A Drink with Leonardo

By: John A. Lanier

The promises of graphene aluminum-ion batteries are quite alluring – more energy density, reduced risk of combustion, made of a cheap and abundant material, longer lifespan, and eye-popping recharge rates (perhaps as much as 60 times faster to recharge than lithium-ion).

Photo Credit: www.theenglishnose.com

I have a ridiculous hypothetical for you. Just imagine if you could hop into a time traveling device and pop on back to Milan, Italy in 1512. There, you meet Leonardo da Vinci in the 60th year of his life, and you offer to treat him to a glass of wine. Settling in with your drink on a cool autumn afternoon, you proceed to explain that you are a traveler from far away who has come to show this famed inventor some amazing inventions. You then show him the chronological history of inventions that occurred after his death, such as the refracting telescope invented in 1608, the mechanical calculator invented in 1642, the steam engine invented in 1712, and so on. I wonder what would be the first invention that would make Leonardo think you were a magician instead of an inventor. What would be the first thing that left him truly dumbfounded?

My guess is the battery, first invented by Alessandro Volta in 1800. Leonardo would have had no real concept of electric current, so this would have been revolutionary for him. Just imagine his eyes when he saw a battery discharge and cause an electric arc, say between two metal wires. He would be like, “Dude! You just made a miniature lightning bolt! WTF?!?!?” Or, you know, however you would say that in Italian 500 years ago.

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Guest Blog - Driving the Future of Solar Roadways in Georgia

Guest Blog by Jen Datka, Drawdown Georgia

The state of Georgia has over 90,000 miles of public roads. Can you imagine a future in which those miles of asphalt could serve as a powerful climate solution by capturing solar energy?

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On Board

By: John A. Lanier

Last week’s news shows that fossil fuel companies are vulnerable to director challenges. Activist investors now have an example to point to, which will shift power dynamics when such future challenges are made.

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By: John A. Lanier

Our planet is already warming and feeling climate effects in many ways. Unfortunately, some of the harms are locked in and cannot be avoided.

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Talk, Talk, Talk

By: John A. Lanier

Seven weeks back, I took a week off from this blog and used my preparation for a TEDxAtlanta talk as my excuse. Well, I’m back to squeeze some more juice out of that lemon.

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A Beer From The Future

By: John A. Lanier

The folks at New Belgium are brewers that care about the issue of our generation, and they are using their one particular skill to ask others to do more. I support that just as I support any artist who uses their art for climate or any athlete who uses their sport for climate.

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Making Magic

By: John A. Lanier

Much like the oxygen and erosion control that trees offer to other organisms in their habitats, The Ray is helping to give life to other ideas. This was on display just this past week in the form of an exciting announcement from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

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Non-Fungible Tokens

By: John A. Lanier

NFTs are incredibly energy intensive. It’s all tied to the way that blockchain works – basically lots of computers have to work very hard to ensure any digital asset’s authenticity can be proven.

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Earth Day 2030: A Success Story Driven by Climate Solutions

By: John A. Lanier

Hop in and hold on. Join us on a time travel journey to Earth Day 2030!

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An Electric Analogy

By: John A. Lanier

That said, I’m a believer that we need to understand the fundamentals of something to change it. If we want to champion more renewable electricity, I think we should understand the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour, if only so that we have more credibility on the topic.

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