Extreme Heat Shows the Need for Another Kind of Climate Investment
Almost all climate finance focuses on mitigating climate change. But money is increasingly pouring in to helping people adapt to the effects of global warming. and As heat waves this week, venturing outside for even a few minutes in Phoenix, or at times meant risking heatstroke or worse. This weekend, about 80 million Americans are expected to experience a heat index what the temperature feels like to the body of at least 105 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The extreme heat is prompting violent typhoons in Asia and flash floods in the United States. Its taxing power grids, and messing with tourists . And its eventually going to impact everything and the business of everything. and contributed to the record-breaking temperatures. But to the pragmatist, extreme heat is the new normal. Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, the head of climate science at Climate Analytics, a policy institute in Berlin, said, Most of our cities are not equipped to deal with these kinds of summers. Well have to develop adaptation strategies and fast, he told DealBook. Global warming helps make periods of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense, and it will continue getting worse unless humans , scientists say. Venture investing in climate tech has boomed since the post-Covid recovery began (though it , along with venture funding overall, in the first half of the year). And global public and private investment in climate finance, on projects ranging from decarbonizing architecture and transport to developing renewable energy initiatives, more than doubled from 2011 to 2021, to an estimated $850 billion, , a nonprofit climate advocacy group. (It will top $1 trillion with the passage of the Biden administrations sweeping climate bills, the European Unions Green Deal and announced in its latest five-year plan.) Theres been huge, huge progress in developing green technologies and bringing down their costs, said Bella Tonkonogy, the U.S. director of Climate Policy Initiative whose funders include the Bloomberg Foundation and the German government. . The effects have arrived, and extreme heat has become the in much of the world. Some cities, homeowners and businesses are investing in low-cost hacks that can help make cities, which tend to absorb and re-emit heat more than natural landscapes, more bearable in the summer. Painting roofs white or another reflective color can cool structures down, making air conditioning units as much as 15 percent more energy-efficient, said Jane Gilbert, the chief heat officer of Miami-Dade County, Fla. Homes and businesses have to be retrofitted to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and Miami-Dade has secured millions in federal funding for that plan. Planting trees also adds vital shade to reduce temperatures on city streets. , according to the Climate Policy Initiative. But more investors are becoming interested, Ms. Tonkonogy said. Last year, the organization , a private equity firm, on a $186 million climate fund designed to finance climate resilience projects that could help communities adapt to and withstand the kinds of the extreme weather events that have become so frequent this summer. The reason that people are investing more in climate adaptation is because theyre actually seeing the impacts of climate change, Ms. Tonkonogy said. The F.T.C. against the acquisition, and is reconsidering its decision to block the deal. Microsoft also signed a , one of the biggest opponents to the deal, by agreeing to keep Call of Duty on the Japanese firms PlayStation console for a decade after the acquisition closes. The investment firm appointed , the Saudi oil giant, to its board. The decision was criticized by some as a hypocritical, given the public commitments made by Larry Fink, BlackRocks chief executive, to E.S.G. principles and advoacy for decarbonization. But the U.S. company said Nasser understood the global energy industry and the drivers of the shift towards a low carbon economy. Michael Moritz is set to leave Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm, after a career as one of Silicon Valleys most successful investors. The Welsh-American former journalist backed companies including Google, Yahoo, YouTube and PayPal, earning him a reputation for spotting businesses that go on to become global giants and profiting handsomely. The movie business is gearing up for what is expected to be one of its best weekends in years. The reason? Two very different movies that many people plan to see back-to-back: Barbie and Oppenheimer. Consumers have bought more than 200,000 tickets to watch the double-feature, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners, the industry lobby group. , or L.L.M.s, the artificial intelligence systems that power tools like ChatGPT, are developed using enormous libraries of text. Books are considered especially useful training material, because theyre lengthy and (hopefully) well-written. But authors are starting to push back against their work being used this way. This week, , including Margaret Atwood and James Patterson, called on tech executives to stop training their tools on writers work without compensation. That campaign has cast a spotlight on an arcane part of the internet: so-called shadow libraries, like Library Genesis, Z-Library or Bibliotik, that are obscure repositories storing millions of titles, in many cases without permission and are often used as A.I. training data. was trained on BookCorpus, which has over 7,000 unpublished titles scraped from the self-publishing platform Smashwords. To , OpenAI said that about 16 percent of the data it used came from two internet-based books corpora that it called Books1 and Books2. According to a and two other authors against OpenAI, Books2 is most likely a flagrantly illegal shadow library. The Authors Guild, which organized the authors open letter to tech executives, in 2016 and 2017 that suggested text piracy depressed legitimate book sales by as much as 14 percent. have floundered. Last year, the F.B.I., with help from the Authors Guild, charged two people with copyright infringement, fraud and money laundering. But afterward, some of these sites were and torrent sites, making it harder to trace them. And because many of these sites are run outside the United States and anonymously, actually punishing the operators is a tall task. This week, Meta researchers published a , the companys L.L.M., that described using only a new mix of data from publicly available sources. In a published in March, OpenAI explicitly noted that it wasnt revealing anything about how it trained the L.L.M., citing the competitive landscape and safety considerations. The Womens World Cup kicked off in New Zealand this week against a backdrop of booming investor interest in womens sports. As womens leagues draw , and larger (if not equal) sponsorships, investors are pouring money into an industry they say has been under-marketed and underinvested in betting on growth as social media and streaming make the prime time spotlight less singularly powerful. Aly Wagner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helped raise a from funds, led by Sixth Street, for Bay FC, a new Bay Area soccer team, this year. DealBook spoke with her from New Zealand, where she is the lead analyst of the Womens World Cup at Fox, about the business case behind these investments. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. Theres just a lot more assets and a lot more teams that you can partner with on the mens side than you can on the womens side. But the other part of it is that womens sports have been an undervalued asset for way too long. Its a massive opportunity for a lot of these brands to now have great visibility for target markets at probably a discount from what you would get on the mens side. Because, while it was incredible what some of the previous iterations of professional womens football did in the Bay Area, that really wasnt a business proposition. It wasnt looked at as there was going to be R.O.I. and that this was something valuable and worth holding onto as a long-term asset. This was looked at as a moral cause. Media is massive. Its one of the biggest levers you can pull in terms of the revenue for the different clubs. Whats interesting about our timing, though, is the media game itself is changing. Would you want to be equal from Day 1? Sure. But what is equal? M.L.S. has been around for how many years? How many eyeballs do they put on their sport? They went behind a paywall. Has that been challenging? Probably. As the media game changes, I think we can get really creative, and because were a new league, we can be nimble in that regard. Culturally, were all raised with certain narratives some of them conscious, some of them unconscious. I think the biggest hurdle that weve had to overcome is just that a lot of the world believes in seeing things before they believe them. Men were playing sports long before women were at a competitive level, right? And long before it became an investment opportunity. And so we were just behind in that evolution. Wed like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to . joined the The Times in 2022 as a senior editor for DealBook. Previously he was a senior writer and editor at Fortune focusing on business, the economy and the markets. Michael de la Merced joined The Times as a reporter in 2006, covering Wall Street and finance. Among his main coverage areas are mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies and the private equity industry. joined The Times from CNBC in 2020, covering deals and the biggest stories on Wall Street.