When National Geographic recently announced that it was purchased by 21st Century Fox, after running as a family run nonprofit since 1888, many readers became concerned that the focus of the magazine would change. After all, Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp and thousands of media outlets, is a climate change denier.
As an avid reader of the publication, I too wondered what would change. Then this month when I received the November issue, the whole thing is about climate change and what we can do about it. Maybe the editorial department is trying to get in one last push on the subject (although a Fox rep announced that they want to maintain the integrity of the NG brand).
My favorite article this month is about Germany’s energiewende, or green revolution. Germany is a world leader in producing and installing renewable energy like wind and solar, and they have committed to closing all 17 of their nuclear power plants by 2022. Nine have already been shut down, and renewable energy has more than made up the difference. Last year Germany produced 27 percent of its energy through renewable sources—that’s more than double what the US produces.
In addition to the Fukushima meltdown being a wake up call about the dangers of nuclear power, Germans also became big supporters of the energiewende when a national law made it possible for citizens to invest in and profit from green energy. For example, a group of neighbors could put money together to put up a windmill, and they would all earn significant profits on the energy being produced.
I can only hope that we take similar steps, so that we can all work together to avert a climate crisis.
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