... We’re trying to harness photosynthesis. A key part of photosynthesis is what happens when the sun goes down. Cells convert CO2 into sugar and fat molecules. And they store the fat to burn as energy to get them through the night ... We’re trying to coax our synthetic cells to ... store far more fat than they actually were designed to do, so that we can harness it all as an energy source and use it to create gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel straight from carbon dioxide and sunlight. This would shift the carbon equation so we’re recycling CO2 instead of taking new carbon out of the ground and creating still more CO2. But it has to be done on a massive scale to have any real impact on the amount of CO2 we’re putting into the atmosphere, let alone recovering from the atmosphere.
... We envision facilities the size of San Francisco. And 10 or 15 of those in this country. We need sunlight, seawater, and non-agricultural land, but you need a lot of photons to drive this. You need a lot of surface area of sunlight to do that. It’s a great use for Arizona. Lots of sunlight there.
... If we can’t get some key scientific breakthroughs within the next couple of years, it probably won’t happen in 10 years. So it’s something that’s really dependent on fundamental science. But we’re already able to do things that were once seen as impossible.
... I think the new anti-intellectualism that’s showing up in politics today is a symptom of our not discussing these issues enough. We don’t discuss how our society is now 100 percent dependent on science for its future. We need new scientific breakthroughs—sometimes to overcome the scientific breakthroughs of the past. A hundred years ago oil sounded like a great discovery. You could burn it and run engines off it. I don’t think anybody anticipated that it would actually change the atmosphere of our planet. Because of that we have to come up with new approaches. We just passed the 7 billion population mark. In 12 years, we’re going to reach 8 billion. If we let things run their natural course, we’ll have massive pandemics, people starving. Without science I don’t see much hope for humanity.
A good reminder of the options available and not taken. Bush pioneered the no-stimulus recovery in 2001, to bad (but Republican) result. Obama largely played along to GOP TARP plans in 2009, including lowball public assistence and austerity. Hillary's wrapping herself around Obama as she must, but we know she's not a kumbaya idealist. Will she learn the real lessons behind the rhetoric - both in economic and foreign policy? How will/would she govern during the next crisis? I think it's a given she's not out to be either Bill or Barry's 3rd term. Will she find her own 3rd Way? Will she pull out her Saul Alinsky? Will she stay content with the 1 big idea per year mode? Or will she open up multiple fronts like FDR? We'll likely see come January.
Thought I'd file this under the endless litany of who wears the MLK mantle, what would Jesus do and if FDR came back, would he drive a hybrid?
Of course MLK wouldn't be a woman, but he might friend one. Curiously he could be white. But possibly gay.
Would he have a biting sense of humor, or still rely on preacher's prose and metaphor?
Almost left out LBJ - would he eat a lo-carb diet and carpool? Post pictures of abused dogs to Facebook or Pinterest? Things do change as they stau the same. Perhaps Vietnam by drone wouldn't look the same.