Capitalising on swinging weather extremes.

Meet Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge finalist Field Factors

I was fortunate enough to be taught the difference between climate and weather at school; put simply one is long term and the other short term. What we weren’t taught, fortunately, was this difference in practice. We weren’t able to tangibly see this difference yet – we just knew it existed and so it was a challenge to be able to identify changes to the climate without naturally assuming this just was the weather changing. I think this was also fortunate, as now this is no longer the case. It is becoming concerningly clearer as to what the differences between climate and weather are.

Australian Firefighters tackling 37 Mile Wild Fire. Credit: UN News

In Australia, just days ago we heard about the wildfire that spread across 37 miles and was not possible to put out by the heroic firefighters. In Venice, 80% of the city has been submerged under water as a result of 3 floods, some of the worst in the past century. Some would still claim this is extreme weather and has no bearing to climate change.

East and Southern African countries have faced severe and prolonged droughts since 2017 and are now facing severe flooding too. Scientists claim this is going to get worse over the next few decades with both weather extremes getting more severe. The cause of this, as concluded by scientists at the Met Office in collaboration with researchers at the Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Science at Leeds University, is the endless burning of fossil fuels increasing the levels of carbion dioxide in the atmosphere – to over 145 parts per million, the highest levels since humans ever walked the Earth. Drastic changes of weather from one extreme to the other; this is not a result of random unprecedented changes in weather – this is a result of changes to our climate. Changes so drastic, in shorterning spaces of time.

Okay, so we’ve got scientific proof that climate change is happening and people still don’t believe in it. Even with all the evidence there is, some fools can’t be trumped. Thankfully, Dutch company, Field Factors, does believe in climate change though. Their vision is to restore natural water cycles in cities. Through the creation of their technology, Bluebloqs, they have effectively enabled a reliable and natural-based urban water supply.

Bluebloqs is a modular system for rainwater treatment, storage, and reuse. It combines biofiltration with aquifer storage technologies to achieve high treatment and recovery efficiencies. As a compact integrated system, Bluebloqs utilizes natural processes in a controlled manner, avoiding the need for large infrastructures. Discover the new way to manage urban water.

Field Factors, fieldfactors.com
Schematic Representation of Bluebloqs Technology Field Factors

How frustrating it must be enduring a drought when you know a few weeks ago your city was flooded. Field Factors hits that frustration on the head and provides a way to capitalise on a bad situation to help manage another bad situation. By collecting rain water during intense periods of rain, treating it under the soil and storing it until needed, they are able to provision a usable supply of water during times of intense droughts. Yes, it would be ideal if there were no extremities in our weather as a result of global warming and other changes in our climate. However, Field Factors, as many others, are no longer in denial that climate is happening and at an unprecedented rate and whilst we do need try to tackle the problem head on, we also need to find a sustainble means of surviving through it and they sure have found one means of survival indeed.

The work that Field Factors does links in directly with SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, through their provision of a natural-based urban water supply, particularly useful in times of extreme weather, but also SDG 13 Climate Action. This is by their provision of an alternate solution to the consequences of global warming. They have been recognised for their work and were deservedly one of few finalists in the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge – I expect more recognition (beyond FutureSphere!) is coming their way, if not at their doorstep already.

It is inspiring to see yet another startup thinking into the future and providing solutions to problems that may seem a rarity now, but will unforuntately only become more and more prevalent in our lives and of those who follow us. A huge thank you to Field Factors for their commitment to a sustainable future – be sure to check out their website to learn more!

Links:

Field Factors Website
Fieldfactors.com

We’re here.

On 25th September 2015, 193 countries of the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda – “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Amongst the 91 paragraphs in this Agenda, 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 assosciated targets were defined.

United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Photo Credit: un.org

The 17 SDGs replaced the 8 Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) that were set up in 2000, to be achieved by 2015, and focused on human capital, infrastructure and human rights. The new SDGs define more broadly what we need to focusing our efforts and resources on in order to prolong the habitable future of our green and blue sphere. They are a major improvement on the MDGs, even just as targets, putting aside the achievement of them for now.

United Nations’ 8 Millenium Development Goals. Photo credit: http://www.mdgmonitor.org/outline-of-the-mdgs-notable-challenges/

FutureSphere is dedicated to raising awareness and supporting the individuals and businesses who actively push us closer to achieving any of these 17 SDGs, particularly given that a recent report from the UN states we are off track for their acheivement in 2030.

If you hadn’t heard of these 17 SDGs before, and even if you have, check out the links below and learn more about the movement that must be successful if we have any hope of leaving a habitable FutureSphere for our descendants.

We can sit and wait for the world to inevitably burn or we can support the few, who fight the fire against all odds, to become the many.
-FutureSphere.

Links:

SDG Homepage
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

SDG Dashboard – awesome and insightful metrics on each of the goals and targets
http://www.sdgsdashboard.org/country/null/1/5af15a2ecd59ab4800cbbedc

First Global Sustainable Development Report prepared by the Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General 
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/24797GSDR_report_2019.pdf

SDG progress ‘in danger’ of going backwards without change in direction, new UN report reveals
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/09/1046132

UN’s Youtube Video on SDGs – “Do you know all 17 SDGs?”
https://youtu.be/0XTBYMfZyrM