- Over 4,200 Amazon Workers Push for Climate Change Action, Including Cutting Some Ties to Big Oil
- [Updated] Elon Musk Confirms That Construction Of Tesla’s New Gigafactory In China Is On Track
- China Considers Ban on Cryptocurrency Mining Because It’s a Stupid Waste of Energy
- Canada replaces largest North American coal plant with solar
- Global economy would save up to $160 trillion by shifting to renewables, electric cars
1) Over 4,200 Amazon Workers Push for Climate Change Action, Including Cutting Some Ties to Big Oil
Employees at big tech companies have pushed back against their employers for working with the military and law enforcement offices, and demanded better treatment of women and minorities. Now, thousands of them are also taking on climate change. This week, more than 4,200 Amazon employees called on the company to rethink how it addresses and contributes to a warming planet. The action is the largest employee-driven movement on climate change to take place in the influential tech industry. The workers say the company needs to make firm commitments to reduce its carbon footprint across its vast operations, not make piecemeal or vague announcements. And they say that Amazon should stop offering custom cloud-computing services that help the oil and gas industry find and extract more fossil fuels. The goal for Amazon’s leaders and employees is “that climate change is something they think about whenever a business decision is being made,” said Rajit Iftikhar, a software engineer in Amazon’s retail business. “We want to make Amazon a better company. It is a natural extension of that.”
2) [Updated] Elon Musk Confirms That Construction Of Tesla’s New Gigafactory In China Is On Track
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet this morning that the structure of the company’s new Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, is on track for completion in May. Equipment for the factory will come in later, taking several months to be installed, be calibrated, and get up and running. The bottom tweet is a bonus tweet added after the article was published. The tweet confirms the breakneck pace that Tesla’s team in China continues to work at as it speeds along to get its newest factory building cars by the end of this year. Construction of the shell of the new building has been kept the world in a trance, with floods of daily updates from an army of impromptu social media hawks. Truth be told, the shell of the building is one of the least exciting parts of the construction, but it unfortunately, one of the only parts of the construction that we will be able to see.
3) China Considers Ban on Cryptocurrency Mining Because It’s a Stupid Waste of Energy
Regulators in China are considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining as an “undesirable” economic activity, according to a government document released Monday . China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published a new paper that includes a proposal to ban the mining of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin over concerns that crypto mining is a waste of valuable resources—a fact that’s hard to disagree with when you examine the horrific environmental impact. The proposal is available for public comment until May 7. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are mined using specialized computers that sap a tremendous amount of energy. That energy consumption now rivals the amount used by entire countries for normal operations and is doing significant damage to the planet.
4) Canada replaces largest North American coal plant with solar
Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) – working in cooperation with the the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – announced last week that they had successfully completed a 44 MW solar facility on the site of the former Nanticoke Generating Station, once the largest coal-fired power plant in North America. At full capacity, the Nanticoke Generating Station once delivered 3,946 MW of power into the southern Ontario power grid. However, it burned its last lump of coal on December 31, 2013, and in 2014 Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to entirely remove coal from its energy mix.
5) Global economy would save up to $160 trillion by shifting to renewables, electric cars
Imagine a world where 85% of all electricity comes from renewable sources, there are over one billion electric vehicles on the road, and we are on track to preserve a liveable climate for our children and future generations. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported this week that such a future is not merely possible by 2050, but thanks to plummeting prices in key clean energy technologies, the cost of saving the climate has dropped dramatically. In fact, according to IRENA’s new report , the most cost-effective strategy to achieve a “climate-safe future” — keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — is an accelerated energy transition to renewables and energy efficiency coupled with electrification of key sectors like transportation. This scenario “would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages.”