Skip navigation
12comments
Share conversation: Share via:

Dustin Carey

Jul 11, 2015
10:39

Fellow


1 |
Share via:
Hi Michael, Thanks for the project proposal. I very much enjoyed reviewing your Pyrolysis idea in the Energy Systems sectoral contest, and would enjoy seeing it included in a regional contest. As is, however, your proposal needs considerable work to be included in a regional contest. This proposal could well prove a component of the energy systems aspect of a regional proposal, but the other five sectors must be included. I might also recommend moving your proposal to another regional contest if you intend to expand upon it. Based on your proposal content, I would think the US or China contests may be more fitting, as neither is included in the Other Developed Nations contest. I hope to see a more complete version of this proposal in the near future! Best, Dustin Fellow, MIT Climate CoLab

Michael Hayes

Jul 17, 2015
06:06

Member


2 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Thanks Dustin, I've tried to present an omni-proposal and address your concerns/advise. Best regards, Michael Google Doc reflecting final submission form: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16xC-3NXB9xCt91IbkanFNX57L_3md0aHv1QldPtHKl0/pub

Dustin Carey

Jul 24, 2015
11:30

Fellow


3 |
Share via:
Hi Michael, I’m pleased to see you’ve continued to build on your WENN proposal. As your proposal is currently developed, stressing its applicability to all global regions, it seems to be a better fit in the Global Contest. And indeed, I see that a modified version of this proposal has been posted there. Given its applicability to all contest regions, (including the ones relevant here) I’m hoping you’d be willing to invest the time to narrow this proposal to the context of non-US/EU OECD nations. You note, for instance, the enormous marine biomass production in China, and the capability to harness the immense pipeline infrastructure in the US and EU, but what of the countries pertinent to this contest? What specific roles can nations as diverse as Japan, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico play in the implementation of your vision? I think the message of your proposal could be more clearly articulated with some structural adjustments. As it is currently displayed, the proposal description appears to be just an enormous block of information. Some invested effort in grouping related aspects and providing a brief introduction to the information being presented could significantly cut down on any confusion over the proposal. I am advancing your proposal to the contest judges for further reflection and suggestions for improvement. I look forward to reading updated drafts and understanding what you have envisioned for the countries relevant to this contest. If there's any guidance I can provide to help the development of your proposal, please let me know. Best, Dustin Fellow, MIT Climate CoLab

Michael Hayes

Aug 4, 2015
05:21

Member


4 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hello Dustin, Again, I'm impressed with your willingness to spend time with developers. If the proposal goes forward, I can spend the time needed to clarify in the ways you are recommending. Also, you nay find my remarks to Maruf relevant to many points you have made. In brief, I only can invest so much time on this type of work and I'm trying to find judging panels who 'get-it' at the first round. Once those panels are found, customizing the proposals to their relevant regions can go forward. In example, researching for the customization for say China, when that panel simply shows no interest even in the first round, would be a vast waste of time for me. Yet, if that same panel shows interest in the overall first round effort, then the research time will be worth expending. Also, I am concerned that by developing highly unique proposals for each region we may never see a unified/universal global plan. Below I try to explain how the WENN Protocol is universally adaptable to all regions. Hello Maruf, The WENN Protocol and technology suite is highly relevant to....any....region. As I tried to explain in my writings, the WENN Protocol is an attempt to standardize and coordinate actions across all regions so as to create an equal opportunity for all nations to participate in an advance mitigation and adaptation effort. The technologies being proposed can be used in all sectors (i.e. urban, rural, distant rural and marine environments). Thus, the technology is 'Universal' in its nature and use. The overall protocol is an attempt to bring coordinated funding opportunities to...all..nations, cities and even the smallest communities. The Green Bond market can reach trillions of dollars yet there is a need to bring high levels of coordination to the wide spectrum of issues to insure the best use of the funds and to also insure that the climate change mitigation/adaptation technologies being paid for through the Green Bonds are used to their greatest abilities. Currently, we have many technologies available to help us mitigate and adapt to climate change. What we do not have is a widely coordinated means of funding and managing those critical technologies. The WENN suite of technologies can provide a 'Universal' base upon which coordinated funding and management can be achieved. Without a strong and coordinated 'Universally' coordinated funding and management regimen ...nothing....on the scale needed to aggressively mitigate or adapt to climate change....can...emerge. The problem is too vast for uncoordinated/piecemeal efforts to solve in the time available. The WENN Protocol is an effort to coordinate actions, funding and possibly even mitigation/adaptation governance between all nations, regions and even the smallest villages. The multiple problem sets we currently face (and will face for generations) is so complex and vast that nothing short of a full trans-regional/global scale coordinated effort will prevent the climate disruption which is already baked into the system. Maruf, thank you for your comment and suggestions. I value any opportunity to clarify my work as it is rather complex and...yes...ambitious. Climate change mitigation and adaptation will need both ambitious and even bold ideas and actions. It will also need many important actors willing to step outside their own comfort zone as what we, as a species, are currently and comfortably doing today is simply not working in our collective interests. Warmest wishes, Michael

Dustin Carey

Aug 8, 2015
12:09

Fellow


5 |
Share via:
Hi Michael, Thanks for your reply. I can certainly sympathize. It looks as if you've been the most prolific proposal contributor to the CoLab this year by far. Attached are the judges' comments for your proposal as it currents stands, which may provide specific points to target to cater the proposal to the Other Developed Countries contest. ~~~~~~ Judge 1 ~~~~~~ To explore the pathway towards “sustainable development” under various constraints is, of course, the most important subject for the world, not only for the future generation but our current decision making. Water/Energy/Nutrient Nexus constraints are the highest priority issues to be overcome in this century as pointed out by IPCC and other international organizations. Among various technological options, WENN proposes chemosynthetic capture of carbon through mariner and terrestrial biomass. The extensive utilization of biomass is the first option to realize the low- to negative- emission world to achieve the “2.0 degree” limit while the serious conflict between food supply and energy production is expected. Some recent studies also point out the possibility of additional carbon emission from land use changes for converting the existing forestry or pasture to cropland to meet the future food demand and biofuels. Thus, the major assessing points are as follows: whether WENN proposal would contribute to solving or mitigating the above conflicts? Has WENN proposed technologically feasible procedure? Finally, would WENN be economically acceptable by the future society? The last point is also important since geo-engineering such as SRM is very controversial in spite of its relative low cost due to the possible risk and acceptability. Furthermore, each technology in WENN, e.g. conversion of microalgae to biofuel, the utilization of the nutrient in the deep sea, do not sound new. The reviewer would like the author to clarify the new idea of WENN to overcome the current barrier to make use of these resources. Question-1 The reviewer wonders why WENN protocol is a BECCS class proposal (page.3). Afforestation as a sustainable carbon sink achieving net negative emission implies constant increase and cultivation of biomass since the carbon absorption of biomass tends to saturate as the plants grow. When mariner biomass is extensively utilized, can WENN expect the achievement of negative emission? Question-2 Biofuel from microalgae biomass has recently often been focused on by many researchers and firms. What may be the new idea of WENN? The reviewer would like the author to clarify the new point. Suggestion of reviewer -1 : In the top figure in page 9, WENN proposes a utilization of “municipal wastewater”. The reviewer does not think it is preferable, since the wastewater should not be released into environment unless various contamination materials (e.g. heavy metal) are removed. In the current situation, the utilization of biomass waste from food industry and farms as fertilizer, etc. is carefully managed. Instead, the reviewer would suggest that the carbon dioxide from CCS or fired power generation plants should be input as the carbon source. For this purpose, probably the management of acid would be essential, but the regulation of CO2 concentration in the marine would be easier than to manage the pollution level of municipal wastewater. Question-3 The reviewer wonders why the figures on natural gas pipeline network in page 12-14 are needed. The transportation of gas and biodiesel (liquid) needs different technologies, since the intensity, pumping energy and equipment, etc. are completely different. The reviewer thinks these figures are misleading. Suggestion of reviewer-2 : If the author wants to stress the universalness of marine-biomass utilization, production potential with the assessment of mariner area per unit EJ production per year instead of the transportation network. The reviewer thinks that the applicable mariner area would be limited due to the temperature, depth, tidal velocity, etc. Comment-1: In page 20 the author presents the key benefits of WENN. When the author stress the advantage of WENN, at least some numbers should be presented. The figure in the above also shows how much carbon emission is expected and to what extent biomass and CCS as well as BECCS should be implemented to achieve RCP2.6. Currently WENN fails to show the potentials of carbon emission reduction. Feasibility 3/5 Novelty 3/5 Impact 3/5 Presentation 3/5 ~~~~~~ Judge 2 ~~~~~~ Summary As I understand it, this proposal is advocating for the development and establishment of a novel pipeline-based network of algal bio-reactors to ‘harvest’ carbon and nutrients from wastewater for the synthesis of hydrocarbons for fuel or industrial use. Unlike traditional algal bio-reactors which depend on photosynthesis, it appears the proposed system will use algae (or other microbes) to produce useable hydrocarbons via chemosynthesis. Comments under the various assessment criteria Feasibility It is not possible to determine the feasibility of the proposal from the information provided. It would appear to rely on technology that is untested at the scale envisaged in the proposal. There will be significant technical and regulatory hurdles to implementation. The proposal contains no obvious assessment of these challenges, however, and nor does it attempt to describe how they might be overcome. It is hard to envisage what is implied by the global scale of the idea, and how that might be achieved. Novelty This is proposal scores highly on novelty. If it proved feasible, it could be a good way of producing useable hydrocarbons from a high-throughput waste stream. If it was possible to include the technology as part of existing wastewater treatment systems it could be a good way of removing carbon and nutrients from waste streams, in a ‘win-win’ for emissions reduction and nutrient recycling. Impact on climate change It is not possible to determine the aggregate impact of the proposal on climate change based on the material provided. Its claim to being a “carbon negative” technology seems ambitious, as combustion of the hydrocarbons produced by the technology would simply return carbon to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. But it would seem to have potential for positive climate impact by offsetting emissions that would otherwise come from fossil fuel combustion. Presentation quality The proposal did not rate highly against this criterion. It was nearly impossible to determine what this entry was proposing on the basis of the material provided. Trying to figure it out require clicking through a number of embedded hyperlinks (sometimes to 70+ year old research papers). Even having skimmed through some of those I can’t be entirely sure I have understood the proposal. The author should also consider some of his audience will be non-scientists, so the pitch needs to be written in a more accessible way. ~~~ I understand your argument for the universal applicability of the WENN proposal, but with the lack of specificity as to the exact actions the countries pertinent to this contest would contribute, I have some concerns over the judges' capability to fully critique the proposal against the contest criteria. Hopefully these comments have provided some direction for clarification. We hope that you will use it to further develop your work before the August 31 deadline. On that date at midnight Eastern Time, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will then select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award. The Winners will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and showcase their work before key constituents in a workshop the next day. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session. In addition, if your plan is included in one or more winning global plans, you will receive Climate CoLab Points, and the top point-getters will receive shares of a cash prize of $10,000. Best, Dustin Fellow, MIT Climate CoLab

Michael Hayes

Aug 12, 2015
02:09

Member


6 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Dear Judges, I greatly appreciate the amount of high level thought that the Judges obviously gave their evaluations and I will work diligently to address each concern. In brief, I am truly impressed with your collective acumen. I found the below quote in the bio of Heather McGowan which may best sum up my primary challenge in completing the WENN Protocol: “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” Simon Sinek Warmest regards, Michael

Michael Hayes

Aug 12, 2015
09:37

Member


7 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
The limited space provided within the CoLab form makes addressing the suggestions and concerns of the Judges extremely difficult within that limited space. Also, the time and effort spent in simply trying to work in such a limited space needs to be better spent. Thus, I've transferred the CoLab format to a Google Doc (link below). This allows for expanded text, better graphics, more complete explanations at multiple levels (i.e. non-technical, policy centric, funding centric and STEM centric etc.). This link will also allow the reader to follow the conceptual development of the U.S. Plan: Chemosynthetic Management of the Water/Energy/Nutrient Nexus (WENN) even after the CoLab competition is complete. The link is below and you may need to copy and paste it into your browser as links to such 'work-arounds' many times become broken. https://docs.google.com/document/d/16xC-3NXB9xCt91IbkanFNX57L_3md0aHv1QldPtHKl0/pub Best regards, Michael

Michael Hayes

Sep 2, 2015
04:23

Member


8 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor

Dead Zones in red, black dots are of un-known size

Robert Simmon & Jesse Allen - NASA Earth Observatory

Red circles on this map show the location and size of many of our planet’s dead zonesBlack dots show where dead zones have been observed, but their size is unknown. It’s no coincidence that dead zones occur down river of places where human population density is high (darkest brown). Darker blues in this image show higher concentrations of particulate organic matter, an indication of the overly fertile waters that can culminate in dead zones.


Michael Hayes

Sep 2, 2015
07:07

Member


9 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor

The above map shows marine hypoxic/anoxic areas where WENN production would be highly efficient. 


Michael Hayes

Sep 12, 2015
03:11

Member


10 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor

Greetings,

There has been further refinement of the Water, Energy, Nutrient Nexus (WENN) Protocol in the area of authorship and organization.

The link to that work is:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16xC-3NXB9xCt91IbkanFNX57L_3md0aHv1QldPtHKl0/pub

However, there still is the need to address each nation's/region's ability to use the WENN Protocol per the competition(s) mandate.I'm working my way through the information found in the World Resource Institute database: http://cait.wri.org/ and hope to be able to make clear linkage between the national pledges and the WENN Protocol within the revision time frame allowed within the Finals stage of the competition.

Your continued patients with the development of the WENN Protocol proposal and further support would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Michael 


Michael Hayes

Dec 2, 2015
05:53

Member


11 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor

The following is a copy of a comment added to the 'Global Plan' which evolved from this proposal.

Response to Judge’s Remarks

(Judges Comments 1) “iWENN Management Protocol has several commendable features -– especially its scale of vision. However, we have hesitations about this proposal. The Protocol as outlined here is not realistic under current socio political conditions. Neither public nor private sector actors are ready to pursue this model. Green minded fund managers (almost an oxymoron) are extremely unlikely to invest in the high cost, high-risk ventures described in the sub-proposal.”

(Response 1) As the Pope succinctly noted in a recent statement seen here in Rueters:

"I am not sure, but I can say to you 'now or never.' Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.".

The Pope is not the only leader to realize the urgency which we now face and there is a growing number of leaders in the financial community which have also awaken to the need for strong new measures which inherently will be somewhat risky during initial development.

Business as usual is simply suicidal and going beyond business as usual will require some degree of risk.

One excellent example of financial leaders realizing this existential need for moving beyond business as usual is found within CERES’s Clean Trillion Initiative.

(Response 2) As to the comment concerning “high cost, high-risk ventures described in the sub-proposal” and or the previous comment of "BECCS is not proven at large scales”:

It is well understood at the IPCC (WG3) level that the only limiting factor in establishing vast scale BECCS operations is the availability of sustainable low cost upstream biomass. The technical aspects of marine biomass production are also well understood and the use of the Oxyhydrogen Reaction in Algae is well understood as well and is, in fact, currently used at the industrial level.

Please read this relevant patent:

Use of oxyhydrogen microorganisms for non-photosynthetic carbon capture and conversion of inorganic and/or c1 carbon sources into useful organic compounds

4HwtZSY3B1z8yQkMm_BHpwXtCc9Xp_YQ660iy1oGanqNsJEDoTyLMTJFUU5JlkAEXzE0YkX_PH9IkHG3sqVZI1dqzDcwD-1gWo7PwocChl4MiEjWL0x9RR6iwuqF7qFKZpmpy5-d3qB_3iODqpV2x4N3sE4wvWXl7ebMuZ9ksIoljfEelPQzUP-vbJRw_QtKvDM_CWOmOhYBnxnw4lTEC-dlP6AFnlX7KAlulf8JNr9h9BAiKYSdsqlr6BpCnAXDm8SnNj0YK-wwa-mJfeL0Jml6VSzyP6e4RUSdTVacgsdePSEURz-LK_Sfsih5CESSK3rSAfOHaRRt9icw7sTxrjNK2rnu8Pi2Ig2kwi0wTVCjIQJkBgItgfuuZreICxwXaG9a7GPP0CRdoUy8hs5ce_LVa6x6H2ICYZq5snAMnsduqAjpxO_JZW26IvIjU6_j8Q3XDwOkWS1c0bZG0R8cUUD5Rz-eL78nfQgtx7VQuIm8Qj_d3cComkIS_Mpf9QaQCGOMl5N1dFX5OmPv6tf4XeV6v0-Yeq1Ehoh8aJUDg_c=w977-h389-no

In brief, the judges who discredited the use of the above biotechnology, used in the previous national/regional proposals, simply did not understand the science!!!!

I ask this panel of judges to not make that same mistake. Stating confidently that the Oxyhydrogen Reaction in Algae is not 'feasible' is much like that professor who 'proved beyond all reasonable doubt' that heaver than air flight is impossible...3 months after the first flight at Kitty Hawk!!!!

Finally, the position that high level investors are not inclined to aggressively fund new technology is problematic as current developments seem to show the opposite view.

Please see: Breakthrough Energy Coalition

“The existing system of basic research, clean energy investment, regulatory frameworks, and subsidies fails to sufficiently mobilize investment in truly transformative energy solutions for the future. We can’t wait for the system to change through normal cycles.”

As such, the Global Plan, A Carbon Negative Infrastructure and Economy: A Systems Design/Mngmt Approach should be viewed as being within a reasonable, although advanced, spectrum of near term options as the science is well understood (by those that bother to read the science) and the technology is fundable as the science is currently...in use at the industrial level.

To conclude, this proposal attempts to stretch the envelope as far as STEM and socially responsible global scale business development using components which are, in fact, in use today and can be rapidly scaled up to global significance. This proposal, however, is also a volunteer effort which is not meant to be a fully developed business plan and should be judged in that regards.

With proper resources, a fully detailed business plan/proposal can be developed for those executives who actually understand the need for large scale and globally coordinated advanced mitigation/adaptation near term actions using state-of-the-art STEM and a socially responsible business model (as this proposal offers).   

Respectfully,

Michael 


Michael Hayes

Dec 2, 2015
06:13

Member


12 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor

Please watch this brief message from B. Gates as it helps address the judge's concern over initial risk.

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition

ADD YOUR COMMENT
You must be logged into your account to post a comment.