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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Links are totally thinking outside the box

+“Business understands the concept of dealing with risk, and climate change is the mother of all risks that we’ll face this century.” The Carbon Disclosure Project releases its yearly list of the world leaders in business for reducing carbon emissions. This has been the thing I find most shocking about business leaders' responses to Climate Change. Many of them are in the business of managing risk, and yet they seem to have a bizarre blind spot to the "mother of all risks." Consequently, there are tons of ways to capitalize on the scramble for carbon reduction in the next 20 years.

+By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world's population will live in an urban settlement. In Africa alone, the growth in population will equal the entire current population of the United States. Investment in the cities of the world, especially in housing, food, water, and sanitation probably represent the greatest opportunity for the entrepreneurial spirit over the next few decades. This article presents this in fairly dour terms, but every time I read about another worker housing complex collapsing in India, I just think, What a great opportunity to make the world a better place by investing in better places for people to live. If so many people are going to be moving into cities in the next decades, why not invest in real estate to house them now?

+Atlantic has 10 trends that every one of you should pay attention to. Between every one of these lines is an entrepreneurial opportunity.  

+This is an excellent example of thinking outside the box! Deep City Method is a framework for urban planners to utilize the ground underneath cities to help power the city and grow in a more sustainable fashion.

+So, what do we do? How do we build our urban centers so that we are both climate resilient and able to keep up with our growing population? How can we engage our communities and urbanites while we build the green job economy that holds such promise? On rebuilding our cities and infrastructure to grow jobs and provide a resiliency to the coming climate and resource difficulties. Could not agree more.
"Many cities don't recognize the potential of the ground they are built on," says Li Huanqing just finished her PhD at the Environmental Economics
and Management Laboratory at EPFL. What she hopes to show is that, if they go about exploiting their subsurface smartly, the investment can help cities grow in a way that pays off in the long term.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-urban-cities-underground.html#jCp
"Many cities don't recognize the potential of the ground they are built on," says Li Huanqing just finished her PhD at the Environmental Economics
and Management Laboratory at EPFL. What she hopes to show is that, if they go about exploiting their subsurface smartly, the investment can help cities grow in a way that pays off in the long term.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-urban-cities-underground.html#jCp
"Many cities don't recognize the potential of the ground they are built on," says Li Huanqing just finished her PhD at the Environmental Economics
and Management Laboratory at EPFL. What she hopes to show is that, if they go about exploiting their subsurface smartly, the investment can help cities grow in a way that pays off in the long term.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-urban-cities-underground.html#jCp


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday links is a perfect storm of lazy reporting

+NPR profiles an electric wire factory in western Georgia is staffed almost entirely by teenagers. They are there because of a partnership between a local company, Southwire, and the Carroll County school system. They teamed up six years ago to try to reduce the high school dropout rate. Strictly speaking this doesn't have much to do sustainability per se, though I like the attempt at finding unconventional solutions to intractable problems.

+NPR again: A perfect storm of sorts is leading some Western energy companies to step back from investments and operations in the Middle East. Companies see increased risk in the region because of the turmoil and violence following the Arab Spring. And, advances in technology have made it easier to produce oil in North America. This is more like a perfect storm of lazy reporting. The lede is really buried in this story. They mention that long-standing high oil prices are making it more profitable for companies to drill in unconventional places (like North America), and yet the reporter buys at face value the explanation that political instability is why oil and gas companies are willing to pay far more to drill in NA than the Middle East. Really!? The Middle East has been politically unstable the entire time they've been there, and that instability has been built into their pricing and risk assessment for decades, so why would that be a problem now? Could it be that Middle Eastern oil fields are starting to dry up and with oil prices so high and technology allowing unconventional wells to be drilled, it no longer seems worth it to deal with the politics of Middle Eastern drilling? Certainly not. That couldn't be it.

+AOL Founder Steve Case is ditching Silicon Valley for the greener start-up pastures of, like, the rest of the world. So, heads up to all you non-Silicon Valley start-up founders. He's on the prowl with his $200M Revolution Fund.

+This is how you do it! UPS pledges $2.3M to green organizations. Only problem is that none of them appear to be Atlanta orgs.

+Bob didn't come to this conclusion by way of a revelation. He studied the science, traveled twice to Antarctica, talked to the experts and looked at the evidence. His conclusion: Climate change is real, the consequences are dire, and we're to blame. The world's first Republican climate change believer is found in South Carolina. Naturally he was voted from office and replaced with someone from the Tea Party.

+And one more Climate Change post: Reaching agreement among hundreds of authors and reviewers ensures that only the statements which are hardest to dispute are allowed to pass. Even when the scientists have agreed, the report must be tempered in another forge, as politicians question anything they find disagreeable: the new report received 1,855 comments from 32 governments, and the arguments raged through the night before launch. In other words, it's perhaps the biggest and most rigorous process of peer review conducted in any scientific field, at any point in human history. It's real. It's happening. And we need to prepare for it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Green Entrepreneurs of Atlanta

For any of you who live in the Atlanta area and are interested in the green economy, I've started a Meetup group and we are having our first meeting next Monday, October 7 at 7pm at the 5 Seasons Brewery in Sandy Springs. I wanted to get a group of like-minded people together who were interested in finding solutions instead of simply rehashing the wealth of problems we face. For more information you can check out the Group Profile page here.

For those of you outside of Atlanta, I suggest you do the same in your town. You'd be surprised how many people are interested in solutions.