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  • What are the main takeaways The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
    "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" is a book written by Elizabeth Kolbert, published in 2014. In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Kolbert investigates the ongoing mass extinction event caused primarily by human activities. The main takeaways from "The Sixth Extinction" are as follows: Mass Extinction Event: Kolbert presents compelling evidence that the Earth is currently experiencing its sixth mass extinction event, which is caused by human actions. She compares the current extinction crisis to past mass extinctions in Earth's history, such as the Permian-Triassic extinction, the event that wiped out the dinosaurs. Human Impact on Biodiversity: The book highlights the significant role of human activities, particularly habitat destruction, overhunting, pollution, and climate change, in driving species to extinction. Kolbert argues that human actions are accelerating the loss of biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. Species Vulnerability: "The Sixth Extinction" explores the vulnerability of various species to environmental changes. Kolbert provides examples of species on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and the disruption of ecosystems, such as the golden frogs in Central America and the Panamanian golden toads. The Global Scope: Kolbert's investigation spans the globe, examining the impact of human activities on various ecosystems, from coral reefs to rainforests and polar regions. She demonstrates how these disruptions reverberate through food chains and affect the entire web of life on Earth. The Anthropocene Era: The book introduces the concept of the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch characterized by human influence on the planet. Kolbert argues that the collective impact of human activities has become so significant that it has left a lasting mark on the Earth's geological record. Conservation Efforts and Ethical Dilemmas: While "The Sixth Extinction" presents a bleak picture of the current state of biodiversity, Kolbert also discusses the efforts of scientists and conservationists to protect endangered species and ecosystems. The book raises ethical questions about humanity's responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world. Urgency for Action: Throughout the book, Kolbert emphasizes the urgency of addressing the ongoing extinction crisis. She contends that humans have the power to halt or mitigate the impacts of the sixth extinction through concerted efforts in conservation, sustainability, and climate action. Overall, "The Sixth Extinction" provides a thought-provoking and well-researched exploration of the current biodiversity crisis and its implications for the future of life on Earth. It serves as a call to action, urging readers to recognize the significance of our actions on the planet and to take collective responsibility for preserving the diversity of life for future generations.
  • Can you explain the main takeaways from The Climate Casino by William Nordhaus
    "The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World" is a book written by William D. Nordhaus, an economist and Nobel laureate. Published in 2013, the book provides an in-depth exploration of climate change, its economic implications, and the challenges of crafting effective policies to address global warming. The main takeaways from "The Climate Casino" are as follows: Understanding Climate Change: Nordhaus provides a comprehensive overview of the science behind climate change, including the causes and consequences of global warming. He explains the greenhouse effect, the role of human activities in increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, and the potential impacts on the environment and human societies. Economic Analysis of Climate Change: As an economist, Nordhaus examines climate change through the lens of cost-benefit analysis. He explores the economic implications of different greenhouse gas emission scenarios and attempts to quantify the costs of global warming in terms of damages to agriculture, health, infrastructure, and ecosystems. The Climate Casino Analogy: Nordhaus uses the analogy of a casino to describe the uncertainties associated with climate change. Just as in a casino, where the outcome of a bet is uncertain, the future impacts of climate change are also subject to many unknowns. However, Nordhaus argues that the risks of inaction are too great, and it is essential to make informed decisions based on the best available knowledge. The Role of Policy: The book discusses the various policy options available to address climate change, including carbon pricing mechanisms like carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems. Nordhaus advocates for a gradually increasing carbon tax as an efficient and market-based approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Discounting and Intergenerational Equity: Nordhaus delves into the concept of discounting, which is the practice of valuing future costs and benefits less than present ones. He explores the ethical considerations of discounting and the challenges of balancing short-term interests with long-term sustainability and intergenerational equity. Climate Policy Challenges: "The Climate Casino" acknowledges the political and economic challenges in implementing effective climate policies. Nordhaus discusses the global nature of the issue, the need for international cooperation, and the difficulties of coordinating efforts among different countries with varying economic interests. Technological Solutions and Innovation: Nordhaus highlights the importance of technological innovation in addressing climate change. He discusses the role of research and development in advancing clean energy technologies and reducing the costs of low-carbon alternatives. Overall, "The Climate Casino" presents a rigorous and balanced examination of climate change from an economic perspective. It underscores the urgency of addressing global warming while acknowledging the complexities and uncertainties involved. Nordhaus' work has had a significant impact on the field of climate economics and has influenced climate policy discussions at both national and international levels.
  • What are the lessons in Stewart Brand's "Whole Earth discipline"?
    "Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto" is a book written by Stewart Brand, published in 2009. Stewart Brand is an influential thinker, environmentalist, and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog. In "Whole Earth Discipline," Brand presents a thought-provoking and contrarian perspective on environmentalism and the challenges of the 21st century. Here are the main takeaways from the book: Reevaluating Environmentalism: Stewart Brand argues that traditional environmentalism, while well-intentioned, often clings to outdated or dogmatic ideas. He advocates for a more pragmatic and science-based approach to addressing environmental issues. Brand believes that some established environmental movements have resisted technological solutions, leading to missed opportunities for sustainable progress. Embracing Nuclear Power: One of the most controversial stances in the book is Brand's support for nuclear power as a viable and necessary alternative to fossil fuels. He argues that modern nuclear technology is safer, more efficient, and emits fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional coal and natural gas power plants. Brand advocates for nuclear power as a bridge towards a cleaner energy future. Urbanization and Dense Cities: Brand advocates for urbanization and the development of dense, well-planned cities as a means to reduce humanity's ecological footprint. He suggests that concentrated urban areas can offer more sustainable living with efficient infrastructure, transportation, and resource utilization. Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology: The book discusses the potential benefits of genetic engineering and biotechnology in various fields, including agriculture and medicine. Brand argues that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other biotechnological advancements could play a significant role in increasing food production, reducing environmental impacts, and improving human health. Geoengineering as a Last Resort: Stewart Brand explores the concept of geoengineering, which involves deliberate, large-scale interventions in the Earth's climate system to counteract global warming. While Brand recognizes the risks and complexities of geoengineering, he suggests that it may become necessary as a last resort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Environmental Heresies: Throughout the book, Brand challenges what he calls "environmental heresies," which are unconventional or contrarian ideas about how to address environmental challenges. He advocates for open and informed debates on these topics to develop more effective and pragmatic solutions. The Necessity of Science and Collaboration: Brand emphasizes the importance of science and collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and environmentalists. He believes that evidence-based decision-making and interdisciplinary cooperation are essential for tackling complex global issues successfully. Overall, "Whole Earth Discipline" presents a provocative and innovative perspective on environmentalism, technology, and sustainability. Stewart Brand encourages readers to question conventional wisdom and to embrace pragmatic approaches that consider the potential benefits of emerging technologies in creating a more sustainable and resilient future for humanity and the planet.
  • Can you explain the main takeaways from 'The Limits to Growth' by the club of Rome?
    "The Limits to Growth" is a book published in 1972 by a think tank called the Club of Rome. The book was based on a study conducted by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It gained significant attention for its analysis of global trends and the potential consequences of unchecked economic and population growth. The main takeaways from "The Limits to Growth" are as follows: Finite Resources: The central premise of the book is that the Earth's resources, such as fossil fuels, minerals, and arable land, are finite and limited. The authors argue that as human populations and economies continue to grow, the demand for these resources will also increase, putting immense strain on the planet's capacity to provide for human needs. Exponential Growth and Overshoot: The study uses computer modeling to demonstrate the consequences of exponential growth in population and industrialization. The researchers found that if current growth trends continued, humanity would likely overshoot the planet's carrying capacity, leading to a collapse in resource availability and environmental degradation. The Impact of Limits: "The Limits to Growth" discusses the potential consequences of exceeding the Earth's limits, including shortages of vital resources, pollution, climate change, and a decline in living standards. The book warns that failure to address these issues proactively could lead to a significant decline in the quality of life for future generations. Sustainable Development: The authors propose the concept of sustainable development as a solution to avoid overshooting the planet's limits. They advocate for a shift away from the traditional growth-oriented economic model to one that balances economic, social, and environmental goals in a way that ensures long-term human well-being and environmental stability. Policy Implications: "The Limits to Growth" calls for policymakers to adopt measures that promote sustainable practices, resource conservation, and population control. The book stresses the importance of taking early and decisive action to avoid irreversible damage to the environment and to secure a more sustainable future. Controversy and Criticism: While "The Limits to Growth" gained widespread attention and initiated important discussions about sustainability, it also faced criticism from some economists and policymakers. Critics argued that the computer models used in the study oversimplified complex systems and failed to account for technological advancements, market forces, and human ingenuity in addressing resource challenges. Despite the controversy, "The Limits to Growth" remains influential and is considered one of the earliest works to bring attention to the interconnectedness of global challenges and the need for long-term thinking in managing our planet's resources. It sparked ongoing debates about sustainability, environmentalism, and the balance between economic growth and ecological preservation.
  • What are the main takeaways from "half-earth" by EO Wilson?
    "Half-Earth" is a book written by E.O. Wilson, a prominent biologist and conservationist. The book was published in 2016 and proposes a bold and ambitious plan to address the global biodiversity crisis. The main takeaways from "Half-Earth" can be summarized as follows: The Biodiversity Crisis: E.O. Wilson highlights the severity of the current biodiversity crisis. The world is facing a significant loss of plant and animal species due to habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, and other human-induced factors. Wilson argues that this loss of biodiversity not only threatens the survival of numerous species but also puts human well-being at risk. Half-Earth Concept: The central idea of "Half-Earth" is to set aside half of the Earth's surface for the preservation and protection of biodiversity. Wilson proposes creating a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors that cover 50% of the planet's land and sea. By doing so, he believes that we can significantly reduce the rate of species extinction and safeguard ecosystems. Ecological Importance: Wilson emphasizes the crucial role that each species plays in maintaining the health and stability of ecosystems. Every species has unique ecological functions, and their interactions contribute to the balance and resilience of the natural world. By conserving diverse habitats and species, we can maintain the planet's capacity to provide essential ecosystem services and support human life. Moral Imperative: "Half-Earth" also presents a moral argument for biodiversity conservation. Wilson contends that as the dominant species on Earth, humans have a responsibility to protect the countless other forms of life that share our planet. By conserving biodiversity, we demonstrate our ethical commitment to future generations and to all living beings with whom we share the Earth. Collaboration and Awareness: To achieve the ambitious goal of setting aside half of the Earth, Wilson emphasizes the need for international cooperation, public awareness, and strong political will. He calls for a collective effort from governments, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and the general public to work together towards the shared objective of preserving Earth's biodiversity. Sustainable Development: While advocating for extensive conservation efforts, Wilson recognizes the importance of addressing human needs and promoting sustainable development. He acknowledges that human populations need resources from the environment, but he argues that these needs can be met through better management, technology, and a deeper appreciation for the value of natural systems. Overall, "Half-Earth" challenges society to think differently about conservation and offers an inspiring vision for a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the rest of the living world. It encourages a radical shift in our approach to conservation and the way we interact with nature to secure a more sustainable and biodiverse future.
  • Who funds you?
    The Dear Greenpeace campaign is run by volunteers. Other costs are covered by RePlanet, who gets its funding entirely from charitable donations - see our transparency statement here.
  • Are you funded by Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF)?
    RePlanet is a recipient of a funding grant from Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF). Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF) provides funding grants to numerous environmental organisations including the European Climate Foundation, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). You can read about QCF here - More information about our funding can be found in our transparency statement.
  • Do you work for the nuclear industry?
    Lol. Such a boring question. No we don't. We are entirely independent of industry and accept no funding from them. We just genuinely believe in what we're saying.
  • Why are you targeting Greenpeace instead of fossil fuel companies?
    To deal with the Climate Crisis we need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels. Many environmental organisations are focused directly on stopping fossil fuels. We are focusing our limited resources on promoting the solutions that will ultimately replace those fossil fuels. Energy is essential to human welfare, we can't just stop using energy, there need to be clean sources ready to go. Greenpeace has substantial resources, they spend 10s of millions annually on lobbying and employing campaigners. Our call is for Greenpeace to use these resources to focus on fossil fuels, both fighting against expansion of fossil fuels and for clean energy solutions like nuclear, wind and solar.
  • What's RePlanet's relationship to this?
    The idea for this campaign was initiated by Ia Aanstoot and her team of young climate activists. The campaign then grew out of a conversation with the campaigners at RePlanet who agreed to partner with them and support the creation of the campaign.
  • Why is Ia's father on the board of RePlanet?
    Ia Aanstoot went pro-nuclear at a young age. She spoke to her father - a well known public figure in Sweden - and eventually converted him to being pro-nuclear also. As a result he is now an unpaid volunteer for the board of RePlanet.
  • What do you mean by legal action?
    With the help of a law firm called Houthoff in Amsterdam we’ve submitted papers to the EU Court of Justice asking to enter a legal challenge of the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities brought by Greenpeace against the European Commission. If accepted by the court, we would be participating as an “interested party”. This would allow us to present evidence and call experts but in defence of carbon free nuclear energy.
  • How can I make a donation?
    You can donate to RePlanet here.
  • Do you support nuclear power?
  • Are you against renewables?
    No, except for biomass on a large scale, that's a no no. Burning things for energy (especially for electricity) should be a last resort, not an industry. Of course, in planning wind and solar projects, indigenous rights have to be upheld, and natural habitats can't be displaced.
  • Are you Ecomodernists?
    Short answer: Yes and No. Long answer: RePlanet is a diverse movement with national organisations and individuals with a range of ideas but a common goal, that being to liberate nature and elevate humanity. Many of the original national organisations and individuals involved in forming RePlanet identified as ecomodernists. However, there was strong consensus that the concept needed to evolve. Mark Lynas explains further, “We needed a vision, something which could inspire, a manifesto for an environmental movement that would be technology-friendly, science-based, progressive, and even, you might say, modern. We called it ecomodernism, which was a good name for what was distinctive about the philosophy, but it wasn’t quite right, because for me it seemed like there was a lot of modernism and not much eco. So when we came together in 2021 for a meeting in Antwerp, back in the time of Covid, I think many of us were ready to try something different. And this was RePlanet. Not just a disparate movement but a professionally organised network of activists in multiple countries, dedicated to overtaking mainstream green thinking, not just in science but in ambition. For example, if we have a moonshot programme for renewables and SMRs combined, why not have an earlier net zero date, like 2040?” Read more here, or watch here.
  • How can I contact you?
    How can I contact you? You can contact us directly here.
  • Who funds you?
    As a young global environmental organization, the start-up of our activities has been made possible by membership fees and donations, as well as very welcome contributions from the Rodel Foundation, Quadrature Climate Foundation, The Dreamery Foundation and the Anthropocene Institute. Our funding has come exclusively from charitable sources. As part of our commitment to transparency all donors of over €5,000 are listed here. We have not received any funding from industry or party-political sources.
  • Doesn’t requiring a fuel leave nuclear vulnerable to geopolitics and price volatility?
    The quantity of uranium needed for fuel is relatively small, uranium deposits are abundant and it is currently mined in a number of countries. Nuclear fuel is also extremely energy dense. A typical fuel assembly spends an average of 5 years in a reactor. Approximately every 18-24 months a reactor is shutdown to replace some of the fuel assemblies. This gives plant operators significant time to organise new fuel assemblies. Different reactor designs have different fuel assembly designs, this can be a factor in the availability of fuel but it can be resolved. For example, a number of European countries wanting to reduce their reliance on Russia have secured deals with US companies to produce fuel assemblies for their Russian designed reactors.
  • Is it really zero carbon?
    Well, not really. Everything from mining, transportation and waste management should be taken into account when looking at each energy source. Such life-cycle analyses, combined with electricity output and longevity, show nuclear power has CO2 emissions similar to, or lower than, solar and wind which are generally referred to as zero-carbon energy. Source: UNECE
  • Don’t we risk the proliferation of nuclear weapons if we use more nuclear energy?
    The development of nuclear weapons is a political choice and is separate to civilian nuclear energy. Only 7 of 32 countries with civilian nuclear energy have nuclear weapons and 2 countries with nuclear weapons do not have civilian nuclear energy. Here’s a thought experiment. To make fertiliser or conventional explosives requires similar chemical processes, should we ban fertiliser or put in safeguards to regulate the production of explosives? We believe that we should use the democratic process to hold our governments to the strong international agreements that guard against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) works diligently to ensure these treaties are upheld.
  • Don’t accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima prove that nuclear energy is unsafe?
    The fact that many people know the names Chernobyl and Fukushima is a demonstration of the safety of nuclear energy. Much like commercial air or rail travel, accidents are rare. However, when we an accident does occur, they are traumatic and get a lot of media coverage. This can give us the false impression that these activities are dangerous. Statistically, both flying in a plane or using nuclear energy are extremely safe methods of travel and generating energy. Whether commercial air travel or nuclear energy, the safety that has been achieve is a result of robust government regulation and oversight. RePlanet strongly advocates for transparent and democratically accountable regulations to ensure the highest safety for nuclear and all technologies.
  • Doesn’t radioactive material pose a significant risk to the health of humans and the environment?
    Radioactive material is a hazardous material that can pose a risk to the health of humans and the environment. Hazardous materials are not unique to nuclear energy. The cleaning products in your cupboard, the fuel in your car, and even certain drugs used for medical therapy, these are all hazardous materials. The difference between hazardous and dangerous is how we use and manage these materials.
  • What happens to a nuclear power station when it is shutdown?
    It depends on a number of factors including; reactor design, acountries regulation, orfuture plans for the site. It is possible to completely dismantle a nuclear power station to a brownfield site to allow for other land uses, including rewilding. Find out more about how different countries manage the decomissioning process here.
  • Doesn’t nuclear power mean leaving a toxic waste legacy for future generations?
    How we manage waste of any kind is as much a political question as it is a technical one. For example, solar panels can be recycled as part of a circular economy but are often sent to landfill, exiting the system. ‘Nuclear waste’ or used fuel, is a ceramic (solid) which needs to cooled for a period of time once leaving the reactor, and is then nearly always stored on site. Just like the solar panel example, we have a political choice whether to recycle this used fuel into a circular economy or let it exit the system. There are two ways two handle this spent fuel in the longer term: Store it indefinitely in a geological repository. (so it becomes waste) Recycle it, to use it again, as fuel. Find out more how nuclear can be part of a circular economy. Read our article on Nuclear waste. Check out our upcoming 'What a Waste!' Report.
  • What is the current status of breeder reactor technology?
    There are four countries in the world that currently have operating fast breeder nuclear reactors: China, Japan, India and Russia. The total number of countries with breeder reactors is down from nine countries, including the U.S., which had a breeder reactor program that was terminated in 1994.
  • Nuclear waste, aka spent nuclear fuel, can be recycled.
    Yes, nuclear waste can be recycled using breeder reactors. Breeder reactors are a type of nuclear reactor that can produce more nuclear fuel than they consume by converting non-fissile isotopes into fissile isotopes. By using breeder reactors, it's possible to extract the remaining uranium and plutonium from spent nuclear fuel and use them as fuel in the breeder reactor. The breeder reactor can then produce additional fuel, which can be used in other nuclear reactors, effectively recycling the nuclear waste. One of the potential benefits of using breeder reactors for nuclear waste recycling is that it can significantly reduce the amount of radioactive waste that needs to be stored. Additionally, it can help reduce the demand for new uranium resources, as the breeder reactor can produce more fuel than it consumes.
  • Could nuclear waste be used to produce an atomic weapon by terrorist groups?
    It is theoretically possible for terrorist groups to use nuclear waste to produce an atomic weapon, but in reality technical and economic challenges would make it impossible to do so. The process of creating an atomic weapon requires highly enriched uranium or plutonium, which is not typically found in nuclear waste. Instead, nuclear waste contains lower levels of these materials and other radioactive isotopes that are not suitable for weaponization. Moreover, the process of extracting the usable materials from nuclear waste is highly complex and requires specialized knowledge, technology, and equipment. This process is also highly regulated and monitored by national and international organizations to prevent the misuse of nuclear materials. Furthermore, most countries have strict regulations in place to prevent the theft, diversion, or illegal trafficking of nuclear materials, including nuclear waste. These regulations include strict security measures, transportation requirements, and tracking systems to ensure that nuclear waste is properly accounted for and managed. Overall, while it is theoretically possible for nuclear waste to be used in the production of an atomic weapon, the practical difficulties and regulatory measures in place make it highly unlikely, not to say, impossible.
  • How does a breeder reactor differ from a traditional nuclear reactor?
    A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates more fissile material than it consumes. These reactors can be fueled with more commonly available isotopes of uranium and thorium, such as uranium-238 or thorium-232, as opposed to the rare uranium-235 which is used in conventional reactors. Unlike regular reactors, which barely use uranium-235 as their nuclear fuel, breeder reactors use natural uranium-238. (Uranium-235 is only available in low concentrations of about 0.7% of natural uranium with no enrichment, while uranium-238 is much more common.) Breeder reactors can create 30% more fuel than they consume. After an initial introduction of enriched uranium, the breeder reactor only needs infrequent addition of stable uranium, which is then converted into the fuel.
  • How dangerous is spent fuel?
    Since the dawn of the civil nuclear power industry, spent nuclear fuel has never caused harm to people or planet. Spent nuclear fuel is therefore not dangerous, because it is regulated and handled as to not pose any threat to human health or the biosphere. Spent fuel is either stored in spent fuel pools, to cool them of (and you could actually swim in these pools without receiving a significant dose of radiation larger than natural background radiation) However, spent fuel is hazardous, since it contains radioactive materials that can cause cancerous growths and genetic problems. The radioactive isotopes eventually decay, or disintegrate, into harmless materials. Some isotopes decay in hours or even minutes, but others decay very slowly over thousands of years. By recycling spent fuel we can reduce the lifetime of these isotopes (to a few hundred), and reduce the total volume of long lived highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.
  • There are different types of nuclear waste.
    Nuclear waste is the byproduct of nuclear power generation, nuclear medicine, and nuclear weapons production. It refers to any material that contains radioactive elements that have reached the end of their useful life and are no longer needed for their original purpose. Some examples of nuclear waste include spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants, protective gown, gloves and tools from nuclear research or medical facilities, and materials from decommissioned nuclear weapons. Low-level radioactive waste has a lower level of radioactivity and is typically generated from various sources such as medical facilities, research institutions, and industries that use radioactive materials in their processes. Examples of low-level radioactive waste include contaminated materials from hospital rooms, laboratory instruments, and protective clothing. This type of waste is less hazardous and can be managed and disposed of in less specialized facilities, such as landfills designed for low-level radioactive waste. It's storage containers are sometimes the type of (yellow) barrels you'll see depicted in popular depictions of nuclear waste, however, this waste is neither unique to nuclear power, nor is it a serious hazard. In contrast, highly radioactive waste, such as spent fuel from nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons production, is extremely radioactive and can remain hazardous for thousands of years. It is typically a solid ceramic, not the leaky green glowing goo from the Simpsons. This is the waste that has given rise to the question 'what about the waste?'. This type of waste, spent nuclear fuel*, requires careful handling, transport, and storage, typically in special facilities designed for high-level radioactive waste. The radioactivity levels of highly radioactive waste are so high that it requires shielding to protect workers and the environment from exposure. This type of waste is either stored in pools on site to cool of, or in big metal/concrete cannisters as you'll see in our video. * This is also the kind of waste that can be recycled and turned into energy.
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