Archive for November, 2023

Living In A +50°C World: Cooling Must Be Considered Critical Infrastructure

Via the University of Birmingham, a new call for global cooling and cold chain to be considered as critical infrastructure: Experts from the University of Birmingham are calling for global cooling and cold chain to be considered as critical infrastructure as the planet continues to heat. The report, The Hot Reality: Living in a +50°C World, comes […]

Read more »

Stay Cool: NYC Planting Thousands of New Trees To Maximize Foliage Impact

Via The Guardian, a report on New York City’s plan to plant thousands of trees using new tech to maximize foliage impact: New York City is poised to get a lot more trees. Last month, the city council passed a measure calling for 30% canopy cover by 2035, up from its current cover of 22% […]

Read more »

Itselectric: Democratizing Electric Vehicle Charging via City Buildings

Charging infrastructure isn’t keeping up with rapid EV adoption. Itselectric has turned to an abundant city resource: buildings. It’s a way to increase access, especially in underappreciated areas, since millions of urban drivers don’t have access to garages or driveways. Now operating in Detroit and Brooklyn, the company connects its unobtrusive chargers to buildings, using part […]

Read more »

Extreme Heat Will Bake America’s Cities

Via The Economist, a look at the impact of extreme heat on U.S. cities and how they may prepare: The monsoon is late again. Without the almost biblical rains, there is nothing to break the heat during a long stretch of days above 43°C (109°F). The pavement is scalding. Hospital wards are filling with burn victims. […]

Read more »

How Norway Brought Heat Pumps In From The Cold

Courtesy of The Guardian, a look at how Norway accelerated the installation of heat pump technology nationwide: When Glen Peters bought a heat pump for his home in Oslo he wasn’t thinking about the carbon it would avoid. Convenience played a role; a fireplace was too much of a hassle – the effort of having […]

Read more »

Bettering The Built Environment

Via Gates Notes, a reminder that buildings represent significant opportunities for energy efficiency improvements: Buildings waste a lot of energy: Because of inefficient windows and gaps in what’s known as the building envelope, as much as 40% of heated or cooled air leaks out of the typical building. If we can drive that number down, […]

Read more »

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.