Sunlight is free, and solar-power will soon be cheaper than oil, coal or natural gas — even in the United States. We hear what that could mean for current energy industries, public utilities, government regulators and the homeowners of America. Also, Israel closes a holy site as tensions mount in Jerusalem, and if you’re looking for a healthy, alternative to meat and fish, maybe it’s time to try insects.
FROM THIS EPISODE
For the first time in years, Israeli authorities blocked access today to one of Jerusalem’s contested holy sites — called the “Temple Mount” by Jews and the “Noble Sanctuary” by Muslims. A Palestinian spokesman called it a “declaration of war.” Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the New York Times, updates the situation.
In the 1980’s, there was skepticism about the economic viability of cell phones. Now, most of the world’s poorest people can afford them. Today, the cost of fossil fuels is going up, while the cost of solar power is going down, and although solar power supplies less than 1% of global energy needs, the tipping point has already arrived in many developing countries. In the US, it could happen by 2020. A decade later, fossil fuels could be economically obsolete. We’ve heard such predictions before, and the transition will not be easy. Coal, Big Oil and public utilities won’t lie down. Government policies will be crucial. Will photovoltaic cells be the cell phones of the future? We look at the challenges posed by inevitable change in technology.
Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (@EthanALL)
Tony Seba, Stanford University (@TonySeba)
Eric Wesoff, Greentech Media (@ewesoff)
Severin Borenstein, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (@borensteins)
At some upscale restaurants in New York and London, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and spiders are now on the menu. The Dutch Supermarket group Jumbo has announced it will start selling edible insect products in all its stores next year. Will American supermarkets be next? Marcel Dicke, professor of Entomology in the Netherlands and author of The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet, has more on the latest foodie discovery for a healthy, alternative diet.
Marcel Dicke, Wageningen University
Arnold van Huis
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