Earth Policy Institute: Podcast (data highlights)

With the signing of a plastic bag ban in California on September 30, 2014, the number of Americans who will be affected by anti-bag legislation by 2015 climbed to 49 million.

Direct download: Bag_Bans_Cover_49_Million_Americans.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 9:51am EST

Denmark produced one third of its electricity from the wind in 2013. In no other country has wind’s share of annual electricity generation yet topped 30 percent. But the Danes are not stopping there—they are eyeing a goal of 50 percent wind by 2020, with most of the needed expansion coming from offshore wind farms.

Direct download: Denmark_World_Wind.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 10:35am EST

China installed a world record amount of solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity in 2013. While this was the first time the country was the number one installer, China has led all countries in making PV for the better part of a decade.

Direct download: china_solar_panels_2017.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 9:40am EST

There are still some countries with a large potential for expanding fertilizer use. But in the many countries that have effectively removed nutrient constraints on crop yields, applying more fertilizer has little effect on yields. For the world as a whole, the era of rapidly growing fertilizer use is now history.

Direct download: fertilizer_use_diminishing.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 9:55am EST

In China, wind power is leaving nuclear behind. Electricity output from China’s wind farms exceeded that from its nuclear plants for the first time in 2012, by a narrow margin. Then in 2013, wind pulled away—outdoing nuclear by 22 percent. The 135 terawatt-hours of Chinese wind-generated electricity in 2013 would be nearly enough to power New York State.

Direct download: generation_gap_wind_over_nuclear.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 3:14pm EST

Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels in the United States peaked at more than 1.6 billion tons of carbon in 2007. Since then they have fallen 11 percent, dropping to over 1.4 billion tons in 2013, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Emissions shrank rapidly during the recession, then bounced back slightly as the economy recovered. But shifting market conditions, pollution regulations, and changing behaviors are also behind the decline.

Direct download: Carbon_Emissions_Down_11_Percent.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

The opening of the San Francisco Bay Area bike share on August 29, 2013, brings the combined fleet of shared bikes in the United States above 18,000, more than a doubling since the start of the year. The United States is now home to 34 modern bike-sharing programs that allow riders to easily make short trips on two wheels without having to own a bicycle.

Direct download: bike_sharing_2013.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 2:07pm EST

While meat consumption in the United States has fallen more than 5 percent since peaking in 2007, Chinese meat consumption has leapt 18 percent, from 64 million to 78 million (metric) tons—twice as much as in the United States. Pork is by far China’s favorite protein, which helps to explain the late-May announced acquisition of U.S. meat giant Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s leading pork producer, by the Chinese company Shuanghui International, owner of China’s largest meat processor.

Direct download: China_Smithfield.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 11:23am EST

Freeing America from its dependence on oil from unstable parts of the world is an admirable goal, but many of the proposed solutions—including the push for more home-grown biofuels and for the construction of the new Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast—are harmful and simply unnecessary.

Direct download: Falling_Gasoline_Use.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 11:27am EST

The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil, and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy in 2011: some $100 billion for production and $523 billion for consumption.

Direct download: Energy_Game_Is_Rigged.mp3
Category:Data Highlights -- posted at: 1:25pm EST