Publications

Water Politics


Will Mexico City Run Out of Water?

Via Scientific American, a report on Mexico City’s water crisis: The global press recently warned that as early as June 2024, Mexico City, home to 22 million people, could face “Day Zero—the complete loss of fresh water at the taps. The situation on the ground, although dire, is more nuanced. “Day Zero is a bit […]

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Energy, Cash and Climate Shape Talks Over the Giant Itaipu Dam

Via Dialogue Earth, an article on how – after 50 years – the treaty on Brazil and Paraguay’s shared dam is up for renewal. A deal is close, but frictions and questions for the future remain: As Paraguay’s new president Santiago Peña took office in 2023, another milestone was being reached at the nation’s eastern […]

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Wildcats & Black Sheep


How Tiny Djibouti Said ‘No’ to the US Over Houthi Red Sea Attacks

Courtesy of Bloomberg, a look at Djibouti, the East African country that is host to Chinese, French and US naval bases — but it has warned Washington not to use its territory to confront militants attacking global trade: Captain Mohammed Houssein Omar patrols one of the most dangerous coastlines in the world. Until the Israel-Hamas […]

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Vietnam’s Catch-22 In Courting China As Rare Earth Partner

Via South China Morning Post, commentary on Vietnam’s Catch-22 in courting China as a rare earth partner: In many ways, Beijing is the perfect partner for Hanoi’s rare earth processing industry ambitions But standing in the way is Vietnam’s wariness of corporate exploitation and taking sides in the US-China rivalry, as well as its political […]

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India’s Greatest Export: Curry

Via Nikkei Asia, a look at the global curry trail across continents where variations of the traditional Tamil dish have conquered the culinary world: Curries vary by type and flavor not only from country to country, but from home to home. (All photos by Meenakshi J) “This Jaffna curry powder is freshly prepared,” said the […]

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Watergy Nexus


Floating Solar Pioneer Inks Deal To Green India’s Reservoirs

Via Recharge News, a report on India which has an estimated 300GW of floating solar potential but has realized less than 350MW of this to date, says World Bank: A Norwegian floating solar pioneer will help transform Indian reservoirs into green power generators after signing a deal with the state’s national hydropower company. Ocean Sun has […]

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Texas Companies Eye Pecos River Watershed for Oilfield Wastewater

Via Inside Climate News, a report on Texas companies interest in the Pecos River watershed as a destination to discharge treated produced water: These days the Pecos River barely fills its dry, sandy bed where it crosses West Texas, but the river could be poised to flow again — with treated oilfield wastewater.  Companies are racing […]

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Grid Unlocked


AI and Other Tricks Are Bringing Power Lines Into The 21st Century

Via The Economist, a look at how power grids are at last becoming smarter and more efficient: The rise of artificial-intelligence (ai) data centres, with their insatiable hunger for electricity, is asking an awful lot of the world’s utilities and grid operators. On the bright side, ai can also give a fair bit back, by helping transform ancient, overloaded and dumb […]

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Surging Power Demand Spurs Smarter Electric Grid Use

Via Cipher News, a look at how surging power demand is spurring smarter electric grid use Demand for electricity is shooting up in the United States following two decades of relatively flat electricity use — and yet building more transmission lines to bring new sources of energy online is a slow, bureaucratic process. This tension is pushing the power […]

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The Future of EV Charging is Bidirectional, If You Can Afford It

Via Wired, a look at how idle electric vehicles could act as massive batteries for homes and the energy grid. But the technology to pull this off is tricky: WITH MOST ELECTRIC vehicles parked at work or home all day, you may wonder whether you’ll save that much by having one. But what if someone told you […]

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Seeds of A Revolution


Russian Fertilizer: The ‘New Gas’ for Europe

Courtesy of The Financial Times, a report on the over-reliance and pending constraint of Russia fertilizer on European agriculture: Europe is “sleep walking” into becoming dependent on Russian fertiliser, just as it did with gas, says one of the largest producers of crop nutrients. Nitrogen fertilisers, which are important to plant growth, are made using […]

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Dark Side of U.S. Solar: Productive Farmland Put At Risk

Via Fast Company, a look at the dark side of solar power: Some of America’s most productive farmland is at risk: Dave Duttlinger’s first thought when he saw a dense band of yellowish-brown dust smearing the sky above his Indiana farm was: I warned them this would happen. About 445 acres of his fields near […]

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Food Fight: Russia’s ‘Grain Diplomacy’ Reshaping Global Markets

Via Asia Times, a look at how Moscow has leveraged disruption of the Ukraine war to weaponize food supplies while angling to use BRICS to muscle US and Australia out of Africa: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “grain diplomacy” continues to cause headaches for the European Union while potentially reshaping global trade dynamics and markets more […]

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SynWorlds


Gym Class VR Builds On Popularity With NBA Logos and Venues

Via Sports Business Journal, a look at how Gym Class VR is building on its popularity with the addition of NBA logos and venues: The mid-range jumper may be a lost art in the NBA game, but I sank one from just inside the free-throw line at the TD Garden, as the PA announcer called out the basket. […]

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K-pop: The Rise Of Virtual Girl Bands

Via BBC, a look at the rise of virtual K-pop girl bands: Since releasing their debut single I’m Real in 2021, K-pop girl group Eternity have racked up millions of views online. They sing, dance and interact with their fans just like any other band. In fact, there’s mainly one big difference between them and […]

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The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything

Via Time, a look at the metaverse and how it will revolutionize many aspect of our lives: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reports that in the first six months of 2022, the word metaverse appeared in regulatory filings more than 1,100 times. The previous year saw 260 mentions. The preceding two decades? Fewer than a dozen […]

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Roof Options


Can Rooftop Solar Alone Solve Climate Change? Here’s the Answer

Via the Los Angeles Times, a look at the math behind rooftop solar: No matter how many times I write about renewable energy — about sprawling solar farms, towering wind turbines and lengthy power lines carrying clean electricity to faraway cities — there’s one question I get asked again and again and again: Why do […]

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Australia’s Push to Put More Solar Panels on Rental Homes

Via Eco Business, a look at Australia’s push to put more solar panels on rental homes: As a university student in Canberra, Eilis Fitt and her two housemates set rules to keep their electricity bill down – no heater in the living room unless everyone was home, and no turning on the washing machine or […]

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The Global Buffetts


Constellation Software, Tech’s Berkshire Hathaway

Via The Economist, a look at a firm which many consider as technology’s Berkshire Hathaway: For older startups these are tough times. The weak recent stockmarket debuts of Arm, a British chipmaker, Instacart, a grocery-delivery group, and Klaviyo, a software firm, have dampened enthusiasm for initial public offerings. Venture capital (vc) has dried up. Data […]

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The ‘Next Warren Buffett’ Curse Isn’t Always Fatal

Via Bloomberg, interesting commentary on how many – such as crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried couldn’t survive the comparison – but others who actually invest somewhat like the Berkshire Hathaway chairman fare better: A couple of months ago, crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried was peering out from the cover of Fortune magazine above the words “The Next Warren Buffett?” Now he’s at […]

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Warren Buffett’s Protégé Is Building a Mini Berkshire

Courtesy of Wall Street Journal, a look at what some consider to be a Mini Berkshire: Tracy Britt Cool spent a decade working for Warren Buffett. She now wants to buy the kinds of companies that might have interested the famed investor 30 or 40 years ago. Those are businesses typically run by founders or […]

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Networked Nature


The Algorithmic Ocean: How AI Is Revolutionizing Marine Conservation

Via MIT Press Reader, a look at how AI is revolutionizing the effort to combat illegal fishing: Dyhia Belhabib’s journey to becoming a marine scientist began with war funerals on TV. Her hometown, on the pine-forested slopes of the Atlas Mountains in northern Algeria, lies only 60 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. But a trip […]

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Saving The Whales, With Technology

Via The Economist, a look at how new technology can keep whales safe from speeding ships: On march 3rd a whale calf washed ashore in Georgia, on America’s east coast, bearing slash marks characteristic of a ship’s propeller. Less than a month later another whale, a recent mother, was found floating off the coast of […]

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Get Ready for the Robotic Fish Revolution

Via Hakai Magazine, a look at how swarms of robotic fish could soon make traditional underwater research vehicles obsolete: Human technology has long drawn inspiration from the natural world: The first airplanes were modeled after birds. The designer of Velcro was inspired by the irksome burrs he often had to pick off his dog. And […]

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Published Articles

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