One of the big headlines this week that I dive into is the fact that solar panels, the thing that everyone equates to green energy, are actually one of the leading polluters in the world. Let’s take a quick trip to China to understand exactly what I mean.
The Chinese are very clever. They understand that the world loves this green energy movement. They also understand that the world loves their unbelievably cheap prices even more than green energy. So, they adapted to the changes in the tides and have become a massive low-cost solar panel producer. And I’ll give it to the Chinese, they have helped cut the price of solar by thousands of dollars year after year.
To really understand the headline, you have to understand how they produce solar panels. You see, in order to keep costs low, they have to use low-cost energy. AKA the Chinese use nothing but massive coal-fired electricity to make these solar panels. In fact, they are building around one new massive coal plant a week to keep up with the demand for solar. While we are feeling good about ourselves “going green,” we are actually causing even worse harm to the environment. At the time being, there is no way to both cheaply and efficiently make solar panels. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but why is no one talking about this?
Anyways, this is a packed episode so here’s a glimpse at the other news I take a look at:
- McDonald’s is running out of paper bags. I love their explanation. According to McDonald’s, their new hires don’t know how to put food on a tray so they use bags instead. Coupled with the drive through demand increases, it means that they are running out of bags. Oh – and add straws to the list too.
- We are searching for a missing bottle of whiskey! Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was gifted a $5,800 bottle of whiskey on a diplomatic trip. And now we can’t find it. This has beaurucrats in a tizzy. THey insist that gifts must be handed over to the State Department National Museum of American Diplomacy. Pompeo insists that he has no recollection of the bottle of Whiskey.
- Polish hospitals are shutting down because doctors are leaving. They are short 20 to 50 thousand doctors. After dealing with COVID, 30% of doctors said they want to change or limit their practice, 9% said they want to practice in another country, and 6% said they are quitting altogether. To combat this, Poland is giving a raise to doctors of a massive 4 Euros a month. Their doctors already make under $30,000 USD a year but now they can make an additional 48 Euroas a year. Smart.
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus are in the news becuase the EU – wait for it – is dumb and is essentially giving Russia more power.
- Icaland feels that they are the tip of a sunken continent called Icelandia. Their “experts” say it sunk 200 million years ago and that it explains why the earth’s crust below them is thicker than anywhere else. No experts actually agree with Iceland. Which brings us to the why. Money! Under international laws, if you are part of a continent with fossil fuels beneath your seafloor then the countries can say that the fossil fuels are their and can thus charge for them.
- Scrabble has returned to Senegal. That’s right, you can now play scrabble in public again. It might not sound like a big deal to us, but Scrabble is to Senegal what football is to the US.