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The Fourth Wave of Environmentalism is Innovation

Posted: 06.17.2018 no comments


Powered by people and innovation, the emerging Fourth Wave of environmental progress is transforming the way we take on the toughest environmental challenges.


Read the entire article at Environmental Defense Fund


Right now:


  • Utilities and communities are using new techniques to make once-hidden environmental problems – like gas leaks and alarming market patterns – not only visible but actionable.
  • Scientists are using satellites to overcome ground-based barriers and fight air pollution from space. And we’re planning to develop a new satellite designed specifically to pinpoint the location and magnitude of methane emissions virtually anywhere on Earth.
  • Entrepreneurs are proving that using pollution-reduction technology can be profitable for entire industries.



From the beginning, environmental progress has been fueled by successive waves of innovation, each unleashing a powerful new tool.


The first wave, in the Teddy Roosevelt era, was about setting aside large areas of land for conservation. The second wave used the legal system to hold corporations and government accountable for pollution and wildlife preservation. The third wave harnessed the power of business and markets, through partnerships, to reduce emissions and make products safer.


These approaches led to great and lasting gains, but 21st century problems require 21st century solutions – and that’s what the Fourth Wave is all about.


The Fourth Wave empowers everyone. It’s not about technology or innovation alone, but how innovation allows people to take action in all new ways, unleashing human ingenuity to ensure that humankind – and the environment we depend on – can thrive and prosper.


The Fourth Wave is all about business, technology, financial and policy leaders, nonprofits, advocates and communities working in concert to amplify environmental solutions for maximum impact.


This approach gives people the power to solve our most urgent environmental challenges like never before, by surfacing the most important problems, bringing the right people to the table and taking our solutions to scale.


Today’s environmentalists are innovators, visionaries and pragmatists who think changing the world isn’t just possible – it’s a necessity. With this broader, more diverse coalition, we can move to stabilize the climate, build defenses against extreme weather, ensure food security and reduce exposure to air pollution and toxic chemicals.