‘Shade Balls’ Roll their Way into the Spotlight

by Samantha Englert

This past summer you may have noted that social media has been flooded with pictures and videos of black balls blanketing several California reservoirs, somewhat reminiscent of a massive playground pit filled with black plastic balls. You were probably wondering, what exactly am I looking at? These floating objects have been referred to in the news as bird balls, conservation balls, reservoir balls and floating ball blankets, yet the biologist from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who developed this technology named them “Shade Balls.” So what are these Shade Balls? Continue reading

The Risky Business Project

by Chloe Rodman

Writing in the New York Times, Burt Helm (2015) discusses the roles of Tom Steyer, Henry Paulson Jr., and Michael Bloomberg in leading the new Risky Business Project. The Risky Business Project originated as a study called Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States, which was created to determine how American business will be affected by climate change and to determine the cost of carbon emission mitigation now, as opposed to the cost of waiting. While Risky Business comprises a wide variety of members who don’t agree on much—democrats and republicans, billionaires, senators, and mayors—they do have one common goal: to show both Congress and corporations across America the impact climate change will have on the economy, a cost estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. Continue reading