Insect burgers smell good

The Guardian explains:-

One passerby who tried the burger, Manfred Roedder, said it was a good alternative to meat, adding: “I had reservations at first, but I got a second serving because it tasted so good.”

Baris Özel, the co-founder of the Bugfoundation start-up that makes the burgers, said he spent four years working on the concept along with fellow co-founder Max Krämer. The pair got the idea after travelling together to south-east Asia, where it is not uncommon to eat insects. “It’s quite simple. You have to create an aesthetic product that looks good and doesn’t show any insects,” Özel said, adding that people were attracted by the smell of the burgers. 


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Amory Lovins should answer this…

Environmental Progress explains:-

Climate and environmental scientists organized by Environmental Progress urged New Jersey’s Governor Philip Murphy to pass the legislation, and I testified in support of the legislation last December.

But the legislation’s passage came at a hefty price: 18 to 28 times more in subsidies for solar energy than will be received by nuclear plants.

In order for nuclear plants to receive the $11 per megawatt-hour (MWh) subsidy they needed to keep operating, Gov. Murphy, anti-nuclear groups EDF and NRDC, and companies that install panels like Sunrun demanded a whopping $210/MWh to $304/MWh for solar energy.

The extended subsidy for solar comes at a time of ubiquitous claims that the cost of solar panels and wind farms has come down so much that nuclear energy no longer makes economic sense.  

Saving nuclear plants in Illinois in 2016 also required more subsidies for solar — but at about one-quarter the rate of New Jersey. In Illinois, solar receives five times more per megawatt-hour ($50/MWh) than its two subsidized nuclear plants receive ($10/MWh).

Late last year, New Jersey’s legislature was poised to pass the cheaper nuclear-only legislation when then-governor-elect Murphy asked the state assembly to hold off until he came into office in 2018. The result is legislation that will have a far larger impact on the electricity bills of consumers.


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The massive subsidy for solar takes nothing away from the New Jersey victory, which benefited from a stronger and better-coordinated efforts by a nuclear industry weakened by the 50 year war against it.  

In a speech to Wall Street analysts this morning, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president, Maria Korsnick, warned against “a myopic focus on short-term prices“ and criticized efforts “that advance renewables while closing nuclear plants” — strong language for an industry that is frequently taciturn to a fault.

In contrast to other state subsidies for nuclear, the New Jersey legislation sets no time limit for the operation of the state’s nuclear plants. While the subsidy must be re-valued by the state’s regulatory commission every three years, it could last until the end of the plants’ licensing life and even subsidize their extension.

Nuclear plants, experts agree, could last for 80 to 100 years or even longer, if they are properly maintained and regularly updated.

Korsnick warned that all seven operating nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania will be replaced by coal and natural gas if state legislatures fail to follow the lead of New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

There will be another hearing on the fate of Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants next Tuesday.

For pro-nuclear advocates, the lesson from New Jersey is clear: advocacy works. From Sweden and France to New Jersey and Illinois, nuclear plants can be kept on-line, but they must be constantly fought for against those who have, for four decades, sought to replace them with fossil fuels and renewables — no matter the economic or environmental cost.

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Soil carbon

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African unity moves a step forward

The unification process has taken a step forward with 44 countries signing AFCTA, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Considering that the EU started with 6 countries in the European Coal and Steel Community, this is a giant leap forward for Africa. Europe has internal trade worth 70% of their trade, and Asia 51%. Africa only trades 17% within the continent. Some call it a ‘shaky start’, but this is the beginning of a very long journey. As the 44 signatory countries begin to prosper from trade and build better rail and transport connections, the economic and political pressure for neighbouring countries to also sign on will become unstoppable. It will take a while, but I’m sure it is achievable.
Africa’s hope for a historic continental free trade area is off to a shaky start

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Flying robot-taxi & new battery

While I’m a fan of New Urbanism and walkable neighbourhoods (for the profound health and economic and psychological benefits), this Cora is now a thing. It’s a 2 person ROBOT FLYING EV with a 100km range. Think of it as a flying robot-taxi.
Also, in about 5 years it might be running not on a lithium battery, but a proton battery powered by carbon & water!
(All of this makes me wonder why Bruce Willis was piloting a flying cab in “The Fifth Element”. Of COURSE they’d be automated by then!)
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6 sonic booms!

The 2 side boosters on the Falcon Heavy each had 3 sonic booms as various legs & flaps deployed. There’s a shot 6 minutes in here of the cameramen on top of the building who have ALREADY watched the boosters land, and are just waiting for the slow old speed-of-sound to send them the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! Being there must be such an adrenaline rush. I think I should add watching a BFR launch to my bucket list.

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Beautiful city rule: stay in scale!

I love the way the NY times writes about this tower that is oversized for it’s neighbourhood:

“The tower is not beautiful but is impossible to ignore. The top floors are set off from the rest, and the crown is flat rather than a spire. It looks as if a rocket were stowed up there, an escape vehicle for the tech overlords when the city is consumed by disaster.”
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