FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday.In an unusually stark warning, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, noted that countries in south and south-east Asia were on track to build hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the next 20 years – despite promises made at Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and pivot to a clean energy future.In the US, coal use is in sharp decline – and the country’s biggest companies are in bankruptcy. But there is still strong demand for coal in south Asia and east Asia, where tens of millions still have no access to electricity.Putting coal-fired plants on hold – permanently – and making it affordable and practical for countries to replace fossil fuels with clean sources of energy such as wind and solar was the prime focus of the two-day meeting, and the bank’s new mission.The bank said last month it would devote 28% of its spending to climate change projects.Government and business leaders involved in brokering the milestone agreement to fight climate change at Paris are desperate to avoid inertia now a deal has been done.The months until the next annual climate meeting, scheduled for Morocco in November, are studded with conferences intended to turn the promises made at Paris into concrete actions.The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is pushing hard for governments to formally join the agreement and bring it into force before Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017.That would help protect the agreement from a future president – such as the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump – who denies or doubts that climate change is even occurring.Full article: Plans for coal-fired power in Asia are ‘disaster for planet’ warns World Bank World Bank Reiterates Campaign to Curb Coal-Fired Plant Expansions
On the Blogs: U.S. Energy Secretary Perry Commits Taxpayers to a Failing Nuclear Project in Georgia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ThinkProgress.org:On Friday, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry authorized up to $3.7 billion in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to finish building the last remaining new nuclear plant under construction in this country.This loan, to the Southern Company’s Vogtle plant in Georgia, is on top of $8.3 billion in previous federal loan guarantees for the troubled $25-billion nuclear plant. That means if — or, rather, when — the project goes belly up, U.S. taxpayers will have to bail out Southern Company and its partners with a record-breaking $12 billion.“When” might be more likely. Nuclear power has become so uneconomic that half of all existing power plants are “bleeding cash” — and even the profitable ones have the narrowest of positive operating margins, according to a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis.The V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in South Carolina, September 2016. Construction was recently suspended. CREDIT: AP/Chuck Burton.Since so many existing plants are money losers, it’s no shock that new nuclear plants have priced themselves out of the market for new power generation entirely.New nukes make so little economic sense that the Vogtle project is both “the first new nuclear power plant to be licensed and begin construction in the United States in more than three decades,” as the Department of Energy (DOE) news release explains, and “the last nuclear plant under construction in the U.S.” as Bloomberg reported.Back in March, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called the project “a financial quagmire.” The Westinghouse plants, originally priced at $14 billion, were already $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind schedule. Recently, Southern Company released new estimates that put the total project cost at $25 billion.No wonder that Westinghouse itself filed for bankruptcy back in March.Globally, the nuclear industry is struggling. As the New York Times reported, another well-known nuclear developer, General Electric “has scaled back its nuclear operations, expressing doubt about their economic viability,” whereas the French builder Areva “is mired in losses.” In August, the Financial Times wrote, “It sometimes seems like U.S. and European nuclear companies are in competition to see which can heap greater embarrassment on their industry.”Yet in the DOE press release Friday, Perry said, “I believe the future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright.”More: Perry just made taxpayers invest in a $25-billion nuclear ‘financial quagmire’
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:German transmission system operator 50Hertz, one of four in the country, says that over 2018 well more than 50 per cent of the electricity consumed in the company’s grid area was generated by renewable energy sources.50Hertz announced last Tuesday that 56.5% of the electricity consumed in 2018 across its grid area was supplied by renewable energy sources, up from the 53.4% recorded in 2017, due in large part to an increase in installed capacity, which grew to 32.9 GW as of the end of 2018.Further, 50Hertz expects this share to continue to increase in view of Germany’s 65 per cent by 2030 renewable energy target, announced just over a year ago. In fact, 50Hertz expects the 65 per cent figure to be achieved in its grid area in 2021.This in and of itself is in line with comments 50Hertz CEO Boris Schucht made to Renew Economy in December of 2015, suggesting that Germany’s electricity market could accommodate 60 per cent to 70 per cent variable renewable energy integration without the need for additional storage.Fast-forward just over three years and Schucht’s vision is coming to pass. Further, even as approximately 1.6 GW of new renewable energy was added in 2018, 50Hertz reported at their balance sheet press conference held in Berlin on 26 February that congestion management costs dropped significantly in 2018, with a decrease of approximately €100 million based on preliminary data.More: Record renewable energy share of 56.5% for German system operator 50Hertz One of Germany’s four transmission grids topped 56% renewable load in 2018
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:As they consider sending in robots to access hard-to-get-to areas between two containment walls, for Électricité de France (EDF) it’s just the latest setback in a project that’s running a decade late and almost four times over budget.“We hear every year that there’s a new problem,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. “It is not acceptable that one of the most prestigious and strategic sectors for our country is facing so many difficulties.”The Flamanville plant is now slated to be completed in 2022 at a price tag of 12.4 billion euros ($13.8 billion), with the latest glitch costing a whopping 1.5 billion euros. Bemoaning the loss of France’s edge in the sector because of a 15-year gap between the start of construction at the plant and that of the previous reactor, Le Maire has given EDF a month to come up with an action plan to restore the industry’s know-how before the country can determine whether it will build any new atomic plants.For the world’s largest nuclear power producer, Flamanville is just one of many challenges. Across the channel, delays at two U.K. reactors have upped the cost to as much as 22.5 billion pounds ($28.9 billion), 2.9 billion pounds more than previously estimated. EDF also faces mounting costs of maintaining 58 domestic nuclear plants that provide more than 70% of France’s power. Add to the mix the fact that the former electricity monopoly is losing market share among French corporate and residential clients as rivals buy a part of the electricity it generates at below-market prices, and it’s easy to see why investors are bearish about the company. EDF’s stock has lost 34% this year, making it the second worst-performing utility in the Stoxx 600 Utilities Index of European companies.More: World’s Largest Nuclear Power Producer Confronts Serial Glitches French project showcases nuclear industry’s mounting problems
Anglo American eyes exit from thermal coal production sector FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Anglo American Plc dropped another hint that its days of mining the world’s most polluting fuel are limited.In a slew of presentations released for an investor visit to Anglo assets in Australia, thermal coal was noticeably absent from a list of units seen to have long-term potential. The company is on a trajectory away from thermal coal, and will do so responsibly, an Anglo spokesman said.Anglo will decide in the next year if thermal coal fits into its future portfolio, and may be better off selling the assets, RBC Capital Markets said in a note following the presentations.Anglo has spent decades positioning itself as an environmental and social champion, from treatment plans for employees with HIV or tuberculosis, to developing new ways to mine with less water. Yet on thermal coal it risks getting left behind, as investors quickly ratchet up pressure. Rival Rio Tinto Group sold its last coal mines in 2018, making it the first major mining company to go coal-free. BHP Group is looking at options to exit its remaining coal mines in Colombia and Australia. That would leave Anglo with Glencore Plc as the only two Western majors with thermal coal assets.The message from certain investors is clear. Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund said earlier this year it would stop investing in companies that mine more than 20 million tons a year of thermal coal, a target Anglo would currently miss.Still, the miner has been cutting production in recent years, with output falling from as much as 80 million tons to less than 30 million tons. Today, Anglo lowered its 2021 thermal coal target to 26 million tons from a previous goal of as much as 30 million tons. The company has sold coal mines in South Africa, including to Seriti Resources Holdings Ltd., which is planning to build a massive black-owned mining company.More: Another big mining company hints at a coal-free future
Is being a pro kayaker as carefree as it sounds? It’s amazing. I live in an old RV and travel around the country for a couple of months every year. We bounce between apartments, houses, and the RV. I spend part of the year in Colorado and part of the year in Chattanooga. I like seeing new places. I like the unexpected.Is it tough to make ends meet as a boater? There’s very little support, even for the national team, so I’m basically all on my own. I’ve sold Christmas trees out of the R.V. I sell smoothies for 10 days every summer in Iowa for the Bike Ride Across Iowa. Right now, I’m a waitress at a fine dining restaurant. It’s surreal to think about kayaking while popping open a $200 bottle of wine for someone’s dinner.How do you like to train? I love to stand up paddleboard. Here in Chattanooga, I’ll paddle upstream on the Tennessee. It’s really good for your core, upper body, and balance. I like to find different ways to train. I can hit the gym and run a little, but I get bored. Last night, I tried Aerial Yoga, which is like Cirque de Soleil kind of stuff. You’re hanging from the ceiling, wrapped in fabric. It was amazing.What’s the secret to freestyle kayaking? Patience. Making a fool of yourself is a big part of freestyle. You’re not going to get a trick the first time. It’s going to take hundreds of attempts. And you’re always trying something new, different, harder. It definitely takes patience. But it’s worth it. I know that if I can do a McNasty in the last 10 seconds of my heat, it can change the competition for everyone.Watch film of Mills surfing and flipping on the Gauley. Freestyle paddling champ Haley Mills. 2010 was a banner year for 27-year-old Haley Mills. The Kentucky-born freestyle kayaker, who spends her winters training in Chattanooga, scored a third-place finish at the Teva Mountain Games, claimed the USACK National Freestyle Championship title, and earned a spot on the U.S. National Freestyle Team. Mills shared the ups and downs of pro kayaking while she prepares for the World Freestyle Championships to be held in Germany this June.
When I instruct kayaking, one of the most important tools to my clients’ progression is video review.We live in a time where we have low cost, high quality consumer electronics at our fingertips, and these tools can be very useful for outdoors sports of all kinds. Do you have a GoPro, a still camera with video capabilities, or even a phone that can do the same? Use those assets to your advantage.If you are a runner for example, set up the camera on a tripod, and run past it a few times at different paces. Slowing that footage down and studying best practices for technique can pay dividends in your competition results and joint health.The same goes for a myriad other sports. The first step to improving is knowing what needs to be changed in our techniques, and video is absolutely the best tool for identifying these weaknesses. We can only tell so much about our technique by how it feels, and there are so many nuances in all of these sports.One thing that I have found very helpful in my paddling is noticing where my head is turned, and what my paddle is doing during key times. Oftentimes, things happen so fast that we aren’t able to truly digest what we did right or wrong in that given situation. Being able to slow everything down and revisit it as many times as needed is an invaluable tool for personal progression. In spite of the people who are cynical about the rampant use of these POV cameras, there is a reason why they have become so popular!The “look where you want to go, and not where you don’t want to go” adage is very easy to finesse when using a POV camera, and is something that applies to all of these different sports. Your body will follow your head, and you will go where you are looking, so this concept and the “spot your landing” idea are some of the first things that I tell people when they jump in a boat or on a mountain bike.Regardless of your sport, I’m confident saying that it would be beneficial to use the modern video tools that we have available today to increase your knowledge and skill. For those of you who are already using video as a training tool, what other ways have you found value through video analysis?
How many times have we put off, shortened or cancelled our daily runs due to poor weather? I know I have waited and waited for the weather to improve only to give up on Mother Nature and head out the door. I have spent many pre-runs worrying about being wet and cold.I guess it is human nature to want to be as comfortable as possible while still wanting to be active and fit. Sometimes you just can’t have both and there are days when running is simply pretty miserable. I know for me it takes some extra focus and willpower to get out the door and get it done on days when the weather is awful. Usually once I’m out on the trail it is not as bad as I had originally feared.I’ve run in all sorts of miserable and epic weather over the years. It still amazes me to this day how I can sit and worry about going out for a run in poor weather. I’m guessing the transition from comfort to misery in a matter of seconds is what creates that anxiety. Sometimes this feeling is maximized by knowing I have the wrong clothes or shoes to wear. I can’t remember how many times I have used an extra pair of socks for the gloves that I left at home. One really cold day I actually considered wearing my underwear on my head because I forgot my hat. I eventually came to my senses and just let my ears go numb.Like I said, once I’m out the door I usually realize that my fears were ill-founded and I actually enjoy the run. Now there are times when all the positive thinking in the world won’t change the outcome but I try to look at the long term picture. I think to myself, is my competition out on a day like today? They probably are but I choose to think that it is just me and the elements. If you can get out there on the really bad days it can also make you mentally stronger. It is rewarding and valuable for me to get the crappy weather running days in the bank, so that on race day I won’t have to learn to cope if the weather is far from perfect.So when it is 40 degrees and pouring rain, try to look ahead to that post-run euphoria knowing that you braved the elements. Chances are your competition chose not to get ‘r done.
Illustration by Wade MickleyBy Erica Lineberry and Steve BohrerYES: Parents should lead by exampleIt’s easy to assume that those of us with a thirst for the outdoors will wind down our adventuring once kiddos come along. It’s even easier for some to think that we should trade in our skis, snowboards, and carabiners for pacifiers, strollers, and nightlights.But many outdoor enthusiasts continue their recreational pursuits after becoming parents, some with kids in tow! At first glance, it’s easy to call the mom dangling from a 500-foot cliff irresponsible, or to accuse the dad ripping through fresh, backcountry powder of being selfish. But zoom in, and you’ll see that the climbing mom is draped in safety equipment and attached to a rope, and the snowboarding dad is well-prepared for off-piste conditions.In my experience, most adventuresome parents are capable individuals taking calculated risks; not adrenaline junkies scoffing at danger. Take rock climbing. In a sport where mistakes can be fatal, no one can say climbing is without risk. But different types of climbing have different fall consequences, from top-roping at a local indoor gym to free-soloing a big wall. If you’re okay with the consequences of a fall, climb on. If not, take up golf. Well, maybe not golf – a golf ball to the head would surely leave a mark. What about chess? Nope, sedentary activities are bad for the heart.All kidding aside, every one of us makes decisions based on probable danger, whether we are climbers, skiers, soccer moms, or couch potatoes. As a parent, running late to a music lesson or sports practice, do you risk an accident by driving too fast, or do you slow down and risk being late? How many times have you faced uncertainty by getting on an airplane, swimming in the ocean, or not wearing sunscreen? These daily risks may be harder to avoid than taking up rock climbing, bungee-jumping, or skiing, but they can be just as dangerous.According to the American Alpine Club, I’m much more likely to die on the way to the grocery store than on a rock face – fatal automobile accidents reach more than 30,000 per year, compared to 1,400 climbing-related fatalities from 1951 to 2007. Being a mother doesn’t immunize me from the risks of everyday activities like driving, so why should I stop doing what I really love? We shouldn’t raise our children in fear, shielding them from every imaginable risk.Erica Lineberry lives and climbs in Charlotte, N.C., and is the proprietor of climbing and parenting blog, Cragmama. NO: having kids should change how parents take risksFirefighters, police officers, and military parents risk their lives daily in service to their country. Should we deny those careers to parents? I think most of us would agree that we shouldn’t. Let’s ask the question more pointedly then: should parents take life-threatening risks in the outdoors in pursuit of recreation?I don’t believe parents need to give up all outdoor pursuits until their children have finished college. Climbing, skiing, or running trails are more than just pleasant diversions. Mountains, trails, and forests are a part of who I am. When I haven’t been outside for a while I get cranky, and my wife sends me on a trail run to come back to my senses. Time spent in the outdoors recharges my spirit and helps me to be a happier person.All outdoor pursuits involve some level of risk. We could debate what constitutes “life-threatening” risk till the cows come home. Risk is, by its very nature, ever-present yet unpredictable. Bad things occasionally happen, even to cautious people. However, I think that those of us who regularly recreate in the outdoors have a pretty solid understanding of risks with serious consequences.When children come into our lives, we need to reexamine the level of risk we’re willing to accept. As parents, our primary responsibility is to our children. We owe them a warm bed, healthy food, and a sense of security and love. I believe parents can and should spend time in the outdoors, but we must seriously question our motivation.That line will be different for every parent. Ultimately, the decision will come down to our ability as parents to subjugate our selfish desires for adventure, adrenaline, or peer recognition to our love for our families.My wife and I recently returned home from a two-week trip to southern Chile. I will never forget the look in my four-year old daughter’s teary brown eyes as she held my face in her hands, carefully examining me as if to assure herself that I was really there. I could only imagine how much she missed us while we were away. I can’t bear the thought of risking my life for some ultimately meaningless thrill and leaving her wondering why she was less important to her dad than some mountain.Steve Bohrer is a founder of and regular contributor to The Outdoor Parent lifestyle website and lives with his wife and five children in Idaho Falls, Idaho. what do you think?Join the debate at blueridgeoutdoors.com
Lagers, session IPAs, pilsners, wheat beers…these are the standard summer releases from craft breweries, who look to lighten things up when the mercury rises. It’s lawnmower beer season.Catawba has chosen a completely different route with their King Coconut, a jet black porter with all of the roasted, chocolate notes that you’d expect from this style. Porters are typically quaffed in the dead of winter, preferably in front of a fireplace while a storm drops six inches of fresh on the nearest skiable mountain. But as the name implies, Catawba ages King Coconut on a mountain of toasted coconut for several weeks to add an additional layer of tropical sweetness and justify the palm trees on the label.Catawba has called this beer a “candy bar in a can,” and it’s definitely on the sweeter side of things, delivering a heavy hit of cocoa. The coconut, on the other hand, is understated. Just a mild hint of the fruit in the nose and taste. I think it’s just there to provide a bit of whimsy to this typically stuffy style of beer. I appreciate Catawba’s restraint in the use of coconut, because I’m typically not a huge fan of the vile fruit. Yes, I said vile. I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat tiny shreds of paper, but hey, to each his own.I’m happy to say that it all works seamlessly in the King Coconut—chocolate, coconut, and roasted coffee all working hand in hand in this a-typical summer beer that is somehow reminiscent of the Coke Floats I used to beg my parents for when I was a kid. Now there’s an idea. If you truly want to turn King Coconut into a summer treat, take a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drop it right into a pint of this porter. Now that’s a summer beer.Is this the can of brew you’ll reach for after mowing the lawn, or while tubing the river? Probably not. But King Coconut is built to pair with barbecue, or a campfire, or your neighbor’s annual luau. Yeah, put on a coconut bra and show up to that party with a sixer of King Coconut. Seems like a summery thing to do to me.