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
The Ghost Minitaur is the latest iteration of terrifyingly cute agile legged robots. I for one welcome our doglike robot overlords.
The largest all-sky survey of celestial objects ever made by humans was released this month, using data from The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Gaia satellite.
We know that pigeons are capable of becoming crafty drug smugglers or connoisseurs of fine art, but now we know they can kind of tell when we’re making up words.
#1. A-Audio Legacy Noise Cancelling Headphones with 3-Stage Technology The A-Audio Legacy Headphones are the Boing Boing Store’s best seller this month, and it’s easy to see why. With 40mm drivers, powerful circuitry, and memory foam padded circumaural ear cups, these are clearly super high-quality headphones. Plus, the patented 3-Stage Technology lets you toggle between passive […]
Vaping is getting more mainstream by the day, which means there’s been an influx of quality yet affordable vaporizers on the market. We’re particularly excited about the APX Wax Vaporizer Kit, which is an easy-to-use, high-quality vape that works with both dry herbs and waxy concentrates.If you’re a beginner trying to get into vaping, the APX […]
When you’ve had a long day and it’s time to unwind, there’s a lot you can do to relax: drink some tea, take a shower or even read a book. But there’s one thing that’s essential to a comfortable night’s rest—and that’s investing in some really good sheets. Enter Bamboo Bed Sheets. These quality sheets retail for $120, but […]