June 2022

The first three agricultural revolutions allowed the human population to blossom by the billions, but they also had—in the words of Nobel Laureate Steven Chu—“unintended consequences.” The first agricultural revolution included the domestication of wheat, rice, cattle and chickens, yeast for bread and the first irrigation. The second spurred population growth through crop rotation, improvement [...]

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will expedite patent applications, at no extra charge, for inventions that promise to mitigate climate change, its director announced this month. Normally the USPTO can take two to three years to process a patent, during which time products may be labelled as “patent pending.” The agency has long [...]

When Extreme Heat Becomes An Everyday Problem

Three communities in the United States now have officials dedicated to managing extreme heat—Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami-Dade County. But that means 19,000 communities do not, according to a leading researcher, and many of those probably couldn’t afford one. Officials in many of those communities recognize the problem of extreme heat, said Ladd Keith, a [...]

Whether human society mitigates climate change, adapts to it, or fails at both, rapid societal change is looming. Governments are going to need political mechanisms, an expert in global sustainability said last week, to navigate that rapid change. “How do we build the politics?,” asked Nathan Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability at [...]

Last week a panel of social scientists convened at the behest of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to talk about accelerating decarbonization. Being social scientists, their discussion ventured into the social. “I am fascinated by this topic of how do you change consumer behavior,” said Devashree Saha, a senior associate at the [...]