LINKS OF THE WEEK: August 6-12, 2023
Green concrete, a win for the grid, using the ocean as a carbon sink, a new (mostly) car-free community in Toronto, and more.
CLEAN ENERGY CAN FUEL THE FUTURE *AND* PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
According to a recent editorial in Nature, the latest research shows that technologies centred on renewable resources and efficiency come with few drawbacks and many benefits, including improved public health and wealth, and could promote rather than hinder economic development, leading to greater prosperity.
THE U.S. HAS FINALLY BANNED INCANDESCENT LIGHTBULBS
The new rule is expected to cut 222 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2050, equivalent to the annual emissions of 28 million homes. I appreciate this point in the article: "The story of this technology does... prove that change is possible, and sometimes the distance between unthinkable and inevitable is smaller than one might think."
TYNDALE GREEN: A SUSTAINABLE (MOSTLY) CAR-FREE DEVELOPMENT IN TORONTO
Check out this new housing project that was recently approved for development in North York, Toronto – it’s going to include 1510 new eco-friendly homes, with a good chunk of them affordable housing, two public parks, gentle density with only 6-8 story buildings, a cafe, daycare, recreation facility, 60% green space, and plenty of outdoor gathering places. And did I mention that it’s designed to be mostly car-free?
INCREASING THE OCEAN’S ABILITY TO ABSORB CO2: DOABLE, DANGEROUS, OR DISTRACTION?
Researchers in Nova Scotia recently released 500 litres of pink fluorescent dye into the Halifax harbour as the first step in an experiment that involves adding an alkaline substance to the water to see if it neutralizes carbon dioxide in the water and increases the ocean's ability to absorb more CO2.
THE WORLD NEEDS GREEN CONCRETE
Concrete is the second-most consumed material in the world and responsible for 8% of global greenhouse emissions. If we want to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need to come up with a greener way of making it. This Circular article seems to offer a good summary of the challenges and opportunities involved.
MYCOWORKS OPENS WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL-SCALE “FINE MYCELIUM” PLANT
Meanwhile, in the “future is fungal” news, this mushroom-derived materials company says its new 136,000 square-foot factory will employ 350 people and produce millions of square feet of high-quality material for its luxury goods partners when it begins operating on September 20th.
CONNECTING TO THE U.S. GRID JUST GOT EASIER
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved reforms that will make it easier for power projects to interconnect with the nation's transmission grids. Clean energy groups say they welcome the reforms but that America won’t be able to clean up its grid without dramatically speeding up the construction of new transmission lines. Looks like electricians and electrical engineers are going to be busy for the next few decades...
IS INDIVIDUALISM KILLING THE PLANET?
According to this compelling short essay in CounterPunch, the answer is “yes.” I appreciate this part: "The idea that altering our consumer behavior without widespread political activism will be enough to address the problem is clearly (and intentionally) delusional."