This was the year for transformative thinking when it came to climate change.
Sure, there has been plenty of hot-button debate over whether global warming truly exists (the comments sections for some of our articles speak loudly enough) and how to address a dilemma that is largely still in the making. But there have also been some remarkably forward-thinking innovators who haven't shied away from the challenge. From multi-national companies that have inspired global changes in sustainable palm oil sourcing, to a newly-minted nonprofits that created a new way to stop poaching in some of the world's densest and most remote rain forests, this year's accomplishments have been worth more than a footnote.
The following are just a handful of the many advancements that were undertaken by companies and nonprofits that saw the opportunity -- and need -- for change.
Scientists attempted to regenerate the Great Barrier Reef for years without success. Rinkevich and Safir developed an ingenious, if not painstaking, means for growing coral in the Red Sea that can then be transplanted in areas where coral has been denuded. They have also been successful in kickstarting similar projects in marine areas throughout the globe.
The Kickstarter campaign they launched to fund the program exceeded its goal of $100,000 by more than $67,000 and generated a host of interest -- not to mention a ready supply of outmoded phones to use. It will be interesting to see what next year's projects are.
Images of mid-water coral nursery in the Red Sea courtesy of Dr. Shai Shafir
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.