Mutually Assured Destruction Gives Way To Monetizing Atomic Derelicts

atlas thermonuclear warheadWe were utterly fascinated to read this article in the New York Times revealing that a full 50% of the nuclear fuel used in reactors in the United States comes from recycled nuclear bombs, primarily from Russia. Which pretty much explains why disarmament has been happening! And it has a nice swords-to-plowshares narrative, to boot.

Eventually, however, the available supply of decommissioned nuclear weapons will run out, and nuclear power plants will have to turn to much more expensive unenriched uranium ore from mines around the world. An MIT study estimates that there is enough ore in the ground to “fuel the development of 1000 reactors over the next half century and to maintain this level of development over a 40 year lifetime of this fleet,” although there are dipsutes over how efficiencies in ore extraction and recycling will affect long-term supply.

Does that take care of the problem, then? Continue reading

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“Water is the new carbon”

Increasingly climate change scientists and policy makers are recognizing that water resources and availability will be the largest resource to be impacted by climate change. In a recent webcast published by the UN, several world water experts gather to discuss the difficulties ahead regarding water.

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"Water is the New Carbon"

These experts make a call to policy-makers to bring the focus back to water. There will be an estimated 30% decrease in water resource availability in years to come, according to Colin Chartres, the Director General of CGIAR’s International Water Management Institute. Decisions must be made regarding mitigation and adaptation mechanisms for the water sector. Colin Chartres suggests that climate mitigation is all about greenhouse gases, while adaptation is all about water.

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Global Environmental Governance: Fixing a troubled system: An Interview with Professor Adil Najam

In an interview with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Adil Najam, a senior fellow for IISD and leading expert in international environmental affairs, discusses the challenges facing global environmental governance today.  Najam highlights the need for systematic reform to the way that global environmental governance is approached by the various players.  He compares organizing cooperation in the global environmental governance arena to herding cats and posits that a new system is necessary.

Fossil Fuel vs. Clean Energy Subsidies

Thanks to the folks at the Environmental Law Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for putting together a great graphic that shows the breakdown of Federal energy subsidies from 2002-2008 – and and props to David Roberts at Grist.org for drawing my attention to the report. The full report is titled “Estimating U.S. Government to Energy Sources: 2002-2008.” Read it if you want, but the graphic says it all:

Publicly Funding Climate Change

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