- China plans to spend 3.5 trillion yuan ($503 billion) by 2020, expanding its high-speed railway system. The expansion will see the network grow to 30,000 km (18,650 miles), according to recent reports that followed a State Council Information Office briefing in Beijing. The network would connect 80% of major Chinese cities. [CleanTechnica]
- In a statement at a gathering of scientists, the Pope said, “there has never been such a clear need for science” to inform political decisions. The Pontiff’s message seemed directed at president-elect Donald Trump, who has signaled that the United States will no longer play a leadership role on the issue of climate change. [The Alternative Daily]
- Electricity prices from Boston to Dallas plunged this year as cheap natural gas cut fuel costs, and wind and solar alternatives came online. Consumers also used less electricity for the second straight year, despite a summer heat wave, amid an industrial slowdown and growing awareness of ways to boost energy efficiency. [Bloomberg]
- Despite the Obama administration’s commitment to curb CO2 emissions, nuclear plants have been retiring. Now the Nuclear Energy Institute, is asking the incoming Trump administration to take steps both to improve the economic prospects of existing plants and to improve the chances for new nuclear reactors. [Electric Light & Power]
- Siberian permafrost is one of the things being hardest hit by climate change. Now, in addition to the melting permafrost causing mass die-offs of reindeer and resurrecting long-dead strains of “zombie anthrax”, it appears the very cities built on it are also in imminent danger, according to new Russian-US research. [IFLScience]
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