A Completely Renewable Future Isn’t As Far-Fetched as We Think
New research suggests that converting all of our energy to renewable energy might actually be possible by 2050.
It’s hip to talk about renewable energy these days, but do you ever wonder how realistic it would be to convert all our energy to renewable sources such as wind and solar? A recent collaborative study between Stanford and UC Berkeley found that actually the entire world could be powered by renewables as early as 2050, given the right kind of research and investment. The researchers looked at maps to estimate what various types of energy demands will be like in the future all over the world, and concluded that an entirely renewable world isn’t as distant of a possibility as we might think.
Part of the reason that the researchers decided they believe in a renewable world had to do with the continually falling price of renewable energy sources. Wind energy, for instance, is already cheaper than natural gas, so in the coming years the price of converting to or building new renewable power sources won’t be quite as intimidating as it is now. Additionally, researchers mentioned that converting to renewable energy sources will lower health care costs that would otherwise result from poor air quality caused by polluting fuels.
Climate change has been on the world’s radar for many years, and gets framed quite differently depending on who you talk to. Some see climate change as a very imminent threat to human existence on the planet, while others don’t quite believe that it’s happening. Which side is right?
Well, it turns out there might be some truth to both beliefs. New research suggests that the most dangerous effects of climate change might actually be about a century away. So while climate change is certainly coming, this new information might actually be positive news for our chances of impacting its progression. If we act now and over the next few years, we may actually have enough time to achieve that fully renewable vision before the dangerous side effects of climate change kick in. With enough planning, human beings should be able to stick around the planet for quite a while yet to come.
Pay attention to the decisions made by the provinces.
- China leads the world in numerous green energy categories.
- CO2 emissions in the country totaling more than all coal emissions in the U.S. have recently emerged.
- This seems to be an administrative-induced blip on the way towards a green energy tipping point.
NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.
Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!
And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"
All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!
If you want to be a better and more passionate communicator, these tips are important.
If you identify as being a socially conscious person in today's age of outrage, you've likely experienced the bewildering sensation when a conversation that was once harmless, suddenly doesn't feel that way anymore. Perhaps you're out for a quick bite with family, friends, or coworkers when the conversation takes a turn. Someone's said something that doesn't sit right with you, and you're unsure of how to respond. Navigating social situations like this is inherently stressful.
Below are five expert-approved tips on how to maintain your cool and effectively communicate.
Calling all big thinkers!
- The next Mega Millions drawing is scheduled for Oct. 23 at 11 pm E.T.
- The odds of any one ticket winning are about 1 in 300 million.
- This might be a record-setting jackpot, but that doesn't mean you have a better chance of winning.
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.
- Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
- Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
- The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Money makes the world go 'round. Unfortunately, it can make both children and adults into materialists.
- Keeping a gratitude journal caused children to donate 60 percent more to charitable causes.
- Other methods suggested by researchers include daily gratitude reflection, gratitude posters, and keeping a "gratitude jar."
- Materialism has been shown to increase anxiety and depression and promote selfish attitudes and behavior.
The Boring Company plans to offer free rides in its prototype tunnel in Hawthorne, California in December.
- The prototype tunnel is about 2 miles long and contains electric skates that travel at top speeds of around 150 mph.
- This is the first tunnel from the company that will be open to the public.
- If successful, the prototype could help the company receive regulatory approval for much bigger projects in L.A. and beyond.
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