Archive for the ‘Resilient Infrastructure’ Category

How Battery-Swap Networks Are Preventing Emergency Blackouts

Via MIT Technology Review, a look at how Taiwan’s Gogoro’s 12,500 green-and-white battery-swap stations – built to allow users of electric scooters to drop off an empty battery and get a fully charged one immediately – automatically stopped drawing electricity to stabilize the grid after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake there this April: On the morning […]

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The Cement That Could Turn Buildings Into Giant Batteries

Via BBC, a look at how an innovative cement could turn buildings into giant batteries: Concrete is perhaps the most commonly used building material in the world. With a bit of tweaking, it could help to power our homes too. On a laboratory bench in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a stack of polished cylinders of black-coloured concrete […]

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Beyond the Yuck Factor: Cities Turn to ‘Extreme’ Water Recycling

Via Yale e360, a look at how San Francisco is at the forefront of a movement to recycle wastewater from commercial buildings, homes, and neighborhoods and use it for toilets and landscaping. This decentralized approach, proponents say, will drive down demand in an era of increasing water scarcity: In downtown San Francisco, in a cavernous […]

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How Electric Car Batteries Might Aid the Grid (and Win Over Drivers)

Courtesy of the New York Times, a look at how automakers are exploring energy storage as a way to help utilities and save customers money, turning an expensive component into an industry asset: Electric cars are more expensive than gasoline models largely because batteries cost so much. But new technology could turn those pricey devices […]

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No City Is an Island: Urban Water Security, Infrastructure, and Resilience

Cities are thirsty places: by their very nature, ctheyconcentrate the water needs of large populations into small areas. Yet increasing water needs and escalating environmental pressures are imposing mounting strains on urban water systems and infrastructure. Since the start of the 21st century, more than 80 large metropolitan areas around the globe have already experienced […]

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Your Building’s HVAC Is Slowly Killing Us

Via Medium, a look at how urban buildings could be polluting our cities just as much as traffic: Oh, summertime! Longer days, dining in patios, weekends by the pool, and… wait! A sore throat?! Again? Damnit, I have to work from the office today, and I missed my jacket at home. My knuckles are freezing, […]

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ABOUT
BLACK SWANS GREEN SHOOTS
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.