Saul Griffith is an inventor and entrepreneur. He did his PhD at MIT in programmable matter, exploring the relationship between bits and atoms, or information and materials. Since leaving MIT, he has co-founded a number of technology companies including Optiopia, Squid Labs, Instructables, Potenco, and Makani Power.
On the day before Thanksgiving, while everyone was distracted buying (or pardoning) turkeys, the Obama team announced that the president will go to Copenhagen and promise to try to commit to a carbon reduction schedule for the United States.
On one hand, I want to be excited about this because unless the US makes a commitment to CO2 reductions, it's exceedingly unlikely that the rest of the world will bother. On the other hand, no one should be jumping in the aisles till we look at the numbers more carefully.
It's probably useful to first update yourself on the climate science. Here's a well-written, critical, and objective summary of recent scientific results released a few months ago. It was prepared as an update between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of 2007, and IPCC AR5, which will not to be completed until 2013. The PDF of the full report is well worth reading. (more…)