Earth Policy Institute: Podcast

For the first time in over 40 years, Japan has not a single nuclear power plant generating electricity. The March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown shattered public confidence in atomic energy. And the disaster’s legacy has spread far beyond Japan. Some European countries have decided to phase out their nuclear programs entirely. With the world’s fleet of reactors aging, and with new plants suffering construction delays and cost increases, it is possible that world nuclear electricity generation has peaked and begun a long-term decline.

Direct download: Fukushima_Meltdown_Hastens_Decline_of_Nuclear_Power.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 2:17pm EST

The Arab countries in the Middle East and Africa make up only 5 percent of the world's population, yet they take in more than 20 percent of the world's grain exports. Population growth and increased meat and dairy consumption have raised grain use per person by 50 percent from 1970-2011. With water scarce, arable land limited, and production stagnating, grain imports are likely to continue rising.

Direct download: Arab_Grain_Imports_Rising_Rapidly.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 3:03pm EST

More than a quarter of all the meat produced worldwide is now eaten in China, and the country's 1.35 billion people are hungry for more. China's annual meat consumption of 71 million tons is more than double that in the United States. With U.S. meat consumption falling and China's meat consumption still rising, the trajectories of these two countries are determining the shape of agriculture around the planet.

Direct download: Meat_Consumption_in_China_Now_Double_That_in_United_States.mp3
Category:Plan B Updates -- posted at: 2:56pm EST

Moving the global economy off its current decline-and-collapse path depends on reaching four goals: stabilizing climate, stabilizing population, eradicating poverty, and restoring the economy's natural support systems. These goals are mutually dependent. All are essential to feeding the world's people. It is unlikely that we can reach any one goal without reaching the others.

Direct download: Getting_the_Market_to_Tell_the_Truth.mp3
Category:Book Bytes -- posted at: 12:36pm EST

A new picture is emerging in the U.S. power sector. While electricity generation from coal peaked in 2007 and nuclear generation fell between 2007 and 2011, wind-generated electricity grew by a whopping 36 percent each year over the same period. Multiple factors underlie this nascent shift in U.S. electricity production including the global recession, increasing energy efficiency, and more economically recoverable domestic natural gas. But ultimately it is the increasing attractiveness of wind as an energy source that will drive it into prominence.

Direct download: Wind_Tops_10_Percent_Share_of_Electricity.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 10:52am EST