10 in 2 - Week of September 25th - strategically imbued with bacteria

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 25th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating, provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend. All of the world’s biggest emitting nations, except India, saw falling or static carbon emissions due to less coal burning and increasing renewable energy. (The Guardian)

  2. In what attorneys are calling a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit, a Denver lawyer and an environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person. If successful, it could upend environmental law, possibly allowing the redwood forests, the Rocky Mountains or the deserts of Nevada to sue individuals, corporations and governments over resource pollution or depletion. (New York Times)

  3. Tropical forests have flipped from sponges to sources of carbon dioxide. Much of that carbon contribution is due to deforestation, but more than two-thirds comes a decline in the number and diversity of trees in remaining forests. These seemingly intact forests can be degraded or disturbed by selective logging, environmental change, wildfires or disease. (Science News)

  4. Blockchain technology is quickly emerging as a vital tool in tackling critical environmental and social issues. Every financial transaction has consequences for the environment — whether positive or negative — but these impacts and their costs are hidden. A new nonprofit called Poseidon will uncover these carbon consequences by enabling a carbon value to be added directly into everyday products. (Sustainable Brands)

  5. Grist set out to document the disaster unfolding in Puerto Rico right now. They talked with people living the realities of climate change. The important piece of journalism is full of quotes like “I’m no climate expert, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence there’s been so many bad hurricanes all at once.” and “How do you rebuild a whole island? I don’t even know what that means.” (Grist)

  6. Relatedly, Inside Climate News writes about how the disaster is exacerbated by long standing environmental justice issues facing a poor, underrepresented minority population on an island where climate experts have long warned of the increasing risks of such a catastrophe.   

  7. While the (now former) Secretary of Health and Human Services is taking private planes to lunch, Tesla is quietly shipping hundreds of battery packs to be paired with solar panels to Puerto Rico. Tesla employees are currently installing the batteries and repairing solar systems, as well as coordinating efforts with local organizations. (Eco Watch)

  8. Scientists have detected hundreds of Japanese marine species on US coasts, swept across the Pacific by the deadly 2011 tsunami. Mussels, starfish and dozens of other creatures travelled across the waters, often on pieces of plastic debris. Researchers were surprised that so many survived the long crossing, with new species still washing up in 2017. This is news because there is so much plastic debris in our oceans, and anything more biodegradable would have disintegrated before it reached the US this long after the original event. (BBC)

  9. A new study carried out by researchers at Columbia University suggests that the United States could harvest 325 gigawatts of power — around 70 percent of the power it currently produces — by using evaporating water from U.S. lakes and reservoirs. To do this, they have developed a muscle like material that uses plastic bands strategically imbued with bacteria spores, which expand when they are exposed to moisture and contract when dried out. (Digital Trends)

  10. On September 19, a bowhead whale carcass washed ashore the remote Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve off the Northern coast of Siberia. Nearly 1 percent of the world’s polar bears, (about 230) amassed beside it for a Siberian feast. (Gizmodo)

 



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22nd Century Leadership - Rick Ridgeway, VP of Public Engagement @Patagonia

Listen to our latest interview in the series: a conversation between Rick Ridgeway and Jib Ellison.

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RICK RIDGEWAY is Patagonia’s Vice President of Public Engagement and represents and promotes the company’s core values with external stakeholders.  In this role, he is one of Patagonia’s key spokespersons in all its global markets. During his 12-year tenure at the company he has worked with teams to develop and launch environmental and sustainability initiatives within the company, including Freedom to Roam, the Footprint Chronicles, the Responsible Economy Campaign and Worn Wear.  He also was founding chairman of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, today the largest apparel, footwear and home textile trade organization in the world.

 

In addition, Rick is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers.  With three companions, he was the first American to summit K2, considered the hardest of the world’s high-altitude mountain to climb, and he has done other significant climbs and explorations on all continents including the first direct coast-to-coast traverse of Borneo and a traverse of the Tibet’s Chang Tang plateau on a route never explored. His magazine articles have appeared in National Geographic and Harvard Business Review, and he is the author of six books, including Seven Summits, The Shadow of Kilimanjaro and Below Another Sky.  National Geographic honored him with its “Lifetime Achievement in Adventure” award.   He serves on the boards of Conservacion Patagonica and the Turtle Conservancy, and is on the Advisory Boards of World Wildlife Fund, Unilever USA, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

 

Rick lives with his wife Jennifer in Ojai, California, they have been married for 33 years, and they have three grown children.

Rick on the cover of National Geographic, May 1979

Rick on the cover of National Geographic, May 1979



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10 in 2 - Week of September 18th - transgenic wilderness

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 18th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Park rangers in Indonesia may have spotted an animal thought to live only in folklore and history books: a Javan tiger, declared extinct more than 40 years ago. The sighting offered a rare bit of positive environmental news to a country in which natural places are being destroyed at an alarming rate (NYT)

  2. Erhai Lake of Yunnan Province in southwest China has long suffered from pollution and enormous algae blooms caused by agricultural fertilizer runoff. The local government is determined to fix it by limiting abuse of chemical pesticides and fertilizers on the main local cash crop of garlic. Two experiments were launched, one in which fertilizer use was reduced by thirty percent and in the second, chemical fertilizers were abandoned completely.  In both experiments, in addition to the reduction of toxic run off the nutritional content and value of the garlic was elevated, giving hope to farmers who want to make money while doing no harm to the ecological system. (china.org.cn)

  3. California-based distillery Misadventure & Co. is working to reduce food waste in a completely unexpected way — by transforming discarded Twinkies and other dump-destined baked goods into vodka. Recovered products are blended, mashed and pitched with yeast to ferment into alcohol, before undergoing the distillation process where it is filtered into vodka. (Sustainable Brands)

  4. A recent study from the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that people who trip on psychedelics are more likely to be environmentally conscious. The study reported that "there is strong reason to believe that psychedelic substances increase nature relatedness as a function of their ego-dissolving effects." (Salon)

  5. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, to pay billions in compensation for past and future flooding, coastal erosion and property damage resulting from climate change. The suits claim the extraction and development of fossil fuels prompted a significant increase in global warming, and are the first, but likely not the last of their kind. (SF Gate)

  6. Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley technology startup incubator that’s that offered early funding for Airbnb, Dropbox, and many others, has its eyes on backing an even bigger potential disruption: basic income. The firm just completed its year long feasibility study and is embarking on a 5 year study with 3000 participants. For more on basic income, listen to this week's 99% Invisible podcast for a great story on The Finnish Experiment and how design thinking led them to basic income. (Inverse) (99 Percent Invisible)

  7. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup announced they will get all of their energy from renewables in a few years in another show of corporate support for climate action. Both banks also are joining RE100, an initiative that brings together over 100 large companies that are working towards only running on clean energy. (Bloomberg)

  8. The dawn of a 'transgenic wilderness' is upon us. Genetically modified hybrid animals could rehabilitate ecosystems that have been harmed by human development. The controversial idea, sometimes called "facilitated adaptation," posits that damage done to the planet's wildlife can be managed, and even reversed, by manually retooling the genes of threatened species for survival. (CNET)

  9. Fetal deaths rose and fertility rates dropped after Flint, Michigan switched to lead-poisoned water. Economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University estimate as many as 276 more children would have been born among babies conceived from November 2013 to March 2015 if Flint did not switch water sources. (Business Insider)

  10. The Denver Post has learned that Colorado landfills are illegally burying low-level radioactive waste from oil and gas industry. Health officials are trying to stop the practice and make new rules for low-level radioactive waste. Regulators said they don’t know of any “imminent” threat to public health, but we doubt that is making anyone feel better about the situation. (Denver Post)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of September 11th - moving to the country, not gonna eat a lot of peaches

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 11th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

  1. According to a study done at RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, a simple and inexpensive way to significantly increase a plant's drought tolerance is to grow it in vinegar-laced soil. Given trends associated with climate change, this could be a game-changer. (Popular Science)

  2. The Baker Institute, a thoroughly mainstream policy think tank, argues in Forbes that we should fund disaster relief by FEMA and other local agencies with a tax on carbon. Since excess carbon is a contributing factor to the increasing ‘once in a thousand year’ weather events, it just makes sense. It is just a matter of time before we have no choice but to internalize the growing costs of renegade carbon in the atmosphere. (Forbes)

  3. Uber launches Clean Air Plan for a greener future. The plan is specific to the UK,  includes goals of ensuring every car available on uberX in London will be 100% hybrid or fully electric by the end of 2019, and in the larger UK by 2022, and fully electric by 2025. In addition Uber is pledging  £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their driver’s cars to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, and expects to pay out £150m over the life of the fund. (Uber)

  4. A fungus with an appetite for plastic has been discovered in a garbage dump. Scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre and the Kunming Institute of Botany in China think the fungus could help deal with our waste problem by using enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials. (Agroforestry World)

  5. On September 7 a video went viral on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat showing a river of mud and grass moving through what social media users recognized as the Dimye village on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Since the video began circulating, many have speculated that the flow was caused by the melting of permafrost. (National Geographic)

  6. New Delhi-based Ant Studio made a zero-electricity air conditioner to combat the brutally hot summers in India’s capital. This low-tech, energy efficient, and artistic solution to the sweltering heat harnesses the power of evaporative cooling. The innovative honeycomb-like installation is made with conical clay tubes that naturally reduce the surrounding temperature. (Inhabitat)

  7. The Red List of Threatened Species, maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has declared the Christmas Island pipistrelle, a bat species found only on that island, extinct. Meanwhile, due to habitat loss and human pressures, Thailand’s Thongaree’s disc-nosed bat, Madagascar’s Rumpelstiltskin pygmy grasshopper and 5 species of African antelope have moved to the critically endangered list. On the positive side, the Rodriguez flying fox and the snow leopard are moving back from the brink. (New Scientist)

  8. A study published in the journal Biological Conservation, shows that in the last 35 years, the population of western monarchs has plummeted from about 10 million living along the west coast to approximately 300,000. Even more concerning, if present trends continue, the butterflies face an 86 percent extinction probability over the next 50 years. (Sierra Club)

  9. 2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. Climate change, and the loss in winter chill that can come with it, poses a particular threat to fruit and nut trees and the farmers who depend on them. Farmers who grow annual crops, such as corn and wheat, replant every year and might be able to adapt more nimbly. (538)

  10. Israel-based startup StoreDot has some weird ‘organic’ battery technology that they claim can charge an electric vehicle in 5 mins, and they just raised $60 million led by Daimler. However, when it comes to claims of “battery breakthroughs”, it’s extremely difficult to distinguish what has real potential and what is simply PR fluff. (Electrek)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of September 4th - wild dogs vote by sneezing

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 4th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Mars, the privately held chocolate company has pledged to spend $1 billion on its "Sustainability in a Generation" plan. It aims to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and promoting sustainable farming. Mars wants big companies around the world to follow its lead, which will include investments in renewable energy, food sourcing, cross-industry action groups, as well as directly in support of farmers. (Business Insider)

  2. According to Forbes, Sustainable food startup Memphis Meats received $17 million in Series A financing from notable investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and more. The company is developing “real meat grown directly from animal cells.” A new trend in food that is designed to significantly reduce the environmental, social and moral footprint associated with industrial scale meat production. (Forbes)

  3. The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States. All of this is made possible by a commitment to sustainable food systems and technological research in the face of the global population boom. (National Geographic)

  4. In a related story, SoftBank-backed startup Plenty is out to build massive indoor farms on the outskirts of every major city on Earth. In the world they are imagining and attempting to create, food could go from farm to table in hours rather than days or weeks. The startup is on track to begin deliveries from its pilot vertical farm to grocers in the bay area by the end of 2017. (Bloomberg)

  5. Nonprofit Democracy Earth’s Sovereign app is poised to completely change how people vote. Employing blockchain technology, the app allows people to securely and easily vote on important issues at a country or company level.. The first test of Sovereign allowed users to vote on an unofficial deal between Columbia and a rebel group. A number of South American political groups have reportedly already expressed interest in the app, which could help trigger a more widespread adoption of internet-powered democracy. (Democracy Earth)

  6. In a related study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, African wild dogs vote over pack decisions by sneezing - the more sneezes there were, the more likely it was the pack moved off and started hunting. This differs from the Democracy Earth news in one crucial way: the study suggested some sneezes hold more weight than others, and much like many humans, the dogs haven't yet figured out what blockchain is, exactly. (BBC)

  7. Another nonprofit story: OpenSourceSeeds based in the German town of Marburg has just launched a licensing process for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity. The idea is to separate seeds from the private domain, in direct response to the increasing trend towards monopolization of genetic resources.

  8. Zach saw a tweet this week that gave solid reasoning for his preponderance for arguing with people online despite the next to zero chance of changing their minds. Reason one, to change the minds of less- committed onlookers. Two, to give comfort to onlookers who are glad to have allies in the fray. Three, to reinforce the valuable norm of sharing one's opinion.  And four, to model polite and reasonable argumentation. So get out there, and politely hammer on climate skeptics. (@juliagalef)

  9. A new study published in the journal Risk Analysis found that Americans across the political spectrum are more likely to support policies designed to mitigate climate change after viewing news articles and images that inspire hope. Articles that provoked fear, on the other hand, encouraged people to be more willing to compromise on the issue, particularly conservatives who are less likely to support climate change policies. Anger had the opposite effect, spurring people to stick to their beliefs and remain divided down political lines. (Wiley Online Library)

  10. Understanding the link between climate change and the recent apocalyptic weather around the globe really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. A warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, thus the same storm in a warmer planet would give you more rainfall. (Time)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of August 28th - industrial melanism

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 28th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. An experimental conservation project that was abandoned and almost forgotten about, has ended up producing an amazing ecological win nearly two decades after it was dreamt up. A juice company dumped 1,000 truckloads of waste orange peels in a barren pasture in Costa Rica back in the mid 1990s, which eventually revitalised the desolate site into a thriving, lush forest. (Science Alert)

  2. IBM has partnered with a group of major retailers and food companies to explore how blockchain technology can enhance food safety, transparency, and traceability across the global food supply chain. The consortium of companies involved includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart.(IBM)

  3. Lauren Duca wrote a piece for Teen Vogue about why Harvey must be a turning point for how we respond to climate change. She wrote “Our current approach is like sitting next to a sandcastle, pretending we had no idea it was going to get swept away — only the sandcastle is civilization, and we know damn well that the waves are coming in.” (Teen Vogue)

  4. After issuing the world’s harshest ban on plastic bags, Kenya adjusts to life without them. Punishment for carrying, manufacturing, or importing plastic bags ranges from about $19,000 to as much as $38,000 or a jail term of up to four years. (QZ)

  5. Scientists have succeeded in combining spider silk with graphene and carbon nanotubes. The most mind blowing part about this advancement is that the spider itself spins the web after it drinks water containing the nanotubes. These advancements could lead to a new class of 'bionicomposites' including parachutes and other innovative applications. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  6. More graphene news you probably don’t want... Unbreakable rubber bands that are 200 times stronger than steel are coming soon: Alliance Rubber Co., a 94-year-old company based out of Alliance, Ohio, has announced a new partnership with the University of Sussex to infuse graphene into its rubber bands. (Science Alert)

  7. The colors the National Weather Service uses to show rainfall on its weather map couldn't represent the deluge in southeastern Texas, so the NWS added two more purple shades to its map. The old scale for a storm topped out at more than 15 inches; the new limit tops 30 inches. (NPR)

  8. The turtle-headed sea snake usually sports beautiful bands of alternating black and white. But for decades, researchers have been puzzled by populations living near Pacific Ocean cities that seem to have lost their stripes. Now a new study may finally have an answer: The pigment in black skin may help city snakes rid themselves of industrial pollutants.  This de-striping phenomenon is one of several micro evolutions taking place in animals that live in close proximity to cities, and scientists are now referring to the changes as “industrial melanism” (National Geographic)

  9. Giving every adult in the United States a $1,000 cash handout per month would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to a new study on universal basic income. According to the report by the Roosevelt Institute, the larger the universal basic income, the greater the benefit to the economy. (CNBC)

  10. Increased temperatures from climate change will reduce yields of the four crops humans depend on most—wheat, rice, corn and soybeans—and the losses have already begun, according to a new meta-study by The National Academy of Sciences. (Forbes)



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10 in 2 - Week of August 21st - bad for the land dwellers

 

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 21st

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Alaska’s permafrost is thawing. The loss of frozen ground in Arctic regions is a striking result of climate change. And it is also a cause of more warming to come. Worldwide, permafrost is thought to contain about twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere. (NYT)

  2. China has already reached its solar energy installation target for 2020, reaffirming its position as the largest producer of solar power on earth. In the last two months alone, China has added 24.02 GW of solar capacity. To put that into context, The US currently has a total capacity of 44.7 GW. (Futurism)

  3. Ahead of the launch of iOS 11 this fall, Apple has published a research paper detailing its methods for improving Siri to make the voice assistant sound more natural, with the help of machine learning. Jib is ultimate Siri hater, so I will let you know if this update can get him back on board. (The Next Web)

  4. The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change. After being disappointed by the harsh climate of the new world, they tried to make the northeast more temperate through deforestation in an effort to woo more colonists. Oh, humans. (Timeline)

  5. Nine states agreed on a plan Wednesday to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The pact includes New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (Washington Examiner)

  6. Brazil's government has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining. The reserve is larger than Denmark and about 30% of it will now be open to mining on previously protected indigenous lands. WWF's report on the project said that a "gold rush in the region could create irreversible damage to these cultures". (The Guardian)

  7. A Russian tanker has traveled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the very first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic. (The Guardian)

  8. A stunning chart from NASA shows that the ground beneath our feet is warming twice as fast as oceans. In the past sixty years, land temperatures have risen at a rate of nearly  one half of a degree per decade. Good thing we live in the oceans. I feel bad for the land dwellers. (ThinkProgress)

  9. Your personal information is now the world's most valuable commodity. These huge amounts of data are controlled by just 5 global mega-corporations that are bigger than most governments. Traditionally, antitrust regulators would step in, but the data economy is presenting new challenges to that model. (CBC)

  10. Now that they own the Whole Foods, Amazon is begging to lower the prices at the chain, beginning next week. I am pretty curious about what we will call the store, now that dads who laugh at their own jokes may no longer be able to call it “whole paycheck”. (Next Big Future)



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10 in 2 - Week of August 14th - Crown Shyness

 

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 14th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Our current favorite blog site this week is called Ecosophia and is hosted by a druid, yep, a druid. In fact he was the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and is current head of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn. John Michael Greer is a prolific author, known best for his work and thinking about post-industrial society. We find him to be surprisingly rational. Check out his recent blog called Hate is the New Sex which is particularly relevant given our current President and the events in Charlottesville over the weekend. (Hate is the New Sex)

  2. We like MOOCs - Massive Online Open Courses, or said another way free courses of on the internet - because they democratize learning. However, the vast majority of people don’t take advantage of this because they don’t have a mindset of growth. Check out Sal Kahn’s short essay on shifting one’s mindset. Just by reading it you’ll be on your way. (struggle is good)

  3. In times like these it’s good to return to the master essays. One of these is Buddhist Economics by the late, great economist E.F. Schumacher, where he compellingly argues that individuals need good work for proper human development. (Buddhist Economics)

  4. Crown shyness, a naturally occurring phenomenon, results in crack-like gaps in the tree canopy. Trees with “crown shyness” mysteriously avoid touching each other. No one is quite sure why certain trees exhibit this unique behavior, but the most prominent theory is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects. For images of this photogenic phenomenon, just Google it. (My Modern Met)

  5. HBR published a piece this week by our friends at Semler Brossy. They argue that it’s time to tie executive compensation to sustainability, as shareholders are ratcheting up their demands on environmental and social issues, consumers are registering their concerns about how companies make their products, and talented millennial employees are voting with their feet by leaving laggard companies behind. (HBR)

  6. A new study has found more intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes. Because pattern detection is a core component of human intelligence, people with increased cognitive abilities may be equipped to efficiently learn and use stereotypes about social groups. This makes me question what we define as “intelligence”. (British Psychological Society)

  7. Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies, and the estimated economic benefits of renewables in the US is $87 billion. As they edge out fossil fuels, renewables are reducing not just carbon emissions, but also other air pollutants. And the result is an improvement in air quality, with a corresponding drop in premature deaths. (Ars Technica)

  8. Silicon Valley billionaire Stewart Butterfield voiced support the week for universal basic income. The founder of Slack joins Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg as a public supporter. He said a basic income would be part of a “new social contract for our generation”  (Independant)

  9. Recommended Netflix viewing: Chasing Coral. The film offers a breathtakingly beautiful look at some of the Earth's most incredible natural wonders while delivering a sobering warning about their uncertain future. Rotten Tomatoes rating comes in at a paltry 100%, so you know it’s terrible. (Rotten Tomatoes)

  10. For number ten this week, a shout out to Senior Editor at The Atlantic, James Hamblin, who had the tweet of the day. The simple and tired sounding sentence reads “This concludes infrastructure week.” (twitter)



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22nd Century Leadership - David Crane

We’ve been producing podcasts now for a while, focusing most recently on a weekly 10 in 2 report – 10 things that interest us this week, provided to you in 2 minutes, or in as short a time as we can. Now we’re unveiling a new periodic podcast we’re calling Leadership in the 22nd Century.

Our current social and economic systems were designed in and for a different time. Namely the 19th and 20th centuries. A time when there was a lot less people changing life on earth a lot slower and less systematically. Today, each day we add approximately 200,000 new humans to the 7+ billion people occupying our beautiful blue orb floating through space. Add to this the addition of tech innovations associated with machine learning, DNA manipulation, and flash stock trading, and we are living in the midst of a volatile cocktail that has manifest in unusual politics and a broad sense of dissatisfaction.

For the last 15 years we’ve worked with CEOs, corporations, non-profits, foundations, and even a city, on taking action to build long-term resilience and sustainability in light of these trends. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of interesting people engaged in what I’ve come to call the act of History Making. These are leaders who are actively transforming the way that human beings ‘see the world.’ Known examples are people like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Desmond Tutu. In our case, we are going to focus this podcast on a subset of these History Makers. Namely, leaders who are actively working to help people appreciate the beauty, utility and fundamental necessity of a healthy environment to a thriving human economy and existence.

These 22nd century leaders are applying the best of human leadership capabilities to successfully helping their fellow humans through the what is sure to be a very turbulent transition from an economics built for 19th century realities to a society and economics built for 22nd century realities.

We began this podcast a few weeks back with an interview with pioneer Biodynamic Farmer, Paul Dolan, and today we’re shifting towards the energy sector with an interview with my friend David Crane…

David currently is the senior operating executive at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a New York City-based private equity firm focused on investment in sustainability and wellness. As part of his responsibilities at Pegasus, David is chairman of Impala Holdings, a renewables development company focused on sub-Sahara Africa, and GVL, a biological lighting joint venture. David is also focused, on behalf of Pegasus, on new investment in clean energy technology, including distributed generation, energy storage, energy efficiency and EV infrastructure.  

Prior to Pegasus, David Crane was CEO of NRG, which he led out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003. He transformed NRG over his 12-year tenure to be a Fortune 200 company, engaged not only in conventional power generation and competitive retail electricity services but also green retail, large scale renewables, home solar, EV charging and portable solar. David pioneered the yieldco asset class with the IPO of NRG Yield in July 2013.

David was awarded the Corporate Environmental Leadership award by GlobalGreen in 2014 and the Equinox Solar Champion Award and more recently The C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership in 2015. He is also editor at large for greenbiz.com and leads the B Team's corporate "net zero" initiative.


 

For further reading on David Crane, start with this interview with GreenTech Media



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10 in 2 - Week of August 7th - a range of visual and audio concepts

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 7th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. U.S. consumer credit-card debt just passed an ominous milestone, with outstanding card loans reaching $1.02 trillion in June, beating a record set just before the global financial system almost collapsed in 2008. (Bloomberg)

  2. The Orlando City Commission unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday establishing a goal to move Orlando to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. Orlando is now the largest city in Florida to make such a commitment and joins a growing movement of more than three dozen cities nationwide that have committed to a 100 percent clean energy future. (Eco Watch)

  3. The environmental impact of our diet on the planet is well known, but new research shows that the impact of our pets is substantial. The study found that the roughly 163 million pet cats and dogs in the United States eat about a quarter of the meat produced in the country. (Smithsonian)

  4. Scientists announced the birth of 37 pigs gene-edited to be better for human transplant. The black-and-white piglets are now several months old, and they belong to a breed of miniature pigs that will grow no bigger than 150 pounds—with organs just the right size for transplant into adult humans. (The Atlantic)

  5. The most ambitious project to reintroduce jaguars into habitat where they once roamed freely has reached a new milestone with the addition of Tania, the fourth jaguar in the program. The project, part of Conservation Land Trust Argentina, is to breed formerly captive jaguars and then release their offspring into the vast 3.2 million acre Ibera National Park wetlands. Supported by Tompkins Conservation and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, this program is the first of its kind in South America. (CLTA)

  6. HP is spearheading a Virtual Reality project that is crowdsourcing an effort to conceptualize and simulate life on Mars. As you contribute concepts and models, they will draw upon your feedback, ideas and skills to create a Virtual Reality experience that offers an exploration of our combined imagination. Sign up for the early stages at launchforth.io or by following the link on the accompanying blog post for this episode. (HP)

  7. New fossil discoveries show that prehistoric “squirrels” glided through forests at least 160 million years ago, long before scientists had thought. Flowering trees did not yet exist, so there was no fruit to eat. Instead, the earliest mammal gliders may have leapt from tree to tree to feed on the cones of conifer trees or the soft parts of giant ferns. (NYT)

  8. Google’s DeepMind has developed an AI that teaches itself to recognise a range of visual and audio concepts just by watching tiny snippets of video. This AI can grasp the concept of lawn mowing or tickling, for example, but it hasn’t been taught the words to describe what it’s hearing or seeing. This project takes us closer to the goal of creating AI that can teach itself by watching and listening to the world around it. (New Scientist)

  9. EDF outlines 7 ways global warming is affecting daily life. You’ve heard about the long-term, large-scale changes predicted by scientists. But climate change is already pervading our daily lives. The list includes ways that crucial beer ingredients like water, barley, and hops are threatened and how many homeowners whose houses were destroyed by natural disaster are having a hard time getting insurance again. (EDF)

  10. Starbucks has saturated the American market so much that it’s now losing sales competing with itself. On average, for every Starbucks location in the US, there are now about four others within a one-mile radius to compete against. As a result, a Montreal-based investment bank this week downgraded its view of Starbucks’ stock. (Quartz)

 



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