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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Oil prices are going down. Wait, what ?

This was my reaction when I saw oil prices drop recently to levels below $90. Not long ago they were indeed more around $110 than anything else. Lucky for us Thomas L Friedman from the New York Times brings some answers…

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Energy, the European Union and Russia

Russian demonstrators. Photo NY TimesThe ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia is an excellent occasion for the European Union to assess its dependence from foreign fossil fuels, especially oil and natural gas from the Russian Federation.

As Kees van der Leun noted on his Twitter last week, the EU buys to Russia over half a billion euros of oil and natural gas each day.  The amounts total over 200 billion euros ( $277 billion ) a year.

Here is more data : the European Union currently buys over six million barrels of oil per day to Russia, for an amount of over $600 million (430 million euros).

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Climate change endangers Winter Olympics

Sochi 2014As you know, the Russian city of Sochi is the host of the Winter Olympics since Friday. According to a brand new study, this might be the right time as it is most probable the city won’t be able to do so in the future because of climate change.

According to the climatologists from the University of Waterloo, Canada : ” Only six of the previous Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of this century if global warming projections prove accurate ”

Even artificial snow making won’t be enough to provide snow for Winter Olympics by mid-century if rising temperatures were to continue unabated.

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Biking is booming globally

La Vie Vélo - Courrier InternationalI wrote a few months ago that vehicles are getting more and more efficient as efforts are being made in the USA, China and Europe. In the conclusion I was noting that it was good news but that more had to be done in biking among others.

It seems to be the case as Courrier International shown last July. Around the world, from Buenos Aires to Hangzhou and from New York to Moscow or Copenhagen, more and more people are biking.

This is good news as bikes are a great solution to many problems that are plaguing our communities : obesity, traffic congestion, energy use and air pollution.

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A 1.5°C temperature rise could be game over for our civilization

Oooops ! According to Cleantechies, a 1.5°C temperature rise ” could unleash more than 1,000 gigatons of carbon and methane currently trapped beneath Siberian permafrost and accelerate global climate change. “ 1.5°C is considered as the low level of potential climate warming to date. This is even more worrying as such quantities of greenhouse gases … Read more

2°C temperature rise to be expected by 2052

According to the latest report by the Club of Rome, the average global temperature could increase by two degrees Celsius if nothing were done beforehand.

Such an increase is seen a dangerous as it would enable positive feedback mechanisms – such as drying up of the Amazon or melting permafrost in Siberia –  to be unleashed.

This report is another proof from indisputable sources that our business-as-usual model will collapse if we are not embracing a paradigm shift as soon as possible.

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Why drilling for oil in the Arctic is downright crazy

As China and Iceland signed last week a treaty on arctic oil and as a small spill declared in Russia, I thought it was appropriate to write about a previous article from Climate Progress on the risks of such practices.

As Kiley Kroh noted there: ” Analysts at one of the world’s largest insurance markets are warning that offshore drilling in the Arctic would “constitute a unique and hard-to-manage risk ”

“Lloyd’s of London, a large UK-based insurance pool, issued a report today outlining the severe environmental and economic risk of oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters.”

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Freezing temperatures are due to global warming

With current outdoors temperatures below the freezing point in large parts of Europe, it is easy to think that climate change is either a hoax or that it will be most welcome as it would get us rid of those patches of ice on the roads.

This won’t be the case as the Independent reports : “The bitterly cold weather sweeping Britain and (…) Europe has been linked by scientists with the ice-free seas of the Arctic, where global warming is exerting its greatest influence.”

This is another example of climate change’s influence on weather extremes, and thus another reason to tackle the problem before it really gets out of our control.

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Russia is warming at double the world pace

According to RIA Novosti – the Russian state-owned news agency – quoting the local emergencies ministry : ” Temperatures in Russia in the past century rose at twice the rate of warming in the rest of the world “ The article goes further : ” (…) In addition, as compared to the 100-year trend, the … Read more

The too many little oil spills of Russia

Here is something we never heard about before. To the Associated Press : ” Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled every year. That is equivalent to one Deepwater Horizon-scale leak about every two months. Crumbling infrastructure and a harsh climate combine to spell disaster … Read more

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