Daily Archives: April 7, 2022


Apr 7, 2022

Tim is Director of the charity Plan B.Earth, which advances strategic legal action to tackle climate change. Plan B and 11 UK citizens (aged 9 to 79) are currently suing the UK Government for failing to align the 2050 carbon target to science and the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5˚C.

Southern Europe wildfires: A climate threat? | DW News

Aug 3, 2021

‘We are no longer talking about climate change but about a climate threat’ — that’s the view of Greece’s deputy civil protection minister as the southeast region of the Mediterranean is gripped by an extreme heatwave. Dozens of wildfires have broken out in Greece, Italy and Turkey — forcing residents and tourists to evacuate.

DW’s correspondents in Turkey, Greece and Italy are on the ground following this story.

01:54 — Turkey

On Turkey’s southern coast, blazes have killed at least eight people. DW’s Julia Hahn reports from Manavgat, one of the areas that has been badly affected by the wildfires in Turkey.

04:24 — Greece

In Greece, temperatures are expected to peak at 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country this week. The prime minister says Greece is experiencing its worst heatwave since 1987. Local authorities are advising households and businesses to conserve electricity especially during afternoon and evening peak times. DW correspondent Florian Schmitz reports from Thessaloniki.

07:27 — Italy

Extreme weather has emergency services on high alert in Italy, too. Heavy rain and floods have hit the north of the country, while wildfires burn in the south. The Italian fire service say they have carried out over 700 operations in the past 24 hours on wildfires burning across the central and southern parts of the country. Jacopo Lentini reports from Palermo.

09:50 — What to make of these multiple extreme weather events?

DW puts the extreme heatwave in southern Europe into perspective with Mojib Latif, a meteorologist at Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, and author of best-selling climate change book ‘Hot Times.’

Cutting the catastrophic cost of climate change | DW News

Nov 5, 2021

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have risen sharply in recent years. The consequences are devastating and climate action is urgently needed. There are many challenges and just as many questions on how to meet them. One thing we know for sure: it is going to cost a lot of money. In this video, we look at just how much turning to Germany as an example.

Cargo shipping: Chokepoints, trade routes – and a sign of excessive globalization? | Business Beyond

May 1, 2021

Cargo shipping is basically the string that holds modern capitalism together; 90 percent of traded goods are transported over the water. But it mostly happens out of sight. Throughout time, ships have gotten steadily bigger to accommodate more containers, with the biggest coming in at almost 24,000 TEU. Bigger ships carry more containers, which in turn means fewer trips and lower fuel costs. Disruptions to the global supply chain, whether as a result of a pandemic causing chaos in supply and demand, or of a gigantic ship getting stuck in a narrow but important canal, often call for a re-think. Should ships be that big and travel that far? It’s all about ships, and where they’re headed, both literally and figuratively. What will they look like? Where will they go? How will they change?

Why can’t Egypt and Ethiopia end the Nile dam dispute? | UNPACKED

2020 Jul 16

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is one of Africa’s biggest infrastructure projects. But Egypt worries the Ethiopia’s prope might come at its own expense. Negotiations over the dam’s operations have dragged on for years, with neighboring Sudan caught in the feud, and both Egypt and Ethiopia hinting at possible military action over the project. Attempts to reach a final, comprehensive deal have ended in deadlock, with many key questions still open. So why is it so hard to settle the dispute over the Nile?

Ethiopia starts filling disputed River Nile dam | DW News

2020 Jul 27

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to resume talks over a disputed hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is filling on the River Nile. Negotiations over the Grand Renaissance Dam have gone on for almost a decade. So why is it so difficult to settle this dispute over the waters of the Nile? Here’s more.

Global Water Wars (Full Episode) | Parched

National Geographic – Jul 29, 2021

As the planet dries up, access to water has become not only a powerful lifeline, but also a dangerous weapon of war.

Egypt flexes military muscle at Ethiopia

CaspianReport – Aug 13, 2021

New realities on the ground have capsized diplomatic talks between #Egypt and #Ethiopia. Now, Cairo has procured weapons that match its political rhetoric.

IPCC – Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Working Group III (WG III) contribution to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) assesses literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of mitigation of climate change. [FOOTNOTE 1] Levels of confidence [FOOTNOTE 2] are given in () brackets. Numerical ranges are presented in square [] brackets. References to Chapters, Sections, Figures and Boxes in the underlying report and Technical Summary (TS) are given in {} brackets.

FOOTNOTE 1: The Report covers literature accepted for publication by 11 October 2021.


See related:

International report reveals nuclear is boondoggle for climate – Beyond Nuclear

April 7, 2022

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this chart from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2022 report Mitigation of Climate Change reveals our entire carbon-free future roadmap, encapsulating the nearly 3,000 page, highly-detailed report, in a single page (and some fine print footnotes).

Not surprisingly, nuclear power is exposed as the boondoggle it is. IPCC estimates nuclear has less potential for curbing climate change than either shifting humans to a healthy diet, or reducing methane from oil and gas (which is also more cost-effective than carbon reduction from nuclear power).

Although the forecast remains bleak and worsening with continuing rise of greenhouse gas emissions, the IPCC says it is still technically possible to achieve the necessary climate goal of limiting warming to an increase of just 1.5 degrees, but only if we make sweeping, societal changes. These, however, will require political will, the report contends.

A significant revelation in the report is how much more carbon reduction we can achieve by focusing investment on wind and solar. Such investments lead to an estimated eight times greater carbon reduction with much less cost, than nuclear power. The graph further points to how individual actions carry far less impact than political and societal changes.

The IPCC itself states, “Large contributions with costs less than USD20 tCO2-eq-1 come from solar and wind energy, energy efficiency improvements, reduced conversion of natural ecosystems, and CH4 emissions reductions (coal mining, oil and gas, waste)”. Nuclear is not listed. According to The Guardian, “The … report … produced by scientists from across the globe and signed off by 195 governments, mentions renewables, wind, solar and efficiency 67 times in its summary. It cites nuclear once (in brackets), as an example of a technology with high upfront costs.”

While the graph accounts for nuclear waste storage costs, it is unclear if front end fuel chain costs for mining and milling of uranium, or mine tailing cleanup of those sites, are included.

The report states that “Continued production from nuclear power will depend in part on life extensions of the existing fleet.” But an NRC Commissioners’ vote on February 24, 2022 rescinded a second 20-year operating license renewal (on the way to a total 60-80 year operating life) for nearly a dozen U.S. reactors. NRC states that renewals should not be approved “without first creating and applying an updated environmental analysis for reactor operations into the extension period” currently projected out to the 2050s and beyond.

The NRC order also erased its ongoing reviews and suspended the acceptance of any new applications. The industry and the federal agency must reanalyze issues like environmental rates of change and impacts on the reliable operations and safety of aging reactors for the projected period and climate change consequences. This now includes sea-level rise that, to date, the industry and the NRC relicensing process ignored. The NRC and the nuclear industry must now also reset and recalculate their environment analysis that previous Commissions had credited “generically” approvals largely based on antiquated 1996 data.

As a result, on April 5, 2022, the NRC announced it was embarking on a two-year rulemaking process to redress multiple violations of federal law committed by the agency and the industry in the Subsequent License Renewal review process.

According to the IPCC report, license extensions are a lot cheaper than new construction. But continuing to extend nuclear operations to extremes (20-40 years beyond originally intended operational life) increases the risk of nuclear catastrophe. Beyond Nuclear has opposed license extensions because of significant “technical knowledge gaps” in understanding how the materials in reactor systems, structures and components (particularly the large irreplaceable concrete containments and embrittled reactor pressure vessels) affect this risk.

The increasing costs needed to support license extensions also divert funds from the real climate solutions such as renewable energy. Furthermore, reactor owners have downplayed the uncertainty of an accelerating climate crisis and fail to substantially prepare for worst case extreme weather impacts.

A rash of large “advanced” reactors initially advertised to address climate change with a so-called “nuclear renaissance” that commenced in the U.S. in 2006 has all but completely collapsed in suspensions, cancellations and abandonment. The IPCC report notes that in North America and Europe construction times for new reactors can run longer than 13-15 years with costs 3-4 times those initially predicted.

For those countries choosing nuclear power, the report finds that “stable political conditions and support, clear regulatory regimes, and adequate financial framework are crucial”. As the climate crisis worsens, global conflicts will increase because of border and resource disputes (food, water, etc). Mass economic dislocation and population relocation will ensue and will likely trigger widening wars. Nuclear power facilities will prove vulnerable to design and operating conditions never contemplated, a point vividly demonstrated by Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine, where operating nuclear power stations are now exposed to battlefield conditions.

The report states that “Most of the countries which might introduce nuclear power in the future for their climate change mitigation benefits do not envision developing their own full fuel cycle, significantly reducing any risks that might be linked to proliferation”. However, some “advanced” reactor designs — such as Bill Gates’s TerraPower Natrium Small Modular Reactor (SMR), uses as a fuel source mined uranium, which has been enriched to just under 20%. Once these fast reactors are exported they are ideal for trading out these fuel cores for plutonium power cores and nuclear weapons. This has been identified with very serious proliferation implications.

Beyond Nuclear, and others, have repeatedly stated, nuclear power is too slow, too expensive, and too dangerous to address our climate crisis. We need to, instead, invest the money we are earmarking for nuclear energy into wind, solar, energy efficiency, conservation and maintenance of natural ecosystems, as we move away with all deliberate haste, from fossil fuels.