I'm back in California today preparing for Thanksgiving with family and friends after a week on the road. Revisionist history aside, Thanksgiving is a great holiday—an opportunity in the midst of our hectic year-end hustle and bustle to spend two days pausing, recharging and looking into the faces of loved ones rather than our computer screens.
We here at The Story of Stuff Project are taking time this week to share and appreciate the things we're grateful for, which got me to reflecting on an opportunity I had last week to screen our latest movie, The Story of Broke, at the Occupy encampment in Edmonton, Canada.
Now I normally wouldn't go outside in the kind of weather that greeted me in Edmonton unless my house was on fire. Let's just say it was cold, really cold. Nevertheless, I couldn't pass up an invitation to show the movie at the camp before another speaking event in the city.
When I arrived at Occupy Edmonton, entering under a giant banner—Stop Shopping, Start Living—that made me feel right at home, my first thought was, "yikes, we're going to do this screening outside in the cold?" But soon enough I was ushered into a large, insulated, military-style tent that housed a wood burning stove, enough warm chili for everyone and chairs arrayed for viewing the movie on a screen that had been set up. They even had popcorn!
After showing the movie, someone asked me what impact I thought the Occupy movement was having. I told the gathered Occupiers that I thought they—and the entire movement—were making the discontent of millions visible in a way the most wild eyed optimist wouldn't have predicted was possible a few short months ago. And that in offering an invitation to everyone who thinks there's a problem to jump in and participate, they were providing a powerful antidote to the isolation so many feel.
That's similar to the experience I had back in 2008 when I released The Story of Stuff. The incredible response to the movie buoyed my spirits by proving that I wasn't alone—that there were millions of people around the world who shared my concern about the direction in which our society was headed. In many ways, the movie had taken the temperature of society and, as it turned out, I wasn't the only one who thought we had a fever.
Which brings me back to gratitude.
At The Story of Stuff Project, we give thanks every day for the enthusiastic and generous participation of the members of our community. When we released The Story of Broke on Nov. 8, you gave it a huge push. In fact, our network got more people to visit our website that day than on the day after I appeared on The Colbert Report. Sure, Stephen's great, but our community is greater!
Now, while there's no question this community played a big role in the successful rollout of The Story of Broke—almost 150,000 views in two weeks—it hasn't hurt that we're living in a time ripe with the potential for change.
Let's face it: something is in the air.
This Thanksgiving, we're grateful for that potential for big change we sense in the year ahead, as well as humbled by the hard work it will take to make that change happen. We're also hopeful, because we know many folks like you will be part of the struggle to get there, and that together we can do amazing things.
So on Friday, while millions head to the stores to scoop up the latest gadget or some discount schlock, I hope many of you will take an opportunity to stop by an Occupy camp near you. Let them know you're with them by standing next to them. You might even bring them some Turkey sandwiches or left over stuffing.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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