News Brief: Week of January 28th

Jonathan Staufer | January 30, 2019 | Leave a Comment

People tend to overlook the humble bus as a way to cut traffic and emissions. Not so in Dar es Salam. The Guardian reports the burgeoning metropolis has cut commutes by up to two hours each day. The article also juxtaposes the difference between the successful efforts of that city and the less successful – and exceedingly capital intensive -efforts of other African cities to build metros.

With the new year barely upon us, the global protest movement is in full swing: 70,000 protesters took to the streets of Brussels to demand Belgium and the EU step up efforts to halt climate change and The Sunrise Movement pressuring the new US Congress toward a “Green New Deal.”

Several articles pointed to the connection between obesity and climate change, highlighting the importance of having an interdisciplinary understanding of our systems and their relationship to one another.

High Country News published two articles, one discussed the future of nuclear power, another discussed the detrimental impacts of nuclear development in the American West. In Colorado, Xcel Energy and the Platte River Power Authority are both looking to nuclear to be part of the state’s drive toward a zero carbon future. Modular micro-reactor designer Transatomic closed its doors in September, but is open sourcing its research so others can carry on the work. Micro reactors may get a further boost from a recent call from the US Military for the reactors that can fit “on a truck and a C-17 aircraft and generate from one to 10 megawatts of electric power for three years without refueling.”

A necessary conversation: Carbon-based fuels have allowed humanity to exceed the limits of natural production by an extraordinary degree. Unless a sea-change in consciousness – or more likely, a disaster unlike any experienced in human history – occurs, returning us to a simpler lifestyle, nuclear power will be a necessary tool in combating climate change. Since beginning my efforts with the MAHB, I’ve been pondering this a great deal and I should very much like to hear your thoughts in view of a future article to be shared with the MAHB community soon.

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.