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

Translator: Amanda Zhu
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 jay’s 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 Han back 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. Tchernobyl and Fukushima is not enough, it seems. There is no long term solution for nuclear waste yet, it's all rotting in some provisorical place, ready to poison your grandchildren.

  2. It may have taken lots of energy to stand up n speak for straight 17 minutes without moving his legs an inch. What is his source of energy?

  3. Downsize US / Western standards of living (footprints) to a level that is sustainable when all of the people on the planet are also living at that level.

  4. Uranium will last for 1000-1500 years easily and maybe even more. At this moment we have to enrich natural uranium to make it usable. There have been test plants for using uranium-238 as breeder in fast neuron reactors. However like our current fuel uranium-235 we can use by-product of nuclear production plutonium-239 in similar way as it also is fissile material. These so called MOX- fuels are made from processing nuclear weapon plutonium and nuclear waste. One ton MOX fuel can save 100 tonnes of natural uranium. Hopefully we figure LFTRs so we can use thorium.

  5. Nikola Tesla built a tower on aquifers that harnessed FREE, SAFE electricity, but J.P. Morgan cut his funding and destroyed him. Arguing over "nuclear vs solar" is just completely missing the point. The real answer is putting all available resources/funds into remaking Tesla's tower.

  6. Of course renewables won't save the planet. There's no one solution to the problems our planet is going through. Our planet will only be saved when we combine renewables and other sustainable innovations while stopping practices that continue to destroy Earth. IMO

    On another argument, is attaining sustainability even possible? Even nature will eventually reach it's peak and have to adapt again. uwu

  7. Im intrigued by this but have questions about calling nuclear energy “zero emissions” there is still large amounts of byproducts that require hundreds if not thousands of years to become safe, if we switch to nuclear on a global scale then more of this becomes produced. Yes it is zero emission but “clean” is a stretch, if there is a good solution to storage and eradication of this im listening!!

  8. No technology will save us if not combined with population control. Fortunately no coercion is needed. Merely providing affordable contraception and putting it in the hands of women solves the problem. Also, there is no need for a high level of economic development. There are example (Iran, would you believe??) that have reduced their population increase while still a developing country.

  9. The left-wing needs to take charge of this narrative before it is twisted and used destructively by bad faith right-wingers.

  10. This talk requires a rebuttal. The talker had no idea of different renewable storage technologies. Also does not know how distributed solar works and how safe it it is for the environment.

  11. I came to the same conclusion, it just required a few days of documentation on nuclear, which most people are not willing to do…
    And what about our dependency on fossil fuels? Transportation for instance. Is the increasing use of rare lithium a solution? Or maybe there is a way to produce hydrogen with nuclear, you could have tried to investigate that further.

  12. Maybe the real answer is not in how we can supply energy to continue living our current high consumption lifestyles, but in lessening our burden on the Earth by having less children and consuming less?

  13. No mention of Fukushima or Chernobyl disasters. The environmental damage from both is still on-going. Neither was there any consideration given to the issue of terrorist attacks on nuclear plants.

  14. The EU has gone over the top on emissions from diesel powered vehicles. But independent testers found that more toxic fumes are produced in German homes from their natural gas cooking appliances, very few of which have an extraction system for the fumes produced with the burning of natural gas. The same toxic mix that diesel powered vehicles produce is in natural gas fumes and in many German homes that toxic cocktail is filling their homes. The EU set up the testing equipment at traffic intersections and when vehicles start off at a green light the emission are high but decrease with constantly moving traffic to low levels. In German homes the emissions from their gas hobs are off the scale and remain that way for there is no where for the fumes to escape to.

  15. Love the talk but… Who would invest in nuclear? Enormous cost to build and dismantle, takes bout 20 years to build and other 20 years to be viable. Not one plant has been able to cover its cost. By the time it makes money its time to dismantle. Wind takes 3 months to build and 3-4 year to be viable. You do the math. Dont think (but im no expert) that if germany had invested in nuclear, they had those billions to change to green. Argument of 2 dead in fire wind turbine is a bit cheap.

  16. Carbon emissions are of great benefit to our planet. Climate change is natural and is not induced by man. Man is uninformed and easily fooled… look into it.

  17. I find myself mystified about certain issues, such as, why are there rather large parking areas around rather large stores, or malls, with parked cars blazing in the hot Texas summer sun, and then any proposal for solar panel energy production must, "for financial reasons" be placed 500 miles away, in a desert? Please be aware that at least 50% of all electricity produced is lost in the transmission lines. That is why there has been rather large grants given for research on "superconductivity" in the hopes of increasing the amount of electricity produced actually reaching any consumers at all. The efficiency of solar mirrors, in a desert, focusing and concentrating the Sun's energy into heat, is currently destroyed in long distance transmissions, along with The Byrds = "Eight Miles High" and when you get down, try to use your brains! Extremely subtle differences in certain aspects of "CLEAN ENERGY", and why it can't work, might be because the ONLY proposals being OFFERED, are "Planned Failures" designed to divert limited funding into oblivion! So, with a planned deception, hiding in plain sight, the young human students can have the wool pulled over their inexperienced eyes. Oh yes, we MUST reconsider building Nuclear Fission Steam Plants the use Uranium Rods for fuel!!! Let me ask everyone ONE more question, if the area around Chernobyl is OK now, why don't those "scientists" grab their family, relatives, and friends and move there? How is your Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, Fukushima Prefecture. Wikipedia

    Date: March 11, 2011

    Deaths: 1 cancer death attributed to radiation exposure by government panel.

    Location: Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

    Result: INES Level 7 (major accident)


  18. Bullsh*t u don't have to destroy nature for solar plant..just install it on your roof and use it..if every house in the world will do it automatically energy craving will decrease(also thumbsup for nuclear energy)

  19. The biggest problem with current renewable power solutions is that they use too much land area. Short term solutions are nuclear and off shore renewable, however these are short term solutions as nuclear fuel is a finite and hard to get fuel and off shore renewables also affect the environment. The only practical long term solution to power cities on Earth is the use of geosynchronous solar satellites built using materials mined from the moon that would transfer the power as a laser beam to Earth. It sounds sci-fi but we already have the technology to built such systems. The biggest issue I have with Nuclear power plants on Earth isn't waste or nuclear disasters as waste can be greatly reduced using more efficient reactors such as breeder reactors and nuclear disasters are preventable. The biggest issue I have is that nuclear fission fuels such as U235, U238 and Th232 are the only practical energy source we have for use in interstellar travel. These fuels are also pretty rare, especially compared to solar, so using them to power cities when there's a nuclear fusion reactor above our heads is in my opinion a huge waste of resource. And if you think that they're not that rare, Thorium, which is more common than Uranium, is about 10 times more rare than copper and about 3 times more rare than Lithium and unlike those 2 elements, nuclear fuels can't be recycled.

  20. Nuclear power is THE MOST EXPENSIVE FORM OF POWER. It's so expensive that it has NEVER paid for itself. It hasn't even paid for the waste storage. EVER. This after TRILLIONS of government dollars have been spent trying to get nuclear working. We've only spent a few billion on wind and solar. After we've spent a thousand times more, if wind and solar aren't paying for themselves, we can think about nuclear again.

  21. The Club of Rome is a globalists organisation and was founded in April 1968 by Aurelio Peccei, an Italian industrialist, and Alexander King, a Scottish scientist. It was formed when a small international group of people from the fields of academia, civil society, diplomacy, and industry met at Villa Farnesina in Rome, hence the name. Mary Robinson the former president of Ireland is a globalist and also a member of this club of Rome and is also in agreement with the following reprehensible and untruthful statement. This statement is the foundation of the global hoax, which was later changed to global warming and the backtracking continues.

    ‘The First Global Revolution’:

    Club of Rome’s Report

    “In searching for the new enemy to unite us, we came up with…the threat of global warming…

    “In searching for the new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. In their totality and in their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which demands the solidarity of all peoples. But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap about which we have already warned, namely mistaking symptoms for cause. All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changing attitudes and behaviours that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."

  22. In South Africa, the ANC govt expects people to register their solar panels and declare their power usage so that they can charge them for using the natural Sun!. Nothings for nothing when you have greedy politicians who want to bleed the populace dry for their own financial gain

  23. This guy is a fraud for fools and morons. A nuclear lobbyist dressed in an environmentalists clothing. Wind and solar farms kill about 0.008% of the birds that cars, powerlines, light towers, windows & cats do…so he should be lobbying for all windows to be removed. Also 20x the number of tortoise were displaced by expansion of two military bases in California than the entire Ivanpah solar precinct, and off-road driving kills more tortoise anyway. Where is he lobbying against that?


  25. He mentioned electricity cost from solar rooftops being twice as much as that from solar farms. Well, some more discussion on it? More pros and cons? Coz it seemed like it was just ignored and eliminated from the remaining discussion.
    Some common facts can be imported from those of solar farms such as product lifecycle, but many more need to be discussed.

    Would be nice to include more for an even better argument. What do you think? Just curious to know.

  26. The water unreliability in CA isn't due to climate change, but the mismanagement of natural resources by the politicians influenced by environmentalist. A point of evidence is how california manages storm water flow.

  27. Hahahah, what about the Uranium mine?
    No environmental hazard?

    Just an idea, mix all tech, work together??

    Hydrogen, would be nice see 👍😊🛠

  28. Can Someone tell me why in english you say "Nuclear Power", instead "Nuclear Energy " if Energy and Power are two separated physical quantity ?

  29. Interesting points, but a few counter-points… nuclear still requires uranium, and the way we store nuclear still isn't that clean. There are also questions about how high the costs are going to be when we will need to repair nuclear powerplants after they age a lot…
    Finally, there are smart and less smart ways of doing wind and solar energy. Wind energy over the sea, or solar energy on top of existing roofs were not discussed here.

  30. Atmospheric electricity can provide our planet with constant, renewable, clean, safe, cheap, reliable, efficient and environmentally protective energy that uses less resources compared to other alternative energy sources.

  31. Great video, but it fails to address (or even acknowledge) safety as one of the biggest objections to nuclear energy. By safety, I am referring to the lasting effects of a catastrophic containment failure. I am not suggesting that this be a reason to reject nuclear energy, but I do suggest that we need to at least quantify then justify the risk before the general public will even consider nuclear a viable option. While the public don't want it, politicians won't support it.

  32. ROFL… Liberal politics. They were so sold on climate change that they refused to develop methods of controlling rain runoff, so that when repeatedly they had great wet seasons it all ran into the ocean so they can still whine about global warming. When your politics trumps your facts…

  33. So this guy helped organize a coalision and raised billions for renewable energy, then realized renewable energy is totally inefficiant. Great job F'n genious. "Money well spent".

  34. Some food for thought:
    – Think about what Tokyo would look like today if the wind the week after the Fukushima melt down would have been blowing the opposite way (which by the way it does 85% of the time). 40 million people (!!) would have sat in a nuclear cloud not being able to escape due to back out and very strong aftermaths of the earth quake. Tokyo would still be inhabitable today.
    From a German perspective:
    – Germany's electricity costs for industry and large commercial consumers (which consume the vast majority of Germany's electricity) have actually fallen about 50% while RE was pushed forward. Only end consumer prices rose – reason is a politically motivated price mechanism that makes us believe RE is expensive, favours big corporations and makes the general public pay for it
    – in Germany bat and bird life is not at danger through wind energy – we have such strong and thorough regulations that demand observation of every potential wind farm to be environmentally monitored for 12 to 15 months. More than 50% of construction permits are never given to potential wind farms because wild life would be at threat.
    – taking material put through to compare nuclear with other energy sources just does not make any sense, the stuff is so dense. BUT to get it that dense you need to turn over billions of tons of earth because Uranium is actually highly diluted in the crust of the earth. Comparing the technologies requires to look art the space needed and there nuclear is not that much better off AND if you include Uranium mining and transportation into the CO2 foot print of nuclear it actually ends up producing about 20% the amount of CO2 as coal does and close to natural gas.

  35. No dice que el uranio es limitado. NO es renovable. No habla de la duración de la contaminación nuclear cuando se produce un accidente. Los efectos de la energía eólica sobre la fauna se suelen concentrar en unos pocos aerogeneradores. USA debería reducir su consumo desmedido de energía.
    Defensor de la energía nuclear disfrazado de ecologista porque fue al campo con sus padres de niño.

  36. Da por sentado que el consumo energético debe seguir siendo tan elevado como el que tiene la forma de vida estadounidense. Si todo el planeta tuviera el mismo consumo, no habría suficiente petróleo, gas, o uranio para mantenerlo.
    Hemos de dirigirnos hacia el ahorro de energía, y las renovables. De la primera no dice nada. En USA no se usa, se abusa de la energía.

  37. Plant more trees reverse desertification create things like grass that only grows so tall that way you never have to mow saving energy and when you think about all the gas lawnmowers and maintenance needed to do this you’d be surprised how much money you’d be saving create trees using crspyr that turn carbon dioxide to oxygen faster get people to go outside realsimg energy and stopping them from spending energy on screens put some hydroelectric plants in the ocean using the currents it’s reliable work with Israel to help create more fresh water they are becoming a water super power but they need our help

  38. Hey now idc about the rest of the world just Europe and the us this includes Russia everyone else screw em they cause more trouble then they are worth but Israel is safe

  39. Nut-Job Michael Shallenberger.
    warning people about global warming, but is OK with North Korea and terrorists in Iran having nuclear weapons.
    (cares about one form of extinction but doesn't care about the other).

  40. Go to the iltimate, safe and secure, and cheap, THORIUMREACT9RR
    WALK AWAY, SAFEley😏😏😏😬
    Just study it. S9uth Africs


  41. Did this dude just say "cement and concrete" as two separate things? I hate to break this to him but concrete is cement lmao.

  42. Nuclear? Really? Fukushima? Climate change is going to take down our pathetic civilization and then the more than 400 unattended nuclear reactors are going to meltdown and make sure that we wipe the planet of all multi cellular life period, and not just ourselves. You can't possibly believe the argument that you're making so I'm wondering how much you were paid to betray your species and the rest of the planet. You are beneath ….. Well anything I can think of to say. Shameless.

  43. Shellenberger skips the cost of nuclear waste leaks over a virtually infinite future timeline. He claims lower cost for nuclear power but omits its requirement of government subsidization. He skips the estimates that indirect carbon emissions (from nuclear processing and maintenance) rival traditional carbon power. He shows Marie Curie on his shirt but not her radiation-induced diseases and death. The Curie papers (including their cookbooks) remain too radioactive to touch, at present-day.

  44. There are huge swaths of the economy that are stagnating due to a currency deficit.

    When there are residential solarpanels to install, industrial hemp to commoditize, thorium reactors to build, single use plastics to eliminate, EV charging stations to connect, waste materials to recycle, electric vehicles to subsidize and more, our government seems compelled only to spend tens of trillions of dollars on bank thievery and ongoing psychopathic expeditions.

    Religiously bankrolling these illicit and terrorizing schemes breed an economy where, the military industrial sector consumes ever more polluting resources and the financial sector extracts ever more vital liquidity, placing the economy at ever greater risk.

    Rather than providing bombs to drop on others and austerity for ourselves, our government needs to provide a meaningful wage for those willing to work on what has to get done, translating into a productive and sustainable economy for everyone.

  45. Este señor no dijo una sola palabra sobre la producción de hidrogeno con los excedentes energeticos de las renovables, hacia ese lugar apunta Japón y alemania. El hidrógeno se pude almacenar fácilmente, y producir energía eléctrica a partir del uso de celdas de hidrogeno, está tecnologia esta perfectamente desarrollada. Es segura, no contaminan e inagotable. Su implementación es solo una cuestión de tiempo….

  46. I totally miss numbers about nuclear deaths and destruction by accidents, that make environment uninhabitable. And I miss the costs of guarding these nuclear pollution.
    I see the change to renewable energy as a step until fusion energy is a reliable source.
    And I agree, that recycling concepts are mandatory for any industrial product, even for renewable energy structures. I don´t see, that missing these concepts now should keep us away from using renewable energy.

  47. While I fully agree going more nuclear is the right path, I might add that rather than uranium we should proceed on building molten salt reactors with a thorium fuel cycle. The 'nuclear' waste is far less and doesn't need to be stored for 10,000 years. What's more is the molten salt reactor is far more safe than any reactor this world has ever built. Nevertheless, we won't be heading down the nuclear path for a number of idiotic reasons, but primarily because those environmentalists pushing climate change the most are also the same ones that opposed nuclear decades ago. To make this 180 degree change is admitting to having been wrong all along.

  48. Most of the cost of nuclear power is in the future – dealing with waste from fuel and decommissioned plants over tens of thousands of years

  49. Fukushima….enough said. Oh wait, Chernobyl. How about what to do with the waste? How about getting REAL about this? There's Thorium to consider to replace the uranium. There's magnetic field generators and magnetic motors that we could add to our appliances that take about 90% less energy to keep them running. That way smaller wind turbines, preferably maglev but at least vertical ones that don't create more problems than they fix could be on the properties to generate that small amount needed to run all electrical. As far as solar, there are many OTHER ways to use it by increasing it's energy to a directed concentration using reflective materials. There are maglev generators that work great and only needs the initial electrical start to get it going and then it goes by magnetic force. These DO WORK and the technology is already available where each home could be powered by it's own maglev generation system. We need to get PAST THIS IDEA that we must have large energy companies provide us with our energy needs. We don't and the world would be a much better place when we stop allowing these companies control over our govt suppression of these clean, cheap and effective new technologies available to ALL of us today.

  50. What about solar on existing infrastructure such as office buildings which are using the energy during the day and wouldn't need to store as much?

  51. Uranium, thorium liquid salt reactors now… And then on to fusion. This is the path that the next page of the ongoing "industrial Revolution" should take.

  52. About 5 years ago there was an article about how many solar panels/farms would be needed to power New York City, just the city not the state. The estimate was if you covered the entire state of Connecticut with solar panels then it would work. I guess with new high efficiency panels we may only have to cover 1/2 of Connecticut. Yep, that’s progress.

  53. Clean and safe ? So we are just erasing Fukushima and Chernobyl from history eh ? Yes – renewables do have their problems, but turning an entire region inhabitable by iradiating everything when major accidents happen is not one of them. I also think that we need to find solutions other than just wind-, water- and solarenergy and nuclear plants might be a good way to buffer the time till we find something…but let's be honest here, they can be extremely dangerous, it's not true that no one died because of them and the waste they produce is a problem we have still to find an answer to. Just ignoring that is far from honest and progressive. Distrust by the public in nuclear plants is well founded and has reasons. Don't forget that!

  54. In the 70's they were worrying about an ice age, Now it's warming. Which is it? That why they changed it to Climate Change. DUH!!

  55. Fascinating talk. However, we need to consider the security implications of having the world covered in nuclear power plants.

  56. The one single thing that can save the planet is a reduction in population. Everything else will fail. The world seems mesmerized by the possibility of technological fixes but unless the population is checked and reduced, these "fixes" will be of little help. So why do we no longer hear talk of the population explosion and its dire consequences, which seemed to be on everyone's minds in the 1960's?

  57. I bet none of you knew that in the 1970's and in all recorded history before then the sun was the color yellow when viewed at noon with clear skies. But for the last 20 years the sun when viewed at noon with clear skies was an intense white color. You can't even notice a drastic change of something that is literally in your face nearly everyday, idiots.

  58. Ballzy.
    I've been skeptical of this renewable industry.. has seemed like a misdirection to grab more money.

    The left has done a great job in the media of creating a narrative where this conversation is not happening.

  59. This guy just has a lot of excuses but not solutions. Nobody said you have to build a solar farm in the desert where turtles live, and transport it to the city, and call it clean energy.

  60. they also left the fact out that france pays the same as germany for electricity at the consumer level, so french citizens aren't actually saving any money from nuclear. also showing only Switzerland's nuclear waste is very misleading

  61. House cats don't kill billions of birds every year, this has already been debunked. Please update your sources of information.

  62. What about demand management? like, getting to a world population of 1 billion by 2100. Afro-Asian MEN (as opposed to Caucasians, who make up a tiny fraction of global demographics) can make a huge contribution here by opting more and more for VOLUNTARY VASECTOMY and discovering the joys of a childree life! I am Asian (Indian) and I have.

  63. It's not one or the other, but both. Nuclear may well get cleaner, but there's still the aging (decrepit?) infrastructure to deal with. We really need a lot of distributed generation (wind/rooftop solar) to share the load.

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