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Rank #66 in Technology category

Technology
Science
Natural Sciences

Reversing Climate Change

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #66 in Technology category

Technology
Science
Natural Sciences
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A podcast about the different people, technologies, and organizations that are coming together to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. We also talk about blockchains.

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A podcast about the different people, technologies, and organizations that are coming together to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. We also talk about blockchains.

iTunes Ratings

123 Ratings
Average Ratings
119
1
1
1
1

Great listen

By Edward Rodrigue - Aug 23 2019
Read more
Great podcast about a series of topics that don’t get enough attention elsewhere.

Amazing inspiring and Actionable climate strategies

By Climate warriormon - Aug 21 2019
Read more
You can zero in to the ideas and info you need to reverse the climate crisis!

iTunes Ratings

123 Ratings
Average Ratings
119
1
1
1
1

Great listen

By Edward Rodrigue - Aug 23 2019
Read more
Great podcast about a series of topics that don’t get enough attention elsewhere.

Amazing inspiring and Actionable climate strategies

By Climate warriormon - Aug 21 2019
Read more
You can zero in to the ideas and info you need to reverse the climate crisis!
Cover image of Reversing Climate Change

Reversing Climate Change

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

A podcast about the different people, technologies, and organizations that are coming together to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. We also talk about blockchains.

Rank #1: 59: Trey Hill of Harborview Farms

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No-till agriculture promotes soil health and sequesters carbon, so why isn’t everybody doing it? The practical reality is that farmers are limited by their infrastructure and financial obligations. Making a change is not always profitable and often means fighting against a father who’s mastered the conventional system. To facilitate large-scale change, we need a market that allows farmers to get paid for growing crops unconventionally.

Trey Hill is the champion of change behind Harborview Farms, an agricultural operation that produces corn, wheat, and soybeans for the Mid-Atlantic region. Harborview focuses on sustainable farming and environmental stewardship, treating the land as a canvas rather than a commodity. Trey’s creative approach combines traditionalism with technology and environmentalism, making him an ideal candidate for Nori’s pilot program

Today, Trey joins Ross and Christophe to discuss how working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation led him on a path to environmentalism. He shares the fundamental idea behind cover crops and speaks to the rising use of technology in agriculture. Trey also offers his take on what farmers and environmentalists have in common and the advantage of a market-based approach to promoting regenerative practices. Listen in for Trey’s insight on the practical realities of farming green and learn about his experience as part of the Nori pilot!

Resources

Harborview Farms

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Pilot Episode of RCC

National No-Tillage Conference

Dr. Charles Massy on RCC EP053

Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth by Charles Massy

Chester River Watershed Observatory

Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems

Granular Farm Management Software

‘Soil My Undies’ Challenge in Modern Farmer

USDA Farm Service Agency

Planet

Video of Trey’s Cereal Rye

Connect with Ross & Christophe 

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Key Takeaways

[0:45] Trey’s path to reversing climate change

[8:33] The fundamental idea of cover crops

  • Monocultures fail to build ecosystem (unnatural break)
  • Plant other grasses for more diversity
  • Sequester carbon year-round
  • Lower fossil fuels burned, fertilizers 

[13:49] The practical realities of farming green

  • Limited by infrastructure, financial obligations
  • Organic no-till never been done before 

[19:30] Trey’s take on farmland as canvas

  • Cover crops bring abstract way of thinking
  • Relatable to those outside industry

[22:30] How to bring farmers and environmentalists together

  • Focus on commonalities (e.g.: work for less than deserve)
  • Avoid accusations, political topics

[26:53] Trey’s experience with the Nori pilot program

  • Monetize carbon already sequestering
  • Develop market to facilitate change

[36:16] Why Trey supports a market-based approach

  • Drop in commodities prices + overproduction
  • Trend to consolidation (economies of scale)

[44:32] The rise of technology in agriculture

  • Crop health map based on satellite imagery
  • Allows to fine tune nitrogen management
  • Team learns from each other at rapid pace 

[48:20] How Trey is taking planting green to the next level

  • Leverage technology for more biomass
  • Healthier soil = better future 

[52:27] Why slugs have become Trey’s nemesis

  • No-till environment creates habitat
  • Can only kill with contact (live underground)

Feb 05 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #2: 37: Ben Kessler, Holistic Grazing Specialist

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What if we could have our meat and eat it too? The current system of meat production in feed lots is devastating for the environment, but there is a better way. A way that would restore our grasslands and reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This method is known as holistic grazing.

Ben Kessler is a holistic grazing specialist with a long family history in ranching. His great-great-great-grandfather owned a 25k-acre ranch in southwest Texas in the 1880’s, and his grandfather was both a scientist and a farmer who worked on climate change in his retirement. Ben served in Afghanistan as a member of the Marine Corps before studying environmental philosophy at the University of North Texas. Two years ago, he discovered regenerative agriculture, and now Ben is on a mission to design a holistic grazing model that can be replicated at critical mass.

Today, Ben joins Ross, Christophe, and Paul to share his family history in the realms of ranching and science. They discuss the difference between organic and regenerative agriculture, the process by which ungulates maintain grasslands, and the barriers to transitioning away from feed lots to holistic grazing. Ben offers his take on feeding cows algae, bringing back the aurochs, and the true impact of methane emissions. Listen in for insight around how meat production can be good for the environment and learn how Ben is working to accelerate the shift to holistic grazing.

Resources 

Savory Institute

David Montgomery on RCC EP012

Brian Von Herzen on RCC EP034

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken

Key Takeaways 

[1:48] Ben’s path to holistic grazing

  • Family history of ranching, science
  • Studied environmental philosophy in college
  • Discovered regenerative agriculture two years ago

[4:13] The difference between organic and regenerative farming

  • Organic = limits use of pesticides but still releases carbon
  • Regenerative practices rebuild land (future mindset)

[6:12] How meat production can be good for the environment

  • Grasslands won’t survive without animals
  • Removing grasslands throws environment out of balance

[8:56] How ungulates create grasslands

  • Grass follows yearly growth cycle and then dies
  • Stays if not eaten, sun can’t reach growing point underneath
  • Cattle necessary to eat grass and recycle nutrients 

[10:39] The structural shift to holistic grazing

  • Move cattle from feed lot to grassland
  • Plan grazing (stockpile in winter, not too mature in summer)

[14:50] The challenges Ben faces as an entrepreneur in this space

  • Land costs more than agricultural value (diverse funding)
  • Facilitate rapid shift from feed lots to grassland

[20:42] The barriers to transitioning from feed lots to grasslands

  • Corn/soy subsidies prop up current system
  • Industry resistance to change
  • Digesting grain permanently alters microbiome
  • Cows would have to adapt with successive generations

[23:56] Ben’s take on feeding cows algae

  • Prefers cows to eat what standing on
  • Transporting food not ideal system

[25:15] Ben’s insight around cows and methane production

  • Each cow has own bubble of methane, lasts 17 years
  • Carbon removed will increase with same # of cows 

[26:56] The idea of bringing back the aurochs

  • Cattle in hotter environment must be lighter
  • Consider weather, increasing temperature

[28:48] The current focus of Ben’s work

  • Accelerating process is crucial
  • Develop model that can be replicated
  • More awareness, infrastructure

Aug 28 2018

32mins

Play

Rank #3: 51: Joseph Majkut, Director of Climate Policy at Niskanen Center

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How do you talk to leaders in Washington DC about the climate challenge? Is there a way to frame the risk that will inspire policymakers on both sides of the aisle to take action? How might a carbon tax work—and would that be preferable to a regulatory approach?

Joseph Majkut serves as the Director of Climate Policy at the Niskanen Center, a nonpartisan think tank that works to promote an open society and takes an activist stance on climate change. An expert in climate science, climate policy, and risk analysis for decisionmaking, Joseph’s writing has been featured in scientific journals, public media, and environmental trade press. Prior to joining Niskanen, he worked on climate change policy as a congressional science fellow, and Joseph holds a PhD from Princeton in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Today, Joseph joins Ross, Christophe, and Paul to discuss the origin of the Niskanen Center and how its libertarian roots make it different from other advocacy organizations. He offers insight around the politics of climate change, explaining how he thinks about framing the climate challenge and why it’s important to address the issue from an empathetic perspective. Joseph shares his approach to managing risk in the form of a carbon tax, describing how the tax might work, who should pay and how the money could be used. Listen in for Joseph’s argument against a regulatory approach and learn how the Niskanen Center advocates for policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Resources

Niskanen Center

Joseph on Twitter

Cato Institute

IPCC Report

Robert Nisbet

David Hume

Jerry Taylor

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climateby Naomi Klein

Mauna Loa Website

Paul Hawken

Aldyen Donnelly on RCC EP031

Joseph’s Op Ed in The Hill

Connect with Nori

Nori

Nori’s Crowdfunding Campaign

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Key Takeaways

[0:49] What makes Niskanen special

  • Federally-focused think tank, advocacy organization
  • Libertarian view with activist stance on climate change

[3:39] Joseph’s background as a research scientist

  • Studied amount of CO2 absorbed by ocean
  • Clear understanding of carbon budget

[5:35] The ocean’s role in climate change

  • Ocean holds enormous amount of CO2 (prevents some warming)
  • Ability of ocean to take up with same efficiency might change

[9:24] The social cost of carbon

  • Attempt to quantify financial damages
  • What we’re willing to pay to reduce emissions 

[13:20] How climate change impacts weather events

  • ‘Worse’ storms = subjective measure
  • Can quantify for individual events (i.e.: x% rainier) 

[15:43] The origin of the Niskanen Center

  • President Jerry Taylor worked at Cato Institute
  • Founded to shift view of climate, raise concern
  • Libertarian ideal to protect life, liberty, and property

[20:34] Joseph’s insight on the politics on climate change

  • Solution aversion to large government intervention
  • Niskanen aims to move thinking on conservative side

[24:40] How Joseph thinks about framing the climate challenge

  • Greenhouse gas emissions product of ‘good stuff’
  • Risk-management to avoid fundamentally different climate state

[28:39] Joseph’s take on how to address climate change

  • Carbon tax to manage risk (price on emissions)

[31:19] Joseph’s thoughts on how a carbon tax would work

  • People respond by using resource more efficiently
  • Turn efforts of engineers toward problem want to solve

[36:31] Joseph’s argument against a regulatory approach

  • Emissions pervasive in economy (different from past issues)
  • Don’t know safe amount of greenhouse gasses

[41:14] Joseph’s view of who should pay the carbon tax

  • As high in production chain as possible
  • Policy design to consider poor (not in position to change lives)

[45:49] How the money from a federal carbon tax might be used

  • Some back to households to offset costs
  • Portion to make economy more productive
  • Investments in reducing costs of green energy/climate adaptation

Dec 11 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #4: 58: Ryan Anderson of Delta Institute

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We typically think of value and ROI in monetary terms, but what about the social value of an investment? Or its environmental return? The field of ecological economics is built around the idea that the health of our land serves as the foundation of our economy, and we know that assigning a monetary value to ecosystem services helps us to be better stewards to these resources. So, how do we put carbon sequestration on the balance sheet? How do we build market incentives to reverse climate change at scale? And how do we talk to investors about deploying capital in ways that create real value for the landscape AND provide a healthy financial return?

Ryan Anderson is the Strategy Lead with the Delta Institute, a nonprofit working to collaborate with communities to solve complex environmental challenges across the Midwest. They identify opportunities for market-based environmental solutions and then proceed to design, test and share those solutions for the social, environmental and economic benefit of their community partners. Ryan joined the team at Delta in 2007, and his role involves connecting innovative people and ideas to specific resources and places. Currently, he’s focused on reversing climate change by working with farmers to sequester carbon in the soil, creating a more inclusive and regenerative economy in the process.

Today, Ryan joins Ross and Christophe to discuss the principles of ecological economics and the debate around financializing ecosystem services. He describes his work with The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), sharing its successes and failures and explaining what Nori can learn from his experience with the project. Listen in for Ryan’s advice to impact investors on diversifying their portfolios with farmland and learn about the Delta Institute’s recent report on valuing the ecosystem service benefits of regenerative agriculture practices.

Resources

The Delta Institute

National No-Tillage Conference

Carbon Farming Innovation Network

Reversapalooza

Ecological Economics: Principles and Applicationsby Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley

The Chicago Climate Exchange

Wendell Berry

Pope Francis’ ‘On Care for Our Common Home’

Robert Costanza’s ‘The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital’

Dr. Charles Massey on RCC EP053

Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovationby Richard L. Sander

Cap-and-Trade Discussion on RCC EP031

North Dakota Farmers Union

Iowa Farm Bureau

Waxman-Markey Bill

The Paris Agreement

US Climate Alliance

4 Per 1000 Initiative

Delta Institute & Farmland LP Report

Farmland LP

Earth Economics

COMET-Farm

Henry George

Connect with Nori

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Key Takeaways

[2:29] Ryan’s path to reversing climate change

  • Grew up in Chicago (hub for futures)
  • Independent study on ecological econ
  • Master’s at University of Leeds 

[7:59] The principles of ecological economics

  • Fusing of ecology and economy
  • Imbedded view of natural + human systems

[9:44] Ryan’s take on financializing ecosystem services

  • Must be on balance sheet
  • Makes us better stewards to resources
  • Values beyond monetary (i.e.: social, aesthetic)
  • Market incentives necessary for speed, scale

[16:28] Basic market terminology

  • Derivatives
  • Forwards vs. futures
  • Commodities

[21:52] The function of The Chicago Climate Exchange

  • Anticipated regulatory future for carbon emissions
  • Voluntary membership created ‘policy laboratory’
  • Ag/forestry contain costs for industrial emitters
  • Delta Institute brought in as aggregator for IL

[28:19] The successes and failures of CCX

  • Mass involvement, engagement from membership
  • Members pulled back after failure of Waxman-Markey

[33:44] What Nori can learn from CCX

  • Test methodology, make accessible to farmers
  • Model for participation at scale quickly

[38:46] The mission of the Delta Institute

  • Collaborate with communities across Midwest
  • Solve complex environmental challenges
  • Pilot innovative ideas, scale via partnerships

[42:18] Ryan’s advice for impact investors

  • Deploy capital to create real value on landscape
  • Leverage farmland to diversify portfolio

[47:41] Ryan’s hope for the Nori pilot

  • Expand across North America, world
  • Farmers join and benefit (boost to stay on land)

Jan 29 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #5: 53: Dr. Charles Massy, Farmer and Author

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With the Industrial Revolution and the development of a mechanistic mindset, we have come to view ourselves as entities separate from the earth. In fact, the earth has become a subset from which we extract profits. This attitude has led to industrial farming practices that destroy the land and an industrial food complex that strips the nutrients from the foods we consume. What if we combined the best of science and mechanics with the indigenous understanding that we are dependent on the earth to sustain us? What if we adopted—on a large scale—the regenerative agricultural practices that produce nutrient-rich foods, restore the soil, and remove carbon from the atmosphere?

Dr. Charles Massy is a farmer, writer, and self-professed shit-stirrer. He has managed a 5K-acre sheep and cattle property for the last 40 years and conducted research in the areas of innovation in the Merino sheep and wool industries, regenerative landscape management, and climate change. Charles is a research associate with the Fenner School of Environment and Society at Australian National University and the author of Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth.

Today, Charles joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to explain how the industrial approach damaged his own family farm and how draught and debt led him to the practices of modern regenerative agriculture. He discusses the dangers of economic rationalism and how we can work within the capitalist framework to profit from sustainable practices. Charles offers insight around the lack of nutrients in food produced by the industrial complex, describing the health impacts of processed and fast food as well as the opportunity to reestablish a human connection to our food through community gardens. Listen in to understand how an emergent mind combines the best of science with an indigenous or organic worldview and learn how regenerative farmers and urban consumers can collaborate to initiate the healing process and reverse climate change along the way!

Resources

Climactic Podcast

Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth by Charles Massy

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Aldo Leopold

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Books by Wendell Berry

Books by Carolyn Merchant

Ian and Dianne Haggerty

Companies vs. Climate Change

Dialectic of Enlightenment by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno

Mary Oliver

Don Huber

The Poison Papers

Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science by Carey Gillam

UN Food & Agriculture Organization

Patagonia

Acres USA

Landcare Australia

Paul Hawken

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken

Connect with Nori

Nori

Nori’s Crowdfunding Campaign

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Key Takeaways

[1:28] Charles’ path to regenerative agriculture

  • Took over 5K-acre family farm at 22
  • Industrial approach led to damage/debt
  • Search for alternative led regenerative ag

[6:16] The geology of Australia

  • 2/3 up to 3.8B years old (scarce nutrients)
  • Western prototype suited for different climate

[7:58] The indigenous mindset

  • People indivisible with Mother Earth
  • Mechanistic mind views as separate

[10:42] The profitability of regenerative practices

  • Must function within capitalist framework
  • Haggerty’s doubled yield with 1/6 cost input

[14:36] The idea of economic rationalism

  • Must revolutionize system from within
  • Danger in arrogance, focus on profits

[19:56] The truth about industrial agriculture

  • Food empty of most essential nutrients
  • Poisoned by chemicals (e.g.: glyphosate)

[23:16] The myth around the necessity for industrial ag

  • 70% of food supply comes from peasant farms
  • Current farmland could feed 11B

[24:57] The cost to consumers for shifting to regenerative

  • Low if grow own food, use community gardens
  • Opportunity cost to human health if don’t change

[30:00] The idea of the innovator’s dilemma

  • Big companies lose connection with consumer
  • Difficult for mammoth corporations to pivot

[31:53] Charles’ insight on developing an emergent mind

  • Combine best of science with caring for earth
  • Humility keeps open to adaptation

[35:00] How self-interest is tied to sustaining the earth

  • Best regenerative farmers are top businesspeople
  • Take care of ecosystem that facilitates profitability

[37:58] Who Charles is trying to reach

  • Farmers open to new practices
  • Health-conscious urban consumers

[43:12] How agriculture can take the lead in healing the earth

  • Industrial agriculture played major role in destruction
  • Best climate solutions come from regenerative ag

[45:08] Charles’ take on our spiritual connection to the earth

  • Spiritual element critical to emergent mind
  • Elimination is ‘what got us into trouble’

Dec 26 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #6: 36: Greg Rock of Carbon Washington

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When presented with solutions to a problem that conflict with our ideology, it is human nature to deny the existence of the problem. Thus, climate change solutions that involve regulation or ‘big government’ result in climate denial from right-leaning groups. How can we create solutions that provide conservatives with an economic win? How can we change the psyche of red districts by rewarding them for behavior that reverses climate change?

 Greg Rock is a board member with Carbon Washington, the state’s leading advocate for putting a price on carbon pollution. Greg has dedicated his career to addressing climate change, serving as the founding owner of The Green Car Company from 2004-2008 before heading to Sweden to pursue a master’s in Sustainable Energy Engineering. Since then, he has shifted his focus to policy, working as a volunteer lobbyist to promote carbon tax initiatives.

 Today, Greg joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to explain how the study of our ever-increasing demand for oil sparked his interest in reversing climate change. They discuss the idea behind I-732, the first carbon tax proposal that Greg championed, covering the reasons why it did not succeed and how Initiative 1631 is different. Greg offers his insight around what resonates with each side of the aisle when it comes to climate change initiatives and how a marketplace like Nori might combat the ‘solution aversion’ common in right-leaning areas. Listen in for Greg’s critique of Nori’s ‘one token to one ton’ formula and get his take on our obligation to act on climate change.

Resources 

Carbon Washington

I-732

Initiative 1631

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Key Takeaways 

[1:08] Greg’s interest in reversing climate change

  • Study of ever-increasing demand for oil as undergrad
  • Started Green Car Company (first Smart cars in US)
  • Master’s in Sustainable Energy Engineering
  • Worked on first carbon tax proposal I-732

[3:03] The idea behind I-732

  • Price on carbon = most efficient way to reduce emissions
  • Use money to lower existing taxes (e.g.: income, sales, etc.) 

[4:46] Why I-732 didn’t work

  • Ballot title read as tax increase
  • Progressive groups wanted to use money to reduce emissions 

[5:48] The difference between I-732 and Initiative 1631

  • I-732 could have served as template for right-leaning states
  • 1631 leans left, less likely to draw support from both sides 

[7:45] What messaging resonates with each side of the aisle

  • Left on board with message, but may not prioritize
  • Left responds when ‘bring home to their district’
  • Right supports when money spent in their district
  • Right responds to economic efficiency, non-regulatory approach

[9:50] How Nori might appeal to right-leaning districts 

  • Enhance economic development in rural areas
  • Reward for sequestration may change psyche

[12:13] The concept of solution aversion

  • Solution conflicts with ideology, reject problem exists
  • Climate solutions that turn into ‘winners’ change beliefs
  • Nori’s voluntary market = good first step to action

[15:52] Greg’s critique of Nori’s one ton to one token formula

  • Carbon removal involves absorption AND storage
  • Consider adding time function (i.e.: quantity x # of years)
  • ‘One ton year’ more transferable to other practices

[22:04] Greg’s take on our obligation to act on climate change

  • People in other places will suffer most from emissions we create
  • Duty to utilize tech, educational advantages to tackle problem

Aug 21 2018

23mins

Play

Rank #7: 95: Bill McKibben on the once and future climate movement

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“I’m optimistic, save for the fact that climate change is the first time-limited problem that we’ve ever really run into. Dr. King would say at the end of speeches ... ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. This may take a while, but we’re going to win.’ The arc of the physical universe is short, and it bends toward heat. We win soon, or we don’t win.”

Bill McKibben is the author and environmentalist credited with penning the first book on climate change written for a general audience, The End of Nature. He is also a founder of 350.org, the first global, grassroots climate change movement. Bill was awarded the 2014 Right Livelihood Prize, the 2013 Gandhi Prize and the 2013 Thomas Merton Prize, and he was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers.

Today, Bill joins Ryan and Christophe to discuss his role in the climate movement, explaining what inspired him to start 350.org and why he chose that particular number as a target. He shares his view of the fossil fuel industry’s ability to divert the debate on climate change with money and power and addresses the global economy’s continued dependence on fossil fuels. Listen in for Bill’s insight on the powerful history of nonviolent social movements and learn how we can get back to a safe CO2 level of 350 ppm. 

Key Takeaways

[0:59] Bill’s role in the climate movement

  • Wrote first book on climate change for general audience
  • Losing fight to money and power of fossil fuel industry
  • Started 350.org with intention to build movement

[4:59] Why Bill chose the number 350

  • Asked Jim Hansen to identify number for global campaign
  • Established that climate change not problem for later

[9:50] Bill’s insight around getting back to 350 ppm

  • No one solution enough to scale (e.g.: planting trees)
  • Must make transition away from coal, gas and oil

[14:28] The role oil and gas companies might play in the solution

  • Incumbents never initiate technological transition
  • Unlikely to see selves as energy service provider

[18:15] The connection between big banks and oil and gas

  • Dramatic increase in lending to fossil fuel industry
  • Financial markets may be lever to pull in climate fight

[20:23] The global economy’s dependence on fossil fuels

  • Capable of shutting off much sooner than planning
  • Need to rapidly replace things we use fossil fuels for

[23:04] Bill’s take on the top two inventions of the 20th century

  • Solar panels 
  • Nonviolent protest

[28:35] The history of victory in social movements

  • Need 4% of people engaged in fight (apathy cuts both ways)
  • First Earth Day led to Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, etc.

[30:59] How Bill thinks about communication strategies 

  • No one key to pitch every message
  • Honesty as useful trait over time

[33:24] Bill’s view of the opposition to the climate movement

  • No serious argument on basic points of climate change
  • Fossil fuel industry diverted debate effectively

Connect with Ryan & Christophe 

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Nori Newsletter

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Carbon Removal Newsroom

Resources

Bill’s Website

350.org

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist by Bill McKibben

The End of Nature by Bill McKibben

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

Prairie Festival

The Land Institute

The Land Institute on RCC EP062

Dr. James Hansen

American Geophysical Union

Dr. Hansen’s Paper on the 350 PPM Target

Bill Moomaw’s Article on Forests & Climate Change

Amory Lovins

Bill’s Piece on Big Banks in The New Yorker

Clean Air Act

Clean Water Act

Endangered Species Act

The Paris Agreement

Bill’s Piece on 2050 in Time Magazine

Green New Deal

Sunrise Movement

Oct 08 2019

36mins

Play

Rank #8: 96: Poetry + Science = Conservation—with Hannah Birge & Nelson Winkel of The Nature Conservancy

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Farmers use poetry to make decisions, leveraging their deep connection with the land and the wisdom passed down from previous generations. Academics use science to make decisions, leveraging technology to innovate in the land management space. What if we recognized the value in both decision-making processes? What if we respected the farmers’ intuition, yet supported their efforts with tools from science to promote conservation?

Hannah Birge is the Director of Water and Agriculture and Nelson Winkel is the Platte River Prairies Assistant Preserve Manager and Soil Health Specialist with The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Hannah and Nelson join Ryan and Christophe to discuss the conservation practices farmers are adopting in the Great Plains and explain how The Nature Conservancy supports them with funding, technical support and labor.

Hannah shares her approach to communicating with farmers, discussing the language she uses to navigate differences among stakeholders, and Nelson speaks to the relationship of trust their team works to build with skeptical farmers. Listen in for insight around scaling conservation through farmer-to-farmer learning and find out how The Nature Conservancy is putting theory into practice by helping farmers reduce tillage and leverage precision nutrition management, fertigation and cover crops.

Key Takeaways

[1:18] Hannah’s path to reversing climate change

  • Grew up working on dairy farms in rural Vermont
  • Conceptual world of soil carbon, ecosystem management
  • Blend academic ideas with practical on-the-ground action

[4:57] Nelson’s path to reversing climate change

  • Grew up on small organic dairy farm in Wisconsin
  • Large-scale restoration work on diverse cropland

[6:50] What conservation practices farmers are using

  • No-till practices widespread
  • Pockets of precision nutrition management + cover crops

[8:30] Hannah’s approach to communicating with farmers

  • Ask open-ended questions and LISTEN
  • Remove barriers to implement conservation practices

[12:25] The concept of farmer-to-farmer learning

  • Nature Conservancy projects create built-in peer network
  • Target middle-of-the-road farmers to be ambassadors

[13:52] How to get farmers to adopt conservation practices long term

  • Difficult decision in light of razor-thin margins
  • See results ‘through truck window’

[18:06] The ex-ante issue around paying farmers for conservation

  • Only get paid for what already did, need money to start
  • Need prototypes on working farms

[22:19] The Nature Conservancy’s role in working with stakeholders

  • Projects to reduce tillage, incorporate fertigation, etc.
  • Relationship management among disparate interests

[25:43] Hannah’s vision for the future of agriculture 

  • Farmers rewarded for conservation
  • Soil health practices on every acre
  • Tech for irrigation efficiency, nutrition management

[27:47] Hannah’s argument against absolutes

  • Many different pathways to achieve vision
  • Can’t confront values with facts
  • Creatively navigate differences (benefits to both sides)

[32:42] How The Nature Conservancy wins over skeptical farmers

  • Develop relationship of trust
  • Common ground (everyone wants clean water, fresh air)

[35:41] What people don’t know about farmers

  • Incredible technical ability + brilliant economists
  • Manage people/equipment, think on fly and plan ahead

Connect with Ryan & Christophe 

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Nori Newsletter

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Carbon Removal Newsroom

Resources

The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska

The Land Institute

Rick Clark

Wendell Berry

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann

Benji Backer on RCC EP074

Clay Govier

Oct 15 2019

40mins

Play

Rank #9: 13: The Norigin Story with Ross, Christophe, and Paul

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In the beginning… Paul and Christophe realized that the blockchain provides an ideal platform for a carbon marketplace where people can get paid to remove CO2 from the atmosphere—and ultimately succeed in reversing climate change. It took more than six days, but they eventually put together a team, developed a business plan, and Nori was born.

The bottom line is that we need to remove 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to get back to safe levels. The Nori team intends to make that happen by connecting people interested in paying for carbon offsets with people who are using any number of methods to remove carbon from the atmosphere. One Nori token purchases one ton of carbon removal credits (CRCs), and the company measures the removal of CO2 and records that information on the blockchain. Ultimately, Nori leverages the power of markets to pay individuals who are innovating in the area of carbon removal and treat the root cause of climate change—too much carbon in the atmosphere.

Today, Ross, Christophe and Paul are sharing the details of Nori’s role in reversing climate change, explaining the company’s principal aims, how Nori addresses the problems associated with current carbon removal markets, and how cryptocurrency figures into their plans.  They walk us through Nori’s core values and their current progress in developing the platform. Listen in for the Norigin story and learn how the team is preparing to launch in 2018.

Resources

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk

ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

ConsenSys

Key Takeaways

[0:50] Nori’s purpose

  • Build market mechanism that pays to remove CO2 from atmosphere

[1:17] Nori’s role in reversing climate change

  • Provide financing, incentives to facilitate large-scale carbon removal
  • Measure and verify CO2 removal, record on blockchain

[5:02] The cryptocurrency element of Nori’s plan

  • One Nori token purchases one ton of carbon removal credits
  • Represents universal price on carbon removal

[6:49] The problems that Nori addresses

  • Offsets sell for different prices
  • Issues of double-counting
  • Trust barrier
  • No-cost payment methodology

[9:09] Nori’s core values

  • Open-sourced methodology
  • Remove carbon AND maintain energy use, quality of life
  • Create mechanism to reduce emissions (no favorites)
  • Put price on carbon removal, leverage power of markets

[12:30] How Nori came about

  • Paul looking into climate change, started Carbon Removal Seattle
  • Reached out to ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions
  • Connected with Christophe, started Carbon Removal Society
  • Christophe started Carbon A List, met Paul at conference
  • Paul and Jaycen competed in Hackathon with Carbon Harvest
  • Christophe moved to Seattle, worked with Paul on idea
  • Entered month-long ConsenSys business planning competition
  • Won in energy and environment category, founded company
  • Hosting summit at end of April to demo prototype
  • Plans to launch platform and token together in 2018

[25:10] The important issues Nori is working on

  • Monetary economics to stabilize supply/demand
  • Auditing system to disincentivize cheating
  • Getting the word out (i.e.: eBook, podcast and whitepaper)

[27:39] Nori’s current progress

  • Developers creating platform, designing token
  • Redesign of website

Feb 27 2018

29mins

Play

Rank #10: 39: Peter Fiekowsky, Founder of Healthy Climate Alliance

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“We don’t do it for ourselves. It’s like planting a tree that you’re never going to sit under. As long as we’re looking at ‘what’s good for me,’ we’re going to keep doing the status quo as we’ve been doing. If we look at it as, ‘I’m part of humanity’ … it makes a lot of sense to provide a planet that our grandchildren can live on.” 

Peter Fiekowsky is the Founder and President of the Healthy Climate Alliance, an organization committed to removing 1 trillion tons of CO2from the atmosphere and restoring the Arctic ice. Peter is also the co-founder of 300X2050, and he is committed to leaving a world we’re proud of for our children.

Today, Peter joins Ross, Christophe, and Paul to share his goal to reduce carbon in the atmosphere to 300 parts per million by 2050. Peter discusses his favorite methods of CO2 removal, permanent sequestration in limestone and ocean fertilization. He also shares the cutting-edge techniques for restoring the Arctic and the relative cost of those tactics. Listen in to understand the moral imperative around reversing climate change and get Peter’s take on overcoming the partisan divide around the issue.

Resources 

Nori’s Crowdfunding Campaign

Healthy Climate Alliance

Global Climate Action Summit

Results.org

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Blue Planet

CarbFix

Sean Hernandez on RCC EP015

Ice911

Steve Desch at ASU

Pleistocene Park

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized Worldby Jeff Goodell

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religionby Jonathan Haidt

Ramez Naam on RCC EP035

Key Takeaways

[2:34] Peter’s interest in reversing climate change

  • Volunteer for poverty reduction
  • Moral, not scientific issue
  • Goal of 250-300 ppm by 2050
  • Take 1 trillion tons out of atmosphere 

[9:37] Peter’s favorite method of CO2 removal

  • Take CO2+ calcium to make limestone
  • Use for concrete, road beds (50B tons/year)
  • Permanent sequestration, carbon negative

[14:45] The benefit of sequestering carbon in the ocean

  • Restore photosynthesis (fish, seaweed = biproducts)
  • Add iron through ocean fertilization
  • Similar to effect of Mount Pinatubo 

[21:15] The top techniques to restore the Arctic  

  • Spray floating sand on ice (reflects sun)
  • Pump seawater on top of ice in winter

[24:14] The cost of restoring the Arctic

  • Use wind power to pump nearby water
  • Less costly than Navy patrol of open ocean 

[28:05] The moral imperative of reversing climate change

  • Use religion as framework
  • Civil society won’t survive 2° increase 

[32:29] Peter’s work with Congress

  • Jamie Raskin introducing Healthy Climate Resolution
  • Revive commitment to children (social permission)

[36:06] How to overcome the partisan feeling around climate change

  • Appeal to values people care about (division artificial)
  • Turn from zero sum to ‘all in it together’

[39:37] Peter’s take on the need for a sustainable population

  • Create ‘social norm of one’
  • Birth rate declines with wealth

Sep 18 2018

47mins

Play

Rank #11: 15: Sean Hernandez, Energy Economist

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Economics isn’t all about money. It’s about human action, decisions and choices. In fact, economists and environmentalists could be natural allies in solving climate change. Unfortunately, a good number of environmentalists take a hardline stance on geoengineering, arguing that any further human manipulation of the environment is a bad idea. But with CO2 levels reaching more than 400 PPM, mitigation alone will not solve our problem. So how would an economist approach climate change?

Sean Hernandez is a professional economist, data scientist, and environmental policy expert with a Master’s degree in economics from USC. In his current role at an energy utility, Sean specializes in energy marketing, trading and financial analysis. Today, he joins Ross and Christophe to define what is meant by the phrase ‘moral hazard’ and explain the argument against a technofix for global warming. They discuss the problem with lumping all forms of geoengineering together, pointing out that some techniques are widely accepted while others are much more controversial. 

Sean employs his national champion debate skills to explore the mitigation camp’s moral hazard argument against geoengineering and offer insight around cap and trade as well as carbon market policy in California. Christophe, Ross, and Sean cover the accelerating effect of climate change, the risks around solar radiation management, and the fuel switching issue. Listen in for Sean’s take on a portfolio-based approach to climate change that continues civilization while employing a combination of advanced techniques—including geoengineering.

Resources

Is Geoengineering an Immorality of Last Resort? by Sean J. Hernandez

“Geoengineering, Climate Change Scepticism and the ‘Moral Hazard’ Argument” in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

350.org

“Arctic Temperatures Soar 45 Degrees Above Normal” in the Washington Post

“Dutch Move to Ban Sale of Combustion Engines from 2025” in The Irish Times

The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond

Key Takeaways

[2:21] The definition of ‘moral hazard’

  • Attempt to reduce risk leads to incur more risk (i.e.: drive faster with seatbelt)

[4:04] The moral hazard argument against a technofix for global warming

  • Would disincentivize doing right thing (reducing emissions)
  • Addiction, rent-seeking

[9:14] The problem with lumping all forms of geoengineering together

  • Planting trees, any form of agriculture qualifies

[11:50] The counter to the mitigation camp’s disincentivization argument

  • CO2 levels already too high to be safe (>400 PPM)
  • Mitigation won’t remove CO2 from atmosphere

[14:14] The problem with the moral hazard argument in carbon removal

  • Mitigation = prevent emissions
  • CO2 removal and mitigation both result fewer molecules in atmosphere

[16:34] Why a portfolio-based approach to climate change is necessary

  • All emissions to zero tomorrow, would still take 1,000 years for climate to stop changing
  • Can’t rely on ‘spiritual change,’ need effective ways to motivate

[19:33] The accelerating effect of climate change

  • ‘Global warming leads to more global warming’

[20:37] The challenge around cap and trade

  • Demand can’t grow as large as supply

[23:06] Sean’s insight on carbon market policy

  • Bound marketplace (both floor and ceiling on price)
  • Carbon permits free to certain companies

[25:07] The failings of the California cap and trade market

  • Renewable portfolio standard leads to reduced demand for cap and trade permits
  • Reduced demand results in reduced price of cap and trade permits

[26:18] The flaw in the Netherlands’ plan to ban the sale of internal combustion engines

  • Shifts emissions from pipe to smokestack (fuel switching issue)

[32:02] The risks of solar radiation management (SRM)

  • Nori doesn’t condone SRM, focus on carbon removal
  • Space-based would be safest (shades in orbit)

[36:51] Sean’s take on natural gas and fracking

  • 1% increase in renewables leads to >1% natural gas burning
  • Fracking has environmental problems of its own

[40:14] Sean’s approach to solving climate change

  • Establish global carbon tax, establish price of carbon
  • Geoengineering budget (CDR, SRM and blockchain)
  • Way forward is to continue civilization, advanced techniques

Mar 13 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #12: 92: How prices and data can communicate climate risk—Sarah Tuneberg of Geospiza

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Sarah Tuneberg thinks it’s incredibly unproductive to argue about whether a particular flood or drought was caused by climate change. The fact is, catastrophic events are happening more and more frequently, and we have to take action to mitigate the risks. So, how can we use the data available to us to promote this kind of disaster resilience?

Sarah is the Cofounder and CEO of Geospiza, a software company that helps corporations visualize, understand and take action around climate risks. Sarah has 10-plus years of experience in emergency management and public health, and she is committed to developing data-driven, evidence-based solutions to reduce risk and enhance resilience, especially for the most vulnerable. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia and her Master’s in Public Health from Tulane.

Today, Sarah joins Ross and Christophe to share the Geospiza origin story and discuss what inspired their pivot from serving state and local governments to large, multinational corporations. She offers an example of how a client is using Geospiza software to make strategic business decisions and describes how climate risk is changing the insurance industry as well as contract law. Sarah also addresses ongoing development in risky areas and explains who is likely to bear the brunt of climate change. Listen in for Sarah’s insight around why we don’t take action around disaster resilience and learn why she believes there is nothing natural about so-called natural disasters.

Key Takeaways

[1:04] Sarah’s path to reversing climate change

  • Work in international emergency management
  • Hurricane Katrina led to domestic space
  • Climate change impacts natural hazard environment

[3:53] The Geospiza origin story

  • Government consulting led to development of tech
  • Apply to climate change, natural hazard risks
  • Shift from serving government to large enterprise

[6:28] What inspired Geospiza’s pivot

  • State and local governments fear budget cuts
  • Value human resources over capacity building

[10:47] The argument against the repackaging of free data

[14:00] Why Geospiza focuses on multinational corporations

  • Governments lack organization, cohesion to change
  • Companies trying to mitigate risks of climate change

[15:14] Why it doesn’t matter if climate change caused a specific event

  • Catastrophic events more frequent, unpredictable
  • Must deal with consequences (cause irrelevant)

[18:09] A case study of how clients use Geospiza to change behavior

  • Company’s product touches Rhine twice
  • Unpredictable flow disrupts supply chain
  • Software enables decision-making around delivery

[20:46] The development of risky areas

  • Affordable housing built in places vulnerable to flooding
  • Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Far Rockaway in NYC

[27:30] Sarah’s insight around flood insurance

  • Only available through federal government
  • Uninsured receive aid from FEMA

[28:38] How hail coverage is likely to change in the near future

  • Unprecedented # of storms in Colorado (10X premiums)
  • Coverage for homes + autos unavailable in 36 months

[32:23] How climate risk is changing the insurance industry

  • Insurance business = large investment companies
  • Count on future earnings from fossil fuels
  • Laws against extraction = trillions in economic loss

[36:46] How climate change will impact contract law 

  • Force majeure clauses eliminated (we know better)

[38:28] Why we don’t take action around disaster resilience

  • Human nature to react to what’s in front of us
  • Doesn’t earn LEED points (separate from sustainability)

[41:39] Our need for a moral mission to combat climate change

  • Same sense of pride, community as 9/11
  • ‘Out group’ necessary to unite us, spur action

[44:02] Who is likely to bear the brunt of climate change

  • Vulnerable populations with least resources 
  • Communities who gain least from CO2 emissions

[45:52] Why Sarah advocates for the term ‘human disasters’

  • ‘Natural’ removes human responsibility
  • Not natural to put people in path of hazards

Connect with Ross & Christophe 

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Nori Newsletter

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Carbon Removal Newsroom

Resources

Geospiza

Sarah on Twitter

Sarah’s TEDx Talk

The Nature Conservancy

Techstars

Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead & Kevin Maney

‘This High-Tech Solution to Disaster Response May Be Too Good to Be True’ in The New York Times

One Concern

NOAA

The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis

‘FEMA Official Arrested for Fraud Over Hurricane Maria Recovery Effort in Puerto Rico’ on CNBC

Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future by Matthew E. Kahn

Beaches, People, and Change: A Political Ecology of Rockaway Beach After Hurricane Sandy by Bryce B. DuBois

New American Haggadah by Jonathan Safran Foer

London Climate Action Week

South Park Season 10 Episode 12: Go God Go

Sep 17 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #13: 87: The Ends of the World—with Peter Brannen

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“It’s not over yet. We still have time to save the planet, but it is worrying that—especially going forward—where in the past a lot of our damage has been done by hunting, now we’re starting to pull these levers that are really responsible for the worst things that have happened in Earth history, these big injections of CO2. So, before we go too far down that road, because we know it leads [to mass extinction], we should consult the rocks and learn what they have to tell us.”

Peter Brannen is an award-winning science journalist with expertise in ocean science, deep time, astrobiology and the carbon cycle. Peter’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Washington Post, among many other media outlets, and he is the author of the acclaimed The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions. Today, Peter joins Ross and Christophe to walk us through the five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history, discussing what events triggered each extinction and how plant and animal life changed each time.

Peter covers the current threat to coral reefs and shares his definition of fossil fuels, explaining how past mass extinctions generated the fossil fuels we use today. Listen in for Peter’s insight around the eerie shadow of extinction that follows human migration and find out what we can learn about managing the carbon cycle from previous extinctions to avert another ‘end of times.’

Key Takeaways

[1:46] How to think about the scale of geology and deep time 

  • Frame one footstep as century of time
  • Walk 20 miles/day for four years to beginning of Earth’s history

[6:25] The Ordovician mass extinction (445M years ago)

  • Underwater animal life gets off ground, reefs take off
  • Ice age drops sea level and causes 85% of life to go extinct

[11:18] The Late Devonian mass extinction (375M years ago)

  • Age of fish + first life appears on land
  • Trees as mechanism of mass extinction, initiate ice age 

[14:43] The End-Permian mass extinction (252M years ago)

  • Big reptiles, animals related to mammals and reefs in oceans
  • 96% of life wiped out by extreme volcanic eruptions

[19:50] How the Earth recovered after the End-Permian 

  • Took 10M years to recoup, miserable time
  • Life looks totally different in aftermath

[20:49] The ‘Permian Jr.’ mass extinction (200M years ago)

  • Volcanic event causes breakup of Pangea
  • Sets reign of dinosaurs in motion

[22:27] The instantaneous nature of the asteroid extinction

  • May have taken < 20 minutes (hot as pizza oven)
  • Less than 50K years considered fast geologically

[27:00] The current threat to the coral reefs

  • Devastating bleaching events + acidification
  • Tend to get wiped out in mass extinctions 
  • Supply 25% of Earth’s biodiversity

[31:30] Peter’s definition of fossil fuels

  • What happens when life preserved in rocks for long time
  • Humans undo photosynthesis by releasing CO2

[32:40] What role mass extinctions play in generating fossil fuels

  • Natural gas fracked today victim of Late Devonian
  • Organic matter preserved at bottom of ocean

[34:36] What characterizes the current potential extinction

  • Modern humans show up 300K years ago
  • Eerie shadow of extinction follows where people go
  • Foot on accelerator now but still time to avert

[41:38] Why it doesn’t matter if humans cause the rise in CO2

  • Geopolitical implications of immigration once tropics uninhabitable
  • Wet bulb temperature = no way to cool off, die of overheating

[45:20] What we can learn about changing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses from previous mass extinctions

  • Sequester CO2 in basalt rock, turn to limestone
  • Same process cooled Earth 200M years ago

[47:08] Why Peter has cause to be optimistic

  • Use information to energize vs. get depressed
  • Area of opportunity for carbon removal industry

Connect with Ross & Christophe

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Nori Newsletter

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Carbon Removal Newsroom

Resources

Peter’s Website

Peter on Twitter

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen

Techstars Sustainability Accelerator

Lee Kump

National Center for Atmospheric Research

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Dr. David Goldberg on RCC EP004

‘We Need to Capture Carbon to Fight Climate Change’ in Nature

Paris Agreement

Aug 13 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #14: 90: Restoring Community & Climate Through Place-Based Economics—with Eric Kornacki

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We live in a culture that stresses achievement and promotes the mythology of the rugged individual. And as a result, we feel increasingly isolated, viewing life as a series of transactions rather than relationships. We’ve forgotten that our actions have consequences on other people—and the planet. What if we made an effort to develop community with our neighbors and take care of each other? What if we created place-based economies to serve the needs of our own communities? Economies that work without exploiting other people or the environment?

Eric Kornacki is the President and CEO of THRIVE Partners, an organization created to provide communities with the tools to establish healthy, resilient, inclusive and vibrant economies. He is also the former Executive Director of Re:Vision, a venture that transformed one of Denver’s most marginalized neighborhoods by cultivating community food systems and developing a place-based economy. Today, Eric joins Christophe and Alexsandra to explain how a community college English class sparked his interest in the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. He discusses his decision to invest in his own community first, rather than pursuing work in developing countries.

Eric describes Re:Vision’s work around food insecurity in southwest Denver, sharing how the community has changed through the development of a place-based economy. He also walks us through the neighborhood’s decision to create a food cooperative that keeps more than $11M in the community every year. Listen in for Eric’s insight into the connection between consciousness and climate change—and learn how THRIVE is working to create a movement that inspires other communities to implement a village economy.

Key Takeaways

[0:26] What sparked Eric’s interest in climate change

  • Drew economic development + environmental degradation as topics for paper
  • Inspired to create economy that works for people but doesn’t destroy planet

[3:42] Eric’s path to Reversing Climate Change

  • Degree in economics and international development
  • Solve problems on ground in developing countries
  • Discovered Schumacher’s idea of village economics

[8:13] Why Eric chose to work in Denver vs. overseas

  • Unethical to implement solutions without facing consequences
  • Decision to invest in own community first

[10:52] Re:Vision’s work in southwest Denver

  • Build relationships by addressing food insecurity
  • Develop largest community food system in country (2,000 gardens)
  • Create jobs in community with leadership opportunities

[15:38] How the community has changed through Re:Vision

  • Transformation from fear and isolation to trust and connection
  • Hope and possibility result of activating underused human capital

[19:39] The downside of our cultural focus on achievement

  • See life as series of transactions rather than relationships
  • Forget actions have consequences on other people + planet
  • Must develop higher consciousness to solve climate change

[23:48] The framework of a place-based economy

  • No export until needs met locally
  • Put other’s needs before own

[25:29] How Eric found the early adopters to start Re:Vision

  • Conversations where community already gathering (i.e.: parent groups)
  • Move to community to demonstrate ownership

[28:35] The role of the promotoras within Re:Vision

  • Community health workers (Central American strategy)
  • Lived experience viewed as important, give knowledge tools needed

[29:45] How a place-based economy keeps money in the community

  • Neighborhood losing $16M/year shopping for groceries elsewhere
  • Create cooperative owned by community rather than chain grocery store

[32:45] How the Re:Vision coop deals with seasonality

  • Sell vegetables in spring, summer and fall 
  • Indoor hydroponic farm and work with other vendors in winter

[34:21] How the coop concept has expanded beyond food

  • Nanny and community language coops have emerged
  • Local businesses serve needs of own community

[36:19] The idea behind Eric’s new venture, THRIVE

  • Create movement to help other communities develop place-based economies

[37:06] How Eric’s work connects to climate change

  • Re-localize economies, plant idea of relationships + connectedness
  • Model of resilience + self-sufficiency should global food system break down

[41:56] Eric’s challenge for Reversing Climate Change listeners

  • Put down phone, get plugged in where live

Connect with Christophe & Alexsandra

Nori

Nori on Facebook

Nori on Twitter

Nori on Medium

Nori on YouTube

Nori on GitHub

Nori Newsletter

Email hello@nori.com

Nori White Paper

Subscribe on iTunes

Carbon Removal Newsroom

Resources

Re:Vision

THRIVE

Eric’s TEDx Talk

EF Schumacher

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by EF Schumacher

Books by Eckhart Tolle

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Books by Wendell Berry

The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide by Carl Elliott and Rob Peterson

Sep 03 2019

42mins

Play

Rank #15: 23: Dr. Klaus Lackner of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions

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The team at Nori believes that the best ideas come out of creative tension, so they are soliciting feedback on the completed draft of their white paper in order to identify any unanswered questions or potential issues before moving forward. In fact, the Reversapalooza Summit was designed for that very purpose.

Dr. Klaus Lackner is the director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) and professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering. His research interests include closing the carbon cycle through direct air capture, carbon sequestration, carbon foot-printing, and energy and environmental policy. Klaus was the first to suggest the artificial air capture of carbon dioxide, and he invented the world’s first commercially demonstrated direct air capture units. From 2001 to 2014, Klaus served as the director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, and his work has been featured in The New Yorker, Scientific Americanand the Washington Post.

Today, Klaus joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to offer his feedback on the Nori whitepaper. Klaus explains why he likes the idea of breaking the carbon offset model and offering compensation based on actual carbon removed. He also shares his concerns around Nori’s customers, the verification challenges they face, and the issue of permanency. Listen in for spirited debate on retiring certificates in compliance markets and the potential decrease in value of Nori tokens as less expensive methods for collecting CO2 emerge.

Resources

Klaus on RCC EP07

COMET-Farm

Coinbase

Key Takeaways 

[1:58] What Klaus likes about the Nori whitepaper

  • Breaks model of carbon offsets
  • Nori pays for actual removal
  • Incentives better than market for mitigation
  • Allows for balancing of carbon budget 

[5:43] Klaus’ questions around Nori’s customers

  • Compliance market vs. volunteers
  • Start with large buyers (i.e.: corporations)
  • Transition to microtransactions in high volume 

[9:42] The verification challenge Nori faces

  • Must work out standards method by method
  • Baseline only works in certain class of applications

[13:18] Klaus’ concerns over the permanency issue

  • Existing markets require farmers to maintain practices for up to 100 years, only compensated for 20
  • Nori working with COMET-farm to determine minimum time before farmers will continue regardless

[15:55] The categories of methodologies

  • Ecological, industrial and hybrid
  • One CRC = one metric ton of carbon removed (+/-10%)

[19:01] Klaus’ reservations around retiring certificates

  • CRC created with verification of carbon removal
  • CRC non-transferrable as soon as purchased
  • Compliance markets would accept CRCs (not tokens) 

[24:22] The regulatory gray area of cryptocurrency

  • Categorized as money, property and securities
  • Clarification necessary to ensure compliance

[26:45] Klaus’ concerns around market equilibrium

  • Currency devalued as technology improves (cheaper to remove carbon)
  • Encourages competition to increase profit margins
  • Price at market level comes down with competition

May 08 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #16: 14: Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight Technologies

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‘If you are a hard-core environmentalist, be a hard-core industrialist. Figure out technology that can outcompete the things that are making the environment bad, and then you can move at scale.’

Mark Herrema is the Co-Founder and CEO of Newlight Technologies, an advanced biotechnology company using carbon capture to produce high-performance polymers that replace oil-based materials. Newlight was founded on the idea that carbon could be used as a resource, and today it operates the world’s first commercial-scale greenhouse gas-to-AirCarbon manufacturing facilities, producing bioplastics used in furniture, electronics, packaging and a range of other products. Newlight has been named Innovation of the Year by Popular Science, 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, and 2014 Company of the Year by CleanTech OC.

Today, Mark joins Ross and Christophe to share the inspiration behind Newlight Technologies and how it rose to the challenge of competing with traditional plastics in terms of price and performance. Mark discusses Newlight’s role in transforming the plastics industry and his long-term vision of a licensing model that inspires growth in the areas of bioplastic products and production. They discuss how emerging carbon capture techniques could benefit Newlight and how Nori might change the terms of the climate change debate by monetizing carbon removal. Listen in for Mark’s insight on altruism, incentives and how businesses like Newlight should think about subsidies.

Key Takeaways

[0:58] Mark’s inspiration for Newlight Technologies

  • Reading about calculation of methane emissions made climate change real
  • Good for environment, economy to use carbon as resource

[4:23] Mark’s take on altruism vs. incentives

  • Must harness market forces to move at necessary speed, scale

[5:31] Newlight Technologies’ founding challenge

  • Develop materials that compete on price, performance

[6:59] Newlight’s role in transforming the plastics industry

  • Replace plastics with bioplastics (biodegradable, don’t require fossil fuels)
  • Reach point where oil/gas chooses to build air carbon plant for profitability

[11:24] Newlight’s sources of methane and CO2

  • Farm digesters, landfills and flares
  • Power, ethanol plants

[15:54] Newlight’s cradle-to-grave carbon accounting

  • Ran two third-party LCAs to verify reduction of carbon footprint
  • Must use renewable power to make CO2 capture carbon neutral

[19:40] The benefits of polymers used by Newlight

  • Repeating unit structure produced in all living things
  • Natural molecule biocompatible with human body (healthier)

[22:11] Mark’s big vision for Newlight Technologies

  • Licensing model to replace plastics with bioplastics
  • Build reference plants to demonstrate possibilities
  • Inspire imagination with products like cell phone cases

[25:01] How carbon capture techniques would benefit Newlight

  • Run process from anywhere on globe
  • Scale up in short time frame

[32:09] Nori’s role in creating a carbon offset market

  • Simplify process, open-source on blockchain
  • Carbon removal credits create universal price
  • Monetization changes terms of debate

[37:12] Nori’s challenge around verification of carbon removal

  • Each method requires unique approach to measurement

[38:00] How Nori differs from existing carbon registries

  • Reduce barrier to entry (no fees to create methodologies)
  • Don’t have to prove additionality

[40:16] Mark’s insight on 45Q

  • Tax credits for utilizing carbon (from power plant, atmosphere)
  • Incentives overdo, but business must survive without it

Resources

Newlight Technologies

Climeworks

45Q Tax Credit

Mar 06 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #17: 29: Nori Methodologies for Rewarding Regenerative Agriculture with Alexsandra Guerra

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The team at Nori has spent the last several months traveling the world, attending conferences around regenerative farming, agricultural technology, and the soil health movement. And the overarching theme among stakeholders has been the need for a price on carbon. How is Nori working to deliver just that? What methodologies is the platform using to measure and verify carbon removal in soil? And how does the system work to pay farmers for regenerative practices?

Alexsandra Guerra is the Director of Strategic Planning for Nori. A clean energy crusader with a background in the energy and tech space, she is well-versed in the realm of data-drive projects focused on increasing distributed energy resources and grid modernization. Alexsandra believes that they key to impactful innovation is a combination of social awareness and technology, and she prioritizes efficient and sustainable practices in all aspects of her life.

Today, Alexsandra once again joins Ross, Christophe and Paul on the podcast. This time, she is here to talk methodologies, explaining her current work with the product team around compensating farmers for carbon removal. She walks us through the process of enrolling in the Nori marketplace, getting your data verified, and earning Nori tokens. Alexsandra offers insight around the benefits of regenerative farming practices and the demand for a price on carbon. Listen in to understand how and why Nori is engaging stakeholders to build a usable platform based on feedback from the community.

Resources

Nori Webinars

COMET-Farm

Natural Resources Conservation Service

GOAT

ReGen18

VNRC Soil Workshops

Carbon Farming Innovation Network

University of Minnesota Main Street Project

Key Takeaways

[1:46] The fundamentals of Nori methodologies

  • Current focus on soils and grazing
  • Develop way to measure carbon removal
  • List projects, get paid for good work

[2:43] How to become a part of the Nori marketplace

  • Enter regenerative practices on COMET-Farm
  • Use data to estimate CO2land stores over time
  • Issued corresponding number of CRCs

[4:02] The benefits of regenerative farming practices

  • Better yield over time, prevents soil erosion
  • Avert economic impact of land degradation

[5:53] The job of a verifier in the Nori system

  • Confirm applicant has rights to project listed
  • Verify accuracy of data in COMET-Farm
  • Ensure project not on other marketplaces

[8:00] How farmers get paid through Nori after verification

  • CRCs listed in que, convert to Nori tokens once purchased
  • Some tokens issued immediately but others held in reserve
  • Must maintain practices for ten years

[9:45] The difference between a verifier and an auditor 

  • Verifier makes sure COMET-Farm data is accurate, maintained
  • Auditor performs occasional checks (still working on timeline)
  • Supplier and buyer pay for both, Nori not involved in process 

[14:09] How the Nori marketplace provides assurance to buyers

  • Adjust credits held in reserve if less CO2removed than projected

[15:47] The theme of recent ag tech and soil health conferences

  • Crucial need for price on carbon
  • New practices to reduce inputs (e.g.: tree range chickens) 

[18:57] Why Nori is building a community of collaboration

  • Generate input to build usable tool
  • Prompt broad stakeholder engagement

[22:46] The Nori product team’s lean methodology

  • Apply scientific method to assumptions
  • Customer discovery to test hypotheses

Jul 03 2018

26mins

Play

Rank #18: 41: Gaya Roshan, CEO of Dashboard Earth

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To date, the environmental movement has relied on fear and shame to persuade people to change their behavior. The problem is, guilt is not a lasting motivator. What if we used a different approach and incentivized positive action instead? What if people were rewarded for pursuits that benefit the climate AND humanity?

Gaya Roshan is the CEO of Dashboard Earth, a technology platform designed to encourage the adoption of climate-friendly behavior and reward action in the form of a coin redeemable for eco-products, services and donations. Dashboard Earth crowdsources the limitless number of climate solutions from local governments, environmental groups and individuals, giving each and every one of us the opportunity to take eco-actions that make a meaningful difference. Gaya has spent the last 15 years working with some of the world’s most visionary environmentalists as a researcher, filmmaker and consultant in the realm of deep ecology.

Today, Gaya joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to share her background in filmmaking and climate solutions and explain why she made the shift to the technology space—despite being a self-proclaimed technophobe. She walks us through the basics of the Dashboard Earth app, discussing how it matches unmet needs with unused resources and rewards positive action. Gaya offers insight around Dashboard Earth’s city-by-city approach to defining climate solutions, addressing how the app affords agency to the individual and encompasses lifestyle, behavior and consumption. Listen in to understand the benefit of multiple forms of currency and learn how Dashboard Earth and Nori are working to monetize activities that benefit the climate!

Resources 

Dashboard Earth

Buckminster Fuller Institute

Regen Network

ORA Systems

Data-Driven Yale

Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperityby Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne

Bancor Network

SDG Compacts

C40

TreePeople

Nori’s Crowdfunding Campaign

Key Takeaways 

[1:34] Gaya’s interest in the climate space

  • Stepfather made one of first films on climate change
  • Interest in how beliefs shape relationship to climate
  • Grew up in nature on rural west coast of Scotland 

[4:10] Gaya’s background in filmmaking

  • Most reasonable way to change minds
  • Deeply learn body of work in making feature 

[5:31] Gaya’s shift to the technology space

  • Inspired by need to do things differently
  • Tech is melting systems we’re used to

[7:24] The fundamentals of the Dashboard Earth app  

  • Solutions available but incentives all wrong
  • Match unmet needs with unused resources
  • Crowdsource wide range of solutions (by city)
  • Reward action with coin redeemable for goods/services 

[10:54] Gaya’s insight around climate solutions

  • Need to decouple climate from energy
  • Includes lifestyle, behavior and consumption

[16:00] Why Gaya maintains a particular focus on meaning

  • Climate gives opportunity to be heroic
  • Human capacity for healing robbed by consumerism

[18:41] How Dashboard Earth assigns value to climate action

  • Team’s opinion early on
  • Eventually float currency through reinsurers, cities

[20:29] How Gaya was influenced by Bernard Lietaer

  • Connect unmet needs with unused resources
  • Need for multiple forms of currency (yin and yang) 

[23:46] The concept of demurrage

  • Money decreases in value over time
  • Encourages use of money

[25:03] The timeline of Dashboard Earth

  • Benefit Corp in March (protect by mission)
  • Beta version live after October
  • LA will be first city

[29:24] The link between Dashboard Earth and Nori

  • Monetize activities that benefit climate
  • Use incentives over fear, shame and guilt

Oct 02 2018

33mins

Play

Rank #19: 44: Lorraine Smith, Sustainability Consultant

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We can learn a lot if we listen to the trees—and pay attention to the party going on underneath! Nature has much to say about how to realign our industrial value chains, embrace biodiversity, and maintain soil microbiology. The question is, are we smart enough to listen and move toward a regenerative economy? 

Lorraine Smith is a writer and independent consultant who advocates for the shift to a regenerative economy. Lorraine has consulted for leading change-agents and large companies since 2004, and she is a sought-after speaker in the realm of sustainability and corporate innovation. Lorraine collaborates regularly with John Elkington’s team at Volans and sits on the Sustainability Advisory Board of Fibria, a large Brazilian forest products company. She also serves on the Board of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and the Review Council of the Future Fit Business Benchmark. Lorraine is currently working on her first book, a series of essays exploring the relationship between people and trees.

Today, Lorraine joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to share her ‘silver lining’ approach to environmentalism, explaining how a shift in the conversation can lead to true progress. She discusses her work with corporate boards, describing the value of understanding a company’s current circumstances and humbly checking your assumptions at the door. Lorraine offers insight around accelerating the rate of change and helping business think beyond emissions reduction to elevate the use of products that use CO2 as feedstock. Listen in to understand how we can expand the way we think about sustainability and create a regenerative economy based on the natural process that has been evolving for 3.8 billion years!

Resources 

Lorraine’s Website

Lorraine’s Blog

Lorraine on Facebook

Lorraine on Twitter

Lorraine on LinkedIn

Lorraine on Instagram

Lorraine on Medium

Future-Fit

Volans

John Elkington

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility

Fibria

Forest Stewardship Council

The Donella Meadows Project

Cleantech Group

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet by Kristin Ohlson

Brazil’s Carbon Index

Xuxa

Interface

Covestro

Carbon XPRIZE

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Key Takeaways

[2:59] Lorraine’s path to reversing climate change

  • Playground fight led to think about humans in wider world
  • Role in financial services: Who cares how money invested?
  • Volunteered to help farmers spin through weaving group
  • Eventually hired to work at CBSR(still board member)

[8:05] Lorraine’s current work in the climate space

  • Explore themes of regenerative economy through writing
  • Contribute to teams (e.g.: Volans, Fibria)

[9:40] The themes of Lorraine’s forthcoming book

  • Relationships between humans and trees
  • Patterns we haven’t picked up on
  • Possibilities for how we can BE in wider world

[13:01] The ‘silver lining’ approach to environmentalism

  • Broaden mindset to shift conversation
  • Realign industrial value chains, human interaction

[16:33] Lorraine’s work as a consultant to companies

  • ‘Can’t convince anyone of anything’
  • Understand present circumstances
  • Check assumptions at door

[21:53] Our role in the deforestation supply chain

  • Don’t recognize what we’ve lost (i.e.: soil microbiology)
  • Come from place of privilege, work to avoid catastrophe

[25:12] Lorraine’s insight around what we can do

  • Amplify what works using nature’s instructions
  • Incentivize behavior through financial mechanism
  • Inspire people to understand ‘party beneath trees’

[26:52] Lorraine’s advice on accelerating the rate of change

  • Worth focusing on emerging knowledge that can help
  • Energize what’s working (i.e.: carbon in soil)
  • Embrace what nature teaches about biodiversity
  • Value of art to inspire reveling in what feels right

[33:59] How companies can go beyond emissions reduction

  • Requires shift in understanding, how fit into carbon story
  • Encourage use of products using CO2as feedstock

[38:19] The evolving language of environmentalism

  • Greenhouse effect—global warming—climate change
  • Changes understanding of warning over time

[42:37] The dichotomy of being open-minded vs. permissive

  • Draw line when something isn’t okay
  • Not so open-minded that ‘brain falls out’

Oct 23 2018

46mins

Play

Rank #20: 25: Dr. Keith Paustian, Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University

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The greatest challenge we face here at Nori is that of verifying that carbon has, in fact, been captured and stored for good. To our benefit, Colorado State University has developed a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system called COMET-Farm. How does the tool work to estimate how a farmer’s management practices impact soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions? 

Keith Paustian is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at CSU. His research deals with soil organic matter dynamics and carbon and nitrogen cycling in managed ecosystems, with a major focus on modeling and field measurement of soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from land use activities. Keith acts as the coordinating lead author for the IPCC in the area of agriculture and national greenhouse gas inventory methods, and he serves on the US Carbon Cycle Steering Group, the Chicago Climate Change Science Advisory Board, the 25X25 Advisory Board, and the Soil Science Society of America Greenhouse Gas Working Group.  

Today, Keith sits down with Ross and Christophe to share his path to the study of soil carbon sequestration. Keith explains what happens when we convert land for agriculture and what we can do to recover the lost carbon inventory. He offers insight into COMET-Farm, discussing how the tool’s models quantify changes in soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Listen in to understand the hurdles to widespread adoption of sustainable agriculture and learn how the technology revolution in the space might facilitate Nori’s ambitions to compensate farmers for sustainable practices.

Resources

COMET-Farm

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Key Takeaways

[0:40] Keith’s path to sustainable agriculture

  • Grew up in Colorado, studied forest science
  • Two years in Norway as lab tech
  • PhD in Sweden (ecology of arable lands)
  • Part of global climate change community
  • Developed interest in land use systems

[4:09] How to recover the carbon lost in converting lands for agriculture

  • Plants on ground as much as possible
  • Avoid soil disturbance, reduce soil erosion
  • More efficient use of nutrients

[6:58] How COMET-Farm works

  • Farmers provide detailed management info
  • Models estimate changes in soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions 

[9:47] Why soil organic carbon is a good proxy for soil health

  • Soil is complex living system
  • Organic matter = food source for organisms
  • Important to physical structure of soil

[11:49] The factors that impact the chemical and physical properties of soil

  • Parent material (e.g.: limestone, volcanic ash)
  • Change over time due to climate

[15:08] Keith’s take on the Earth’s capacity to store excess CO2in atmosphere

  • Yes, but not all in soil
  • Forests, carbon mineralization and geological storage (i.e.: saline aquifers) 

[16:41] The hurdles to widespread adoption of soil carbon sequestration

  • Farmers focused on net return, crop yield
  • May cost more, involve more risk in short-term
  • No immediate tangible benefit

[20:40] The benefits of the current technology revolution in agriculture

  • Directly address soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions
  • Forecast outcomes to facilitate changes in management
  • Understand behavior of organic matter in soil, how to increase 

[25:16] The definition of precision agriculture

  • Farmers understand variability in field
  • Map different management zones

[26:11] The most common myth around soil carbon

  • Policy community used to say couldn’t be measured

May 22 2018

28mins

Play