Environment

Environment

SNS maintains a continuous awareness of the world we depend upon for survival, from the oceans to the atmosphere, from how we affect the environment to what technology can contribute to promote global environmental health.

 

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Topics in This Focus Channel

  • The SNS Carbon Trifecta: Harnessing the Flow of CO2

    September 29, 2016

    With Ray Gibbs, CEO, Haydale Plc; Jon Myers, Founder, Graphene Technologies, NovaMetallix, and Neural ID; Soroush Nazarpour, President and CEO, NanoXplore; and Larry Smarr, Director, Calit2 (a UC San Diego / UC Irvine partnership), and SNS Ambassador for Pure Science; hosted by Mark Anderson


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  • Preserving Big Brains: The New Whale Protection Zone

    September 28, 2016

    With Christopher Clark, Imogene Johnson Senior Scientist, Cornell University, and Senior Advisor, Planet OS; and "Announcing the Biocomputer Comparison Toolkit: Finding the Most Powerful Brains on Earth" With Benjamin Smarr, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley; and Mark Anderson Hosted by Roger Payne, Whale Scientist, Founder/President of Ocean Alliance, and SNS Ambassador for Ocean Health


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  • Building Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

    September 6, 2015

    Bibop Gresta, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies’ Deputy Chairman and COO


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  • SNS: What Can Go Wrong: The Top 5 Threats

    October 23, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 39
    Week of October 20, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: What Can Go Wrong: The Top 5 Threats
    • Global Warming
    • Ebola and Other Future Pandemics
    • Economic Manipulations
    • Global Liquidity Expansion
    • The Failure of Self-Government

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • Can the Earth Survive China? Global CO2 Production
    • Getting to Fusion

    Upgrades and Numbers
    • China's Spider to Apple's Fly: Will You Walk into My Parlour?

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News-
    ---A

    mericans are historically and by nature optimists; this is also a fair description of most technology executives. Like many of our members, I would plead guilty to this bias on both counts. Even so, there are more problems than usual afoot in the world, and not without reason. While some would take the relatively ignorant view that all things are relative, nothing changes, and the world is as it always has been, I don't see things that way. I believe that actions have consequences, and we are currently paying the piper.This is not bad news, as different actions, or actions remedied, can also often turn threats into positive outcomes. But for this to happen, we must first recognize what these threats - and their causes - are. The markets, and the media, are full of fear these days. The best way to overcome fears is to face them, understand them, and then deal with them. Here, then, are what I consider to be the gravest threats facing the world today, and what it would take to turn them around.


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  • Commercializing Space: From the Moon to Mars

    May 21, 2014

    FiRe 2014: "Commercializing Space: From the Moon to Mars": Patti Grace Smith and Michael Sims; hosted by Larry Smarr


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  • Outer Space Commerce: Increasing Humanity’s Prosperity on a Global Scale

    May 20, 2014

    FiRe 2014: Dinner Presentation: "Outer Space Commerce: Increasing Humanity's Prosperity on a Global Scale": Chris Lewicki; hosted by Mark Anderson


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  • Roger Payne Talks About Humpback Whales In Park City

    April 16, 2014

    The man who is credited with discovering that humpback whales sing songs will be in Park City for the final guest in this season's Park City Institute's SNS Future in Review Speaker Series.


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  • SNS: Special Letter: Enabling the Smart Grid with Massive Storage

    May 28, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 18
    Week of May 27, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: Enabling the Smart Grid with Massive Storage
    • Alternative Energy: Decentralized Grid
    • The Importance of Grid Storage
    • Financial Realities of Grid-Scale Storage
    • What Does It Take to Make Grid-Scale Storage Work?
    • What Are Those "Other Pieces"?
    • Flow Batteries and Other Grid-Scale Batteries
    • Conclusions, and Looking Forward
    • Zinc Air Product Technology
    • About the Author

    ---

    Publisher's Note: People around the planet are getting nervous, if not outright scared. Outside of Germany, there is little or no sign that the world's leaders have what it takes to resist short-term re-election jitters and the intense lobbying campaigns of those destroying the planet. These lobbyists for coal, oil, and natural gas may control the halls of power today, but if their bosses don't properly review "what business are we in" and come up with a new answer involving alternative energy and no more CO2 emissions, they will be perceived by following generations as perhaps the most destructive organizations of all time.

    Solving this requires a new kind of "smart grid," and perhaps the greatest challenge we now face is not only the rapid deployment of alternative energy sources, but also a grid designed to provide storage and "firming" (see definition below) so that these new sources can work in a stable fashion as their share moves beyond 20%.

    It turns out that, with the proper grid storage systems, revenues also rise for both the vendors and the utilities, without need for government subsidies or tax incentives. Finally, these integrated systems are perfectly suited to emerging national economies, where we may soon expect to see the kind of leapfrogging typical of new technology, even as the more established countries wrestle with politics and spending issues.

    I expect that SNS members interested in the requirement for an accelerated deployment of alternative energies will be cheered to see that there is, indeed, at least one technology and company prepared to provide scalable, safe, integrated, grid-scale energy storage for the smart grids of tomorrow, today. - mra.


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  • Planning the Earth’s Energy Sourcing

    May 23, 2013

    "Planning the Earth's Energy Sourcing": A conversation with Michael Shellenberger, President, Breakthrough Institute; Kevin Surace, CEO, Appvance; Tom Arnold, CEO, Gridium.com; Stefano Poli, CEO, Electro Power Systems; and Michael Pfeffer, CEO, Ibis Networks; Hosted by Ed Butler, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC


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  • SNS: Special Letter: Graphene and Global Warming

    January 30, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 4
    Week of January 28, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: Graphene And Global Warming
    • What Is the Problem? or, The Legacy of Bubbles
    • We Are a Bubble
    • Bursting the Bubble of Denial
    • The Role of Graphene
    • Understanding Graphene's Potential
    • A Cause for Hope and "Right Action"
    • About Jon Myers

    ----

    Publisher's Note: It is often said that the average human being literally lacks the ability to comprehend second-order rates of change: straight lines, OK - but increasing increases, no. That's too bad, as this is the shape of most human-caused problems. Worse, this shape, representing self-reinforcing problems, gets out of control much faster than do straight-line problems, often ending up in a veritable black hole from which there is no chance of solution.Another issue most people face in understanding complex problems is quite direct: the solutions are also complex. And, it seems, most people are not very good at understanding, or supporting, solutions that have more than one moving part.

    This is exactly the case for solving the problem of Global Warming. Energy-based solutions alone (e.g., reduce coal burning, when possible) won't do it. We know from past work by the CTO Design Challenge results at FiRe that even a single set of answers isn't enough: there will need to be a set of transition ("good enough") solutions put into practice immediately, followed by a second set of solutions that are better yet.

    Last year, SNS members read about a new proposal from us called "Twinning," which involves linking the problems caused by CO2 created during coal and petro burning for energy, with the idea of a vast new sustainable materials cycle. By taking the carbon from CO2 and creating a new planetary economy in an amazing new class of superior, carbon-based construction materials, we suggested that we could solve the global warming problem, solve the problem of constant resource exhaustion and waste, and make some money for those taking the risk.

    At that time, I thought the answer was carbon nanotubes, but a review of a combination of potential health issues gave me (and others) pause: small fibers, after all, caused asbestosis. At the same time, a second look at the requirement for a universal geometry on the nano scale convinced me that I was wrong, and that the best solution would be flat sheets of carbon, 1 atom thick - or "graphene."Last month, the UK made the same decision, announcing a new government-sponsored R&D effort focused in Manchester (and quickly picked up by Cambridge). Two weeks ago, the EU followed suit. Having been in touch with the White House on this question since last November, we have strong hopes that the US, too, will get into this game, before it's too late.

    If we're right about the potential of graphene, it will be the building block with which a very large part of the future world is created. Jon Myers, CEO of Graphene Technologies (a 2013 FiReStarter Company), saw this problem early, and has created a novel, proprietary solution which will hopefully accelerate the idea of placing a graphene plant next to every coal plant in the world, turning 100% of the CO2 into a valuable graphene feedstock, the centerpiece of the Twinning concept.

    At the end of this issue, members will note a new feature which we felt would be particularly helpful in this discussion: a Resource List of articles on graphene from the UK and US, the latter a part of a longer list recommended to us by the White House. I believe everyone should read this letter carefully, regardless of one's current job or interests: it addresses the creation of a new path for the survival of our species. - mra.


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  • SNS: The Geographical Fate of Personal Computers

    January 23, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 3
    Week of January 21, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Geographical Fate of Personal Computers
    • The Inventors
    • The Followers
    • The Countries
    • The Markets
    • The Slowing US Engines
    • The OEM/ODM Mistake
    • Destructive Destructionism

    Quotes of The Week
    Upgrades
    • Mercantilist M&A: Running by China Rules

    Takeout Window
    • Dilbert vs. Microsoft
    • Google's Answer to Passwords
    • Politics Over Banking: Currency Wars II

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News


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  • “Connecting Digital Earths”

    October 4, 2012

    An SNS Weekly Report, including Building the Sensor Planet; M2M and Nature; Earth II and World Wind; Commercial vs. Academic Earths; Uniting Worlds; and The Reality Machine and the Global Prediction Machine


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  • “A Contract with the Ocean”

    September 20, 2012

    An SNS Special Letter, written by guest author Don Pickering


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  • “Zero Footprint: A New Model Linking Energy and Materials”

    July 18, 2012

    An SNS Weekly Report, including The Carbon Cycle; The Geometry of Life; Twinning, Global Warming, and the New Carbon Cycle; Toxicity; and A New Model, and the Beauty of Two Cycles


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  • “Let’s Turn Carbon Emissions into Something Useful”

    May 29, 2012

    A KPLU "The Digital Future" interview with Mark Anderson on all that carbon could be used to make fuel, chemicals, and other products.


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  • “The Future of Cleantech”

    May 25, 2012

    A Conversation with Tom Matzzie, Founder and CEO, Ethical Electric Company; Dan Kapp, Director, Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Co.; and Tony Lammers, President and CEO, MAR Systems; hosted by Sheeraz Haji, CEO, Cleantech Group


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  • “From Ice to Ocean: Sea-Level Rise to Ocean Health”

    May 23, 2012

    James Balog, Photographer, Chasing Ice, and Founder, the Extreme Ice Survey; hosted by Roger Payne, Founder and President, Ocean Alliance


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  • “Ocean Toxins: Discoveries and Remedies”

    May 23, 2012

    Roger Payne, Founder/President, Ocean Alliance; hosted by James Balog, Photographer, Chasing Ice, and Founder, the Extreme Ice Survey


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  • “Remote Viewing in Underwater Cities”

    May 27, 2011

    With John Delaney, Professor, School of Oceanography and Paros Endowed Chair for Sensor Networks, and Director and PI for the Regional Cabled Observatory of NSF’s OOI; and Doug Stanley, CEO and Co-Founder, Ridgeline Entertainment; hosted by Michael Pfeffer, Managing Partner, Kolohala Ventures


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  • “Polar Ice Volumes Over Time: Is the Climate Debate Over?”

    May 25, 2011

    A conversation with Wieslaw Maslowski, Research Professor of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey; hosted by Larry Smarr, Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), UC San Diego and Irvine


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  • “Providing Clean Water for 200 Million”

    November 11, 2010

    A conversation with Jin Zidell, Founder/Chairman, Blue Planet Network


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  • “Restoring the Night Sky”

    November 11, 2010

    A conversation with Pete Strasser, Managing Director, International Night-Sky Association


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  • “Searching for Life on Mars”

    May 14, 2010

    With Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, and Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University; hosted by Larry Smarr, Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), UCSD and Irvine


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  • “Peak Water”

    May 12, 2010

    With Wendy Pabich, Founder, Water Futures; Jonathan Leidich, President and CEO, Patagonia Adventure Expeditions; Tamin Pechet, CEO, Banyan Water LLC; and Rafael Simon, Venture Partner, VantagePoint Venture Partners; hosted by Russ Daggatt, Board Member, American Rivers


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  • “Pollution Report on the World’s Oceans”

    May 22, 2009

    Roger Payne, Founder and President, Ocean Alliance; hosted by Cynthia Figge, Co-Founder, EKOS International and EkoHub


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  • “Practical Strategies for Solving the Climate Problem”

    May 19, 2009

    Veerabhadran "Ram" Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Climate Sciences and Director, Center for Clouds, Chemistry & Climate (C4), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD


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  • “An Urgent Need to Address Climate Change”

    May 22, 2008

    James McCarthy, a leader of the Nobel Prize-Winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University; hosted by Cynthia Figge, Partner and Co-Founder, EKOS International


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  • “China and the Changing Face of World CO2 Emissions”

    May 22, 2008

    A conversation with Richard Carson, Professor and Past Chair, Department of Economics, UC-San Diego; hosted by Cynthia Figge, Partner and Co-Founder, EKOS International


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  • “Earth on Fire: Rapid Response to Climate Crisis, Continuing the Necker Island Discussion”

    May 21, 2008

    With Elon Musk, CEO and CTO, SpaceX; and Lyndon Rive, CEO, SolarCity; hosted by Stephen Evans, Presenter, Business Daily, BBC World Service


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  • CTO Design Challenge: “Fighting Urban Wildfires”

    May 21, 2008

    A panel of wildfire experts, including: Ron Roberts, Supervisor, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and military and fire personnel; with Larry Smarr, Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (the "FiRe Lab"), UCSD; Per-Kristian Halvorsen, CTO, Intuit; Brian Higbee, Director of SI Strategy, Symantec; Kelly Millsaps, CTO, Avanade; Kevin Walter, Director, Strategic Planning, Office of CTO, EMC Corporation; hosted by David Brin, Science Fiction Author and Physicist, and Co-Host of TV's "ArchiTechs" series


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  • “Tesla Motors: The Cars of Tomorrow, Today”

    May 24, 2007

    A panel discussion with Martin Eberhard, CEO, Tesla Motors; Nate Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry, Caltech; and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Global Environment and Energy Correspondent, The Economist; hosted by Elon Musk, Chair, Tesla Motors


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  • “The Whale and the Wind Turbine: Biomimicry and Design”

    May 23, 2007

    A conversation with Janine Benyus, President, Biomimicry Institute; hosted by Cynthia Figge, EKOS International.


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Channel Partner

Leaders in This Focus Channel

  • Hank Louis

    Founder and Director, DesignBuildBLUFF

  • Tom Matzzie

    Founder and CEO, Ethical Electric Co.

  • Bibop Gresta

    Chairman, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

  • Mark Foster

    Partner, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects

  • Jon Myers

    Managing Director, NovaMetallix LLC

  • Steve Waite

    Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Graphene Stakeholders Assoc.

  • Wieslaw Maslowski

    Research Professor of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School

  • Ramez Naam

    Author; Computer Scientist; and Energy & Environmental Systems Faculty, Singularity University

  • Amory Lovins

    Co-Founder, Chair, and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

  • Roger Payne

    Founder / President, Ocean Alliance

  • Rafael Simon

    Venture Partner , VantagePoint Venture Partners

  • John W. McArthur

    CEO, Millennium Promise

  • Sheeraz Haji

    CEO, Cleantech Group

  • Bradley Peacock

    Principal, DwellTek

  • Hans-Peter Plag

    Director and Professor, Old Dominion University, Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute

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