Archive by category | Technology

Can technology save the world?

“57109091Whatever happens at the Copenhagen climate summit this December the world still desperately needs an action plan for reducing carbon emissions. Two opinion articles in Nature this week look beyond the diplomatic bargaining over emissions targets to the new energy technologies needed to actually achieve emissions reductions.  Read more

Powering a green planet

“sciam_special.jpg”Before it goes out of fashion, it’s worth checking out the November issue of Scientific American, which is a sustainability special. What’s most impressive is the online interactive version of one of their articles ‘Powering a green planet: a path to sustainable energy by 2030’.  Read more

Superfreakonomists spout off about global cooling

Superfreakonomists spout off about global cooling

The authors of the bestselling Freakonomics, which was largely an attempt to make sense and fun of economics for those who don’t think they care about such things, are now back with a title that sounds like a bigger and better version of the original: Superfreakonomics. Exploring the topics of global cooling, patriotic prostitutes, and why suicide bombers should buy life insurance, economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen Dubner are again unabashedly aiming for mass appeal.  Read more

IMarEST launches position statement on climate change

IMarEST launches position statement on climate change

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology – an international body that traditionally has represented marine industry and more recently, scientists too – today released its position statement on climate change.  Read more

The Two-Degree Target

As promised, Nature’s film on climate change went online last week on October 1. You can view the film in full on (it lasts about twenty minutes in total). It will also be on YouTube next week, at which stage I’ll embed it here.  Read more

Injecting sulphates into the stratosphere: pros and cons

In 2006, Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen suggested that we might need to start deliberately engineering the climate if no progress could be made on curbing our emissions. Since then, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have continued to rise. So it’s perhaps no surprise that what once seemed like a outlandish idea has recently become a subject of serious scientific endeavour.  Read more

Sizing up carbon capture and storage

“0031321.jpg”Considered by some a silver bullet and by others a hopeless dream, the idea that we can simply capture our carbon dioxide emissions and store them safely away is nothing if not compelling. After all, it lends an air of practicality to the notion that human ingenuity can somehow continue the unabated use of fossil fuels over the coming decades without dangerously warming the climate.  Read more

Geoengineering report baffles reporters

Geoengineering report baffles reporters

Cross-posted from Geoff Brumfiel on The Great Beyond Yesterday the Royal Society, Britain’s premier scientific body, delivered its official view on geoengineering. Scientists analyzed a dozen different approaches and weighed their pros and cons. Then, being scientists, they plotted their results in a bizarre phase space that nobody could understand. Many a reporter, myself included, were scratching our heads when co-author Ken Caldeira popped this little gem up onto the screen: (Note: error bars are purely symbolic. Huh?) Now I want to be fair, the Royal Society report is actually very well written and it contains a lot of good  … Read more