from the world's big
Giant fans that suck CO2 out of the air are operational in Italy
But they are only taking the CO2 equivalent of 32 cars off the road every year.
- The fans may be carbon neutral, but the goal should be 'carbon negative.'
- Nevertheless: every way of tackling climate change helps.
- More carbon-eliminating/recycling products could be hitting the market soon.
One of the ClimeWorks fans in question.
With the U.N. releasing a report on climate change that demands sustained attention, it's worth noting that ClimeWorks — a company based in Switzerland — opened its third 'carbon capture' site on October 2nd in Troia, Italy.
The ClimeWorks carbon capture center in Italy only takes the equivalent of 32 cars off the road per year. That's more than zero, but it's nowhere near where the numbers should be. At best, as David Roberts pointed out over at Vox this past July, some of the capture sites in the world are — at best — carbon neutral, and the goal should be to produce something that is 'carbon negative,' i.e., something that takes more carbon out of the air, not just something that puts nothing into the air.
Of the three carbon capture sites ClimeWorks has in the world, the one in Iceland is the only capture site that's carbon negative.
That doesn't mean that there aren't promising steps being taken with the carbon neutral sites: as Akshat Rathi notes in Quartz, where the story was first reported, the carbon dioxide first captured at ClimeWorks's first carbon capture site was "fed to a greenhouse, which boosted the growth of the plants inside it." The gas captured and converted at the plant in Italy will be used to provide fuel for trucks. These two examples illustrate one of many different ways in which Climeworks could theoretically pursue the big picture with creativity.
Map of currently active Carbon Capture sites across the world.There are other considerations worth bringing into the framing of this as well, many of which can be found in a lengthy paper from the University of Sheffield.
- New carbon capture products on the verge of hitting the market (focusing on chemical looping, membrane-based technology, ionic liquids, and others.) Just because a site is carbon neutral now doesn't mean that there aren't carbon negative products on the way.
- The cost of 'de-carbonising' key industrial sectors will ultimately get 'lost in the noise of the market.' In other words: there isn't an economic disincentive for companies to de-carbonize. The claim that it might cost money to shift away from carbon doesn't ultimately hold true.
- Climate change requires a multi-pronged response: if the equivalent of 32 cars are taken off the road every year, then that's 32 fewer cars for the world to worry about.
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Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.