Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Resilience in Action – Vanuatu Shows the World how to be Ready for Anything

One of the key traits of a Resilient Investor is putting focused attention into being prepared. This time-honored theme is one that I explored on March 11th on the C-Realm podcast in an episode called “Ready for Anything.”  In turbulent times it’s impossible to know exactly what situations we might have to face, let alone how to be ready for them. But there is great value in considering a wide range of plausible scenarios, and preparing for those that seem more likely. Last week, that lesson was brought home by the resilient people of Vanuatu, as their preparation for extreme weather paid off with priceless returns.

Eyewitness reports of Cyclone Pam were truly scary: it was one of the strongest tropical storms ever to hit land, with gusts over 200 mph. But remarkably, there were only eleven deaths from the storm. This really made me curious! Was it was just luck? Or, had this island nation pulled off a remarkable feat? Turns out it’s the latter, and from the stories trickling out it’s clear that we could learn much about resilience from their example.

The first thing to note is that Vanuatu has been actively preparing for stronger storms. For several years, the World Bank and international aid agencies have been working with the government of Vanuatu on a program aimed at “increasing resilience to climate change and natural hazards.”

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Amory Lovins: The Future of Energy

Amory Lovins is another of our D-type thought leaders that was hard to squeeze into one category. We’ve included him as a Driver because of his lifelong commitment to working with existing corporate and regulatory structures to move toward a more sustainable energy future, but in many ways, he is also a Dreamer, envisioning fundamental changes in social, economic, and energy systems. Still, his sharp focus on how we get there from here is what stands out, and this is the work of those dedicated to pushing our current system into the future. Lovins is the co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, which has pioneered innovative new approaches to automobile design, renewable energy, architectural energy efficiency, and many other key topics.

About Amory Lovins:
Wiki entry on Lovins
RMI bio of Lovins

Book and RMI program: Reinventing Fire
Amory Lovins’ book Reinventing Fire was published in 2012, and makes a case for a future powered with no need for oil, coal or nuclear energy. The book demonstrates a practical path away from our current fossil-fuel based economy, by integrating transportation, buildings, industry and electricity, combined with new business approaches and strategies.
Video: Reinventing Fire
A six-minute introduction from Rocky Mountain Institute
Video lecture: Reinventing Fire, presented at the 2011 Bioneers Conference.

Video: Winning the Oil Endgame. In this TED talk, based on his recent book by the same name, Amory Lovins lays out his plan to wean the US off oil and to revitalize the economy.

Video: Amory Lovins on a 40 year Plan for Energy. In this talk filmed at TED’s offices, Amory Lovins describes his ideas for how to wean the US off of oil and coal by 2050, in a way that is led by business for profit, without requiring congressional acts. Lovins says the key is to integrate all four energy-using sectors, as well as applying four kinds of innovation.

Book: Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolutions
authored by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins
The concept of Natural Capitalism integrates the “triple bottom line” of profitability, environmental, and social responsibility into a single bottom line with an outcome of increased operational efficiency within businesses and organizations. The book is accessible via this website in free, downloadable chapters.

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Lester Brown: Worldwatch Institute, Earth Policy Institute

In 2001, Brown founded the Earth Policy Institute, with a focus on practical planning for a sustainable future. Now 80, Brown recently announced that EPI would shut down in July 2015, when he retires after the publication of his latest book, The Great Transition. With any luck, their informative website will remain alive.

Book: World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. This relatively recent book provides a thorough, concise summary of the world’s environmental crises, as well as a comprehensive set of strategies to address them. Available for purchase, or as a free PDF download.

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Paul Hawken: Champion for change

Paul Hawken has been cheer leading, and leading, positive social, environmental, and economic change for over fifty years. He’s made his marks early in natural foods and backyard agriculture, and moved on to bigger topics in widely-read books on the economic system (Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism), social change (Blessed Unrest), and next up, removing carbon from the atmosphere (Project Drawdown).

See Paul Hawken’s website; view videos of his talks

Commencement Speech Text: Healing or Stealing?
This 2009 commencement address at the University of Portland has been hailed as “unforgettable” and “one of the best commencement speeches of the past 75 years” (by humanity.org). His speech illustrates with clarity and grace how he lives in both optimism and pessimism about our future, with both social justice and corporate responsibility being vital to our collective future.

Interview regarding scenarios, optimism, and doomers.

Video: Project Drawdown. Introduction to a 2015 initiative to support new (and old) technologies that can reduce the greenhouse gas burden in the atmosphere.

Project Drawdown website. Project Drawdown is a book, a digital platform, and database about how we are and can reduce carbon in the atmosphere over the next thirty years. Detailing and measuring technologies that are already available, Drawdown describes the beneficial financial, social and environmental impact state-of-the-shelf solutions can deliver. By scaling existing solutions, we can mitigate and functionally reverse the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

 

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Carbon Disclosure Project: tracking companies’ emissions

Over 5000 companies and cities report their carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project, which ranks the top performers for both the thoroughness of their reporting, and (separately) for their performance in mitigating and reducing carbon emissions. Their website offers useful tools for searching by company , industry sector, and other terms, and can help users identify climate leaders and laggards, compare companies, etc. Visit website.

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Virgin Earth Challenge incentivizing the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere

A $25 million innovation-incentive prize will be awarded to an organization demonstrating sustainable and economically viable way of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The prize’s website features profiles of the eleven finalists, each of which is developing an inspiring way forward, as well as a blog covering topics related to greenhouse gas removal. Visit website.

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Holistic Land Management – the Savory Institute

The Savory institute promotes holistic land management and grazing techniques, rotating herds of domestic livestock in a way that mimics the movement of wild herds. In addition to increasing soil fertility and water storages, these techniques can sequester thousands of tons of carbon in the soil. Learn more at their website.

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