Labeled as discuss in The Break Room, started by CraigD, Oct 19, 2020
Weeds vs laser beams...
My bet's on the weed.
Imagining the climate-proof home in the US: using the least energy possible from the cleanest sources
Dealing with the climate crisis involves the overhauling of many facets of life, but few of these changes will feel as tangible and personal as the transformation required within the home.
The 128m households that dot America gobble up energy for heating, cooling and lighting, generating around 20% of all the planet-heating emissions produced in the US. Americans typically live in larger, more energy hungry dwellings than people in other countries, using more than double the energy of the average Briton and 10 times that of the average Chinese person.
How Technological Innovation Will Help Us Adapt to Climate Change
Electric vehicles, battery storage, green buildings – there are tons of new ideas that will help individuals and businesses prepare for climate change. But how can organizations learn about these new ideas now in order to adapt? Learn how to get to a million climate ideas before 2025 by signing the climate innovation pledge.
This town is the first in America to ban new gas stations – is the tide turning?
Emily Bit remembers a time when she didn’t feel the constant threat of climate change. Her family lives in American Canyon, in southern Napa county, California, a state now being hit by record high temperatures and devastating wildfires. “It didn’t used to be this bad,” she said.
These days her family has to evacuate their home every summer. Two of her friends lost their homes in Paradise, the town consumed by the 2018 Camp fire disaster, the deadliest in California history. Last year, a wildfire burned the nature reserve behind her local school until it was “entirely black. It was like something from a dystopian novel”.
She worries about her younger siblings, a 12-year-old sister and an eight-year-old brother. “What’s it going to be like in the future?” she asks. She wonders how responsible it would be for her to have children. Bit is 17.
Why bitcoin entrepreneurs are flocking to rural Texas
In the middle of rural Texas, a cryptocurrency mine is currently under construction.
Hundreds of machines more powerful than the average computer will soon be housed in this 320-acre mining facility in Dickens county, where they will work day and night to solve a complex series of algorithms. If successful, the reward will be newly minted bitcoin, currently worth about $44,000 each.
All the machines need to thrive are spaces to sit and electricity – lots of it.
The US city that has raised $100m to climate-proof its buildings
When Fred Schoeps bought a 150-year-old building in downtown Ithaca, New York, a decade ago, he was one of only a handful of building owners dedicated to ending their reliance on fossil fuels and reducing their carbon footprint.
His three-year renovation of the building, comprising three apartments above a skate store, included installing energy-efficient windows and insulation, plus fully electric appliances, heating and cooling systems.
But while that was an achievement on its own, said Schoeps, Ithaca can not address climate change one building at a time. “In order to move the needle, you’ve got to think in terms of a thousand [buildings],” he said.
Attack of the giant rodents or class war? Argentina’s rich riled by new neighbors
Nordelta is Argentina’s most well-known gated community: an enclave of spacious homes for the rich amid a dreamy landscape of lakes and streams north of Buenos Aires.
But environmentalists question its very existence because it is built on the wetlands of the Paraná, the second most important river in South America after the Amazon.
Now, however, nature is fighting back against Nordelta’s well-heeled residents.
Big oil coined ‘carbon footprints’ to blame us for their greed. Keep them on the hook
Personal virtue is an eternally seductive goal in progressive movements, and the climate movement is no exception. People pop up all the time to boast of their domestic arrangements or chastise others for what they eat or how they get around. The very short counterargument is that individual acts of thrift and abstinence won’t get us the huge distance we need to go in this decade. We need to exit the age of fossil fuels, reinvent our energy landscape, rethink how we do almost everything. We need collective action at every scale from local to global – and the good people already at work on all those levels need help in getting a city to commit to clean power or a state to stop fracking or a nation to end fossil-fuel subsidies. The revolution won’t happen by people staying home and being good.
But the oil companies would like you to think that’s how it works. It turns out that the concept of the “carbon footprint”, that popular measure of personal impact, was the brainchild of an advertising firm working for BP.
‘How is it sustainable if only 1% can afford your food?’: the man on a quest to change farming
Chris Newman, 38, and his wife, Annie, 35, always planned to retire with a farm. But after a health scare in 2013, the couple left their jobs as a software engineer and art gallery director to found Sylvanaqua Farms, a 120-acre operation in northern Virginia that produces pasture-raised chicken, eggs and pork and grass-fed beef.
Newman has gained a sizable following online for his writing and advocacy, which focuses on producing food in ways that don’t exploit people or the environment.
Scaling up Sylvanaqua’s operations is more important than achieving perfection, said Newman. “Our goal on our farm is to responsibly produce as much food as we possibly can and just get it into as many mouths as possible, making sure that what we produce isn’t just accessible to the upper crust.”
Bigger than the moonwalk: New system pulls water from thin air
Using new technology that mimics how Mother Earth makes water, their Genesis Systems WaterCube is set to debut next month and promises to deliver water just about anywhere, even the desert.
"He said that, for several years, Genesis kept the development secret, in part, because it’s easier to show how it works than explain the process of using nanofluid to attract water from the air like a “sponge” and then a “tickle” of energy to ring it dry and start all over again."
This is amazing.
I don't know if I quite buy some of their reasoning for secrecy - eg. It couldn't have been shown to work on a small scale? But maybe they couldn't?
A friend pointed out today that with Newt Gingrich talking up the system, it could be some kind of a con, scam.
One champion of the system, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, told Secrets, “If the Genesis System can be produced at scale for a sustainable price, it will revolutionize access to water.”
Ah, maybe more of an amazing money-making scheme.
I posted the article/link before my friend brought up Gingrich. Then I started looking for possible 'flags' that might suggest whether there could be less to this than is being promoted, hyped. I hope not, but we'll see.
Inside Don Norman’s Herculean quest to fix design education
'But first, back to the Google Pixel story. What Norman is referring to as he spins the black screen between his fingers is a well-known manufacturing strategy called planned obsolescence: If things were meant to last forever, how would companies make money?
“This is an existential issue,” he says. “We’re going to die because of climate change, and although we have people trying to stop it, they’re taking it as a technology problem.” Except technology is not the problem, it’s just a symptom.'
Interesting article and concept. I like the fact that Don Norman is 85, because he will remember the products that were made to last rather than to fall apart.
I am especially annoyed by the items referred to "clothing" now. They are ridiculously flimsy and are made of fabric so loosely woven that they become shapeless after just a few washings. What an utter waste of money and resources.
I hear you. I'm keeping a bit of an eye on what's happening in 4D printing when it comes to such things. I also have a couple 4D domain names for such, in case it makes sense to do something like a 'gamechange x' &/or 'for humanity' project in that direction.
A novel concept. Think of the money we'd save!
And also while helping to save us from killing ourselves!
Creating a possible strategy to go up against the strategy 'planned obsolescence'.... Taking liberties a bit with how one might define 'infinity', maybe could call such a strategy something along the lines of 'planned infinity'.
Or maybe something like 'planned regeneration'(?)
Yes, I like "planned regeneration".
That's a term a friend proposed - the one I'd mentioned previously who's into 'regeneration'.
There’s no such thing as sustainable fashion
A report shows how 47 major fashion companies score when it comes to carbon emissions. The vast majority get Fs
"Experts believe the sector is responsible for between 5% and 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Their manufacturing facilities are powered by coal; they rely heavily on fibers like polyester and nylon, which are derived from fossil fuels; and they ship products around the world on vessels that emit greenhouse gases."
Why won’t US TV news say ‘climate change’?
The climate emergency is exploding in various parts of the world this week, but climate silence inexcusably continues to rein in much of the United States media.
Hurricane Ida has left more than a million people in Louisiana without running water, electricity or air conditioning amid a heat index topping 100F. The Caldor fire destroyed hundreds of houses and forced mass evacuations around Lake Tahoe in California. Abroad, vast swaths of Siberia were ablaze while drought-parched Madagascar suffered what a United Nations official called the first famine caused entirely by climate change.
Painstaking scientific research has established that the climate crisis escalates these kinds of extreme weather. In other words, people can now watch the emergency unfold in real time on their TV and cellphone screens.
These 4 tech breakthroughs could help people live to 200 years old
We live in a unique time when for the first time in human history there is a real opportunity to extend our lives dramatically. Recent scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs that soon will translate into affordable and accessible life-extending “tools” will let us break the sound barrier of the current known record of 122 years. I am talking about breakthroughs in genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, healthcare hardware, and health data
The way the world is going, I question whether I'd want to be an old person having to live in it beyond the usual years.
I agree. We're low on resources as it is. I don't know how we'd support a population of people who live to be 200.
Bosses turn to ‘tattleware’ to keep tabs on employees working from home
David, 23, admits that he felt a twinge of relief when the first wave of Covid-19 shut down his Arlington, Virginia, office. A recent college graduate, he was new to the job and struggled to click with his teammates. Maybe, he thought, this would be a nice break from “the face-to-face stuff”: the office politics and small talk. (His name has been changed for this story.)
“I couldn’t have been more wrong,” David says.
That’s because, within their first week of remote work, David and his team were introduced to a digital surveillance platform called Sneek.
Separate names with a comma.