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Bill Nye sat down with the Rolling Stone's Tessa Stuart yesterday to talk about his new book Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World, which came out last month, and what he'd like to see come out of the COP21 Paris agreement.
Bill Nye laid out his wish list just in time for the holidays. "By 2050, 100 percent renewable all over the world—we would not be making any more carbon dioxide or methane," he said. "We would have clean water for everyone on Earth, we would have reliable electricity for everyone on Earth and we'd have a means to take carbon out of the air."
The goal of 100 percent renewable by 2050 is backed up by several recent reports. This summer, professors out of Stanford and U.C. Berkeley laid out a plan for the U.S. to convert to 100 percent renewable energy in less than 40 years. And just last month, the same researchers came out with a roadmap for 139 countries to go 100 percent renewable by 2050. In September, Greenpeace published its Energy Revolution 2015 report, which also proposes a pathway to a 100 percent sustainable energy supply by 2050. One of the lead researchers on the Stanford study, Mark Jacobson, said the "barriers to getting to 100 percent clean energy are social and political, not technical or economic."
Politicians are even on board. Two Democratic presidential candidates, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders, who unveiled his plan earlier this week, call for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in their climate plans. And even while some politicians drag their feet because of the fossil fuel industry's influence on our political system, cities and states are plowing ahead with ambitious renewable energy targets. Places as different as Kodiak Island, Alaska; Burlington, Vermont; and Aspen, Colorado have already made the transition to fossil-fuel-free energy.
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Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.
Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.