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GBH

Former postdoc Leah Ellis speaks with GBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath about   Sublime Systems, an MIT startup she co-founded that aims to produce carbon-free cement to combat climate change. “Sublime Systems and this technology spun out of my postdoctoral work at MIT,” says Ellis. “My co-founder and I are both electric chemists, so we have experience with battery technologies and electrochemical systems. Our idea was thinking about how we might use renewable energy—which we know has become more abundant, inexpensive and available—to eliminate the CO2 emissions from cement.”

The New York Times

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have provided an analysis of the successes and shortcomings of President Biden’s climate bill, reports Brad Plumer for The New York Times. The report says “the biggest obstacles facing renewable electricity are logistical,” writes Plumer. “Wind and solar are facing lengthy waits to connect the nation’s clogged electric grids, and it can take a decade or more to get permits for new high-voltage transmission lines and build them.”

USA Today

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that the “U.S. is generally heading in the right direction to achieve its energy goals to combat climate change, but it could still face headwinds due to siting and permitting delays, backlogged electric grid connection requests and supply chain challenges,” reports Elizabeth Weise for USA Today.

Forbes

Prof. Ernest Moniz and his colleagues have designed a new consortium that plans to create an organized market for hydrogen, reports Llewellyn King for Forbes. This will allow hydrogen to become “a viable option in the pursuit of net-zero emissions,” writes King.

Environment+ Energy Leader

A study by MIT researchers has uncovered an, “intricate relationship between jobs and the nation’s energy transition,” reports Kaleigh Harrison for Environment + Energy Leader. The study, “presents an unprecedented county-level examination of the U.S., identifying regions most intertwined with fossil fuels – ranging from intensive drilling and mining operations to heavy manufacturing sectors,” writes Harrison. “The findings underscore not only the expected impact on traditional energy bastions but also highlight the broader, often overlooked, implications for areas heavily invested in manufacturing.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new map detailing how the shift to clean energy could impact jobs around the country. The researchers found that workers could be most impacted in areas that drill for oil and gas, as well as “regions with a high concentration of manufacturing, agriculture, and construction—all industries that rely heavily on coal, oil, and gas.” 

The Hill

Prof. Emeritus Henry Jacoby writes for The Hill about the potential impact of the 2024 presidential election on climate change. “Laissez-faire, ‘do nothing’ climate policy is a recipe for present and future climate and societal harm,” Jacoby writes. “The climate system will not magically self-repair if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

Associated Press

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Associated Press reporter Alexa St. John to discuss electric vehicle emissions and ownership costs. Trancik notes, “buyers should consider total cost of ownership, which for an EV is generally less than that of a gas-powered counterpart due to savings on maintenance and fuel.”

GBH

Robert Stoner, interim director of the MIT Energy Initiative, speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude to discuss the climate crisis and some solutions being developed at MIT. "You have to be [optimistic]," says Stoner. "I do feel there are technological pathways that we can go down and get there. Solar and wind and storage get us an awful long way. We have to make these things cheaper, and there are an awful lot of people at MIT and at other great universities, and many companies, hammering away at those problems."

Marketplace

David Zipper, a senior fellow at the MIT Mobility Initiative, speaks with Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace about how cars in the U.S. are getting heavier and larger, and the environmental and safety costs associated with larger vehicles. “For decades, people who buy enormous, very heavy cars have been creating societal costs that they aren’t paying for. That’s what’s called a market failure,” said Zipper. “So if you want the market for automobiles to succeed, we need to make sure that when people are shopping for their next car, they are considering the societal costs of their purchase.”

MIT Technology Review

Cement production is a climate catastrophe, writes MIT Technology Review’s Casey Crownhart, pumping billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sublime Systems, a startup founded by MIT Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and former postdoc Leah Ellis, uses electricity to trigger the chemical reactions that form the building material. Over the past few years, it’s gone from making palm-sized batches to producing 100 tons a year. The next stage is a commercial facility producing tens of thousands of tons of material a year. 

The Washington Post

MIT researchers are working to uncover new ways to avoid contrails and minimize their impact on global warming, reports Nicolas Rivero for The Washington Post. “Whether [the contrail impact is] exactly 20 percent or 30 percent or 50 percent, I don’t think anybody knows that answer, really,” says research scientist Florian Allroggen “But it also doesn’t really matter. It’s a big contributor and we need to worry about it.”

Slate

David Zipper, a senior fellow at the MIT Mobility Initiative, writes for Slate about the “continually expanding size of the typical American automobile” and the deadly consequences of car bloat. “In 1977, SUVs and trucks together represented 23 percent of American new car sales; today they comprise more than 80 percent,” writes Zipper. “Meanwhile, the models themselves keep getting larger. These four-wheeled behemoths started as niche vehicles, meant to allow certain groups of people to accomplish specific tasks. Today they have become a fixture of everyday American life. They are also linked to myriad societal ills, from crash deaths to climate change to social inequality. Bigger cars make each of those problems harder to solve.”

E&E News

Michael Mehling, deputy director of the Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research, speaks with E&E News reporter Benjamin Storrow about the impact of global climate deals on climate change. “The history of the Paris Agreement suggests that global climate deals do make a dent in emissions,” Mehling says. “But the impact can be subtle and felt over time.”

WBUR

MIT students have created a “countdown clock” to help conceptualize how close the globe is to reaching a concerning level of warming, reports Paula Moura for WBUR. “There’s only 60 Bruins games, six Patriots games and 30 Red Sox games scheduled — or about six months — until scientists estimate the globe reaches a point of no return for extreme weather and species loss,” writes Moura. “Everyone is really alarmed because even college students at a very technical university have trouble conceptualizing how soon this is,” says second-year student Norah Miller. “Even though a lot of us are not Boston natives, these kinds of statistics in terms of sports really hit home.”