Archive for May, 2024

EVs Will Power Buildings In Colorado City’s Transformative Pilot

Via Smart Cities Dive, a report on an innovative pilot project which will inform how vehicle-to-everything charging technology can be used in areas at high risk of prolonged outages due to natural disaster or emergency events: Xcel Energy and Fermata Energy — working with the city of Boulder, the nonprofit Colorado CarShare and Boulder Housing Partners […]

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Hot Idea: Meet The Swedish Firm Trying To Shake Up Heat Pumps

Via The Economist, a look at one company’s view on a big opportunity with an old technology: Heat pumps, a type of reverse-refrigerator used for warming homes, are not the type of tech that gets most investors hot and bothered. They were, after all, invented in 1856. Harald Mix and Carl-Erik Lagercrantz, two Swedish financiers, […]

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Schools That Never Needed AC Are Now Overheating. Fixes Will Cost Billions.

Via The Washington Post, a report on the growing need for air conditioning as heat waves creep north, baking schools that previously did not need air conditioning: Nearly 40 percent of schools in the United States were built before the 1970s, when temperatures were cooler and fewer buildings needed air conditioning. That has changed. In […]

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Extreme Heat In 2050: New Report Outlines Worrisome Future

Via the Los Angeles Times, an article on a new report examining the impact of extreme heat on disadvantaged communities by 2050: The next quarter of a century will bring considerable climate danger to millions of Americans living in disadvantaged communities, who will not only experience increased exposure to life-threatening extreme heat but also greater […]

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New Research Shows How More Trees Could Cut ER Visits During Heatwaves

Via Anthropocene Magazine, a report on a team of heat experts known as Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative who calculated exactly how much of a difference low-tech solutions like trees and white paint could make in an overheating world: Talk of tackling climate change often seems to involve high-tech gadgets—electric cars, giant wind turbines, machines […]

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How Cool Pavement, Heat Risk Data are Helping a Texas City Prep for Summer

Via Smart Cities Dive, a report on how cool pavement, heat risk data are helping a Texas city prep for summer: Dive Brief: To target its heat mitigation efforts, San Antonio plans to use the findings from heat-related research projects it launched last year and shared in a May 9 news release. The city partnered with the University […]

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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.