A Carbon-Based Industry, But No Greenhouse Gases

Carbon Trifecta is an initiative that has a very innovative approach to bringing down the level of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Instead of sequestering it in geological vaults, it wants to strip the carbon from the carbon dioxide and make graphene from it. That graphene will become the building block of manufacturing a wide range of objects, from buildings to cars to clothing.

This could pave the way for a fourth industrial revolution, fueled by carbon, but without adding more carbon to the air.

When The Storm Hits, The Parks Sink

A part of the Big U, on an ordinary day.

The “Big U” is a proposed 10-mile-long horseshoe-shaped (social) infrastructure that will guard the southern half of Manhattan from storm surges and rising sea level.

When the East River swells, the urban space next to it turns into a lake.

The barrier—which will extend from West 57th Street, wrapping around the southern tip of the island and run back up the other side to East 42nd Street—will, during ordinary times, masquerade as a combination of parks, promenades, recreational zones and cultural spaces.

The Lower East Side would be protected by a “bridging berm”—a level space separating two areas—at the East River Park. Both the berm and the bridge will be wide and planted with salt-tolerant fauna.

The bridge (foreground) and the berm (background.)
The Big U can absorb a storm surge.

This is a project by the Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels.

A Hole In The Wall

A little “wine window” in Florence.

If you strolled through the cobbled lanes of Florence, you’re likely to see little apertures in old buildings that are about the size of an airplane window.

Well, they are windows.

In the mid-16th century, when the grand duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici, decreed that wine could be sold out of people’s cellars—bypassing the taverns and innkeepers—Florentine nobles built these buchette del vino (Italian for “holes for wine”) into the walls of their palatial residences. By selling directly to the consumers, they evaded taxes in the process.

In the early 1630s, when an outbreak of the plague swept through this town and elsewhere in northern Italy, these dainty architectural features allowed sellers to pass a flask of wine into the hand of a buyer, without coming into contact with him or her.

In the era of the coronavirus, they’re are enjoying something of a Renaissance.