Charlie Buttrey

February 16, 2020

Regular readers of this blog know that yours truly is gravely concerned about climate change, and I’m always eager to share even the tiniest glimpse of good news on that front.

This is potentially good news.

According to this article at, Dean Takahashi, who is second-in-command of Yale University’s $30 billion endowment, has announced that he is leaving the investment office to start a new Carbon Containment Lab at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Its long-term goal is to offset at least 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions by the end of the century, but it also aims to create solutions capable of balancing out more than 10 million tons of emissions by 2030.

How does he plan on doing that?

One idea is kelp.

Takahashi wants to explore the idea of packing kelp into large, carbon-storing cubes, encasing them in durable Roman-style concrete, and dropping them into the deep sea? It turns out that those slimy strands of seaweed are some of the world’s most efficient absorbers of carbon. “Kelp grows really fast, and it dies every year,” Takahashi says. Compressing that kelp and sinking it down to the ocean floor would effectively keep that carbon from escaping into the atmosphere, helping to slow the global warming process.

There’s a lot of work that has to be done — and fast — but this qualifies as a tiny glimpse of good news, qualifying it as blog-worthy.

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