Archive for July, 2023

World’s Tallest Wooden Wind Turbine is ‘Stronger than Steel’

Via The Next Web, a look at an interesting innovation that uses the strength of wood to harness the power of the wind: There’s a wind turbine being built in the forests of Sweden — or should I say from the forests. Budding startup Modvion, based in the Scandinavian country, is currently building the world’s tallest wooden wind turbine, […]

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Urban Growth Fuels Extreme Heat

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, a compilation of satellite photos that shows how the growth of cities in the U.S. southwest is contributing to the crushing heat which is driving temperatures in Phoenix and Las Vegas to record triple-digit highs.

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The Heat Is On: The Chilling Reality of Baking Cities

Courtesy of The Financial Times, an article on how the heat is on for urban areas to adapt as the threat grows that some may become unliveable in the not too distant future: Much of the world is sweltering under near record-breaking temperatures. Future heatwaves are set to be more frequent, intense and prolonged. The […]

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As Heat Waves Intensify, Europe’s Cities Rely on Age-Old Ways to Stay Cool

Courtesy of the New York Times, a look at how architectural styles and construction materials can significantly reduce the need for air-conditioning during heat waves, according to sustainable architecture experts: There is no single architectural technique that can solve the problem of sweltering heat, which has gripped large parts of Europe this summer. But on […]

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The Economic Cost of Houston’s Heat

Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, a report on how – if the current weather patterns continue through August – Texas’ gross state product will be reduced by roughly $9.5 billion, according to an economist: Houstonians pride themselves on how they tolerate heat. This summer, the heat has become intolerable.  Businesses and residents in America’s […]

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Where The Most U.S. Residents Bake Because of Concrete and Lack of Trees

Courtesy of The Washington Post, an article on the nearly 41 million urban residents who experience higher temperatures because of the ‘heat island effect,’ according to an analysis: All U.S. cities experience some level of “heat island effect,” in which heat reflects off hard surfaces, intensifying the impact of the hottest days. But as climate […]

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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.