Making Sense of the Week That Was #30 — “Climate Escalation”, August 13th, 2021

Grey Swan Guild
15 min readAug 13, 2021


(The numerology number 30 represents highly creative and social energies. 30 resonates with optimism. It can be thought of as a limitless 3 — the creative digit 3 followed by the unlimited digit 0. The numerology essence of the number 30 resonates with and supports creative expression and encourages it in others.)

Grey Swan Guild News Wrap Edition: Aug 13, 2021 #30 of Vol. 1

Theme: Climate Escalation (Literally & more literal than ever) Lead Editor: Agustin Borrasas

Escalation can happen in any way — it be as much to cancel all carbon emissions or it could be the escalation of deniers seeing their world dethroned by the UN and thousands of scientists working to form a consensus — Theme song?

GSG core member — Agustín Borrazás.

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
Now to pay our share

Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty-five degrees

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back

How can we dance
When our earth is turning
How do we sleep
While our beds are burning

(Midnight Oil — Beds are burning.)

This week is #30 of a compendium of stories and headlines we’re tracking in the Grey Swan Guild’s Global League of Sensemakers’ Newsroom.

Imagine a newsroom that went deeper, had little bias (and none conscious) and didn’t have to get their points across as 40-second soundbytes or linkbait headlines, That’s us.

Here is The Great, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Uncertain and a Tapestry of what we observed this week. What was on our collective minds these last 168 hours? Fires, smoke and floods: Messi and his tears, records and crypto, vaccine and Delta variant, the end of Olympics and climate policy escalation resonated all along that pull-outs certainly from our frontal lobe this week.

Check the Grey Swan Calendar ← here — there are new events each month.

Grey Swan Guild Sensemaker Atelier #6 — On earth and beyond space.
Our quest to understand, discover, and get ahead of our fragile and far frontiers. is coming up on Thursday, Sep 16th.

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Meanwhile, Why not join us on Sunday, August 15th at 8 am (PST) 11 am (EST) / 4 pm BST on Clubhouse to engage with your favorite Grey Swan Guild Wrap Editors, including Sylvia Gallusser, Sean Moffitt, Agustín Borrazás, Rob Tyrie, Ben Thurman, Louise Mowbray, and Antonia Nicols.

The Great 😇

Welcome Messi to PSG.
  1. Don’t cry for me Argentina. “Get Messi with crypto Lionel Messi fought back tears as he began a press conference at which he confirmed he is leaving Barcelona, the football club where he has played his entire career.

He was emotional before he even made an opening statement.

Now, a few days passed on the week and he happily signed in Paris, his new club.

Lionel Messi’s financial package at French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain includes crypto tokens.

Messi signed a two-year deal with PSG this week, with an option for a third, that will net him an annual salary of $41 million plus bonuses, and a reported $30 million signing-on fee.

PSG said Thursday that Messi’s “welcome package” includes the cryptocurrency ”$PSG Fan Tokens.”

The development has triggered a rally in the crypto tokens that PSG first issued to its fans over a year ago. The $PSG token, created in Jan. 2020 with crypto platform, was designed to help PSG build a new fan community.

PSG claimed the move to pay the 34-year-old Argentine in crypto positions it as one of the “most innovative and avant-garde brands in sport globally.”

2. Doin the neutron dance. Resurfing this week is World’s first home hydrogen battery powers an average home for two days. Power UP!

The fuel cell market, until now, was known to the general public as a low power, high volume market, mostly driven by hydrogen refuelling station programmes and public procurement of buses. Right now, the hydrogen economy is developing in a more inclusive manner and also opening up to serious high power applications. We see momentum developing for zero-emission shipping, for zero-emission temporary power and even for utility scale power-to-power systems.

Australian tech-company LAVO has developed a hydrogen energy storage system for residential solar systems. It’s the world’s first integrated hybrid hydrogen battery that connects with rooftop solar to deliver reliable, sustainable, and renewable green energy to your home and business. The system sits on the side of your house or shop in the form of an attractive cabinet.

LAVO’s Hydrogen Battery System, developed in partnership with UNSW Sydney and Design + Industry, consists of an electrolysis system, fuel cell power, and hydrogen storage array packed into one cabinet. When homeowners aren’t using the electricity from the rooftop solar system, the excess energy is stored as hydrogen. This serves as fuel for the fuel cell when the solar system isn’t producing electricity.

LAVO’s World-First Home Hydrogen Battery diagram.

3. No no no, no no no no no. Nobody but you. NAY SAYERS CLIMATE be like… Skepticism, also spelled scepticism, in Western philosophy, the attitude of doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas. Skeptics have challenged the adequacy or reliability of these claims by asking what principles they are based upon or what they actually establish.

One can be skeptical but one should do the work. Climate change deniers are rallying and cherry picking, but there is an organized response. This is part of empirical science. If you’re involved in policy, dig deeper before voting or arguing against the changes that should occur. Will you read the 1000+ page UN IPCC report? Who to trust?

Aug 1st , 2021 Dave Parkins / The Globe and Mail.

The Good😊🙌

  1. We hear the train a-coming. The world’s first audio earrings from NOVA. Travel straight from the ear lobe into the ear canal. Real pearl earrings mapped onto a silver plate.

Women have used earrings for 7,000 years. We’ve just upgraded the experience.

Which is why a Munich company launching a new genre of earrings may be about to strike gold. Nova Audio is both a tech and a jewellery start-up. Its pearl earrings are also earphones, the freshwater pearl in each drilled through to fit minuscule electronics — a tiny speaker, two microphones, an antenna, a Bluetooth chip and a battery. The sound, ported wirelessly from your phone or whatever, is fired through the drilled hole and plays around the outer parts of each ear canal so as to be perfectly audible, without cutting you off from the outside world.

NOVA audio earrings.

2. Working in a coal mine. Can You Recycle A Hard Drive: Rare-earth magnet recycling could reduce the need to mine for more resources, leading to more sustainable data centers.

This is a far cry from what happens to the estimated 22 million hard disk drives that age out of North American data centers each year. Typically, when a data center operator swaps out old drives for new ones — as they do every three to five years — the discarded drives are unceremoniously shredded. The rare-earth elements, which took significant energy and resources to mine and turn into magnets, are lost in a sea of aluminum scrap.

But for several years, Google and others in the tech industry have been quietly working to change that. Motivated by concerns about future rare-earth metal supply shortages as well as the environmental toll of rare-earth mining, which casts a cloud over their green credentials, tech companies, along with partners in academia and government, are exploring whether they can mine hard drives instead. Until now, these efforts have garnered little public attention. But they may get a boost under the Biden administration, which recently flagged government data center hard drives as a promising source of the rare-earth elements America needs not just for data storage devices and consumer electronics, but also for energy technologies that are key to fighting climate change.

Drilling or Cutting Hard Disk Drives — Recycle IT

3. Love is the seventh wave. The Six waves of innovation — a short history of innovation and its key drivers.
As cycle longevity continues to shorten, the fifth wave may have a few years left under its belt.

The sixth wave, marked by artificial intelligence and digitization across information of things (IoT), robotics, and drones, will likely paint an entirely new picture. Namely, the automation of systems, predictive analytics, and data processing could make an impact. In turn, physical goods and services will likely be digitized. The time to complete tasks could shift from hours to even seconds.

At the same time, clean tech could come to the forefront. At the heart of each technological innovation is solving complex problems, and climate concerns are becoming increasingly pressing.

The Bad 😬

  1. We don’t need no education. The Kindergarten Exodus: As the pandemic took hold, more than 1 million children did not enroll in local schools. Many of them were the most vulnerable: 5-year-olds in low-income neighborhoods.

A part of a vast exodus from local public schools.

As the pandemic upended life in the United States, more than 1 million children who had been expected to enroll in these schools did not show up, either in person or online. The missing students were concentrated in the younger grades, with the steepest drop in kindergarten — more than 340,000 students, according to government data.

Now, the first analysis of enrollment at 70,000 public schools across 33 states offers a detailed portrait of these kindergartners. It shows that just as the pandemic lay bare vast disparities in health care and income, it also hardened inequities in education, setting back some of the most vulnerable students before they spent even one day in a classroom.

The analysis by The New York Times in conjunction with Stanford University shows that in those 33 states, 10,000 local public schools lost at least 20% of their kindergartners. In 2019 and in 2018, only 4,000 or so schools experienced such steep drops.

graphic river.

2. For Japan, it’s winning it all or apologize.

I think we are turning Japanese, I really think so. In what has become a familiar — and, at times, wrenching — sight during the Tokyo Olympics, many Japanese athletes have wept through post-competition interviews, apologizing for any result short of gold. Even some who had won a medal, like Fumita, lamented that they had let down their team, their supporters, even their country.

After Japan’s judo team earned silver, losing to France, Shoichiro Mukai, 25, also apologized.

“I wanted to withstand a little bit more,” he said. “And I’m so sorry to everyone on the team.”

Apologizing for being second best in the world would seem to reflect an absurdly unforgiving metric of success. But for these athletes competing in their home country, the emotionally charged displays of repentance — which often follow pointed questions from the Japanese news media — can represent an intricate mix of regret, gratitude, obligation, and humility.
The expectations placed on the athletes have been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, which made the Olympics deeply unpopular with the Japanese public before the events began. Many may feel more pressure than usual to deliver medals to try to justify holding the Games, as anxiety swells over rising coronavirus cases in Japan. Athletes who have failed to do so have offered outpourings of regret.

3.Blue eyes crying in the rain. Just when you thought we could at least all agree on something. The emoji is not being reclaimed by Gen Z. Grief :(

Sending Smiley Emojis? They Now Mean Different Things to Different People

Gen Z has adopted new meanings, while older people stick with tradition. The result is a lot of confusing interactions.

We now need emojis to express better the challenges that climate change is bringing to us.


The Ugly 😱

  1. Not just the beds burning. Wildfires burn a 2500-year-old olive tree to the ground.

No, it’s not a bible verse…

A historic, 2,500-year-old olive tree on the Greek island of Evia has been destroyed amid ongoing wildfires that have forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

The tree, which was fertile and still producing olives, was so large that 10 people could fit along the diameter of its trunk

While fires that had posed a risk to the northern suburbs of Athens in the last few days appeared to have died back, the inferno in Evia quickly spread into several fronts and ripped through thousands of hectares of forest land.

2. Climate modeling shows where it’s going to get worse even if fossil fuel emotions are drastically cut now.

The latest assessment states that limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require ‘’rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’’ worldwide. One of the key messages from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more.

The EU Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete for Climate Action and Energy and Carlos Moedas for Research, Science and Innovation have welcomed the report, issued two months before the international climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

What’s worrying is that Earth will continue to heat up — likely past 1.5 degrees — even if humans slash fossil fuel emissions immediately, according to a landmark UN climate report released this week. So does that mean weather will get worse, too?

Now you can see for yourself. This week, alongside its report, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched a new mapping tool that shows how weather around the world will change under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

Read for more information the full IPCC report

3. 1984. Again. Governments need to think differently and change risk assessment. These are no longer “100-year events” if catastrophic damage happens every 1 or 2 or 5 years.

The federal government didn’t always pick up the tab for damage from natural disasters. But in the last seven decades, Congress has increasingly covered the bills. During the decade from 2005 to 2014, the federal government committed almost $280 billion for disaster assistance. Congress has spent over $3.6 trillion on disaster relief alone since 1964. With worsening climate impacts — more intense storms, bigger wildfires, deeper droughts, greater extremes of heat and precipitation, in addition to sea-level rise — these bills will only grow.

One way to shrink the ballooning invoice is to ensure that the decisions about where and how to build take into account the growing risks of climate change. According to a recent National Institute of Building Sciences study, every dollar spent on reducing risk before disaster strikes saves approximately $6 in damages. And when it comes to building in accordance with the latest building codes, the savings grow to $11 for every $1 invested.

The Tapestry 🎨

Meme of the Week

The past weekend, an announcement was made that left all the space enthusiasts in anticipation of what might be coming their way. A startup, Geometric Energy Corp (GEC) used SpaceX to send an advertising billboard into the space.

Billboard ruining space … lol

Chart of the Week

A damning new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has laid out a very ambitious target for the world if it is to keep avoid climate change catastrophe in the near future. According to Global Carbon Project, in 2017, projected global CO2 emissions were 35.5 billion tonnes. Over the next 12 years, by 2030, this would have to drop by 45 percent to 17.9 billion and then come down to 0.0 by 2050.

Act now. Stop this madness.

Only pulling the emergency brake right now on greenhouse gas emissions can stop the planet from heating to a dangerous level by the end of …

Term of the Week

Defensible Space.

US Programs and recommendation to create fire breaks to anticipate the fires coming. Look to the insurance to make these programs the new fire alarm. “The Atlantic: When Your Yard Can Kill You.

In California, state and local laws have long required that people who live in areas at high risk of wildfires create buffers of “defensible space” — land cleared of vegetation and other flammable material — around their homes. Local fire departments and Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, are tasked with going door-to-door to inspect the properties of the estimated 2.7 million Californians who live in these zones.

Photo of the Week

Ay me va a dar algo!

A woman reacts as a wildfire approaches her house in the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Sunday, August 8.

Thousands of residents have been forced to flee Evia, which is about 100 miles north of Athens. In pictures: Europe battles wildfires amid scorching heat waves

Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Video of the Week

Climate crisis: one month of flash floods, wildfires and heatwaves.

Extreme weather will be the norm and UK is not prepared, report warns.

‘Record-shattering’ heat becoming much more likely, says climate study

That’s the Wrap! Your thoughts?

Why not join us on Sunday, Aug 15, 2021 at 8:00am (PST) | 11am (EST) | 4pm (BST) on Clubhouse led by Howard A Fields and Agustín Borrazás to engage with your favorite Grey Swan Guild Wrap Editors, including Sean Moffitt, Rob Tyrie, Ben Thurman, Louise Mowbray, and Antonia Nicols. let’s talk Edition #30.

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See you next week for Edition #31 where we will ponder and ruminate on the week that was, what it means for the future, and Wrap it for you.

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This Week’s Grey Swan News Wrap Editor: Agustín Borrazás with human-in-the-loop help from the Editorial Team: Ben Thurman, Sean Moffitt, Louise Mowbray, Rob Tyrie, Antonia Nicols, and Doyle Buehler.

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