Thursday, April 22, 2021

New concrete exhales 50% less CO2

 https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/04/22/ucla-engineering-team-wins-7-5-prize-developing-eco-friendly-concrete-absorbs-carbon-dioxide/

 

"UCLA’s CarbonBuilt team, led by Professor Gaurav Sant, is the first university team to win the global competition’s grand prize for their creation of CO2NCRETE, a building material composed of hydrated lime that can absorb carbon dioxide quickly, according to UCLA officials. CO2NCRETE was demonstrated to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete by more than 50%, while being just as strong and durable as traditional forms of cement."

 

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That's a lot of carbon saved from going into the atmosphere!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

L.A. to test universal basic income

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/21/los-angeles-universal-basic-income

 

The $24m LA program, introduced as part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s budget proposal, released on Tuesday, would provide $1,000 a month to 2,000 families for a year if passed by the city council. Like most other UBI plans, those given the funds can use the money however they please.

 “We’re betting that one small but steady investment for Angeleno households will pay large dividends for health and stability across our city and light a fire across our nation,” Garcetti tweeted on Monday, announcing the new plan with a nod to Dr Martin Luther King who, as part of the civil rights movement, called for guaranteed income programs that would work to eradicate poverty. “We’re showing what it takes to fulfill Dr King’s call for a basic income once and for all.”

 

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 Money given to the poor circulates.  Money given to the rich takes a vacation in the Bahamas.

Friday, March 26, 2021

turning the desert into a forest

 https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BI1B3

 

"When the rains arrive, his pits pit collect more water that feeds down to the seeds, increasing crop yields by up to 500%, according to the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

The adoption of zai and similar soil and water conservation methods across the West African nation over the past 30 years has improved food security, groundwater levels, tree cover and biodiversity, according to a 2018 study in the journal Sustainability."

 

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I believe China is also working on this idea.  Let's hope it works in many places.

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

better cow food and jet fuel to help fix climate change

 https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2021/03/17/seaweed-cow-feed-methane-emissions/8261616007351/

 

"According to a new study, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, the addition of scant amounts of seaweed to the diet of beef cattle reduced methane emissions by more than 80 percent. "


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jet-fuel-food-waste-aviation-climate-emissions_n_60524fc4c5b6ce1016440330

 

"Food waste often ends up in landfills, where it emits methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first two decades after it’s released. The paper sets out a method of producing fuel with this waste in a way that avoids methane emissions and instead transforms it into “volatile fatty acids,” which can then be made into jet fuel. 

 

The fuel can just be used in planes’ engines without modification, according to the study, and it’s compatible with existing energy infrastructure."

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Some hopefully good news!  I would think the seaweed supplement could be started immediately, while the jet fuel project will still take a while.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

There goes the neighborhood; rain forests take a beating

 https://www.sbs.com.au/news/humans-have-destroyed-or-degraded-two-thirds-of-the-world-s-original-tropical-rainforests

 

"Logging and land conversion, mainly for agriculture, have wiped out 34 per cent of the world's original old-growth tropical rainforests, and degraded another 30 per cent leaving them more vulnerable to fire and future destruction, according to an analysis by the non-profit Rainforest Foundation Norway.

More than half of the destruction since 2002 has been in South America's Amazon and bordering rainforests."

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We can build electric cars and windmills, but we can't build rain forests.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

California test results for Universal Basic Income

 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/03/california-universal-basic-income-study

 

"After receiving $500 per month for two years without rules on how to spend it, 125 people in California paid off debt, got full-time jobs and had “statistically significant improvements” in emotional health, according to a study released Wednesday.

The program was the nation’s highest-profile experiment in decades of universal basic income (UBI), an idea that gained national attention when it became a major part of Andrew Yang’s 2020 campaign for president."

 

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The fear has always been that a UBI would create lazy people, but that isn't what happens.