Book review: Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now is Steven Pinker’s latest book. Pinker was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and his books are regularly featured in the best-selling lists. 

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Wind and solar are now cheaper than fossil fuels

For years, grid parity – the time when solar and wind would be cost-competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear – was the holy grail of renewables energy, a target to reach in a distant future. But the future is now. 

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China’s holistic approach to combatting climate change

For long, China was seen as a climate villain, fuelling its amazing economic growth by burning more and more coal. But times are changing, and the People’s Republic is emerging as a climate leader. 

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Canada, the US and Mexico to partner on energy

The agreement signed late last month may be the beginning of a new era of collaboration on climate change as the three North American countries signed an agreement to push cleantech and fight climate change.

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Five reasons to oppose nuclear

One of the most read articles on this blog is ” 10 reasons to support nuclear power “, which I wrote in 2009 when the situation was very different. A lot happened since then that has made me reconsider my stance on nuclear, so here is a counter-point.

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President Obama unveils ambitious climate plan

Earlier this month President Obama has announced his country’s strongest move to date on climate change. As IFLScience and many other reported : ” The finalized Clean Power Plan aims to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. “

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United Kingdom to build two EPR nuclear reactors

A rendition of the future Hinkley Point C nuclear plantWould you buy two examples of a very expensive and complex product that nobody has ever seen functioning ? The most likely answer is ” No “. Yet that’s exactly what the United Kingdom did buy buying Monday two EPR reactors.

The European Pressurized Reactor  is an evolution of third generation nuclear reactors. It was developed by Areva and Siemens – who since withdrew from the project – in the 1990s and 2000s.

To date, four EPR reactors are being built : one in Finland, one in France and two in China. Most of them have been plagued by significant over-costs and major problems.

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The Fukushima horror story goes on

Safe and clean nuclear energy seems everyday further away as the horror story of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan unfolds. Each passing year seems to bring its flow of bad news. As the New York Times notes : ” Problems at the plant seemed to take a sharp turn for the worse in July … Read more

Nuclear saves lives, decreases emissions

Nuclear Power Yes PleaseWhile I am not advocating nuclear as much as I was doing a few years ago – the incident in Fukushima have shown how the technology can be dangerous – I am still believing that it is better than coal. (Sidenote : anything IS better than coal…)

According to a study quoted by Cleantechies, ” The use of nuclear power from 1971 to 2009 prevented more than 1.8 million premature deaths related to air pollution and 64 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, there are huge safety concerns over nuclear and having it based on plutonium over thorium wasn’t the best idea Humankind had, but who knows what will happen.

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