Mexico’s Fresh Start

Grind for October 1st, 2018
Hope is the magic carpet that transports us from the present moment into the realm of infinite possibilities.

– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Going Green

The Headline

New carbon dioxide battery could change the way power plants deal with waste

The Grind

Researchers at MIT are working on a new type of lithium battery that runs on carbon dioxide.

“Rather than attempting to convert carbon dioxide to specialized chemicals using metal catalysts…this battery could continuously convert carbon dioxide into a solid mineral carbonate as it discharges,” notes Science Daily.

The Implication

The new battery formulation could potentially utilize carbon dioxide straight from power plant emissions – effectively removing the greenhouse gas before it enters the atmosphere.

This would be a significant improvement to modern carbon capture systems, which require up to 30% of the electricity a power plant generates.

The team is also looking into how carbon capture technology could be used to produce carbon-dioxide-loaded electrolytes (one of the battery’s key components). In other words, the system would suck carbon dioxide straight from a power plant’s waste stream to create the very materials needed to build the system.

While the technology remains in its early stages, the process could eventually eliminate the need to store excess carbon dioxide underground and go a long way towards the global goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Good Goals

The Headline

Mexican President seeks to cut down on government spending; encourages federal employees to pack their lunches

The Grind

Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López (AMLO) is encouraging lawmakers to bring packed lunches to work.

“No costly expense account meals for me,” said AMLO ally Martí Batres.

The move is part of a broader strategy to cut down on the cost of Mexico’s bureaucracy, which increased 20% under current president Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Details

AMLO has also promised to slash his own salary (and that of top officials), give up the presidential plane, and limit yearly bonuses. He also plans to reduce the number of people working for federal agencies.

As you can expect, not everyone is on board with the plan.

“There are a lot of technical staff who are very qualified and have been [in the government] for years but they’re saying, ‘I studied and worked hard to get where I am, I’ve got a mortgage and two children, I can’t take a 40% pay cut,'” explains recruiting agent Monica Graue.

Alongside AMLO’s plans to reduce government spending is an initiative to cut down on cartel violence.

But instead of arresting gang leaders, AMLO wants to hit criminal organizations where it hurts the most: in the wallet.

“This could mean following the cartels’ money, investigating how it’s laundered, and who helps them launder it,” explains defense expert Adam Isacson. This tactic would also force the government to take on the financial industry and corrupt politicians.

AMLO previously suggested he would be willing to make deals with the cartels – including amnesty – in exchange for peace.

Did you know… Jupiter has radio storms so strong that they can be picked up and heard by an AM radio.