President Obama has incited tensions with some in the higher levels of Australian government after using his closing remarks at the G20 summit to demand Australia do more to protect the Great Barrier Reef. In response, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop sent a letter to President Obama “briefing” him on the government’s extensive work in protecting the natural treasure.
President Obama’s statements towards the end of the summit appeared to be a response to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s insistence that the G20 leaders discuss pressing economic topics at the conference and not “climate change.” Abbott has previously dismissed climate change as a less serious issue facing the world today than various regional economic crises, wars, and the ever-constant threat of terror.
The Abbott administration also led the charge to repeal Australia’s carbon tax, which had significantly damaged the growth of the economy. Continue reading
After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.
Ivanpah is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. It was unveiled in February with great fanfare. Dr. Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, justified taxpayers’ investment at the time, saying, “We want to be technology leaders. It’s good for our economy and it’s also good for helping stimulate the global transition to low carbon.” Continue reading
The two ends of Fusion energy research have claimed ‘success’ this month. The big end of town Hot Fusion researchers, have claimed to have a new technology that will shrink reactor size to manageable proportions, making commercialization more realistic. None other than the famously covert Lockheed Martin Skunk Works have made the claim, of having moved Hot Fusion a step closer to commercialisation by using an alternate containment technology to shrink the usual massive tokamak containment technology to more manageable, and commercial, size. It was claimed by Lockheed Martin, in Aviation Week, that their new CFM technology can increase containment effectiveness by 10 times that of a traditional tokamak.
Meanwhile at the bench-top ‘poor cousin’ Cold Fusion, end of the Fusion energy spectrum, a success of sorts has been claimed by the Andrea Rossi E-Cat Cold Fusion team. It has been claimed in the tech journal Ny Teknik and Pure Energy Systems News that the claimed 1 Megawatt E-Cat cell preformed a test run for 5 hours. The output power was given as 470 Kilowatts, down from the nominal 1 Megawatt due to technical problems running the cell at full power.