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Episode 3

Nuclear power, the Great Barrier Reef, Sky News Australia, Dolphins, and Shell Oil.

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On nuclear power, the Great Barrier Reef, Sky News Australia, Dolphins and Overfishing, and Shell Oil.

Nuclear Power Plant Cattenom/ wikimedia


Episode Transcript:

Hi, I’m The Angry Clean Energy Guy, Assaad Razzouk. This is Episode 3 and I am so happy you’re here. Thank you. I have to say there is so much to be angry about if you’re a clean energy guy. Every day so many things happen around the world that make me angry because I look at them with lenses colored by the climate change chaos unfolding everywhere around us and I’m especially angry because I know we can solve the climate change crisis if we were only trying – except as a society, as a civilization, as a collective we’re not, we’re simply not trying. In fact, we’re doing the opposite because the climate change chaos is getting worse.

This week I would like to rant about five things: Nuclear Power, the Great Barrier Reef, Sky News Australia, dolphins and Shell oil.

So there was a blizzard of newspaper opinion pieces recently, and I use the word “opinion” loosely, more like propaganda pieces, about nuclear power. In the New York Times, it was “nuclear power can save the world, the technology is the fastest way to slash greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the economy”. In the Wall Street Journal, it was “the climate needs nuclear power”. And so on. Now what’s up with the synchronized campaign I wondered? As we fight climate change, we know what to do. We have to stop using most fossil fuels, so most oil, gas and coal by 2050: the science is very clear on that. How do we do that? We also know: We need to decarbonize our economies and lifestyle. We must use clean energy and green energy to replace oil, gas and coal in transportation, in industry, in heating. At the same time, we need to extend electricity to people who waiting for coal over the past 150 years and there’s about a billion of them worldwide with none, no electricity whatsoever.

Now nuclear advocates think we should deploy more nuclear power plants faster to decarbonize the world and they’re right. If nuclear power was cost competitive, we should definitely do that. If we knew what to do with nuclear waste, some of which takes 10,000 years to lose its radioactive characteristics. Yeah, we should definitely do that. We should go all out on nuclear power. If nuclear power didn’t need 615 gallons of water per day to cool off to provide power for just one home as opposed to solar and wind that need almost zero water, we should definitely go for nuclear power. If a nuclear power plant didn’t need 10 to 20 years which we don’t have from planning to operation as opposed to six months to two years for solar and wind power, then yeah, we should definitely go for nuclear power. And if nuclear power didn’t cost four, five times as much as solar and wind and pollute 30 times more than solar and wind, we should definitely go for nuclear power. And of course if nuclear power didn’t have weapons and meltdown risks, then it’s a slam dunk. We should definitely go for it. But it does have all these challenges. So either we learn to create energy from renewables and we deploy them faster or we are just kicking the can down the road and trading one set of problems from oil, gas and coal for another set of problems from nuclear power. And we don’t have that 10 to 20 to 30 years that nuclear power needs in any case. So I don’t understand why do we like to create problems first, then try to solve them later. And that makes me really angry. 

Everyone, individuals, startups, corporates, governments should be focused on solar power, wind power, hydropower, tidal power so that we can have a sustainable energy future and peace of mind. We’re wasting time just talking about nuclear power.

The Great Barrier Reef always makes me very angry. There’s a new study released in the past week in a very serious scientific journal called Nature, which found that the number of new corals settling on the Great Barrier Reef is down 90% – that’s nine zero – after we’ve experienced an unprecedented loss of corals from climate change in 2016 and 2017. So in other words, what this means is that there is, there was a huge decline in coral babies and we’re losing the Great Barrier Reef. Now, what did Sky News Australia think about that? Well, let me tell you what they thought about that. They dragged a charlatan in front of their cameras at least five times in just a few days around the release of that scientific study so that the charlatan tells us that the reef is in great shape, that the science about the Great Barrier Reef is probably wrong when anybody, anybody who watches any pictures of the great barrier reef or any videos of the Great Barrier Reef or is lucky enough to see it before it disappears on us knows this is simply not true.

And that makes me really angry. Now, why did Sky News Australia engage in this propaganda? I mean, I just completely fail to understand why they broadcast untruths. Why? The only thing I can think of is that their owner and his friends, so just a few of them really, are making so much money from the oil, gas and coal economy that if they even acknowledged for a second that the Great Barrier Reef is disappearing, they’d have to acknowledge that it’s because of climate change and then take responsibility for all that poison, the oil, gas and coal that they’re selling us. And these people understand only one thing. And that’s money. So the only thing they will understand is a massive drop in Sky News Australia subscribers. And I hope some of them are listening.

And here is my final rant of the week and this time it’s about dolphins. I’m not sure whether you heard that 1,100 mutilated dead dolphins have washed up on French beaches since January. So that’s in three months, 1,100 mutilated dolphins. Now that’s just the tip of the iceberg because the number of killed dolphins is probably 10 times that number. That’s 11,000 dolphins because many can’t swim to reach the beaches.

And do you know what’s behind this massive destruction of these lovely super intelligent descendants of land dwelling mammals that first went to the sea 50 million years ago? Industrial fishing, a secretive industry with literally a criminal mindset. You can watch some videos on YouTube and elsewhere captured by activists who worked very hard at following some of these industrial fishing vessels. And the videos are horrible to watch. What you see are massive boats with enormous gigantic nets trolling oceans, catching everything in their sight, keeping some fish, but at the same time killing millions each year and dumping them in the oceans. Fish we never see and there’s at least 70,000 of these ships measuring up to 140 meters trolling 55% of the entire world’s oceans. That’s four times the area covered by agriculture globally and no one knows how much of what they do is plain illegal fishing.

What we need to solve that problem is not very complicated. We need marine reserves which can be declared by countries on the sea. We need more and more intelligent fish farming and personally I would also like to see that the fish I eat comes from boats that are less than 10 meters and that are using a fishing line, not nets to capture fish. Now these three consumer facing measures would probably eliminate the disaster that’s industrial fishing.

Thank you so much for listening to me, The Angry Clean Energy Guy this far. My loser this week is Shell, the infamous oil company for its brazen, shameful propaganda about a $300 million alleged plan to, you guessed it, plant forests to offset carbon emissions. In other words, they want to sell us lots and lots of poison. Then they will invest some of their profits in moisturizing cream to attenuate our pain. How lovely. And that’s our pain. As we die. Shell, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

My winner of the week is fish because they have to date managed to survive us humans, the most lethal predator ever to inhabit earth.

Thank you for listening and don’t hesitate to send my way. Any questions you have about clean energy, climate change or whatever you like. Have a great week.

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About Me

There is so much to be angry about, if you are a clean energy guy.

Every day, so many things that happen around the world make me angry when I look at them with lenses colored by the climate change chaos unfolding everywhere around us. And I am especially angry because I know we can solve the climate change crisis if we were only trying.

Each week, I will share with you a few topics that struck me and that I was very angry about – and this will generally have to do with climate change, solar or wind power, plastic pollution, environmental degradation, wildlife, the oceans and other related topics.

Assaad Razzouk

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