Archive for March, 2024

Emission Impossible: One Couple’s Quest To Ditch Natural Gas

Via Grist, a look at what happened when two journalists decided to decarbonize their home: My wife and I live in a green, two-story colonial at the end of a cul-de-sac in Burlington, Vermont. Each spring, the front of our home is lined with lilacs, crocuses, and peonies. The backyard is thick with towering black […]

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In Florida, Skyrocketing Insurance Rates Test Resolve of Homeowners in Risky Areas

Courtesy of Inside Climate News, an article on new research showing the soaring costs hint at widespread, unpriced risk as the global climate warms, with states like California, Florida and Louisiana hit hardest: For most of his life, Cory Infinger has lived down a hill and along a bend in the Little Wekiva River, a […]

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The Next Heat Pump Frontier? NYC Apartment Windows

Via Wired, a look at how new heat pumps easily fit over window sills, meaning they could replace clunky apartment air-conditioning units: COURTESY OF GRADIENT Future generations will marvel at the ridiculous ways we’ve been keeping warm. With a furnace, you’re inefficiently burning toxic, planet-warming gas. In a big city like New York, your building […]

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He’s Got a Plan for Cities That Flood: Stop Fighting the Water

Courtesy of the New York Times, an article on one Chinese landscape architect in China who has a surprising strategy to help manage surges of water from storms supercharged by climate change: Cities around the world face a daunting challenge in the era of climate change: Supercharged rainstorms are turning streets into rivers, flooding subway […]

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How Women in Ahmedabad Slums Are Beating Back Climate’s Deadly Heatwave

Via One World South Asia, a report on how women in Ahmedabad slums who work from home at tailoring, embroidery, kite-making, snack-making, or running grocery shops, micro-retailing vegetables and flowers, have been with little respite from the brutal heatwaves that have been steadily worsening. Until now… Seema Mali is desperate. She has no defences against […]

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The ‘Clean Cement’ Projects Getting $1.5B In Biden Admin Funds

Via Canary Media, a report on the ?‘clean cement’ projects – from carbon capture to alternative cement chemistries – that the U.S. is funding to slash the enormous CO2 footprint of the cement industry: Cement-making accounts for roughly 8 percent of global human-caused carbon emissions — an enormous climate footprint that will take nothing short of a full transformation to curb. […]

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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.