Distilling what I've learned over the last three years of writing the newsletter.
Another first class post! Thanks for doing this -- you're providing a valuable service!
Nice post Tony and glad to see you back online.
It seems to me that a big component of the issues you describe center on life-cycle assessment (and its cousin, techno-economic assessment).
LCA is not trivial -- it's very sensitive to inputs. There aren't many people who know how to "do it right", and people often ignore or don't believe the results of LCA even when it is done right, because of preconceived notions, availability of funding in "sexy" areas, wishful thinking, the hammer / nail phenomenon, etc.
I think that if we got better at LCA and TEA (or started listening more to people who are good at it) we'd see that the impact of solutions based on new materials is negligible compared to what could be achieved with policy alone (e.g., mandating a certain standard for packaging to facilitate reuse, prohibiting the sale of certain kinds of intractable single-use plastics, etc.)
What do you think?
this is sooooooo cool tony. been following you since the time u reposted the nuclear article in like 2020 and look where I am now! writing my own content and giving back! I followed you on twitter :) if you have a moment to answer the pinned tweet do so for me. Thanks.
Glad to have you posting again!