The editors at California Magazine asked me to look into the possible effects of a major earthquake on the Bay Area. It’s a topic I’ve thought a lot about over the years, and have written about previously. Just about every region carries the risk of getting caught up in a disaster, natural or otherwise, that could quickly spiral out of our control. We should all do a better job of preparing for them.
This summer I interviewed Kristie Boering, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at UC Berkeley. We talked about the potential environmental side effects of moving to a hydrogen economy. Our discussion, boiled down to about 800 words, is in the current issue of California magazine. Boering is incredibly articulate, and I learned a lot in the process.
If we were to go to a hydrogen fuel cell economy and we produce a lot of hydrogen, and some fraction escapes (because it’s notoriously difficult to contain that small molecule), then we might see emissions equal to or greater than what’s produced naturally. Because it’s such a reactive gas…that could change the balance of chemistry in our atmosphere.
You can read it here.