I'm at the O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference in San Diego -- the highlight of my conference-going year, every year, for most of a decade now -- and I've just caught Saul Griffith's presentation of hacking and understanding energy consumption and production. Saul's a brilliant polymath geek, an MIT Media Lab alum who's responsible for everything from Howtoons to Squid Labs to a new alternative energy company (he was awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant this year).
Saul's talk was a fast-paced discussion of the cold, hard, engineering reality of CO2 production, its relationship to energy consumption, climate change, and the human cost of all that. Saul sliced and diced the numbers every which way from joules per nanosecond to total wave-energy of the entire Earth, and laid out the program we need to adopt if we're going to do something about it.
This was a refreshing, engineer-oriented, can-do approach to climate, one that actually ended on an up note (if you do the stuff you want to do: exercise more, buy better stuff, do fewer business trips, live closer to your loved ones, and so on, you can reduce your energy consumption by 90 percent).
I took notes as fast as I could through the talk and I've put them online.
What does 2C mean?
Link to my notes
Reports from BP and others are pretty conservative: 1.5 deg == 10% species lost,
3.5 deg 1-4 billion people in water shortage; 4.5 deg == entire cities and
But none of these account for the environmental consequences of these
consequences, e.g., what happens when 10 million people leave a drowned city and
go somewhere else (war, famine, etc)
At 450 ppm CO2 temp goes up 2C.
We have to accept 2GtC into oceans/year, even though ocean acidification has its
own grave consequences
There are long time-lags in the system -- CO2 is a lead indicator. Curve down
the CO2 for 50 years, reap the rewards over 300 years.
It takes centuries after CO2 stabilization to reap temperature stabilization --
we've never deployed this kind of foresight before
2C gives you 7.3 GTCO2
, Link to talk precis
More than 800 American energy and Earth science researchers have signed a letter to Donald Trump outlining six steps they’re urging him to take to address human-caused climate change to protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety.” The letter is accompanied by a public change.org petition to “Tell Trump To #ActOnClimate.” Here […]
James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn’t bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a “an interpreter of interpretations.”
Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions — it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]