[GWSG] BioMASON; more bricks; Bannon's background; slr zoning; E bikes; DOD chooses renewables; Maddow on Russia & Trump

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu Mar 9 11:47:07 EST 2017

1.  North Carolina start-up BioMASON uses sand or crushed rock and bacteria to grow cement blocks at room temperature.  The blocks are comparable in strength and cost to conventional cement but use no fossil fuels.  Cement manufacture is usually credited with 5% of CO2 emissions.  BioMASON's blocks emit none and absorb CO2 from the air.  Their inventor was inspired by wondering as a girl how sea shells grew underwater.   http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/carbon-emissions-growing-cement-bricks-bacteria-biomason/  Some further details and a brief video of Ginger Krieg Dosier, BioMASON's cofounder.  She hopes to begin commercial production of the bricks in a year.  http://inhabitat.com/award-winning-biomason-grows-bricks-from-sand-and-bacteria-to-reduce-co2-emissions/

2.  A Swiss process compresses extremely fine calcium carbonate powder at room temperature to make ceramic tiles ten times stronger than cement.  It is not clear that the process would be commercially adaptable to many cement applications, but it should serve some interesting niches.  http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2017/03/making-ceramics-without-heat/   For example, how about 3D printed architectural bricks?  http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2016/09/3d-printed-bricks/

3.  Trump counselor Steve Bannon has a background which should have prepared him to understand the risks of global warming.  Somehow that failed.  https://newrepublic.com/article/141102/steve-bannon-used-believe-science-now-hes-americas-top-climate-villain

4.  The Georgetown Climate Center is developing a zoning model for sea level rise which broadens flood zones and creates two new zone types, one to facilitate adaptation and retreat, and one to allow development with specific resilient features.  Coastal cities will have new means to cope with the changing physical environment.  http://www.georgetownclimate.org/reports/zoning-for-sea-level-rise.html

5.  The electric bike is apparently flowering.  A short video from a current expo highlights the Gocycle, which folds into a small suitcase which rolls away on its own wheels, and glimpses a few of the 140 other designs.  https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/08/electric-bike-expo-2017-kicked-off-e-bike-great-start/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29

6.  The US Department of Defense intends to expand the role of renewables in its operations.  Such a large market should be good for renewable energy generally, even as the Trump administration tries to promote fossil fuels.  https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603778/the-department-of-defense-wants-to-double-down-on-renewables/?goal=0_997ed6f472-bc0ad30d46-154060389&mc_cid=bc0ad30d46&mc_eid=fc22084f2f

7.  Rachel Maddow has lately been covering the possible role of Russian oil in US politics.  She outlines the case in two videos.  The energy transition, and thus climate mitigation action, could depend on countering the interests she describes.  https://climatecrocks.com/2017/03/09/the-weekend-wonk-is-tillerson-agent-for-putin-petropower/  ?

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