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🦉 10x curiosity - My favourite links from around the web 2020 - Environment


🦉 10x curiosity

December 18 · Issue #186 · View online

🦉 A weekly sample of links that made me think 🤔

Also published in 10x Curiosity
A combination of the hottest weather patterns around the globe, crazy fires from Australia to California, forced behaviour changes as a result of the pandemic and rapidly dropping renewable prices, has seen a seismic shift in public perceptions of our global environmental risks and opportunity to set out in a new direction.
Firstly some excellent analysis of the fires — particularly in Australia. None more so than this post which highlighted how beneficial it might be to return to the traditional techniques of managing the Australian landscape. There’s a 60,000-Year-Old Method to Help Battle Australia’s Bushfires. I also explored this in my own blog in the context of percolation models
Michael Liebreich is an energy authority who consistently has analysis worth listening to. Firstly his post on the Low Carbon Crisis released early in the year, as the extent of the Covid drama was only just beginning to play out. He and his team then released two fantastic posts on they hydrogen economy;
It is already cheaper to build new renewables than to build new coal plants, in all major markets.
  • Over half the existing global coal fleet is more expensive to run than building new renewables.
  • By 2030, it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to run existing coal — everywhere.
  • Investors stand to lose over $600 billion on doomed coal plants
Underscoring this, the ABC reported on how a coal fired power station in Western Australia which is only a decade old and was purchased for $1.2B, has been written off entirely from the books of its Japanese investors as worthless. A pointed example of how quickly fossil fuel assets can become stranded, nominally with significant life remaining but without a future in a carbon free world.
Ramez Naam is another rich source of information relating to renewables. HIs post Solar’s Future is insanely cheap highlights (similar to the Vox post) that over the next decade it will be cheaper to install brand new solar facilities, than it will be to operate existing coal assets across the majority of the globe.

Future Crunch have a terrific fortnightly newsletter and dedicated two post to what they called — Portal economics part 1 and part 2 — highlighting just how different the world global economy is going to be coming out of this pandemic.
Echoing Amartya Sen, Mazzucato believes that in order for societies to succeed they need both the invisible hand of free markets and the visible hand of good governance. In this view, the relationship between our two circles is very different. Rather than pulling in different directions, they’re symbiotic …Like Mariana Mazzucato, Kate Raworth started asking questions in the wake of the last financial crisis.
She went a step further though, and decided to tackle the most sacred cow in all of economics — the assumption that economies should always grow.
You can read more about Marian Mazzucato’s plan to fix capitalism in this Wired post or Kate Raworth Doughnut economics model.
And to close, this post by Greg Jericho really got me thinking about “balance” in the media and how poorly the global global warming debate has been covered — The trouble with Journalism
Let me state it plainly: the desire for balance and the desperate need of journalists to appear neutral will be the death of us
Yet we need journalists to take a position when it comes to climate change because the neutral, detached role is inherently biased towards inaction. All action to reduce climate change will create losers and opportunities to focus on tripping politicians up over their inability to articulate policy rather than on the worth of the policy. Do we want the public to know about climate change or to spend hours seeing if we can confuse politicians?
Let me know what you think? I’d love your feedback. If you haven’t already then sign up for a weekly dose just like this.
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More like this from 10x Curiosity
Links that made me think...
Sunlight Refinery™ x HelioHeat™ – TIME's Best Inventions of 2020 - Heliogen
Quantity leads to quality (the origin of a parable) - Austin Kleon
Shell aims to become world’s largest electricity company
Challenge to scientists: does your ten-year-old code still run?
The Circular Classroom: a Free Toolkit for Activating the Circular Economy through Experiential Learning | by Leyla Acaroglu | Disruptive Design | Medium
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