Ryan Duncombe, Beam Project

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

Current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are 420 parts per million, and unless that number declines to 350 parts per million, we stand little chance of keeping global warming under the 2ºC target set by the Paris Agreement, let alone the 1.5ºC target that would mitigate many of the catastrophic effects inevitable with 2 degrees of warming.

There are only two ways to reverse this number, which is increasing by about 2.5 ppm per year. One is to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and let the atmosphere naturally reduce its CO2…

Batteries play a crucial role in the future of green transportation, but there is still a long way to go to reduce inefficient and wasteful battery use. To make battery systems cheaper, safer, and more sustainable, California-based startup ReJoule developed a new diagnostic system to quickly assess a battery’s health. We’re sharing ReJoule’s blog series (reposted with permission from their website), to give a closer view into how battery life can be maximized through repurposing. Make sure to check out the entire series as we publish it!

This is the second post in our series, and this time we’re going…

Electric vehicles are the future, and every major carmaker is preparing accordingly. By 2040, it is estimated that most vehicles on the road worldwide will be electric. This presents one of the greatest potential areas of carbon emission reductions: EVs are already displacing 1 million barrels of oil demand per day, but that number could rise to over 17 million barrels per day by 2040. That’s unequivocally great news, but EVs will present new (and smaller!) problems compared to fossil fuels when it comes to sustainability. Some of the biggest remaining questions are how to optimize battery use by properly…

Jeffrey Dewey, Beam Project

Steel has made modern society, but it’s also a huge contributor to climate change. Want to know how do we keep building on steel’s strength while cutting the climate impact? Read on.

The impact of steel on modernity cannot be overstated. Modern steel processing was born in the 1940s, leading to the mass production of skyscrapers, industrial and agricultural machinery, automobiles, and deadly weapons. Steel is durable, versatile, and most significantly, strong; if I encountered a warlock that converted and reshaped my mass of ~150 pounds (if we round down a bit 😉) into steel shelving, then my cursed form could proudly support at least 20,000 pounds of brews and cauldrons. …

Ryan Duncombe, Beam Project

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

The idea of producing animal meat without the animal has been around for a surprisingly long time. Winston Churchill of all people even mentioned the idea in his 1932 Thoughts and Adventures. The reason the idea has been around so long is that, while meat is an energy- and nutrient-dense food, its production is incredibly wasteful. To keep a cow alive for the 1–3 years needed to produce enough meat for slaughter requires a lot of food, land, water, and energy, and even then, a lot of the cow goes to waste after slaughter. The nervous…

Ryan Duncombe, Beam Project

Photo by Daniel Larionov on Unsplash


Food waste has become a hot topic of conversation among environmental groups lately, and justifiably so. Americans throw out 30–40% of their total food supply, greatly expanding the footprint of land use, transportation, and waste management needed to feed Americans. But there’s an even larger, underappreciated source of waste in America, as more than two-thirds of the energy we produce leaves our energy system without ever being used. It’s lost, primarily through the form of heat, at the source of production, at the site of use (our homes, cars, businesses, etc.), or in transport along…

Earth Day is about looking forward and building a future that is good for people and the planet. That means supporting innovations that can fix climate change.

Ryan Duncombe, Beam Project

Photo by Zack Silver on Unsplash

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide event supporting environmental protection. However, it is little known that Earth Day originally grew out of, and eventually replaced, Arbor Day, which was started in the 1870s by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska. Arbor Day, a national tree-planting day, was his small way of slowing down the wave of deforestation that was sweeping across America, as the equivalent of 12 football fields of woodland were being consumed every minute. Of Arbor Day, Morton wrote:

“It is the only anniversary in which humanity looks futureward instead of…

Ryan Duncombe, Beam Project

Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

So far we’ve discussed ways that emissions from electricity, transportation, and agriculture can be reduced through new technologies. The fourth of the five Grand Challenges of emissions reduction is manufacturing, so now we’re going to dive into one the largest sources of CO2 emissions worldwide — concrete.

Concrete is an ancient and fascinating material with a long history of human use — concrete ruins have been discovered from ancient cultures on multiple continents, including from the Mayans, Syrians, and Romans. Today, concrete is the most widely used man-made material in the world. Three tons of it…

Because flight shame isn’t enough to fix the problem, and it’s not going to make air travel go away.

Photo by Ryan Zhao on Unsplash

Who should care about the climate consequences of flight?

Instead of telling you that aviation is a primary climate transgressor and that a hurt climate hurts everyone, I’ll give you some brief, practical answers to some questions I myself — a relatively uninformed, frugal, more couch-sitter than jet-setter, grad student — had about this issue of unsustainable flight when I was first introduced the problem. …

It’s difficult to make our habits more sustainable once we get back into the grind, no matter how strong the New Year’s resolution. So why not build some climate action into the things you already do?

Tegan Marianchuk, for Beam Project

Photo by Ophélie Authier on Unsplash

New Year, Old Issue

‘Tis the season for resolutions and turning over new leaves. The dawn of a new year inspires a collective, annual ability to embrace new habits — at least for a time — but there’s an old problem still at hand whose age only exacerbates its urgency and knows nothing of clean slates or fresh starts: climate change. It’s not news that our environment is in trouble. All we ever hear about it is that it’s getting worse and though it’s our responsibility, there’s nothing we can do about it on a big enough scale to…

Beam Project

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