Boring Company confirms Elon Musk’s plan to use excavated dirt for low-cost housing

May 9, 2018 by  
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Will Elon Musk foray into affordable housing next? Earlier this week, he said on Twitter that The Boring Company would transform dirt from tunnel digging into bricks for low-cost housing . A spokesperson confirmed the plans to Bloomberg , and said, “there will be an insane amount of bricks.” The Boring Company will be using dirt from tunnel digging to create bricks for low cost housing — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2018 A Boring Company spokesperson told Bloomberg bricks would come from “excavated muck.” Musk has indicated in the past he could sell excavated materials; in March he tweeted about kits of life-size LEGO -like interlocking bricks to make structures inspired by ancient Egypt. And when asked if the bricks could be used for affordable housing around that time, he said yes, and that “two people could build the outer walls of a small house in a day or so.” Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company to sell life-size ‘LEGO-like’ bricks dug from the earth It seems like he’s serious, but there are still plenty of questions around such an endeavor — such as how many housing units Musk could build with Boring Company bricks. Bloomberg spoke with University of California, Los Angeles lecturer Juan Matute who said Musk’s tweet “assumes that housing costs are driven by construction materials , and particularly, construction materials that can be replaced by bricks. That’s not the case.” Labor and land drive prices more, according to Bloomberg, at least in California where The Boring Company is currently tunneling. Another potential issue is that chemicals have contaminated land underneath Los Angeles. If contaminants are present in excavated dirt, it may be difficult for The Boring Company to transform that dirt into bricks. Matute told Bloomberg challenges might not prevent Musk from following through on the plan, saying, “That doesn’t mean The Boring Company can’t buy some land and build a few low-cost houses, with a partner like Habitat for Humanity. And say, ‘Look what we did.’” The Boring Company said future offices could be erected with their bricks, according to Bloomberg. The company’s Frequently Asked Questions page said they’re “investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures,” and that these bricks “can potentially be used as a portion of the tunnel lining itself.” + Elon Musk Twitter Via Bloomberg Image via Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

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Boring Company confirms Elon Musk’s plan to use excavated dirt for low-cost housing

Hawaii sets the most ambitious goal of any US state by vowing to be carbon neutral by 2045

May 9, 2018 by  
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The legislature of Hawaii has approved two bills that together put the state on the path to becoming carbon neutral by 2045 – the most ambitious climate change goal of any state in the United States. Bille bill 1986 establishes a carbon-offset program, while House bill 2182 convenes a task force to determine the best course of action to achieve carbon neutrality within the next three decades. “This is the biggest step forward on climate change any state has yet taken,” said Hawaii representative Chris Lee in a statement . As an island nation, Hawaii is taking such strong action to combat climate change in part because it is particularly vulnerable to its impacts. In passing the bills, legislators cited a study which estimated that Hawaii would endure $19 billion worth of damage on private property and significantly more on public infrastructure as a result of rising sea levels. In addition to its recently passed climate change legislation, Hawaii was the first state to formally adopt the goals established under the Paris climate agreement after President Trump withdrew the United States from it. Related: Helsinki unveils plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035 Prior to the passage of these bills, Rhode Island was the American state with the most ambitious climate change goal, which pledged to achieve an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. Hawaii now stands as one of the world’s most aggressive states in its fight against climate change, sharing the same carbon neutrality timeline as Sweden. For context, carbon neutrality is expected in Iceland by 2040, Norway by 2030, Costa Rica by 2021, and the Maldives by 2020. While these steps are important, they are not sufficient. More governments must make similarly aggressive pledges toward carbon neutrality if climate change is to be halted. Hawaii governor David Ige,  who has been supportive of sustainability initiatives in the past , is expected to sign the bills into law. Via Quartz Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Hawaii sets the most ambitious goal of any US state by vowing to be carbon neutral by 2045

Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5 million to fund the Paris climate agreement

April 23, 2018 by  
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just pledged to personally cover the $4.5 million bill that the United States is obligated to contribute as part of the Paris climate agreement . In doing so, Bloomberg is picking up the slack for Donald Trump , who dramatically withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement in 2017. “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility,” said the former Republican NYC mayor on CBS’s Face the Nation . Bloomberg, who has amassed a $50 billion fortune through his financial services, mass media, and software company Bloomberg L.P., has occasionally appeared on speculative lists of candidates for President of the United States. Still, the former mayor of the most populous city in the United States said that the likelihood of a Bloomberg 2020 campaign was “not very high.” When asked whether his actions served to fill a leadership gap in Washington , Bloomberg replied that he was simply serving the public interest “Well, I think that this is what the American public when you poll them say they want to do,” he explained. Related: Trump fails to evade climate change lawsuit filed by 21 youths Despite his apparent disinterest in presidential politics, Bloomberg did have a few words of wisdom for President Trump . “He should change his mind [on the Paris climate agreement] and say look there really is a problem here,” said Bloomberg. “America is part of the problem. America is a big part of the solution and we should go in and help the world stop a potential disaster.” Bloomberg has not committed to providing the funds necessary under Paris beyond 2018. He hopes that Trump will have changed his mind by then. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia and Face the Nation

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Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5 million to fund the Paris climate agreement

This Swedish power plant is burning H&M clothes instead of fossil fuels

November 24, 2017 by  
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A Swedish power plant northwest of Stockholm hopes to go fossil fuel free by 2020 – and they’re turning to recycled wood and trash for alternatives, including discarded apparel from retail chain H&M . This year they’ve already burned around 15 tons of H&M clothes. A power plant owned and operated by Malarenergi AB in the town of Vasteras, Sweden is working to transition away from oil and coal, and are turning to a fuel source you might not expect: discarded garments. Head of fuel supplies Jens Neren told Bloomberg, “For us it’s a burnable material. Our goal is to use only renewable and recycled fuels.” Related: Garbage from Hurricane Irma will now help power Florida Sweden boasts a nearly emission-free power system, according to Bloomberg , due to wind, nuclear, and hydro plants. But some local municipalities do use oil and coal for heating on winter days. The country hopes to move away from fossil fuel units by converting old plants to burn trash and biofuels instead. Where do the H&M clothes come in? Malarenergi has a deal with nearby town Eskilstuna to burn their garbage, and some of that comes from a central warehouse of H&M’s. The clothing company’s head of communications Johanna Dahl told Bloomberg, “H&M does not burn any clothes that are safe to use. However it is our legal obligation to make sure that clothes that contain mold or do not comply with our strict restriction on chemicals are destroyed.” The Vasteras plant, which supplies power for around 150,000 households, has burned around 400,000 tons of garbage this year. Bloomberg reported earlier this week, the last coal ship docked in the area to drop off supplies to last until 2020 for the plant’s last two fossil fuel generators, which date back to the 1960s. In 2020, the plant will add a wood-fired boiler to help trash- and biofuel-burning units meet demand. Via Bloomberg Images via Depositphotos and Per Nyström, Scheiwiller Svensson Arkitektkontor AB/Malarenergi AB

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This Swedish power plant is burning H&M clothes instead of fossil fuels

Foster + Partners Bloomberg HQ opens in London as worlds most sustainable office building

October 25, 2017 by  
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Bloomberg’s new European headquarters—billed the “world’s most sustainable office building”—opened yesterday in London. Designed by Foster + Partners , the 3.2-acre Bloomberg HQ achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating with a 98.5% score that the architects say is the “highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.” The nine-story headquarters is estimated to save 73 percent in water consumption and 35 percent in energy consumption when compared to typical office buildings. Clad in nearly 10,000 tonnes of English sandstone and bronze, the massive Bloomberg HQ mitigates its size by carving out a public pedestrian arcade between its two buildings, while bronze fins give the buildings human scale and also allow for natural ventilation and protection from solar gain. Located between the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the city block-sized development is also meant to blend in with and respect its historic surroundings. In addition to the pedestrian Bloomberg Arcade, the building features three public plazas and ground-floor restaurants to engage the urban fabric. Site-specific art installations, from artists like Cristina Iglesias and Olafur Eliasson , punctuate the development. Related: Bloomberg’s new London HQ rated world’s most sustainable office “From day one, we talked with Mike Bloomberg about creating an elegant stone building that responds to its historic setting yet is clearly of its own time and which would be a good neighbour in the City of London in every sense of the word,” said Lord Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners. “We wanted the building to have an integrity and continuity of expression both inside and out, creating an inspiring, innovative, dynamic and collaborative workplace for Bloomberg that embodies the core values of the company. Above all, we had a shared belief with Bloomberg that we should provide the highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing for its occupants, as well as create major new public spaces at ground level, making a significant contribution to the daily life of the City of London and its inhabitants.” + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners , photos by Neil Young

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Foster + Partners Bloomberg HQ opens in London as worlds most sustainable office building

Bloomberg gives $64 million to anti-coal campaign

October 18, 2017 by  
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The Donald Trump administration has made a lot of noise about bringing back coal . But with renewable energy soaring , and coal plants retiring, their efforts may go in vain – and a new $64 million donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies could facilitate progress towards cleaner sources of power. Michael Bloomberg , former New York City mayor and philanthropist, said, “The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington – and Washington cannot end it.” The Trump administration has decried the so-called war on coal. Maybe they didn’t realize pollution from coal-fired power plants used to kill around 13,000 people every year. 7,500 Americans still die from the pollution yearly, but the number is down since the Sierra Club ramped up their Beyond Coal campaign in 2011. Bloomberg’s $64 million will go to that campaign. Related: Renewables keep booming despite Trump administration’s attempts to axe Obama’s Clean Power Plan Bloomberg said the war on coal “was started and continues to be led by communities in both red and blue states who are tired to having their air and water poisoned when there are cleaner and cheaper alternatives available.” Since 2011, 259 coal-fired stations, almost 50 percent of America’s coal plants, have shut down. Beyond Coal aims to replace coal with solar , wind , or geothermal energy. Reuters said coal exports have increased this year, pointing to information from the Energy Information Administration, which said United States coal exports from January to July went up 62 percent, compared against the same time period in 2016. But coal-fired plants keep shuttering. Since Trump entered office, according to Reuters, 10 plants have announced closures, and just last week an energy company said they’ll be shutting down a Texas plant next year. Bloomberg has given over $100 million in total to the Beyond Coal campaign; their original grants helped the effort grow from 15 states to 45. + Beyond Coal Via Bloomberg Philanthropies and Reuters Images via Pixabay and Bloomberg.org on Twitter

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Bloomberg gives $64 million to anti-coal campaign

How Automakers are Driving the Future of Net-Zero Building

October 16, 2017 by  
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The path forward for net-zero buildings will come from the road in the form of electric vehicles. Yet EVs still comprise less than one percent of the global market. This is about to change as automakers boost volume in the next few years. Daimler, for one, is unveiling the EQ brand and committing to ten all-EV models by 2025. For context, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that one in four vehicles sold globally will be EVs by 2030.

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How Automakers are Driving the Future of Net-Zero Building

Harriet Langford, The Ray

October 16, 2017 by  
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Harriet Langford, The Ray

Feeling the pulse of the renewables transition

August 14, 2017 by  
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An interview with Ethan Zindler, head of Americas at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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Feeling the pulse of the renewables transition

Innovation is the key to unlocking clean energy

August 14, 2017 by  
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Harness the fact that change is constant to create jobs, bolster our economy and improve our lives.

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Innovation is the key to unlocking clean energy

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