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THE BRIEF [Apr 3-9’23]
Melting ice might kill ocean currents, rooftop agrivoltaics and how long it takes to build a nuclear reactor.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
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‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
😼 How long does it take to build a nuclear reactor (which needs to be compared to how fast you can build similar sized solar/wind farm)
This week’s highlights
[#nuclear] — Hannah Ritchie is once again on it with a great analysis of nuclear reactor build times. One of the main arguments against nuclear as a climate solution is that they take too long to build. And she concludes that nuclear reactors actually “only” take on average 6.5 years to build. Which doesn’t sound like a lot. BUT I think she’s missing an important comparison in her otherwise great analysis, which is how fast it takes to build a solar / wind farm of same capacity. Because if that is much less than 6.5 years, then nuclear is indeed still taking too long to build. If they’re comparable, then people (including myself) who thinks nuclear takes too long to build should shut up. Might do my own digging here.
[#offsets] — A new study shows that using US forests in carbon offsets is at best a gamble. The study analyzed various ways to calculate carbon storage in US forests and concluded that the methods used to quantify carbon storage in a US forest varies from net gain to net loss. Not kicking the science part of this here as I’m sure it’s a very difficult thing to calculate, but it just goes to show that we can’t really rely on carbon offsets to sovle the climate crisis — even non-junk offsets — as there’s always a risk o them going up in flames or simply succumb to climate change itself.
[#junkoffsets] — Here’s a great article on how Shell and Delta are using junk carbon offsets to continue to do absolutely nothing There’s also a video version of the article available here. In essence, Shell is telling people they can drive carbon neutral, but the junk offset they bought which is a forest “protected” by the Peruvian government which haven’t been threatened with deforestation in many years.
[#propaganda] — Heated has an excellent guide to one of the fossil fuel industry’s favorite strategies: “Paltering” which I must admit as a non-native english speaker I didn’t know hat mean, but it means: “The practice of using statements that are technically true, but also leave out critical information in order to mislead people.” It’s one of the three scientifically defined ways of deception. Heated provides a great guide for how to inoculate oneself against this tactic.
That’s it for this week folks!
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