LINKS OF THE WEEK: JUNE 4-10, 2023
Upcycled cars, biodegradable buildings made of mycelium, and a famous chef joins forces with cultivated meat start-up.
In Awesome Energy News...
"Spain is apparently on track to become the first of the top five European countries (in terms of power demand) to generate more than 50% of its power from renewable sources. The article also says that average power prices in France are 34% higher than those in Spain due to the latter's renewable energy transition.
Researchers have published a study suggesting the Swiss energy system could be made carbon-neutral and independent by 2050 – while reducing energy system costs by about 30% compared to 2020.
Australian company AGL says it plans to transform one of its old coal-fired power station sites into a clean energy industrial hub. The company is partnering with SRC, which claims to have developed a recycling process that recovers up to 99% of raw materials from all types of end-of-life solar panels.
Turning fossil fuel power stations into clean energy hubs - this century's version of turning swords into ploughshares?
The BlueGreen Alliance is a US non-profit that unites labor unions and environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs. They've just released a report showing that the IRA "offers wind and solar developers an airtight business case to use U.S.-manufactured components and pay workers fair wages."
When people tell you it’s either the economy OR the environment, don’t believe them. The environment IS the economy! 🌎 💪
Researchers in Australia have published a report claiming that electric water heaters could be used to store renewable energy equal to the capacity of 2 million "Powerwall"-style home batteries—and save billions of dollars in energy costs.
Though the report is Australia-specific, I imagine other regions could experience similar benefits from switching to electric hot water heaters?
In Awesome Food News...
James Beard Award-winning chef and restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson is joining cultivated meat maker Aleph Farms as an investor, culinary advisor and U.S. launch partner.
Every time I see a story about cultivated meat I'm left wondering: 1. Is it scalable? and 2. Is it DELICIOUS? It has to be both if it's going to succeed... (and I really hope it does!)
In Awesome Shelter News...
DID YOU KNOW: 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction and operation of buildings. This UK architecture firm hoping to help change that – by creating environmentally friendly biodegradable building blocks out of mycelium. The future is fungal! 🍄 😁
In Awesome Transportation News...
Here's an article about UK company Lunaz Applied Technologies, which converts the internal combustion engines (ICE) in classic cars to electric powertrains – and is now moving into upcycling industrial fleet vehicles, such as garbage trucks. The company says it saves 82% of the embedded carbon in every vehicle it upcycles and electrifies – equal in weight to the Eiffel Tower every year.
Boeing has signed alternative fuel deal with Los Angeles startup to cut their carbon footprint. The startup, Equatic, uses electrolysis to create green hydrogen while removing carbon dioxide from the ocean. Boeing has agreed to pre-buy hydrogen from the company, which plans to be up and running by 2025.
Will planes of the future be powered by hydrogen? 🤔 ✈️
The Port of Nanaimo has received a shipment of more than 750 Vietnamese-made VinFast VF8 electric vehicles. VinFast is a newly Canadian sale-certified manufacturer and this is the company’s first shipment to North America.
In Awesome Sustainability News...
World leaders, scientists, and advocates met last week in Paris for the second round of negotiations toward a global legally binding treaty to drastically reduce plastic waste. This Vox article provides what seems to be a pretty good overview of what went down and what this could mean for the future.
In Awesome Community News...
I Just started reading Kate Raworth's book, "Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist" to learn more about economic models that AREN'T based on unsustainable growth – and was surprised to discover that the City of Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island here in British Columbia, Canada) has officially based its official community plan on the model of Doughnut Economics. Go Nanaimo! Look at you opening your port to Vietnamese EVs and rejecting an unlimited growth model.
A spate of upcoming lawsuits in the US are hoping to call Big Oil to account for their role in causing the climate crisis. Yes! Let’s make those responsible pay for the consequences of their actions (and inactions). You broke it, you bought it, fellas!
“The Asteroid and the Fern: A paleoecologist on what the past can teach us about climate change” is a great essay written by Jacqueline Gill that appears in the new book, Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story From Despair to Possibility, edited by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua.
I especially appreciate this quote: "What could we accomplish if we stood together and faced the danger? What seeds might we plant today that will one day take root above our bones? What if the future was better than the past? What if it was beautiful?"
Finally, just for fun:
I'm appreciating this study by Adam Mastroianni on people’s false assumptions that people were more morally good in the past than they are today. The next time someone waxes poetic about "the good old days," I think I'll send them this link. 😁