I still see people claim that building "X" MW of renewable capacity means that "X" amount of fossil fuels have been displaced. Where I live, the wind power generation is typically 5-15% of the capacity built, with many long runs near 0%.

  53. I've always said this to my friends/peers, if you want to generate enough energy to meet the growing needs of humanity without using fossil fuels, you're going to have to utilise nuclear options. I don't think you have to be a scientific genius to work that out. Only issue is, Nuclear has got a bad rep due to some freak accidents that have happened such as Fukushima and Chernobyl. But, the technology has advanced since Chernobyl and more should be done to debunk the scaremongering that's published about it, and maybe don't build nuclear power plants in areas likely to be hit by earthquakes, you can always import the energy from a plant elsewhere. Makes me laugh that the Green Party in the UK (where I live) want to ban Nuclear power, yeah okay.

  54. The irony is that everyone hears little Greta Thunberg. She does not know. This guy does and he gets where he was wrong. But his lecture is buried here on YouTube.

  55. …and nuclear fission has the issue that it has a significantly more finite fuel source than fossil fuels; so its crucial to put a lot of money towards nuclear fusion research.

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