Archive for 2023

Embracing a Wetter Future, the Dutch Turn to Floating Homes

Via Yale e360, an article on how – faced with worsening floods and a shortage of housing – the Netherlands is seeing growing interest in floating homes: When a heavy storm hit in October, residents of the floating community of Schoonschip in Amsterdam had little doubt they could ride it out. They tied up their […]

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Charleston Warily Eyes The Rising Seas: “Confederate Disneyland, About To Become SeaWorld”

Via HeatMap, a look at Charleston’s sea level rise challenge, a city that has been called “Confederate Disneyland, and it’s about to be SeaWorld”: In the last few years, climate change has made its impact known in violent, eye-grabbing ways. Heat waves and drought slowly roll across the planet; hurricanes and floods and wildfires bring […]

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After a Decade of Planning, New York City Is Raising Its Shoreline

Courtesy of Yale e360, a look at how – inspired by the Dutch model of living with water – New York’s coastal defenses are on the rise via a combination of infrastructure like floodwalls with nature-based features, as it moves ahead with the largest resiliency project in the US: On a recent morning in Asser […]

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Closing In on Zero-Carbon Cement

Via Volts, an interesting podcast on the effort to develop carbon-free cement: Of all the so-called “difficult to decarbonize” sectors, cement is among the most vexing. Making cement produces CO2 not merely through fuel combustion (in kilns that reach temperatures of up to 1400 C), but also through chemical processes that split CO2 off from […]

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Historic Cooling Techniques

Via The Washington Post, a report on historic cooling techniques used around the world: From the mosque in this dusty desert village, you can see the wide terraces and austere columns of one of Egypt’s premier tourist destinations, the Temple of Hatshepsut, baking far in the distance. It’s late August, and by noon the temperature […]

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Geothermal Heat Pumps

Courtesy of ImpactAlpha, a look at geothermal heat pumps: The Inflation Reduction Act offers HVAC owners tax credits up to half the cost to install geothermal heat pumps, also known as ground-source heat pumps, enticing building owners to adopt the traditionally costly systems.  In late September, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed a law easing […]

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Black Swans / Green Shoots examines the collision between urbanization and resource scarcity in a world affected by climate change, identifying opportunities to build sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure through the use of revolutionary capital, increased awareness, innovative technologies, and smart design to make a difference in the face of global and local climate perils.

'Black Swans' are highly improbable events that come as a surprise, have major disruptive effects, and that are often rationalized after the fact as if they had been predictable to begin with. In our rapidly warming world, such events are occurring ever more frequently and include wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and drought.

'Green Shoots' is a term used to describe signs of economic recovery or positive data during a downturn. It references a period of growth and recovery, when plants start to show signs of health and life, and, therefore, has been employed as a metaphor for a recovering economy.

It is my hope that Black Swans / Green Shoots will help readers understand both climate-activated risk and opportunity so that you may invest in, advise, or lead organizations in the context of increasing pressures of global urbanization, resource scarcity, and perils relating to climate change. I believe that the tools of business and finance can help individuals, businesses, and global society make informed choices about who and what to protect, and I hope that this blog provides some insight into the policy and private sector tools used to assess investments in resilient reinforcement, response, or recovery.