Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

October 3, 2017 by  
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The co-author of the Living Building Challenge and one of the world’s most admired thinkers in green building shows how the future of the built environment is manifesting today. 

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Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

Scaling the Movement Toward Future-Proofed Buildings

October 3, 2017 by  
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Bridging the gap between a deep green architect and futurist seeking to drive “regenerative buildings” and the Chief Sustainability Officer at Skanska USA, one of the biggest construction companies in the country — What will it take to “future proof” our buildings and businesses in the age of pressing climate challenges?

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Scaling the Movement Toward Future-Proofed Buildings

VERGE Accelerate Pitch: Lilac Solutions, Inc., Dave Snydacker

October 3, 2017 by  
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A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.

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VERGE Accelerate Pitch: Lilac Solutions, Inc., Dave Snydacker

GM’s plans for "all-electric-future" spell doom for fossil fuel industry

October 3, 2017 by  
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General Motors , a symbol of 20th century automotive domination, has decided to embrace the “all-electric future” of the 21st century and beyond, declaring that someday in the near future, it will produce and sell only electric cars . “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s chief of global product development. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.” To accelerate into this future, GM announced two new electric car models, scheduled to be released next year, followed by an additional 18 all-electric models by 2023. General Motors is riding high as it shifts gear into electric; the car company was the third-largest in the world in 2016. Because of its immense size, the company would not yet commit to a specific year in which it would make the transition away from combustion engine cars. However, its recent actions speak as loud as its words. At a press event on Monday, GM revealed several concept designs for upcoming electric vehicles, including an SUV, a crossover, a non-traditional model which resembled a small, boxy bus, and Surus, a heavy-duty truck with two electric motors, powered by fuel cells. Related: Renault’s Trezor is the electric car of the future Though renowned already as a pioneer in the field, thanks in part to its Chevy Bolt, GM will face heavy traffic on the road ahead. Tesla , Volvo, Nissan, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover have all made various moves into the electric car industry, with more expected in the future. Ford, a fellow Big Three American automaker, announced on Monday, the same day as GM’s press event, that it will form an “Edison Group,” focused on the development of electric cars. “We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles,” said Sherif Marakby, head of electrification and autonomous vehicles at Ford. “We feel it’s important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing.” Via Washington Post Images via Car and Driver  and Wikipedia

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GM’s plans for "all-electric-future" spell doom for fossil fuel industry

VIDEO: 60,000-year-old preserved underwater forest discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

September 27, 2017 by  
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When Hurricane Ivan formed in 2004, it did more than devastate regions of the Caribbean and the United States’ coast. According to the new documentary “ The Underwater Forest ,” it also unearthed a fossilized forest of cypress trees which grew more than 50,000 years ago. Located 60 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico , the underwater forest features trees which have intact bark and are still leaking sap. Journalist Ben Raines discovered the underwater forest after conversing with fishermen who reported “unusual” activity in the area. The preserved forest is expected to have been buried by sediment, which protected it from decomposition, as a result of the last ice age which occurred approximately 60,000 years ago. After Hurricane Ivan uncovered the forest, it transformed into a flourishing ecosystem. Said Professor Kristine DeLong, an LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology Associate, “Everything is in place in that ecosystem . It’s just been buried and preserved through time.” The trees were prevented from decomposing due to the presence of thick mud. Without oxygen , decomposition could not occur in the underwater environment. However, the Category 4 hurricane — which had 140-mile per hour winds and 98-foot-tall waves — changed that in 2004. Related: Report: meat industry responsible for largest-ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico Raines worked with scientists from Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi for the first samples and subsequent investigations. Using advanced sonar machines, the researchers discovered additional trees which are still buried approximately 10 feet below the sediment. The experts also used radio-carbon dating to discern the forests’ approximate age. Reportedly, the trees show signs of “stress events.” This indicates that the trees experienced a rapid decrease in growth, followed by a quick increase, then a swift, final growth decline. The experts agree that the trees soon after died around the same time. Due to pollution — which includes run-off and oil spills — the Gulf of Mexico is becoming more toxic every year. This newly-discovered ecosystem could provide a glimpse of the future of the Gulf coast, say the researchers. “It’s pretty rapid change, geologically speaking,” said paleontologist Martin Becker of William Paterson University. “We’re looking at 60 feet of seawater where a forest used to be. I’m looking at a lot of development, of people’s shore homes and condominiums, etc. The forest is predicting the future, and maybe a pretty unpleasant one.” + The Underwater Forest Via AL , Daily Mail Images via The Underwater Forest/Ben Raines

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VIDEO: 60,000-year-old preserved underwater forest discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

To avoid collapse, humanity needs a new narrative

August 19, 2017 by  
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A vision of the shift in which humanity pulls itself from the brink of massive disruption. From here, the future looks bright.

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To avoid collapse, humanity needs a new narrative

Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

July 19, 2017 by  
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The energy market has changed dramatically since Microsoft signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2012, according to Brian Janous, the tech company’s director of energy strategy. Back then, the idea of signing a 20-year PPA was novel, but now there is a massive uptick in companies participating in energy agreements. However, the risks of market fluctuation and falling prices are all material to designing electricity markets in the future. “More companies are signing a shorter PPA,” said Janous. “These things are not a free lunch.” 

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Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

Episode 82: Greening the big Apple; Peter Seligmann’s graceful exit

June 30, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, selling sustainable tourism, a chat with Honolulu’s first resilience officer and the future of urban mobility.

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Episode 82: Greening the big Apple; Peter Seligmann’s graceful exit

Learning our scales (or why size really matters)

June 6, 2017 by  
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What sci-fi can teach us about the future of innovation.

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Learning our scales (or why size really matters)

Hope for the metropolitan solution to climate change

April 29, 2017 by  
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More than 7,000 cities will report emissions cuts and climate progress. That’s why Mike Bloomberg Carl Pope are optimistic about the future.

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Hope for the metropolitan solution to climate change

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