0

Without nuclear power, the world’s climate challenge will get a whole lot harder

Posted on

The Covid-19 crisis not only delivered an unprecedented shock to the world economy. It also underscored the scale of the climate challenge we face: Even in the current deep recession, global carbon emissions remain unsustainable.



a sunset in the background: White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. - Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)


© Sebastien Berda/AFP/Getty Images
White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. – Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)

If the world is to meet energy security and climate goals, clean energy must be at the core of post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. Strong growth in wind and solar energy and in the use of electric cars gives us grounds for hope, as does the promise of emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. But the scale of the challenge means we cannot afford to exclude any available technologies, including nuclear power — the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon electricity after hydropower.

The power sector is the key to the clean energy transition. It is the single largest source of global emissions because most electricity is generated from fossil fuels. By significantly expanding the amount of electricity produced from low-carbon sources, we can help to reduce emissions not only from power generation, but also from sectors like transport, where low-carbon electricity can now fuel cars, trucks and buses.

This is a major undertaking. Low-carbon electricity generation will need to triple by 2040 to put the world on track to reach energy and climate goals. That is the equivalent of adding Japan’s entire power system to the global grid every year. It is very difficult to see how this can be done without a considerable contribution from nuclear power.

Nuclear power generated a near-record amount of electricity

0

Jacqui Lambie is right – it just got harder for working class kids like me to go to university

Posted on

I know Senator Jacqui Lambie is a controversial figure but after scuttling government’s refugee phone ban and now delivering this powerful speech on working class kids, I am starting to warm up to her.



a large stone building with a clock tower: Photograph: David Mariuz/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: David Mariuz/AAP

Her recent speech on the floor of the Senate opposing the government’s university changes because they would make it hard for working class students to go to university resonated with me on so many levels.

I know because I was one of those working-class students she talked about.

Related: Jacqui Lambie to oppose Coalition’s university funding changes, saying poor kids ‘get a raw deal’

I went to one of the poorest high schools in this country – Parafield Gardens high school. A school with no culture of students going on to tertiary education.

It was assumed, and accepted, by those around me that if you came from the northern suburbs of Adelaide, you would end up on the factory floor.

Completing Year 10 was the ceiling. You were then ushered into vocational training and then into a low paid, insecure job behind a till or on a factory line (if you were lucky).

Universities did not bother with us.

We did not have mentors or “old boys’ or networks to open doors for us, prop us up and set up connections for life.

I was supposed to end up slaughtering chickens at the local abattoir with my twin brother before moving up to a job with Holden’s Elizabeth plant – with my older brother.

But it is not just that society (teachers, politicians, universities) gave up on me, on us working class kids, it could also be our own families.

Unlike most ethnic parents, my mother was never too keen on education because none of her working-class friends

0

Gravity As Matter Warping Space-Time Now 500 Times Harder To Disprove

Posted on

KEY POINTS

  • Many experts cast doubts on Einstein’s theory for more than a century
  • A new study proved Einstein’s theory of relativity aligns with present-day quantum physics
  • The conclusion was based on the first photo of a supermassive black hole

Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity becomes 500 times harder to negate as the first image ever taken of supermassive blackholes made a stronger case that gravity, indeed, is a matter warping spacetime. The photo of the black hole’s shadow was consistent with astrophysical findings of the much later time, therefore giving significant weight to Einstein’s idea of general relativity. 

Einstein’s theory that gravity is caused by a warping spacetime has been under the scientific lens for more than 100 years. Many experts of modern times have cast their doubts on his finding, saying that it remains mathematically irreconcilable with the foundation of quantum mechanics. 

In general, quantum physicists assert that Einstein’s theory of relativity contradicts the scientific understanding of the subatomic world. So far, nothing has proved Einstein wrong. 

Simulation of Binary black hole merger GW190521. Up to now, black holes with mass 100 to 1,000 times that of our Sun had never been found Simulation of Binary black hole merger GW190521. Up to now, black holes with mass 100 to 1,000 times that of our Sun had never been found Photo: MAX PLANCK INSTISTUTE FOR GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS / N. Fischer

A new study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, which assessed the first photo taken of the supermassive black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Earth’s sun, favored Einstein once again.    

A team of astrophysicists from the University of Arizona who conducted the study measured the distortion in the black hole’s shadow. They concluded that the shadow is consistent with Einstein’s theory of relativity.   

“[F]or the first time we have a different gauge by which we can do a test that’s 500 times better, and that gauge is the shadow