However, the company says its journey has not all been plain sailing. During a preview on Monday morning before the official tests launched, Paris river police ordered the Bubble to stop its activity.
Co-founder Alain Thebault said regulatory issues from the City of Paris have stymied progress, leading the company to pursue projects in Switzerland and the US rather than solely in France.
“We are waiting for the authorisation to have a commercial line between east and west…but have a look, there is absolutely nobody on the river,” he said, adding that France is becoming “like a museum” where tech innovation is too highly regulated.
Paris has one of the densest urban transport networks in the world, with more than 650 trains running simultaneously at rush hour and 4.7 billion trips made by public transport in the Paris region in 2016, according to figures from Paris transport network Île-de-France Mobilités.
Last Friday Parisians faced travel chaos as a strike against pension reform by all unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) crippled movement around the city, with ten of its 16 metro lines closed.
To combat pollution, Paris tightened regulations in July, banning cars with diesel engines registered between 2001 and 2005 and trucks from 2006 to 2009 within the A86 ring-road area.
The city council plans to continually tighten regulations until 2030, when only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars will be allowed on Greater Paris roads.
Two years in, the presidency of Donald Trump has been a possibly fatal disaster for our livable climate, a number of climate and clean energy experts told ThinkProgress.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, countless climate experts voiced their concern about Trump, who had infamously called climate change a “hoax” and said it was “created by and for the Chinese.” Trump promised to undo Obama-era environmental laws, bring back coal power, and withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, in which the world’s nations unanimously agreed to start ratcheting down carbon pollution.
For all these reasons, climatologist Michael Mann wrote in October 2016 that Trump was “a threat to the planet.”
Two years after taking office, Trump has followed through on many of his promises to gut environmental regulations, promote the production of fossil fuels, kill U.S. climate action, and start withdrawing from the Paris accord.
“Our worst fears have come true,” Mann told ThinkProgress. Other experts agreed.
“In explaining the demise of our planet, a coroner’s report might very well read ’cause of death: the Trump presidency,’” said CNN host Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs under President Barack Obama.
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, noted that by undoing Obama-era climate rules and rejecting the Paris agreement, Trump is delaying climate action, perhaps fatally.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, announced Wednesday afternoon, sent shock waves across the capital, with experts and pundits rushing to analyze the potential repercussions. For the future of environmental protection and climate action, the news means “nothing good,” according to legal experts.
During Kennedy’s time on the bench over the past three decades, he has served as the deciding vote in many cases, including some landmark environmental rulings. Most notably, Kennedy was the critical fifth vote in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007. This case established two major precedents: that states can sue the federal government for failing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and that greenhouse gas emissions are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and the EPA must decide whether and how to regulate them.
Kennedy’s retirement is “terrible news for environmental law and the protection of public health and the environment,” Patrick Parenteau, law professor and senior counsel in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, told ThinkProgress.
As most experts agree, Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced with a more conservative judge, tipping the balance further to the right and leaving key environmental protection rulings vulnerable.
There are two ways to cut down on our greenhouse-gas emissions: Reduce the amount we make or limit how much of what we make actually gets into the atmosphere.
It’s the second solution that researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory want to tackle with cute caviar-sized bubbles that can absorb carbon dioxide.
The polymer bubbles are filled with the entirely pedestrian ingredient of baking soda, long known to absorb carbon dioxide, but it’s the bubbles themselves that are the breakthrough. They’re permeable, which means that CO2 gets trapped and absorbed by the baking soda solution inside them. In theory, you could affix the bubbles to the inside of a power plant smokestack and trap the CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere.
They’re also reusable. The CO2 can be released again by heating the bubbles in a sealed container. The released CO2 can be kept in tanks or safely pumped back underground while the bubbles can go back into the smokestack and start their world-saving job all over again.
Bloomberg’s profile of Lawrence Livermore’s carbon-capturing technology is the latest installment of The Spark, which looks at innovators finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. ………….’