Archive for April, 2024

The Drowning South: Where Seas Are Rising Faster Than Anywhere Else

Courtesy of the Washington Post,  a report on the U.S. South where seas are rising faster than almost anywhere: One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging the American South, forcing a reckoning for coastal communities across eight U.S. states, a Washington Post analysis has found. At more than a dozen […]

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Results of Los Angeles’ Cool Pavement Experiment

Via Smart Cities Dive, a report on the results of a recent cool pavement experience in Los Angeles in which the covered neighborhood saw cooling benefits, but some researchers contend shade is king when it comes to protecting people from heat: Reflective pavement coating helped cool down one of Los Angeles’ hottest neighborhoods over a year-long […]

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Montreal To Build Its Largest Sponge Park

Via Water Canada, a report on Montreal’s plans to build its largest sponge park in Verdun: The Ville de Montréal is proud to announce that a new sponge park, the largest to date on its territory, will be built in the borough of Verdun. The park, which will be built near Joseph and Dupuis streets, […]

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As Climate Changes, Cities Scramble To Find Trees That Will Survive

Via Grist, an article on efforts for cities to find trees that will survive in era of climate change: Amelia K. Bates / Grist / Getty Images Last fall, I invited a stranger into my yard.  Manzanita, with its peeling red bark and delicate pitcher-shaped blossoms, thrives on the dry, rocky ridges of Northern California. The […]

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A Technology In Road Markers Could Cool Cities By Up To 20°C

Via Anthropocene Magazine, a look at how engineers are using retroreflector technology—based on prisms and reflective materials—to direct sunlight back into the sky and out of the urban canyon: Heat-related deaths around the world are climbing up as more frequent, longer-lasting extreme heatwaves become a harsh reality due to climate change. Heat deaths are projected to […]

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Buildings as Batteries: How Basic Demand Response Could Shift Peak Demand, Save Billions

Via Renew Economy, an interesting look at the impact that demand response alongside energy efficiency could have on overall energy savings: Demand response, alongside energy efficiency, is often cited as one of the unsung heroes of the energy transition, thanks to its potential to shift large electricity loads out of periods of peak demand with […]

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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.