A View from Richard Martin
Recommended Energy Reads This Week
A roundup of the best stories on energy from other sites, collected by Richard Martin, MIT Technology Review’s energy editor.
Thousand-Year Rains Possible in Carolinas; Joaquin Headed North
From Weather Underground, a fascinating deep dive into the science of Hurricane Joaquin, showing why the Southeast is experiencing a historic deluge. The cause is a “Predecessor Rain Event,” and the result is Charleston and Columbia under water.
India’s Climate-Change Plan Means Your Grandkids Might Not Be Underwater
Offering a prelude to my cover story on India’s energy future in the November/December issue of MIT Technology Review, Jonathan Chait of New York magazine takes a rosy view of India’s path forward: India’s latest plan to shift away from coal toward renewable energy and to limit its greenhouse gas emissions is a very encouraging sign. India has dropped its demands for the West to pay for climate change measures (that’s not entirely accurate), “and is now putting its economy on a path where it can increase its prosperity without a one-to-one increase in emissions.” That would be huge.
One Scientist’s Hopeful View on How to Repair the Planet
Unlike most climate scientists these days, Johan Rockström is no catastrophist. The executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Center and author of a new book, Big World, Small Planet, Rockström believes that mankind still has the resourcefulness, the inventiveness, and the will to save itself and the planet. To be sure, climate change will wreak widespread change, not to say havoc, Rockström tells Yale Environment 360. But “It’s not a journey where we are backing into the caves. It’s a journey of high technology, good health, of better democracy, and huge, multiple benefits that [go] well beyond saving the planet.”
Africa Is Growing Fast—and Yet It’s Still Wildly Uncompetitive
Analysts and pundits have talked for years about Africa’s potential for an economic renaissance over the next couple of decades, in particular its potential as a vibrant market for renewable energy technology. Not so fast, says this analysis on Quartz based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness List. “Fifteen out of the 20 lowest ranked economies were in sub-Saharan Africa. Only three [African] countries—Mauritius, South Africa, and Rwanda—were ranked above 70th place, out of 140 countries.”