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EGEB: Al Gore — climate change ‘getting worse,’ Greenland residents stressed about ice melt, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Al Gore: Climate change is “getting worse faster than we are mobilizing to solve it.”
  • Greenland residents are stressed about their diminishing ice.
  • 5 innovative ways Australia is recycling.
  • Aarhus, Denmark, is the poster child of renewable energy.

EGEB: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Al Gore is a former US vice president, author of An Inconvenient Truth, and founder of the nonprofit The Climate Reality Project. In an interview with ABC News on This Week, he said, “The problem’s getting worse faster than we are mobilizing to solve it. However… we now have an upsurge in climate activism.”

Gore asserted that the US has a responsibility to lead the global climate activism movement:

The United States of America — and only the United States of America — can provide the necessary leadership to rally nations around the world to do the right thing.

He also stated that wind and solar are growth industries: “This is the best way to create millions of new jobs. This is where the economic growth of the future is to be found.”

Climate change stresses Greenland residents

There have been lots of studies on Greenland’s ice sheet and climate change, but very little on how climate is changing the residents of Greenland themselves.

That changed with The Greenlandic Perspectives Survey. It found that 9 out of 10 residents in Greenland think climate change is happening. Further, half of Greenlandics think climate change is caused by human activities and will harm people in Greenland.

Further, 75% support Greenland’s government investing in alternative energy sources. But they are divided on whether to ban oil drilling in Greenland (33% yes, 33% no, 33% don’t know).

On how it’s affecting the residents psychologically, Courtney Howard, the board president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said, as per the Guardian:

Temperature change is magnified in circumpolar regions. There is no question Arctic people are now showing symptoms of anxiety, ‘ecological grief,’ and even post-traumatic stress related to the effects of climate change.

We are challenging the medical profession to acknowledge the world we are inheriting.

Australia is getting clever with recycling

China has stopped taking other countries’ recyclable waste, so a little creativity needs to be exercised by everyone else. Leading the pack is Australia, who, according to the New York Times, has come up with some innovative new ways to deal with their recyclable waste.

As the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said, “It’s our waste, and it’s our responsibility.” Here’s what the folks Down Under are up to, and check out the Times article for details on each initiative:

  • Making roads from plastic bags and glass
  • Building small, portable recycling facilities
  • Turning disposable cups into sturdy materials
  • Collecting street sweepings and reusing them
  • Converting household waste into electricity

Aarhus, Denmark, is a renewable energy role model

The National looks at Aarhus, Denmark, the country’s second-largest city, as a success story of renewable energy.

Aarhus has cut carbon dioxide emissions in half over the past 10 years. They city’s wastewater treatment plant produces 40% more energy than it consumes, and it opened a biomass plant in 2017. Further, it features an electric tram network and is introducing electric buses this year.

As the country’s reliance on wind has grown, Aarhus and surrounding towns have become a renewable energy melting pot — of manufacturers and suppliers, traders and analysts, specialist lawyers and academics.

In 2016, energy and environmental companies accounted for the port city’s second-biggest export industry (after food), according to the latest available data from the municipality. “Renewable energy plays a huge role in the city,” says Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard.

Wind power meets more than half of the Scandinavian country’s power needs.

Al Gore photo credit: Kleiner Perkins

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.