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Strategic, Long-term Planning in a World of Climate Change and Worse

Published by: Tinia Pina on 21st Nov 2012 | View all blogs by Tinia Pina

Freak super storms and droughts are nothing new.  There always have been and always will be those black swan events that don’t fit the usual weather mold.

What is new, however, is the frequency of these events.

Fortunately, a growing number of Americans are taking note – a substantial improvement over the usual climate change denials of just a few months ago.

This growing awareness is obviously cause for celebration.  With a clear understanding of the problem, we can begin taking proactive steps towards fixing it.  That’s the good news.

Now the bad news.  Even if the entire world united tomorrow to combat global warming, progress would be slow.  Freak storms and severe droughts are not things we can solve overnight.

Wait, it gets worse.

We’re still many disasters away from united global action.

In the meantime, what steps can you take to protect yourself – as a business – as a consumer?

You might be wondering – “Why do I need to do anything?  I don’t live anywhere near drought areas or hurricane zones.”

For this, there are 2 answers:

  1. New York and New Jersey are not in hurricane zones either.  But no one bothered to tell Sandy.
  1. Although New York and New Jersey certainly received the lion’s share of destruction, Hurricane Sandy affected anyone directly or indirectly dependent on these 2 states.  In a globalized economy with interwoven supply chains, this means “everyone.”

So again, what steps can you take?

Weaving Redundancies and Contingencies into Our Globalized World

In a recent post on AVC.com, blogger, Fred Wilson described his experience walking around a flooded New York in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.  The author observed in amazement how countless businesses in lower Manhattan had lost servers, computers, and data centers – information and hardware that could never be retrieved.

Wilson hoped that his own equipment had been spared in his flooded basement.

It wasn’t.

But because he keeps his data in the cloud, the actual information he needs to run his VC business remained intact.  In effect, he had built redundancy into his business to protect himself from the unthinkable.

Cues from the Cloud – Localized Distribution and Planned Redundancy

The basic concept of planned redundancy is not limited to the digital world.  It remains equally relevant outside the realm of 1’s and 0’s.

For example.

Even while the storm raged on, many New Jersey residents had electricity despite being surrounded on all sides by neighbors sitting in darkness.

How is this possible?

These residents had embraced solar power – a distributed, renewable energy technology that complements traditional grid electricity.

So resilient is solar, in fact, that after the storm, ISO New England – the agency responsible for monitoring New Jersey’s electric power generation and transmission system – reported zero complaints of any major damage to solar facilities resulting from the hurricane.

If a few solar panels break, the system still remains operational.  Contrast this with major power stations where one broken widget can bring the entire grid down.  In some cases, power failures can lead to much worse than loss of electricity, which explains why New Jersey deliberately shut down some of its nuclear power stations in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.

This redundant, distributed model also applies to food production.

By harvesting local crops with local resources, communities become less dependent on global supply chains.  International produce is always there if you want it.  But by developing sources closer to home, you have more options in the event of a drought in your backyard or a hurricane on the other side of the world.

Curing the Disease & Treating the Symptoms – Why Sustainability Matters

At Re-Nuble, we specialize in developing sustainability programs to combat the grave environmental challenges we face as a planet.  We remain singularly focused on treating the underlying causes of climate change.

But in Sandy’s aftermath, it’s become clear that this approach to sustainability offers many of the same benefits that VC bloggers in New York enjoy when they put their data in the clouds.

Not only does our Green Back Approach help reverse global warming, but it also limits the impact of erratic weather changes.  By developing local recycling facilities that transform organic waste into renewable energy and green fertilizer, we help communities continue thriving even when confronted with supply chain interruptions thousands of miles away.

Join us today so we can expand this Green Back Approach and simultaneously protect the planet and the billions of people who call it home.  Become a Re-Nuble partner, follow us on social media, or contribute to our green crowdfunding campaign.

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