Archive for the ‘Drought’ Category

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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As Water Shortages Plague Bogotá and Other Cities, Nature-Based Solutions Can Help

Via WRI, a look at how cities can take advantage of nature-based solutions to help combat drought: Bogotá, Colombia is in the throes of a water crisis. After several months of dry weather caused by El Niño, the Chingaza reservoir system, which provides 70% of Bogotá’s water, reached its lowest level in history. The city’s over 8 […]

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South African City Copes With Climate Change by Chopping Down Trees

Courtesy of The Washington Post, an interesting look at one city’s controversial approach to urban greenery as it responds to climate change: Climate change is already taking a severe toll on Cape Town, contributing to worsening droughts that threaten to leave the city’s taps dry. In response, conservationists here are frantically chopping down trees — […]

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The City of Tomorrow Will Run on Your Toilet Water

Via Wired, a report on efforts by researchers to find better ways to extract drinking water, compost, and even energy from wastewater: THE RESIDENTS OF the 40 floors of San Francisco apartments above our heads may live in luxury, but really, they’re just like the rest of us: showering, washing their hands, doing laundry. Normally in […]

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Why New Mexico Is Partnering with Google to Hunt Down Leaky Pipes

Via Fast Company, a look at New Mexico’s 50-year plan for conserving water and developing new sources: New Mexico is teaming up with Google to hunt for leaky water pipes using satellite imagery as the drought-stricken state prepares for a future in which growing demand puts more pressure on already dwindling drinking water supplies. State […]

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‘Green Roads’ Are Plowing Ahead, Buffering Drought and Floods

Via Yale e360, a look at the ‘green road’ movement, in which – using embankments, channels, and dikes – road infrastructure can help control floods, harvest excess water for use in irrigation, and slash maintenance costs: Makueni County, a corner of southern Kenya that’s home to nearly a million people, is a land of extremes. […]

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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.