New satellite signals the next wave of environmentalism


MethaneSAT, shown in an artist's rendering, embodies environmentalism's evolution.

Today’s environmentalism is a whole new breed.

It's a shift that Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund’s president, explored in a recent TED Talk about a methane-monitoring satellite. That technology could change the course of global warming in our lifetimes.

MethaneSAT builds on EDF leadership bringing the Fourth Wave to life. Consider:

Thanks to breakthroughs like these, local citizens are taking action in their own communities, and EDF and others are doing work of a scope and ambition once reserved for government agencies.

And thanks to generous giving from The Audacious Project, successor to the TED Prize, MethaneSAT is on a path toward progress.

Building on past momentum

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

Video: See how the Fourth Wave empowers people to take environmental action.

Think of the Fourth Wave as the first three waves – supercharged.

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.

How will we succeed?

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.

So sign up below to keep on top of the latest environmental innovations, because environmentalism has a new face – yours.

Get innovation updates

We'll send regular updates about developments in technology, science and the environment.

Thanks for subscribing to Innovation and the Environment.