Environmental and legal articles
updated in real time.

Category: Water Quality Texas

01/13 8:07 am
(Houston) – Editorial by Jed Anderson, Creator, Ceres AI  
—“Like AlphaGo, we can begin to build a machine that plays ‘environmental protection’ like AlphaGo plays Go.” – Jed Anderson, Creator of Ceres AI
AlphaEarth? Yes.
 
The earth has rules just like Go. Many of these rules (laws of physics) we do not fully understand yet. But they are eventually understandable–even if in their randomness. Can AI then be trained to play “environmental protection” like Google’s Deepmind AlphaGo plays Go? Of course. Whether its narrow AI or general AI, the answer is of course. It should be noted that if the game is “earth” its really not that narrow anymore. And if you have unlimited training data and unlimited computing power at some point, even narrow AI should be enough. Regardless, once AI is trained to play “environmental protection”, our expression will be very similar to Lee Sedol’s when AlphaGo played move number 37. It’s a move a human would never even see. If you have never seen this video footage, Lee Sedol’s expression will almost leave you breathless. A pivotal moment in human history. China after the defeat to its unbeatable national game decided it would try to become the world leader in AI.
AI doesn’t need thousands of years to learn how to play “environmental protection”.
 
Here’s what’s fascinating about AI. It doesn’t need to understand rules. We train it on outcomes, and it makes the rules to achieve the outcomes. We need to be extremely cautious here of unintended consequences, and of course understanding the “black box” decision making, but that isn’t a reason not to proceed. Why? First, because it’s inevitable. So directing it is the choice–not passively succumbing to fear and fatalism–deterministic procrastination that leads one past the point of being able to affect an outcome. And second, we need to protect our planet with more speed and less cost.  

Human beings are incredible . . . but none of us are that smart   The fastest way we can solve the climate change and air pollution problems is to build a machine that solves the problems for us. Relying on human minds as the primary means to find the solutions, and then all communicating and agreeing with each other on the solutions, will take forever. Forever. The fact is that none of us are that smart. We simply lack the computing power. Smart people especially have a hard time acknowledging that other people are smarter than they are, or that a computer can be smarter than they are. I’m not sure why. It’s like their ego or persona is completely tied up in their cognitive abilities. We are much more than our intellect. Much, much more. Please, please see that you are more than mere intellect. And let’s not argue here about what is intelligence, but let’s all agree that none of us have the power to calculate, store, or transmit information faster than a computer.
The limitations to human minds when it comes to computing power   Because we each individually lack the necessary computing power to solve the super-big data problems of this world, we then need to link up with other human minds to increase our collective computing power. The problem of course is that these other human minds, like our own mind, can only transmit information at about 39 bits per second to other minds–and have firewalls and run their own hardware and software programs. It makes it really difficult to perform combined computing tasks. People will say, it should take forever because this human collective conscious works best that way. It takes time to develop a consensus on what to do. Yes, but allowing a machine to help us get to a point where we can make a better and faster informed human judgment decision is a good thing. It’s what we’ve been doing with increasing effectiveness for the past 50 years.   —“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO

It’s faster to build a machine to understand air pollution and climate change than it is to try to understand it ourselves   It’s much faster than a concomitant morass of individual research projects, laws, treaties, policy efforts, and pleas for behavioral change.   skip most of the politicsskip most of the laws and regulationsskip much of the underlying/competing research (figuring out all the individual rules to the game)   Just build a machine that does it for us. That sees things we as individuals can’t see. Or even if one or two people can see, would need to convince thousands of other individuals to see.   —“As always, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is, we seem incapable of solving our more pressing or persistent problems. The good news is, we’re getting closer to building a machine that might do it for us.” – Jim Vibert
Combination of AI and quantum technology and we are there.   People have told me “Jed, quantum computing isn’t there yet”. Of course not. The Macintosh wasn’t there yet either, but you could still do things with it. Here’s a fascinating Cal Tech article on the use of quantum computers in the current NISQ era (noisy intermediate scale quantum era). And a recent article on quantum computing and climate change. And a really interesting article on research using AI to learn quantum mechanics to predict molecular wave functions.
Lee Sedol’s expression again really says it all.   Lee Sedol thought AlphaGo made a mistake in move 37. It was a move that a human would never make. Never would even see.   There are similar epiphanies that I think “AlphaEarth” will find . . . and our expression will be like Lee Sedols. I think we will be astonished by how profoundly simple some of the environmental solutions will be.
Click here for information on Ceres AI’s current environmental applications.
01/04 9:10 am

Environmental groups, along with governmental authorities in Texas, are now probing the big data and artificial intelligence powers of Ceres AI.

“This tool is amazing! We are seeing information we’ve never seen before.”—Anonymous

Ceres AI was created in 2018 by Jed Anderson, a former environmental attorney with Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins. “Initially I was just looking for a quicker way to review agency files”, said Anderson. “We created a database and applied some basic Natural Language Processing (NLP) at first. The result was that some of our research projects went from 10 hours to less than 2 seconds. We knew we had something. The product then morphed into Ceres AI. Since then we’ve added terabytes of new data, new artificial intelligence tools, and built Ceres in a way such that it’s powers are now largely expanding on their own.”

For more information on Ceres AI, see www.enviro.ai or contact Ceres AI at 1-888-668-6620 or ceres@enviro.ai.

01/04 8:25 am

BATON ROUGE, La. – EcoSystem Renewal LLC, a pioneer in turnkey mitigation banking to restore and preserve sensitive environmental land, is providing technical and regulatory permitting services for critical wetland restoration of more than 1,100 acres in the Pontchartrain Basin. The new project announced this month (December), the Upper Comite Flats Umbrella Mitigation Bank, encompasses nine parcels in the Basin, one of the most in-demand watersheds in Louisiana.

Mitigation banking is the federally preferred method of meeting the national goal of no net-loss of wetlands and environmentally threatened land. Project leaders for road building, construction and other development can purchase credits in the land banks to meet requirements for offsetting unavoidable wetland impacts elsewhere. EcoSystem, based in Baton Rouge, has completed wetland delineation of the nine separate parcels and is now drafting the prospectus to submit to the US Army Corps of Engineers-New Orleans District. A prospectus is the legal document that spells out details of the project and restoration goals for regulators. 

Glenn Curtis, Manager of Inland Property LLC, developer of the Upper Comite Flats mitigation bank, said authorization is expected by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. A dire shortage of forested wetland credits in the Pontchartrain Basin, Curtis said, is holding up public and private development. “We intend to bring these credits to the market as quickly as possible,” Curtis said.

EcoSystem Renewal is also providing technical and regulatory services for two other Inland Property projects, the Elm Hall Mitigation Bank (in Assumption Parish) and Willow Lake Mitigation Bank (in Cameron Parish). Both are in final permitting stage with approval expected in the first quarter of 2020, for Willow Lake, and third quarter for Elm Hall. Willow Lake will provide 375 acres of fresh marsh and coastal prairie wetland credits in the Calcasieu Basin. Elm Hall will yield 395 acres of forested wetland credits in the Terrebonne Basin service area. Both are located within the Louisiana Coastal Zone.

In addition, EcoSystem Renewal is in final stages of permitting for a Texas mitigation bank, a complex 605-acre project, Cedar Bayou, in Liberty County. Cedar Bayou Holdings LLC, sponsor of that land bank, anticipates final approval by the third quarter 2020.

For the past 10 years, EcoSystem Renewal has overseen design, permitting, construction, monitoring and management of more than 15,000 acres of restoration projects in Louisiana and Texas. Managing Director Danny Moran said the coming year is shaping up to be a busy, exciting year for the company.

“This team is passionate about what they do and very good at their respective jobs,” Moran said. “We expect to add additional projects in 2020 and look to add team members who are dedicated to wetland restoration.”

* * *

For more information, contact

Danny Moran, Managing Director, EcoSystem Renewal, LLC, 225-978-9401, dmoran@ecosystemrenewal.com;  We invest in the environment so you can bank on the future™.  Visit ecosystemrenewal.com

Will Beaty, Director of Sales and Marketing, EcoSystem Renewal, LLC, 888-294-8101 Ext 802, wbeaty@ecosystemrenewal.com

Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, Inc.  407-644-4142 or 407-461-3781 Beth@LarryVershel.com

09/26 9:39 am

 September 26, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. – The National Environmental Banking Association (NEBA) has issued recommendations that directors say can help stabilize and strengthen the $4

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07/22 9:42 am
July 22, 2019 – Houston, Texas

Artificial intelligence has come to Texas on environmental matters.

Ceres Environmental A.I. is a suite of powerful new A.I. tools designed to help companies,

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07/22 9:33 am

July 22, 2019

Galveston  Region  —  Development projects in south Texas that have been on hold for lack of access to wetland mitigation credits got good news in July with the release

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10/24 11:57 am

October 24, 2018

Gulf Coast  –  Wetlands mitigation banking has established a track record of success in restoring and preserving crucial ecosystems in many states during the past several

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08/13 12:28 pm

Texas law firm creates the “next generation environmental practitioner”—CERES

Former CEO of international IPP says . . . “This will fundamentally change the environmental profession.”

(Houston)

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08/12 8:56 am

CERES - v2
The launch of CERES Phase 1 is August 20th.  CERES uses big data, artificial intelligence, and the subject matter legal and technical expertise of the AL Law Group to deliver new

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05/03 7:24 am

Launching “CERES”

(Houston) – May 2, 2018 – Letter from the Editor

 

Artificial intelligence or “AI” is coming to environmental management.  It is no longer “if”.  It’s “when”.

 

genius3

 

The

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