Archive for August, 2023

Solar Boom Spreads to Timberlands and Self-Storage Rooftops

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, a look at how last year’s climate bill sparked a solar bonanza for big property owners: Extra Space Storage had solar systems at 55% of its wholly owned properties at the beginning of the year. DAVID SWANSON/BLOOMBERG NEWS The U.S. solar boom has electricity producers popping up in unusual places: […]

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One of the World’s First Insurance Schemes for Extreme Heat

Via The Print, a report on one of the world’s first insurance schemes for extreme heat in which poor workers in Gujarat can receive payouts when temperatures add up to between 134C and 138C over three days, assessed using satellite data. The policy can pay out multiple times, to a maximum of $85. A bright […]

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BioDiverCity: Nature Based Solutions for Cities

Via, a new resource for nature-based solutions targeting urban environments: Staff of Edward Elgar Publishing writes: Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted to address climate change, health, and urban sustainability, yet ensuring they are effective and inclusive remains a challenge. Addressing these challenges through chapters by leading experts in both global south and […]

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Down The Drain: A Promising Climate and Nature Solution

Via Modern Diplomacy, a look at the potential of wastewater: Wastewater is a growing health and environmental threat, accounting for almost as much planet warming emissions as the aviation industry. Yet with the right policies, wastewater could provide alternative energy to half a billion people, supply over 10 times the water provided by current global […]

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Why Indonesia Is Covering Its Roofs With Reflective White Paint

Via Fast Company, a report on an initiative that uses light-reflecting paint to cool buildings without the need for an air conditioner: In Indonesia, temperatures remain high throughout the year without any real winter season, making indoor conditions unbearable for residents. Most people don’t have air-conditioning, and those who do have low-quality units that do […]

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Surviving the Phoenix Heat

Via The New Yorker, a report on how researchers at Arizona State University are bringing relief to the residents who need it most: For thirty-one days in a row, the temperature in Phoenix hit at least a hundred and ten degrees. It was one-nineteen on one day, one-eighteen on another, and one-seventeen on a couple […]

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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.