Environment  Woods Hole Research Center responds to misleading NY Times op-ed on climate change

Climate scientists everywhere reacted with stunned outrage  as word spread about an op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sept. 20, 2014 under the headline: “To Save The Planet, Don’t Plant Trees.” Operating on kernals of truth that distort and misinterpret far larger facts and realities about the role of forests — tropical and otherwise — in mitigating the damage of climate change, Nadine Unger, an atmospheric chemist at Yale, wrote, somewhat incredulously, “It is a myth that photosynthesis controls the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Even if all photosynthesis on the planet were shut down, the atmosphere’s oxygen content would change less than 1 percent.” Not so, climate scientists say. Not even close.

The full story is here at National Geographic NewsWatch.

Photo by Justin Catanoso

Triad Biz  Triad Next: Room for Collaboration

What a collaborative workspace looks like.

What a collaborative workspace looks like.

My second column in the Triad Business Journal, published Sept. 26, takes a look at the trend toward collaborative workspaces in the Triad, with a focus on Flywheel, which opened recently in the Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem.  I posted my column here on Medium.com while it’s behind the TBJ paywall for a month.

Excerpt: “According to a recent Gallup survey, about one-third of the U.S. employees operate outside the traditional confines of office towers, cubicles or factories. In other words, one in three American workers don’t have a traditional place to work.”

Radio  Triad joins the trend in collaborative work spaces

According to a recent Gallup survey, about one-third of the U.S. employees operate outside the traditional confines of office towers, cubicles or factories. In other words, one in three American workers don’t have a traditional place to work. My radio report on Sept. 26, 2014, based on my Triad Next column in the Triad Business Journal, looks at the growing movement in collaborative work spaces with a close look at the newest — Flywheel in Winston-Salem.

Breaking News  Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says

A wind turbine being installed in northern France. Research says the benefits of such efforts may offset the cost of subsidies. Credit Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Justin Gillis, the New York Times climate change reporter, breaks a story that sounds like science fiction, but is plausible with enough political will in countries such as the U.S., China and India — the world’s leading emitters of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The story, published Sept. 16, is here, and it follows a trend of more optimistic, solution-based reporting on the issue of climate change.

Triad Biz  Triad Next: Triad builds framework that suits creative class

Joey Adams, 33, a Greensboro software developer, is co-founder of The Forge, a makerspace in downtown Greensboro.

Joey Adams, 33, a Greensboro software developer, is co-founder of The Forge, a makerspace in downtown Greensboro.

As executive editor of the Triad Business Journal from 1998 to 2011, I wrote a weekly front-page column titled Triad Talk. After a three-year hiatus, Editor Mark Sutter agreed to my idea to return as a monthly columnist with a new name, Triad Next. The first column on the Triad’s growing support for young, creative professionals ran on Aug. 29, 2014. It’s behind a paywall for 30 days. But you can see it on Medium.com before then.

Excerpt:  Take downtown apartments and ballparks, coffee shops, microbreweries, art hops,food trucks, live theater and bike paths. Add in idea slams, accelerator labs, collaborative office space, entrepreneurial meetups and business incubators. That’s when the perception shifts. That’s when you hear something like this: “I see no reason why I can’t build my company here,” says Chris Padgett, 26, founder of Fusion 3 Design, a 6-month-old 3D-printer manufacturer in east Greensboro. “It’s places like this that make me optimistic.”

Photo by Justin Catanoso

Breaking News  Sun and Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind

 New wind turbines in the North Sea off Germany. Renewable resources account for 30 perent of Germany’s power generation, more than twice what the U.S. produces. Photo: NY Times.

Justin Gillis, the New York Times’ climate change reporter, writes: “Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea.” The Sept. 13, 2014 story is here.

Excerpt: Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans. Fights are erupting across the United States over the future rules for renewable power. Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset.

 

Travel  The power of journals: Reliving the Lewis and Clark expedition

Lewis & Clark statue

I wrote in September 2014 about two of my favorite characters from history — explorers Lewis and Clark – and a thing we have in common: keeping journals.  Here’s the link.

Excerpt: “I must admit that I’m as captivated by Lewis’ pen strokes as his paddle strokes. He was and remains the ultimate journalist, producing vivid descriptions of everything from the wingspan of a white pelican to the psychological and physical condition of his men (“. . . many of them have feet so mangled and bruised with the stones and rough ground . . . that they can hardly walk or stand . . . still they remain perfectly cheerful”). His language is elegant and precise — sharp as a photograph and just as telling.”

Environment  Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say. Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Click here for the whole story at National Geographic NewsWatch.

Photo courtesy Greg Asner

Radio  Triad building infrastructure for creative class

The Forge

In this business report on WFDD, I talk about the ongoing battle to attract and retain  young professionals in the Triad, based on my August 2014  column in the Triad Business Journal. “The Triad has made a lot of progress over the last several years to the point of supporting the growth of the creative class, including those in design, technology, communication and the arts,” I told WFDD’s Keri Brown.

Click here to listen to the radio report

Triad Biz  “If not me, who?” At 80, Jim Melvin still building a legacy

Jim Melvin

My first interview with Jim Melvin was in 1988 when I was a young reporter in Winston-Salem for the News & Record of Greensboro. I’ve interviewed him scores of times since. In this most recent interview, he discusses the biggest economic development project he’s ever chased, and — to the delight of advocates and the dismay of critics — makes it clear he has no intention of retiring any time soon.

Excerpt:  Eighty years old. A bronze statue. His name long affixed to City Hall. A list of accomplishments, as well as legions of admirers and critics, that could fill his beloved ballpark. All this might suggest that the end of the road for Melvin as a community leader is in sight.

It’s not. He says he can’t imagine anything worse than getting up in the morning and not having something important to do. He says there is no succession plan at the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. He says he has no immediate plans to retire.

“Like Mr. Bryan (who retired at 97), I’ll know when it’s time,” he says . Click here for the story.

Photo by Julie Knight