Archive for June, 2023

The Race to Build a Better Air Conditioner

Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, an article on the race to build more efficient cooling units needed to meet growing demand without spurring more warming: Air conditioners make people cooler and the world hotter. A slew of startups are launching new products to break that cycle. Just a week into summer, heat waves are causing a […]

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Powerful Hurricanes Have Reduced Coastal Cities to Wreckage. But This Community Stands Unscathed.

Via Popular Mechanics, a look at Babcock Ranch, Florida which isn’t just storm-proof—it’s a blueprint for the future: When Hurricane Ian smashed onto Cuba’s southwest coast in the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Syd Kitson exhaled. At that point the Category 3 storm was forecast to make landfall on the Florida panhandle, far from […]

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The Race to Tesla-ify Heat Pumps

Via Heat Map Daily, a look at growing importance of heat pumps: Gleaming solar panels, soaring wind turbines, sleek electric cars. These are the Avengers of the climate technoverse, the most widely recognized symbols of the fight to kick fossil fuels and halt global warming. But the lineup is incomplete. Clean electricity and transportation are […]

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Boston’s Summer Heat Is An Issue of Racial Equity. ‘Greening’ The City is One Solution

Via WBUR, a look at the negative impacts of urban heat and importance of city “greening”: Summer has officially arrived, and so has the heat. The numbers are alarming: New England has already warmed 1.83 degrees Celsius, far more than the rest of the country. And a report by the city of Boston found that Boston could have more […]

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World’s Largest ‘Wood City’ To Be Built In Stockholm

Via CNN, a report on a plan to build the world’s largest ‘wood city’ in Sweden: A rendering of Wood City shows what life in a timber-made community might look like. Courtesy Atrium Ljungberg  In recent years, wooden buildings have reached new heights, with soaring timber skyscrapers completed or underway in countries like Norway, Switzerland and Australia. Singapore, meanwhile, […]

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US: Needs to Triple Building Retrofit Rate to Meet Decarbonization Targets

Via Utility Dive, a report that the US will need to triple building retrofit rate to meet decarbonization targets:  Dive Brief: The U.S. will need to triple its retrofit rate to meet net-zero targets, with 80% of today’s office buildings to still be in-use by 2050, according to a report sent to Facilities Dive by […]

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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.