Germany Will Be Nuclear-Free by 2022
Germany's government agreed early today to shut down all the country's nuclear power plants by 2022, making it the first major industrialized nation in the last 25 years to go nuclear-free.
What's the Latest Development?
A political consensus has emerged from Germany's coalition government to shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Norbert Röttgen, the country's environment minister, said that the nature of the agreement is what is most pleasing: a clear cross-party decision to end the German nuclear power industry. "'This is coherent. It is clear,' Röttgen told reporters in Berlin. 'That's why it is a good result.' ... 'We want the electricity of the future to be safe, reliable and economically viable,' Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Monday."
What's the Big Idea?
Germany, Europe's largest economy, stands alone among the world's major industrialized nations still using nuclear power in its determination to gradually replace it with renewable-energy sources. "Germany's energy supply chain 'needs a new architecture,' necessitating huge efforts in boosting renewable energies, efficiency gains and overhauling the electricity grid, Merkl said. 'We have to follow a new path.' ... Many Germans have been vehemently opposed to nuclear power since the Chernobyl disaster sent radioactive fallout over the country."
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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