William And Sun

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Has No Time For Climate Change Deniers Marveling At The Eclipse

Neil deGrasse Tyson is thrilled that Americans came together to witness the total eclipse of the sun this month. But one aspect of the sweeping excitement stands out to him.

“Well, I just thought, there’s everyone organizing their lives around attending and viewing one of nature’s great spectacles, and I don’t see people protesting it,” the astrophysicist said during an interview with Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show.”

“I don’t see people objecting to it. I don’t see people in denial of it. Yet methods and tools of science predict it. So when methods and tools of science predict other things, to have people turn around and say ’I deny what you say,’ there’s something wrong in our world when that happens.”

His reference to climate change deniers who dispute conclusive science about the causes and effects of global warming reinforce his observation on Twitter earlier this month.

The astrophysicist echoed the same sentiment last week as the devastating Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.

Solar Power Benefits Everyone, Not Just Those With Solar Power

Solar Power Benefits Everyone, Not Just Those With Solar Power
[PHOTO: KONSTANTTIN/ISTOCK]

Americans Appear Willing to Pay for a Carbon Tax Policy

The Ilulissat Icefjord, a Unesco heritage site, which is at the intersection of the ice sheet, calving glaciers and rising sea levels.
Credit…Josh Haner/The New York Times

The stumbling block in Congress for confronting climate change has perpetually been the economic challenge. There has been little support for paying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But now, there is some evidence of a quiet undercurrent of support for a carbon policy, whether it be a tax, cap-and-trade or regulations.

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) — which, in full disclosure, I direct — and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released a poll Wednesday on how Americans feel about various issues related to climate and energy.

One of the questions looked at willingness to pay for a carbon policy. The results, on the surface, are not very encouraging to any of its advocates: 43 percent of Americans aren’t willing to pay anything to fund such a policy.

Most people would infer from this that putting a price on carbon is challenging. And, politically, it is. But buried in the polling data is a striking revelation: Many people are willing to pay real money for a carbon policy. In fact, on average, Americans appear willing to pay more than a robust climate policy is projected to cost.

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Are solar panels worth it?

 
matthew j. lee/ globe staffPhoto by: matthew j. lee/ globe staff
 

You’ve seen them on your neighbors’ roofs. Solar panels are popping up everywhere now, and so are the ads for them. It’s no wonder — harnessing energy from the sun appeals to everyone from carbon-cutting environmentalists to grid-wary doomsday preppers. But the real growth has been driven by average homeowners with a much simpler motive: saving money.

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Cost of not acting on climate change $44 trillion: Citi

Up to $44 trillion could be going up in smoke if the world does not act on climate change, according to the latest piece of research from U.S. banking giant Citigroup.

The report – Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth — has forecast that spending on energy will hit around $200 trillion in the next 25 years.

The study then examines two scenarios: one that Citi describe as an “‘inaction’ on climate change scenario”, and another that looks at what could happen if a low carbon, “different energy mix” is pursued.

Luiz Filipe Castro | Moment | Getty Images

“What we’re trying to do is to take an objective view at the economics of this situation and actually look at what the costs of not acting are, if the scientists are right,” Jason Channell, Global Head of Alternative Energy and Cleantech Research at Citi, told CNBC Tuesday.

“And those are rather alarming numbers in themselves,” he added. “I mean, the central case we have in the report is that the costs in terms of lost (gross domestic product) GDP from not acting on climate change can be $44 trillion dollars by the time we get to 2060.”

“So it’s not a sort of a zero sum game, there is a cost to not doing this, and although there is a cost to acting, what we’re trying to do is to actually weigh up the different costs here.”

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Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.

The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.

“The electricity system is shifting to clean,” Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said in his keynote address. “Despite the change in oil and gas prices there is going to be a substantial buildout of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the buildout of coal and gas.”

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The U.S. wind energy boom couldn’t be coming at a better time

Wind energy provides roughly 5 percent of U.S. demand.
Photo by: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, released last week, requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published Monday by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector — wind — is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

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Buffett Scores Cheapest Electricity Rate With Nevada Solar Farms

Warren Buffett’s Nevada utility has lined up what may be the cheapest electricity in the U.S., and it’s from a solar farm.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s NV Energy agreed to pay 3.87 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from a 100-megawatt project that First Solar Inc. is developing, according to a filing with regulators.

That’s a bargain. Last year the utility was paying 13.77 cents a kilowatt-hour for renewable energy. The rapid decline is a sign that solar energy is becoming a mainstream technology with fewer perceived risks.

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