The Science Council for Global Initiatives (SCGI) is an international NGO dedicated to uplifting the standards of living of people of all nations while repairing our damaged environment.

Mid-October’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis included the premier of a new pro-nuclear documentary entitled The New Fire. The movie focuses on the rise of reactor startups, particularly Transatomic and Oklo, illustrating how young inventor/entrepreneurs are striving to bring advanced nuclear power designs to market. The director, David Schumacher, hopes to not only educate and inspire his audiences to learn more about nuclear power, but to expose young people to the possibilities and excitement of a career in science or engineering.

Heartland Film Festival 2017Several of the people who appear in the documentary were invited to attend the premier, and to participate in the Q&A sessions that followed the movie’s screenings. SCGI president Tom Blees appears at various points in the documentary, and joined David and several others in Indianapolis, engaging the audiences after the showings. Both were sold out, and after the limited Q&A time was filled the conversations continued in the theater lobbies afterwards, and even the next day when film festival-goers recognized Tom and wanted to engage in conversations about nuclear power issues.

by Hannah Ritchie

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.
This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Energy Production and Changing Energy Sources.

 Energy production and consumption is a fundamental component to economic development, poverty alleviation, improvements in living standards, and ultimately health outcomes. We show this link between energy production and prosperity here, where we see a distinct relationship between energy use and gross domestic product per capita.
The unintentional consequences of energy production can, however, also result in negative health outcomes. The production of energy can be attributed to both mortality (deaths) and morbidity (severe illness) cases as a consequence of each stage of the energy production process: this includes accidents in the mining of the raw material, the processing and production phases, and pollution-related impacts. We have recently explored this trade-off with respect to development and air pollution.

 

A recent article in Engineering News argued that wind and solar could provide the bulk of South Africa’s power at the least cost. Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz argued that building 22 GW of wind and solar capacity and 8 GW of “backup” (in the form of coal and/or gas) was the sensible solution to supplying a reliable 8 GW of electrical power to South Africa. Apparently his argument is that the amount of money saved on fuel will outweigh the cost of such extreme overbuilding.

Having seen actual results of such folly based on computer modelling and other types of simulations, one can be forgiven for being skeptical of such claims.