How white privilege and whiteness are intertwined — and why whites are apprehensive to embrace their culture.

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Photo courtesy of Kaylee Garrett on Unsplash.

Living in a small-ish mountain town whose economy is largely tourism-based, I’m often reminded of how little diversity I’m exposed to. Certain moments, like realizing that I’m in a room full of bearded men in flannel or girls with knit hats and yoga pants, make me realize the full extent of my community’s (and my own) whiteness.

What is whiteness?

Whiteness and white privilege sound the same, but I’ll explain why they’re not. Whiteness is the culture of white people, while white privilege is what allows whites to not examine the benefits of their culture. …


Collider members work with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to increase collaboration among state agencies in North Carolina’s new Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan

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Flooding from 2016’s Hurricane Matthews in Greenville, NC. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider

On June 2, 2020, the State of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) released its Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan, or the NC Resilience Plan for short. The purpose of the plan is to assess the impacts of climate change on services, resources, and personnel in the state and provide a clear path forward for state agencies to implement climate adaptation and resilience planning into their programs, operations, and policies. …


Solar CrowdSource reduces the cost of solar energy for all through group purchasing, philanthropy, and investor funding.

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Photo courtesy of American Public Power Association on Unsplash.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

Although you may have never heard of them, Solarize campaigns have been around for more than a decade. Solarize campaigns utilize group purchasing power to significantly reduce the costs of solar energy and storage for a community. If you want to implement solar on a community-wide scale, starting a Solarize campaign brings stakeholders together and provides a platform to generate the necessary momentum to increase solar installations.

Collider member Solar CrowdSource (SCS) is a startup company based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, that facilitates the Solarize concept through leveraging resources and experiences gained from other communities. SCS simplifies the community solar purchasing process from start to finish by involving community partners. The company was founded in 2016 by Don Moreland, a former Chair of the Georgia Solar Energy Association and solar industry veteran, with the mission of making solar affordable for every community. …


The North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies is responsible for co-creating assessments on climate change that influence policy and make scientific reports digestible to the public.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

Why Climate City?
Asheville gained the nickname “Climate City” because it is home to two climate powerhouses: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) — one of the largest repositories of climate data on Earth — and the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS), a NOAA cooperative institute and research arm of NC State University. Both of these institutes are located in the Veach-Baley Federal Building in downtown Asheville, just steps away from The Collider.

Jared Rennie is a Collider member and Research Meteorologist with NCICS who owns his own weather company, Rennie Weather. Rennie explains that NCICS is essentially a long-term academic partner to NOAA. Most of NCICS’ day-to-day activities support NOAA’s work, including building datasets, creating products, monitoring climate, and conducting research. NCICS also works with the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, and the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change. …


In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear that climate entrepreneurs will play a critical role in responsible economic stimulation.

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Author of The Lean Startup model, Eric Ries, defines a startup as “a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” That’s exactly what is needed in a post-coronavirus world. After a major disruption such as a war, a natural disaster, or, in this case, a pandemic, visionary leaders are needed to provide a strong path forward. Because of their unique ability to innovate in times of chaos, these visionaries often take the form of entrepreneurs.

To highlight this fact, consider these businesses started by veterans:

  • John Pemberton started Coca-Cola after he was wounded in the Civil War. …


The Collider connects Asheville entrepreneurs with business development resources in a time of increasing uncertainty

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Photo by Kirsi Kataniemi from Pixabay.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

The Collider is well-known for its action on climate change, but it’s also a center for business and technology innovation and development. As both a member-driven network and a nonprofit organization, The Collider provides resources and events for its members and the greater Asheville community.

Free Business Resources for All

One of these resources is North Carolina’s Small Business Technology and Development Center’s (NC SBTDC) Taking the Leap event, a free, four-week course aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs start their dream businesses. …


The Let’s Explore Africa competition is informing audiences about Africa’s impending climate issues and how each of us can make a difference

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Photo courtesy Luca Zanon on Unsplash.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

Although Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, it remains largely unknown to many living outside its borders. This lack of information is what inspired educator and accountant Dr. Sandra Frempong to write her book, Let’s Explore Africa: Nations, Landmarks, and Cultural Resources. …


Collider members collaborate with NOAA on a new version of the Climate Explorer that allows users to visualize climate changes based on higher and lower emissions pathways.

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The Climate Explorer’s National Climate Maps show changes in temperatures by county for the contiguous US, with Hawai’i on its way. Screen capture from the Climate Explorer.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

As Communications Liaison with The Collider, I have the unique pleasure of talking with our various members and partners about their newest climate products, services, and technologies. This week, I sat down with Dave Michelson, software designer at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC), and LuAnn Dahlman, science writer with NOAA’s Climate Program Office. …


Climate Interactive’s new climate simulator tool reveals what it will actually take to limit global warming to 1.5C by allowing users to role-play real policy decisions

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A screenshot of the En-ROADS climate simulation tool in action.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

In conjunction with MIT Sloan, Climate Interactive released their brand-new En-ROADS tool, a cutting-edge online climate policy simulator that allows its users a chance to test a myriad of climate policy solutions in real-time and visualize a variety of climate impacts, at 2019’s COP25.

The United Nations’ 25th Climate Change Conference, aka COP 25 (the 25th Conference of the Parties), was held in Madrid, Spain this past December. The purpose of this annual conference is to assess and accelerate each country’s efforts at addressing climate change in order to reach the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement — namely limiting global warming well below two degrees Celsius (2C) above pre-industrial levels with strong encouragement to reduce warming below 1.5C. …


The Ecobot app is changing the way people interact with their wetlands — and building climate resilience one user at a time.

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The Ecobot app is simple and easy to use, even while connecting users to a plethora of data sources. Photo courtesy Ecobot.

By Mickey Snowdon, Communications Liaison at The Collider.

The US Climate Resilience Toolkit defines “resilience” as “the capacity of a community, business, or natural environment to prevent, withstand, respond to, and recover from a disruption.” Wetlands are critical to building climate resilience in that they protect people, infrastructure, and assets from stormwater during an extreme weather event, reduce the impact of sea level rise, and sequester carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere — all increasingly vital defense benefits as storms become stronger and more severe, and flooding increases across the world.

Wetlands also filter water by removing sediment. As water passes through the rocks, grasses, and other plants which make up the wetlands landscape, excess sediment is prevented from entering streams and rivers. This cleaner water benefits both flora and fauna that rely on it for sustenance, including humans. …

About

Mickey Snowdon

Writer | Climate warrior | Outdoor enthusiast | Bibliophile

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