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The Angry Clean Energy Guy
26 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
The Angry Clean Energy Guy on pretty much everything you really need to know about nuclear energy. That's for example the fact that conventional nuclear energy is not only finished, but has also become a massive distraction in our climate emergency, diverting precious dollars away from sun, wind and water. Or the fact that nuclear fusion is worthy of investing enormously more money and careers in, even if we won't have a result for 50 or 100 years (who knows), because limitless, clean and around around-the-clock power will most likely be our most amazing scientific achievement ever, and because it's already made more progress than expected
23 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
The IPCC released a hugely important scientific report this week. However, in this episode, I would like to talk about biodiversity instead, and in particular, biodiversity loss in the oceans. On climate change, it's crystal clear that what we desperately need is action because the evidence is all around us. However, we rarely talk about action to counter biodiversity loss. Yet, the mutually reinforcing nature of climate change and biodiversity loss means that satisfactorily resolving either issue requires consideration of the other, and action: In the real world, the multiple impacts of climate change everywhere increasingly add to the enormous human pressure on biodiversity loss, which to put it bluntly, is about how we’re wiping out, or certainly trying to wipe out, pretty much everything on Earth, from trees to fish to insects to birds to mammals and more. Much more.
23 minutes | May 21, 2021
I’ve had it with the bashing of bitcoin, the blockchain and crypto miners for their energy usage. This is all, in one word, noise and should be ignored. 250 million people already think bitcoin is useful. In addition, the world consumes approximately 160,000 TWh / year of energy and wastes, along the way, at least one-third. What bitcoin consumes is 0.07% of that energy and 0.002% of what we waste. Most importantly, the disruption of information technology created by bits is an excellent preview of what electrons are in the process of doing, once increasingly massive amounts of excess energy compared to existing electricity demand, at near-zero marginal cost, are delivered: Entirely new business models and applications will emerge, alongside the electrification of everything. We can already see the harbinger of the electron abundance era in the increasing electrification of cars, scooters and buses as well as heating for example, and this will extend to multiple other sectors such water treatment, green cement and green steel, waste processing and many others. Bitcoin miners are just the vanguard.
23 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
This Episode is a slightly longer version of a TEDx Talk I gave at Singapore's National Gallery on 28 April 2021 about ESG.What Bill Gates calls the “Green Premium”, the extra cost we have to pay because most zero-carbon products currently appear more expensive than their fossil-fuel equivalents, doesn’t in fact exist. We only have a “green premium” because we have been "cooking the books," mis-stating the earnings of corporations worldwide by letting them get away with not pricing their environmental destruction through their income statements. As a result, based on mis-stated and incorrect corporate profits, we have diverted trillions over the past 40 years which could have moved us to a safer planet much faster, but instead were spent digging and burning more coal, oil, and gas, producing more plastic and paying everybody handsomely along the way. The "cooking the books" pandemic needs to be stopped right now.
33 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
The Angry Clean Energy Guy on pretty much everything you need to know about ESG, starting with the need to be very suspicious whenever you see an ESG label on an investment product. ESG has become a huge business, with one dollar out of every 3 professionally managed dollars in the US for example labelled “ESG” (and an even greater proportion in Europe). The trend is clear and pretty much 100% of funds under management will have an ESG label soon. But in order for this to have a material impact in the fight for clean air, against climate change and against environmental destruction, we need global ESG standards and we need to divorce the “E" from the "S" and the "G". Then, we need to price the "E": Climate risk isn't just a disclosure issue and should be priced into earnings, as should other environmental risks. Then we would have a chance to change the world.
36 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
If you want to get elected, requirement number one is to come up with a meaningless tagline while pretending everything is going pear-shaped, e.g. “Take Back Control” or “Make America Great Again.” Adopting tactics from that playbook, today's requirement number one to continue to pollute at will (while everything is actually going pear-shaped) is to announce “NET ZERO by [insert date, the more distant the better],” then to keep polluting at will, hiding behind voluntary carbon offsets. So I am just going to come out and say it: Voluntary carbon markets should be cancelled. All of them. Corporations buying carbon offsets when not required by law, in other words voluntary carbon credits, are greenwashing. Some know it, some don’t – it doesn’t matter in any case: They need to stop. Individuals buying carbon offsets on a voluntary basis (to offset their flights or the pollution from their gas-guzzling SUVs) are mostly being abused.
25 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Over the past year, multiple oil and gas companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in planting trees, or threatening to do so, to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. There are, however, several fundamental problems with what they are doing, or probably more accurately, pretending to do. First, most are planting trees to earn carbon offsets, as if they are at Church, confessed, received a penance – the carbon offsets – and were imparted absolution. But even if they could be absolved by planting trees, which they can’t, surely they can’t then go and sell that absolution to consumers, which is exactly what some of them are doing. Shell for example has an entire effort trying to get petrol car drivers to pay a premium at the pump to buy carbon offsets from Shell, at a profit. Second, generating the carbon offsets from planting trees, even if this was real (it's not, in most cases) does not mean they can keep burning down the house. They should be decreasing their emissions, not greenwashing. Finally, not much attention is being paid to what trees are being planted, how and where. The reality is that planting trees is largely unnecessary. Far more critical is to stop global deforestation and to re-grow the global forest by preparing the ground, understanding our limitations and getting out of the way.
26 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
We need to talk about lawyers and about law firms. One of the strongest weapons in the fight to do nothing at all about climate change is the anti-climate-action litigation carried out by most, if not all, of the largest law firms in the world. Law firms, quietly and below the radar, do three big, bad things: By a ratio of 10 to 1, they love to work on cases that make climate change worse; they adore helping the fossil fuel industry, petrochemical companies and plastic polluters with whatever they may require; and they are enthusiastic lobbyists for the destruction of the planet.They need to be called out. New graduates should avoid the worst of them (that's 80% of top law firms). Lawyers employed there should push to change them. Corporations, governments, service providers, investors, banks, insurance companies, development finance institutions and any corporate making a net-zero commitment should scrutinize their credentials, hire those that are helping in the fight against climate change and force a change in the appalling behaviors of most of that industry, the law firms destroying the world.
28 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
With an estimated $30 trillion in assets under management, the insurance industry is a huge (but mostly invisible) force in influencing the direction of the global economy. Yet insurance companies are doing incredibly little to fight climate change - and get away with it: Out of the largest 30 insurers in the world, 29 pretty much do not take the Paris Climate Agreement at all into account and continue to back new oil, gas and coal as well as collect vast premiums from existing oil, gas and coal projects. Collectively, their Paris Climate Agreement-related policies, where these exist at all, amount to not much more than a giant pile of green-washing guff.
24 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
If you listen to banks and their explanations of they are doing about climate change, you might get the impression that most "get it" and are fighting it shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of humanity. In fact, banks are funding enough carbon-intensive projects and companies to guarantee a 4°C rise or above in global warming, with their eyes wide open and in full cognizance of the facts.This episode on banks is the first in a series by The Angry Clean Energy Guy focused on the key actors in our global financial system - from banks to insurance companies, accountants, lawyers, rating agencies and institutional investors - and exposing who is really fighting climate change and who is pretending to while in reality putting short-term profit over people, health and planet.
20 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
"Fresh air" is a myth. In reality, 90% of us (worldwide) are breathing dirty air on a permanent basis. Because we can't see the pollution in our air, we don't tend to think about it enough. But our air is weakening all of us and killing 7 million a year, as well as placing an undue burden on health systems in every country. This has to stop and it can: No more petrol or diesel cars, trucks, buses, two- and three-wheelers, or trains - all of which can be replaced today by clean alternatives. Soon, no more petrol or diesel ships and planes too. Let's get going.
29 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
The latest, newest attacks against clean energy, namely “Oh my God, what are we going to do with all those solar panels and wind turbines and batteries at the end of their lives” and "Oh my God, what about the mining practices employed to get the materials necessary for clean energy ” are, in one word, bollocks.In Episode 42 of The Angry Clean Energy Guy, you will hear how the take-back and treatment of solar panels, inverters and batteries is already mandatory in the EU and is going global; how technologies to recycle solar panels are today everywhere around us and some reach an astonishing 96% recycling efficiency; how you can already recycle 85 to 90% of the total mass of wind turbines; and how 95% of lithium-ion battery components are being turned into new batteries or used in other industries. Most importantly perhaps, you can also see why the DNA of the clean energy industry is about building a circular economy around its products, in contrast to the DNA of Big Oil, which is about destroying, free of charge to them, our habitat.
18 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
October, 2020 marked the end of an era: The world’s largest solar and wind power generator, the US utility NextEra, surpassed ExxonMobil - literally the embodiment of Big Oil's recklessness and once the most valuable company on earth - in stock market worth: It took a pandemic to show the markets that the time for clean energy and clean air is right now, and here we are.Major announcements around new renewable energy plans were being made in the same period that NextEra was eclipsing ExxonMobil: Apparently, oil companies including Total, Shell and BP and oil traders including Vitol, Trafigura and Mercuria are intending to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments in renewable energy and battery storage.In this episode, The Angry Clean Energy Guy attempts to weigh the depth, breadth and sustainability of the wall of money about to pour into clean energy and to assess the implications on Big Oil's future and on renewable energy markets around the world.
27 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Indonesia, population 270m and basking in abundant sunshine most of the year while stretched across the Equator, has less installed solar power capacity (198MW) than Finland (215MW), an Arctic country with just 5.5m people. That's one of the reasons South East Asia remains the global laggard on renewable energy while at the same time threatening to set the world on fire through the world's last great expansion in coal and gas infrastructure. But the resistance of powerful vested interests in ASEAN to renewable energy, transport sector electrification, fighting the plastic pandemic and investing less in fossil fuels can’t last: The clean energy revolution is poised to steamroll fossil fuels in South East Asia too, as the cost of renewables continues to plunge and the climate emergency accelerates.
21 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
I am sharing good news on this podcast: Natural gas is done in 10 years. Certainly in Europe. Give it another 5 years on top and it will also be done in Asia and in the US too. It’s going the same way as coal. Why? In short, because the information fog is lifting after decades of obfuscation: We now know it's about as dirty as coal. Whoever named it "Natural Gas" instead of "Highly Explosive Climate Change Accelerating Fossil Fuel Gas" deserves a branding award.
26 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
The plastic industry says it’s a "hero" of the coronavirus pandemic. What is driving this propaganda? Single-use plastic is a big chunk of the future demand for oil forecast by OPEC or by the International Energy Agency and their other friends trying to cook the books. So if you take out single-use plastic, future demand for oil and gas will decline immediately and so will the projected revenues of that entire industry. That, in turn, has all sorts of consequences for the cost of capital of oil and gas companies, which ultimately means that they will be able to do no more new oil and gas exploration. Furthermore, they would have to close down, gradually, what they're doing now. That's why the plastic industry is now selling itself as a "hero" of the fight against the coronavirus - and nothing could be further from the truth.
22 minutes | May 31, 2020
Recently, an open letter from dozens of investors, business leaders, researchers and climate policy advocates accused the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization mistakenly labelled as "authoritative", of marginalizing key climate goals in its research. They were being too polite: The IEA is a very dangerous organization and should simply be closed, because it's a fossil fuel relic incapable of reform. I'm afraid this podcast is entirely dedicated to explaining why.
23 minutes | May 10, 2020
The Angry Clean Energy Guy on the incredible resilience of renewable energy in the midst of a pandemic, and why that means its rise will accelerate further post COVID-19; and on the incredible non-resilience of the airline industry, its irresponsible and reckless mis-management and why the earthquake in its midst means it has already seen its carbon emissions peak
22 minutes | Apr 25, 2020
In our arsenal of anti-virus weapons, a powerful force is emerging. It’s one of the most hygienic alternatives for the prevention of the virus and it’s changing the world before our eyes. This not-so-secret weapon is cheap and promotes cleaner air. It's healthy. It allows us to move about. It contributes powerfully to the fight against climate change, yet effortlessly delivers social distancing. It's also allowing us to re-imagine our "after Coronavirus" world. In this Episode 35, The Angry Clean Energy Guy sets out future trends that you can already bank on across the real estate, transportation, consumer, healthcare and energy sectors, all of which are driven by the humble bicycle.
30 minutes | Apr 11, 2020
"If you want a proper adaptation strategy to the Coronavirus, then you must finally properly tackle climate change. There. I said it."In this Episode 34, The Angry Clean Energy Guy describes what the "exit strategy" is for the global Coronavirus lockdown and how this exit strategy is so similar to the one from climate change; and then he describes some of the future trends that we can already see shaping our society post-Coronavirus and what these mean, especially from the perspective of climate change.
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