Snippets for 28 April 2022






Thanks for reading our Snippets newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


We kick off this edition with a look at what it will take to deliver the much needed sustainable technologies required to tackle climate change. Examining some of these technologies further, we look at new advances in lithium mining - a mineral that will see massive demand increase due to its use in batteries. Next we move away from traditional mining to discuss how metal can be harvested from some types of trees!


Then, it’s big business that is going to have to be given a seat at the table if we want to make progress on climate change. But it’s not free reign for them to continue business-as-usual, as we see new EU regulations come in to make products more renewable, recyclable, and repairable. And circularity can be extended beyond consumer goods, as we explore considerations for making construction and building design more circular. We then move from buildings, to infrastructure, and look at the need to invest heavily in infrastructure improvements in order to maximise carbon reductions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.


Transitioning from the business side of things to the social, we take a look at how climate change will transform the way we live and why there are reasons for optimism. With many of today’s youth feeling anxious, fearful, or in despair about their future (and the planet’s), we have an article that discusses 6 ways to build resilience and hope into young people’s climate change education. Helping them not veer in the other direction, our next article reports on Pinterest’s ban on misinformation about climate change. Finally, we round out this edition discussing an often taboo topic: the carbon footprints of the rich.



Reaching net-zero emissions will require an immense effort to invent, refine, and deploy climate technologies: those expressly intended to accelerate decarbonization, including huge increases in the production of clean hydrogen production, and long duration storage. Here, ten climate technologies seen as being required to meet net zero are described. The funds needed to get these moving is mind blowing, but high demand will encourage investment, and government assistance can help too. Getting in at the beginning, being a first mover, could be a real advantage; waiting for clarity on direction forward could mean a missed opportunity. Read more....

New climate technologies are expected to increase the demand for highly specialised minerals, especially Lithium. New technologies for mining lithium are expected to be able to supply to future demand, but some of these are still unknown, and others are not yet commercial. Hopes are high for new inventions, and reuse and recycling will also play a part. But for now, direct lithium extraction (DLE) and direct lithium to product (DLP) are likely to be the driving forces behind the industry’s ability to respond more swiftly to soaring demand in the near future. Read more....

And other minerals are also needed to deploy new climate technologies, some of which may in future be recovered from a very unlikely source – plants. Phytomining of hyper-accumulating plants, that thrive in metallic soils, may be a harvestable source of minerals such as nickel. The process is not a replacement for traditional mines, but using plants to clean up toxic areas of land, while extracting recoverable minerals and photosynthesising CO2… must be a good thing for the environment. Read more....

The climate change transformation needs actors. Lots of actors. And what better actors than those already established and increasingly motivated to act. We are talking about the role big business and private corporations have to play in the green energy transition. Central and local governments can only do so much and at a limited pace, which is why partnering with the private sector is essential if the climate change objectives are to be met. As, after all, climate change will impact us all. Read more....


Given how many businesses have built their business models around intentional redundancy, the recent environmental proposal put forward by the European Commission should fundamentally challenge that thinking. At the core of the plans is a new legal framework which will help create a "circular economy” in the European Union, with requirements for all physical products to be more durable, reliable, reusable and reparable. As Frans Timmermans said; It’s time to end the model of ‘take, make, break, and throw away’ that is so harmful to our planet, our health and our economy. Read more....

Continuing with a move to a circular economy, we next examine what we should be considering for circular building design. At the moment, roughly half of all materials we extract are used in the built environment and as much as 30% of all construction materials delivered to building sites leaves as waste. It appears shifting to a modular and prefabricated model of construction could significantly cut down on waste and improve efficiencies. Most importantly however, is designing buildings with circularity in mind from the beginning. Read more....

Moving from construction into infrastructure in general, it is recognised that having the right infrastructure will be essential for a green, resilient and inclusive development. Meeting global climate targets will require an unprecedented wave of investments in green infrastructure, especially in a transition to renewable generation, emerging green hydrogen supply chains and climate-smart urban transport systems. New infrastructure must also be designed to promote economic and social resilience to extreme weather and other external shocks. Read more....



Climate change will transform how we live, but there are a number of reasons we should be optimistic. There is always the fear of losing what you have now, but ultimately there are more positives to come through change, as the world looks to reduce emissions. Clean green energy and better designed infrastructure that can adapt to climate change will help with the world's sustainability transformation. And now is the time to stop talking and get on with the physical actions, accelerate these changes, and embrace the benefits earlier. Read more....

A generation of younger people are experiencing a range of emotions in relation to the future of the planet: anxiety, grief, fear, and even guilt. It’s not something that we should let them deal with on their own. Here are 6 ways to build resilience and improve one’s mental health around these issues, from accepting the realities, through to encouraging art. Emotions are important and we all need to deal with them, good or bad. Read more....



Social media can be a breeding ground of misinformation, especially around climate change, which can cause the aforementioned range of emotions. It’s important to have all the facts and not just wild personal opinions channelled through social media. Pinterest feels it’s important to stamp out misinformation, so have taken the steps to ban it. It will remove content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change as well as the role of humans in causing climate change. Read more....


Lowering global emissions is a team effort, right from the largest corporation down to the individual. Unfortunately, there are a group of people, the richest 1%, that seem to have other ideas. These 63 million are producing fully double the dangerous greenhouse gases that half of all humanity, or nearly 4 billion people, emit. Sales of superyachts, by far the most polluting luxury asset, surged by 77% in 2021. Is a super yacht really necessary for the betterment of humankind? Probably not! Read more....















This week we have a few more interesting articles about innovations happening at present:







Subscribe to SnippETS





Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Twitter Basic Square