Julio Friedmann
2 min readOct 25, 2019

The Burning Question: How to Handle Industrial Heat

You probably don’t go to the store to buy 10,000 tons of concrete or steel. This means you’ve probably given little or no thought to how much energy is used to make cement or iron or glass, how these materials are bought or used in a modern society, or how much CO2 they emit.

Industrial heat alone emits more CO2 than all the world’s cars and planes combined. If you care about climate, care about this.

To ease things forward, I’ve done some of the thinking for you, gentle reader. Specifically I’ve co-authored two reports on industrial heat (here and here) to start a fact-based conversation on the topic. The reports are for wonks and nerds. For everyone else, I also wrote an op-ed, published by Bloomberg Opinion, that serves as today’s blog. I can’t reprint it but suggest your read it here.

Note: The redoubtable David Roberts wrote a longer piece with his own thoughts here. I strongly recommend it — helpful and fun. The Breakthrough Institute (where I’m a Senior Fellow (and a jolly good one)) published a rather different take on the reports which you can find here.

Image: Thermal infrared image of a rotary cement kiln. Courtesy of Jenoptik

Julio Friedmann

I’ve spent my career trying to keep CO2 out of the air and oceans, and more recently trying to remove CO2 from them. Carbon Wrangling full time.