The Whale, The Power Of Pee, Solar panels, Electric Planes

In this first edition of The Hotpot: four recommended long-form articles and a video from journalists and experts in the field, to stay up to date on how to solve climate change. From the environmental impact of liquid waste, new research on the role of whales in the fight against climate change, to the latest news on where we stand with the development of electric and hybrid planes, and how to make regenerative farms work.

The 1st recommended read:

Whales may be a secret weapon in the fight against climate change

Fast Company | By Kristin Thoussaint | December 15, 2022

A new paper looks at the role of whales play in storing carbon, arguing that increasing conservation efforts could lead to more carbon sequestration. Whales absorb and store huge amounts of CO2 in their bodies, and their poo acts as fertilizer for phytoplankton. The plankton then not only becomes food for fish, krill and other animals, but also contributes at least 50% of all oxygen, and captures an estimated 40% of all CO2 produced. Learn more about the potential of the whale in this article.

The 2nd recommended read:

Cabbage-growing experiment shows human waste can be good to use as fertilizer

The Guardian | Phoebe Weston | May 4, 2022

Have you ever wondered about the potential of urine when you flushed the toilet? Human urine holds a huge opportunity for reducing the need to produce and transport artificial fertilizer, which requires substantial energy and so contributes to the climate crisis. Human liquids, like urine, have not only a substantial impact on the environment, but valuable resources can be recovered from it too, including nitrogen, phosphorous, lithium, and even gold! This article points out the potential of human urine, and how we need a system for collecting and distributing these resources.

The 3rd recommended read:

More regenerative farming may be a climate solution. But another climate solution is impeding its progress

The Counter | By Lela Nargi | April 27, 2022

Clean energy sources, including solar, are essential to prevent the devastating consequences of climate change. Regenerative farms are well suited to solar, leading farmers to give up their fertile farmland to solar companies. Farm-based solar is a space with a ton of possibilities, but the biggest challenge is the cost of implementing it at scale and advanced technology to make it happen. While the world population is estimated to continue to grow, and so will the demand for food, the challenge is to do solar in a way that’s good for farmers, the climate, and the land. This article points out how we need to identify economically efficient scalable models to accommodate agrivoltaic technology.

The 4th recommended read:

Are electric planes ready for take-off?

Deutsche Welle | By Andreas Spaeth | January 24, 2023

In Sweden, they call it flygskam, or flying shame – the guilty feeling that you’re helping destroy the planet when you zip off to a sunny destination for the weekend. Airlines and plane makers are aware of customers becoming more and more climate-conscious, and of governments putting tougher regulations in order to meet climate goals. The development of electric and hybrid planes is one way to reduce their carbon footprint, and even though there is hope that someday electric technology can be as helpful as hybrid or electric cars, there is still a lot of progress that has to be made before electrical passenger planes can be taken into the skies. This article describes some of the obstacles we are facing right now.


Sustainable materials: is there a concrete solution?

The Economist | 13:21 min | Youtube

Made possible by our editorial team with our main editor Lisanne Swart.

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