Written by Julie Yost | February 21, 2014

Forest by jd.echenard via FlickrThis week The New York Times profiled hedge fund founder and billionaire Tom Steyer and his quest to "pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers." Steyer's organization, NextGen Climate Action, is poised to become the progressive counterpart (in terms of scale) to the Koch brothers' political network. In the article Steyer refers to climate change as the "generational challenge of the world" and makes it clear he's willing to devote an ample amount of funds to ensure politicians take the issue seriously.

The New York Times also reports that Republicans are challenging Obama's executive authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, in a case the Supreme Court will hear this coming Monday.

A new innovation in data visualization released by the World Resources Institute will track and map real-time deforestation, the Guardian Sustainable Business reports, resulting in major implications for businesses and supply chains. The Global Forest Watch is free for anyone to use, and a striking example of how good design can illustrate crucial big data in terms that all can understand. This project was introduced at SXSW Eco 2013 by Nigel Sizer of the World Resources Institute, and is a great example of the big data innovations we like to explore.

Also in supply chain news, Levi Strauss announced this week that they've developed a new industry standard to use 100% recycled water in garment manufacturing. Direct from their blog, "Until now, there were no standards for water recycling and reuse in the apparel industry. This is a company and industry first. And we believe this innovation can help change the way our supplier factories use water." Let's hope this develops into a new standard for an industry that uses (and pollutes) a LOT of water.

In green tech news, it looks like Latin America is a new hotbed for innovation, due to developing partnerships between local entrepreneurs and foreign companies.

Our friends at Grist brought us up and then back down with their reporting on Nebraska stalling the Keystone XL Pipeline and the terrifying crime wave that the rising temperatures of the future will produce. Thanks for toying with our emotions, guys. Next week I pledge to add more gifs to this headline post, but until then please see Holly Richmond's weekly news round up as illustrated by cats.

photo credit: jd.echenard via photopin cc