17. All states shall shift rapidly to effective generation of electricity by using renewable energy.

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Rapporteur: Metta Spencer

Project Save the World aims to prevent six global threats, only two of which are distinctly existential risks to humankind: global warming, and war and weapons (i.e. militarism, especially nuclear).

Considered as separate problems, our four other global threats (famine, pandemics, radiation exposure, and cyberattacks) appear manageable, for none of them seems likely to kill a billion people in a short interval. But what if they occur, not separately, but in combinations? In such a case, each one of them can multiply the effect of others. And, because all six risks are causally connected as a single system, such connections must be expected. This article will explore the causal links among three dangers: radiation exposure from nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, and global warming.

Worldwide, probably thousands of deaths each year result from radiation exposure: working in uranium mines, for example, or living with radon in a basement, or eating fish from a lake that contains tritium, or undergoing an X-ray exam. Even these low levels of exposure can be lethal, but some incidents are far worse—especially those involving nuclear reactors. The most catastrophic nuclear power accident was the explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The true death count will never be known, and authoritative estimates vary wildly—from 4,000 up to 200,000.(1)

But compare those numbers to the predictable death rates from a nuclear war. Exploding a small fraction of the world’s current nuclear weapons could bring civilization to an end. And the dangers of global warming are even worse – potentially on the scale of the previous five “extinction events,” including the worst one 270,000 million years ago when about 90 percent of all species on the planet — animals, trees, marine life, everything — were killed.(2)

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An alarming article from Sophia Ankel and Alexandra Hilpert at Business Insider (25 August 2019) on the state of environmental licenses and nuclear reactors in the European Union. “There are 18 active nuclear power plants currently operating without a valid license in the European Union, according to a report seen by Business Insider. Many of the power plants should have already been subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), according to a report put together by Germany’s Green Party member and nuclear expert Sylvia Kotting-Uhl. An EIA aims to identify the environmental consequences of major projects, such as the construction… Read more »

Ohio Governor Signs Coal and Nuclear Bailout at Expense of Renewable Energy
BY DAN GEARINO . JUL 26, 2019 . Inside Climate News
Opponents fear the law will send the growing wind and solar industry to neighboring states while Ohio homeowners are stuck boosting old, uneconomical power plants.

Lori King

Interesting that he identifies two other southern red” states that are more advanced than Ohio. I read in the NY Times that now the majority of Republicans acknowledge that climate change is real. If so, presumably the red states will start acting smarter. But how soon?

Ruth Needham

Well, yes, Lori, but not necessarily in a way preferred by most of the people who endorse the Platform for Survival. If they switch to worrying about climate change, they may favor a solution based on increasing the use of nuclear power, which a lot of us abhor. At least that is the case with John Barrosso, a Republican Congressman from Wyoming, who had fought against climate change action. Now he wants to promote nuclear power. Is that progress? (I’m not sure.)

Gordon Edwards

From Beyond Nuclear: Nuclear-Free Forum in Japan calls for worldwide end to nuclear power Voices of Fukushima power plant explosion victims strengthen call to ban nuclear energy By Rachel Farmer, Anglican Communion News Posted on July 28, 2019 by beyondnuclearinternational https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2019/07/28/nuclear-free-forum-in-japan-calls-for-worldwide-end-to-nuclear-power/ Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster at a May 2019 International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World held in Sendai, Japan. A joint statement from the forum, issued in July 2019, strengthens the call for a worldwide ban on nuclear energy and encourages churches to join in the campaign. The statement –… Read more »

How can anyone doubt it when they are DOING it?

Carol Wells

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There are lots of amazing new proposals for creating fuel out of thin air. Or air heavy with carbon dioxide. One of the most controversial proposals is by CarbonEngineering, a company in Squamish, British Columbia that is capturing carbon and making a fuel that can be used in cars. They say they can do it for $100 per ton. (Or is that “tonne”?). I’ve met engineers who doubt it.