CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Posts tagged "tech"

Hi,

I’m Daniel Byers a filmmaker with SkyShipFilms. I’ve been selected as a finalist for Nat Geo’s “Expedition Granted” competition, with an expedition proposal to study dangerous glacial lakes in the Puna Tsang Chu valley, Bhutan. Please vote for my project. These glacial lakes are remote, unstudied except by satellite, and pose a real threat to Bhutan’s people, hydro plants, and only international airport.

The last round is a public vote, with the winner getting $50K to fund their expedition. You can vote once per day thru Sep 29th… would love to have your support in helping raise awareness and action for climate change! ~Daniel Byers

Guys, seriously. Come meet Jenny Frankel-Reed, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist with USAID’s Global Climate Change Office. 
She. Is. AWESOME!!!
I co-manage a climate adaptation contract with her office, and I can say she is one of the best people I’ve worked with in a long time. She manages a technical project called SERVIR with NASA, USAID, and several partners around the world.

SERVIR—the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System—helps government officials, managers, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public make decisions by providing Earth observations and predictive models based on data from orbiting satellites.
The SERVIR system helps nations in Mesoamerica, Africa, and the Himalayan regions cope with eight areas of societal benefit identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): disasters, ecosystems, biodiversity, weather, water, climate, health, and agriculture. Via


I think she’s a great inspiration for young women professionals in science!! You HAVE TO COME SEE HER!
Do you want to hear about what it’s like to work at USAID?
Are you interested in how the U.S. government promotes climate adaptation around the world??! Of course you do!
Interested in making connections in the climate change field?
Come meet Jenny for a chat and some drinks August 28th. I’ll be there, too!
Details: 

A Chat with USAID/GCC Jenny Frankel-Reed. 
BAR LOUIE (CHINATOWN METRO) Washington, DC AUG 28 7 P.M.
HOSTS ENVIRO-RUN:
August 28: 7 p.m. – Bar Louie, 701 7th St. NW, Washington DC. (IMPORTANT! Bar Louie is in the mall next to the Chinatown Metro. Go through the white doors on the northwest entrance off 7th Street, by the food carts.)
There will be a place to store bags while envirorunners are on the fun run. Meet inside the event room (Upon entering, turn left and then turn right when you see the back bar. We will be through the big, wooden door along the back wall.)  7 p.m.
Photo op: We welcome you to wear your best enviro shirt + swag and share #envirorun photos on Twitter (@envirorun) and Facebook (Envirorun). Prizes go to the top tweeters!
Speaker bio: Jenny Frankel-Reed is a Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator of the SERVIR Program with USAID’s Climate Change Office, where she has provided technical support to programs in 20 countries and regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and coordinated USAID’s flagship science and technology partnership with NASA (SERVIR). 
Ms. Frankel-Reed has worked on the vulnerability and adaptation dimensions of climate change for more than 10 years, including vulnerability assessment, remote sensing applications, climate services, monitoring and evaluation, international climate financing, and training. 
Prior to joining USAID in 2010, she served as Technical Advisor for a German International Cooperation (GIZ) project based in India, was an Adaptation Advisor with the Environment and Energy Group of the United Nations Development Program, and worked as a Climate Change Consultant to the Global Environment Facility. Ms. Frankel-Reed has forest and human ecology research experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University.

If you’re in DC August 28, please please come see her speak on USAID’s climate programs across dozens of countries.
She’s a young professional operating at a very high-level under Obama’s government. Come see her August 28th. It’s a small crowd, intimate setting, and the atmosphere is very casual! 

Guys, seriously. Come meet Jenny Frankel-Reed, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist with USAID’s Global Climate Change Office.

She. Is. AWESOME!!!

I co-manage a climate adaptation contract with her office, and I can say she is one of the best people I’ve worked with in a long time. She manages a technical project called SERVIR with NASA, USAID, and several partners around the world.

SERVIR—the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System—helps government officials, managers, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public make decisions by providing Earth observations and predictive models based on data from orbiting satellites.

The SERVIR system helps nations in Mesoamerica, Africa, and the Himalayan regions cope with eight areas of societal benefit identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): disasters, ecosystems, biodiversity, weather, water, climate, health, and agriculture. Via

I think she’s a great inspiration for young women professionals in science!! You HAVE TO COME SEE HER!

  • Do you want to hear about what it’s like to work at USAID?
  • Are you interested in how the U.S. government promotes climate adaptation around the world??! Of course you do!
  • Interested in making connections in the climate change field?
  • Come meet Jenny for a chat and some drinks August 28th. I’ll be there, too!

Details:

A Chat with USAID/GCC Jenny Frankel-Reed.

BAR LOUIE (CHINATOWN METRO) Washington, DC AUG 28 7 P.M.

HOSTS ENVIRO-RUN:

August 28: 7 p.m. – Bar Louie, 701 7th St. NW, Washington DC. (IMPORTANT! Bar Louie is in the mall next to the Chinatown Metro. Go through the white doors on the northwest entrance off 7th Street, by the food carts.)

There will be a place to store bags while envirorunners are on the fun run. Meet inside the event room (Upon entering, turn left and then turn right when you see the back bar. We will be through the big, wooden door along the back wall.)  7 p.m.

Photo op: We welcome you to wear your best enviro shirt + swag and share #envirorun photos on Twitter (@envirorun) and Facebook (Envirorun). Prizes go to the top tweeters!

Speaker bio: Jenny Frankel-Reed is a Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator of the SERVIR Program with USAID’s Climate Change Office, where she has provided technical support to programs in 20 countries and regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and coordinated USAID’s flagship science and technology partnership with NASA (SERVIR).

Ms. Frankel-Reed has worked on the vulnerability and adaptation dimensions of climate change for more than 10 years, including vulnerability assessment, remote sensing applications, climate services, monitoring and evaluation, international climate financing, and training.

Prior to joining USAID in 2010, she served as Technical Advisor for a German International Cooperation (GIZ) project based in India, was an Adaptation Advisor with the Environment and Energy Group of the United Nations Development Program, and worked as a Climate Change Consultant to the Global Environment Facility. Ms. Frankel-Reed has forest and human ecology research experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University.

If you’re in DC August 28, please please come see her speak on USAID’s climate programs across dozens of countries.

She’s a young professional operating at a very high-level under Obama’s government. Come see her August 28th. It’s a small crowd, intimate setting, and the atmosphere is very casual! 

Via The Guardian

It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization:

1. “Try not to cough on one another.” More humans have died from epidemics than from all famines and wars. Disease precipitated the fall of Greece, Rome, and the civilizations of the Americas. People used to bunch up around the infected, which pushed local disease into universal plague. Now we can head that off with Net telepresence, telemedicine, and medical alert networks. All businesses should develop a work-from-home capability for their workforce.

2. “Don’t lose things.” As proved by the destruction of the Alexandria Library and of the literature of Mayans and Minoans, “knowledge is hard won but easily lost.” Plumbing disappeared for a thousand years when Rome fell. Inoculation was invented in China and India 700 years before Europeans rediscovered it. These days Michelangelo’s David has been safely digitized in detail. Eagleman has direct access to all the literature he needs via PubMed, JSTOR, and Google Books. “Distribute, don’t reinvent.”

3. “Tell each other faster.” Don’t let natural disasters cascade. The Minoans perished for lack of the kind of tsunami alert system we now have. Countless Haitians in the recent earthquake were saved by Ushahidi.com, which aggregated cellphone field reports in real time.

4. “Mitigate tyranny.” The USSR’s collapse was made inevitable by state-controlled media and state-mandated mistakes such as Lysenkoism, which forced a wrong theory of wheat farming on 13 time zones, and starved millions. Now crowd-sourced cellphone users can sleuth out vote tampering. We should reward companies that stand up against censorship, as Google has done in China.

5. “Get more brains involved in solving problems.” Undertapping human capital endangers the future. Open courseware from colleges is making higher education universally accessible. Crowd-sourced problem solving is being advanced by sites such as PatientsLikeMe, Foldit (protein folding), and Cstart (moon exploration). Perhaps the next step is “society sourcing.”

6. “Try not to run out of energy.” When energy expenditure outweighs energy return, collapse ensues. Email saves trees and trucking. Online shopping is a net energy gain, with UPS optimizing delivery routes and never turning left. We need to expand the ability to hold meetings and conferences online.

See the webinar explaining these things, here.

These hard to dispute maxims were developed by the flashy neuroscientist, David Eagleman. He presented them to the Long Now Foundation, an institute that makes a boat load of money selling guru-esque science, technology, and economics books and seminars. Like TED Talks, the Long Now Foundation presents new thinking in a compelling way, salesy way. 

Yes, I’m skeptical of TED and Long Now, mostly because they present information with a tone of all-knowing infallibility. One also has to be particularly “alpha” in order to make a presentation with either of these organizations - a disposition that the vast majority of researchers do not have. This method of presentation only supports a certain type of researcher, while thousands of others are left behind.

So, on the one hand, these organizations vacuum-up large sums of cash from an easily-entertained, science hungry public. On the other hand, ‘science-as-entertainment’ might be the best way to communicate heavy and complex ideas to wider audiences. Is “sci-tainment" sustainable? How long until the public becomes jaded from watching TED Talks and Long Now? How long will these organizations last? What are the long term effects of these things on various fields of scientific research?

Has anyone quantified the social impacts or value of TED Talks and the Long Now Foundation?

What do you think? Am I being too harsh on these venues?

Two ancient Mayan cities discovered in southern Mexico using aerial photographs, local knowledge, and computer models. Unknown why the cities were abandoned, but researchers speculate loss of resources like food and water supplies, changes to climate, invasion, and/or disease.

Great story via Slovenian Academy of Sciences.

Remember this invention? 19 year-old student proposed this design to clean up plastics in the oceans. The idea was picked up by TED, and green blogs exploded with glee.

I criticized the project as ineffective buffoonery and likely illegal. And several others also panned the invention as foolish and naive. Well, now the student is back with a revised version of the plastic’s clean up machine. He’s partnered with some serious engineers and PR and he formed a new company, “The Ocean Cleanup.” Video here.

A science journalist in Germany, Sarah Zierul, interviewed me and a few other experts who also criticized the machine. Sarah’s article really got to the heart of the story and you can see researched for several months to get to the facts. She re-tells the story of the young inventor, and describes the original machine and its problems, as well as the new machine and the engineering behind it. She also interviews several critics, noting how their complaints have evolved into support.

Excellent science reporting!

Read Sarah’s excellent article, here. If you don’t read German, go here.

Asian Development Bank’s new climate infographic quantifies how south Asia economy will be hit by climate impacts.

The report claims the eruption could strand 10 million travelers.

Amazing (yes really!) to watch what happens when thunderstorms strike the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta-Hartsfield. The planes fly around the storm clouds to land safely. Must see.

discoverynews:

How Big Is The Solar System?

This guy from Discovery is a bad mofo. Check out the above ‘splainer on Voyager 1. Epic.

C’mon. Is this real? Anyone find a link for me?

UPDATE: It’s real! Here’s the video from NASA. It’s not gravity, it’s about charged particles.

(via discoverynews)

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture developing a Climate Super Chicken to withstand higher temperatures. Via Bloomberg

Research study summary, USDA Adapting animal production to climate change.

Tree mulcher. Clears land to build homes, roads, utilities, etc.