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
More From To the Point
Teachers are battling back Teachers are mad as hell in several red states. They’re walking out over cuts in pay and reductions in classroom support. It’s a grass-roots rebellion from West Virginia to Kentucky and Arizona. Will it renew support for the value of public education in a changing economy?
After the Iran Nuclear Deal: Does Trump have a Plan B President Trump made good on a campaign promise. The U.S. is out of the “horrible” “one-sided” Iran nuclear deal. Can it stop Iran from restoring its nuclear program? Make diplomatic peace with allies in Europe? Convince North Korea the U.S. can be trusted?
Autocracy, Theocracy and… paperwork Last month in Berlin, Warren visited the archives of Stasi, the Communist secret police of East Germany. He learned that paperwork was almost as important to oppressive control as maintaining a climate of fear. Then he heard Rukmini Callamachi’s podcast, “Caliphate,” about gathering records from ISIS. The result is a riveting conversation between Callamachi and Dagmar Hovestadt, spokesperson for the Stasi Museum.
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