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Good morning. Throw up a cheeky OOO, and let's get hustlin'.

Today: the missiles we'll never see coming; Hawaii leads the electric revolution; Nestle is stealing water; can we bury a trillion tons of CO2?; the risky ways AI can help with climate change; 3D printing our way to space; The Lorax

 
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Here's what happened this week:
 


This week: Stop Treating Girls Like Shit and We Just Might Save The World

Our guest: Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. Katharine's the Vice President of Communication & Engagement at Project Drawdown and Senior Writer for the New York Times bestseller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. She's a goddamn inspiration and makes time for rescue dogs and horses by not having time for your patriarchal bullshit. LET'S GO.
 
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Can this small Hawaiian island teach us how to go electric?

"Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric, the investor-owned utility that controls Moloka‘i’s grid, must meet a mandate from the state legislature to convert the five island grids it operates to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. No utility on Earth knows for sure how to accomplish that yet. Pushing Moloka‘i there first and fast, Hawaiian Electric decided, would provide insight and inspiration.

Moloka‘i’s tiny, six-megawatt grid makes it an ideal test ground to show how such modifications might impact bigger systems like O‘ahu’s 1,200-megawatt grid if scaled up, Ching says. “Learning from Moloka‘i and being able to point to it—to elected officials, to large customers, small customers, regulators, whoever they may be—and say ‘well, look, it’s doable and there are ways to do it cost-effectively.’ That could be of incredible value,” says Ching."


+ More Clean Energy:

      - Charts 📈: David Roberts on our many steps forward, and what's still holding us back

 

Can I ask a question? How the fuck is this a thing?

"Nestlé, the world’s largest bottled water company, continues to take millions of gallons of free water from the San Bernardino National Forest two hours east of Los Angeles, 17 months after California regulators told them they had no right to much of what they'd taken in the past. And federal officials are helping them do it, despite concluding Nestlé is drying up springs and streams and damaging a watershed.

The company says it is legally entitled to every drop, and is "sustainably collecting water at volumes believed to be in compliance with all laws and permits at this time," according to emailed responses to questions from The Desert Sun."


+ More Food & Water:

      - A new world calls for better, stronger, faster growing crops. Will everyone get on board? 

 

Turns out permafrost isn't so permanent after all

"Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared.

A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.

Scientists are concerned about the stability of permafrost because of the risk that rapid thawing could release vast quantities of heat-trapping gases, unleashing a feedback loop that would in turn fuel even faster temperature rises."


+ More Climate Change:

      - These guys want to bury a trillion tons of CO2 in the ground. Can they do it? Maybe!

 

This is how bacteria eat the drugs you put into your body

"In their study, Balskus, Maini Rekdal, and their collaborators at the University of California San Francisco, describe one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug’s intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug and how to stop this microbial interference.

Parkinson’s disease attacks nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, without which the body can suffer tremors, muscle rigidity, and problems with balance and coordination. L-dopa delivers dopamine to the brain to relieve symptoms. But only about 1 to 5% of the drug actually reaches the brain."


+ More Biology 401:

      - An update on Ebola, which is very much still happening, and spreading

 

The 10 ways AI could actually help us out of this little shitshow of a climate crisis

"Recommendations are also divided into three categories: “high leverage” for problems well suited to machine learning where such interventions may have an especially great impact; “long-term” for solutions that won’t have payoffs until 2040; and “high risk” for pursuits that have less certain outcomes, either because the technology isn’t mature or because not enough is known to assess the consequences (editor's note: greeeeeat)."

+ More Robots & AI:

      - Trying to figure out how to save the species often means adding to the problem: "If half the science labs in the U.S. reduced their energy use by 30 percent, it would be equivalent to more than 840,000 households going dark, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s twice the number of households in the entire state of Delaware."

 

The office 3D printer isn't just for more fidget spinners, Janet

"One of the organizations with the most experience flying 3D-printed parts is Rocket Lab, based in New Zealand and the US. Founded by engineer Peter Beck in 2006, Rocket Lab is now leading the pack among small-satellite launch companies, thanks to its Electron rocket. Six of the rockets have launched successfully so far—each equipped with nine Rutherford engines that are created primarily using metal 3D printing, as are a number of other elements on board."
 

Hypersonic missiles. Maybe the last thing we event before boom boom?

"“I’m sorry for everybody out there who champions some other high priority, some technical thing; it’s not that I disagree with those,” he told the room. “But there has to be a first, and hypersonics is my first.”

Griffin was referring to a revolutionary new type of weapon, one that would have the unprecedented ability to maneuver and then to strike almost any target in the world within a matter of minutes. Capable of traveling at more than 15 times the speed of sound, hypersonic missiles arrive at their targets in a blinding, destructive flash, before any sonic booms or other meaningful warning. So far, there are no surefire defenses. Fast, effective, precise and unstoppable — these are rare but highly desired characteristics on the modern battlefield. And the missiles are being developed not only by the United States but also by China, Russia and other countries."


+ More War:

      - Going to war with Iran would be a very, very bad idea. Here's an update on their enrichment work.
 

The tree that inspired The Lorax unexpectedly and inexplicably died, and that seems about spot on for 2019

The first zero-emission ice cream truck is ready to go. Ding ding motherfucker!

Peter Jackson and James Cameron team up for taking down meat.

India's in deep shit, episode XIX: the Himalayas are melting fast, and 21 Indian cities may be out of water by 2020

This is the cold fusion company backed by...Brad Pitt

Will there be 17% less fish by 2100? If we're lucky!

Biggest US solar array takes another step to becoming fully operational

America's renewable capacity is finally bigger than coal. The king is dead. Long live the king.

EPA (which, reminder, stands for "Environmental Protection Agency") sets rules to dismantle Obama's actual environmental protections

China's electric sales grew 126% last year. This year? 2%. WTF?

The conversation nobody wants to have: which US cities do we save first?

New York approves one of world's most ambitious climate plans, L train is still 20 goddamn minutes late

Ireland's drunk on going green, too

Check out the hashtag farmers are using to describe their planting nightmare this season

Exactly how climate change will increase armed conflict

As floods grow, fewer folks are getting disaster insurance -- bodes well!

These are the (checks notes) Republicans breaking ranks on climate change




Thanks for reading, and thanks for giving a shit.

Quinn Emmett
Chief Evangelist, Humanity


 

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