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The Amount Of Land Required To Run America On Solar Power Is Shockingly Small

But there’s also a catch.

So you’re saying it would only take 0.6% of the surface area of the continental United States to power the entire country with renewable solar power? Just 11,200,000 acres to generate 4,000,000 GWh of clean energy?


Well, all right! Problem solved! Let’s just fill that area with solar panels and enjoy … right?

That would be great, but unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple as staking a bunch of panels across 12 million acres and calling it a day. First of all, that 11.2 million acres will expand quickly once things like service roads, operational facilities and transmission lines are incorporated. And then there’s the fact that you can’t just build one massive solar array and walk away. Solar capture areas would have to be distributed over a wide area to avoid the problem of cloudy days or storms or other weather events that would obscure the sun pouring down onto your energy farm.

And just because these energy stations would likely be located in the desert (you know, where the sun lives) doesn’t mean you can just put them anywhere. There are animal habitats and ecological systems that need to be considered, as well as encroachment on Native American tribal lands. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy: “while American Indian land comprises approximately 2% of total U.S. land base, it represents an estimated 5% of the total U.S. renewable energy generation potential.”

Then beyond questions of land use, there’s the issue of storage. After all, we don’t have dual suns that permit us to soak up solar energy 24 hours a day, and there will be inevitable interruptions in power relay due to maintenance or any number of incidents that can befall a power grid. That means we need storage — and really big batteries.

So, it’s not so simple as just throwing down 12 million acres of solar panels and hitting the switch. But no one ever said ditching fossil fuels completely would be cheap or easy. And if the return on this investment is saving our ability to inhabit the world, we think it’s worthwhile.

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Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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