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Reversing Climate Change

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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.

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.






80: 2020 Presidential candidates and their climate plans—with Zoya Teirstein

So many candidates, so little time! If you’re curious what some of the Democratic contenders for president are proposing when it comes to climate change, fasten your seatbelt. From plans to reach net zero emissions by 2045 to investments in direct air capture technology, the presidential hopefuls each have an ambitious climate platform. Who has the most aggressive approach? What are some of the more unique initiatives? And how achievable are the policy proposals currently on the...


79: Biochar or: Using Fire to Cool the Earth—with Albert Bates

We emit 37 gigatons of CO every year. If we turned our agricultural waste alone into biochar, we could bring that number down by one or two gigatons. If we poured our roads with biochar and started turning waste streams like seaweed and municipal waste into biochar as well, we could get that number up to 50 or 60 gigatons of stored carbon annually. And that kind of net gain would get us back down to a safe level of 350 ppm of atmospheric CO—in time scales of decades. Albert Bates is the...


78: Turning CO2 waste into a profitable commodity—with Apoorv Sinha of CUT

“Carbon policy writ large … has not gone far enough to drive industrial players to change how they do business. In the interim, until policy catches up, or if the global sentiment gets to a point where there is a carbon tax around the world, the onus is on the entrepreneur to make a business case for today.” Apoorv Sinha is the Founder and CEO of Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT), a Canadian cleantech startup that is turning CO waste into a profitable commodity. CUT’s proprietary...


77: Using Drones to Fast-Track Reforestation—with DroneSeed

In the past 10 years, forest fires ravaged an average of 7M acres annually in the US. (This is up from 2.6M acres per year in the 10-year period from 1982 to 1992.) The current method of reforestation involves people with shovels, carrying 50-pound bags of one- to two-year-old trees up 60° slopes. But what if we didn’t have to wait for greenhouses to grow seedlings? What if we could plant the right biological mix of seeds as soon as the fire cools? And what if we could do it all with...


76: Innovations in Carbon Beneficial Building Materials—with Chris Magwood & Jacob Deva Racusin

Buckminster Fuller famously said that “waste materials are simply resources we haven’t found a use for.” So, what if we could use agricultural waste products like corn husks or coconut coir as building materials? The truth is that we can, and a number of innovative sustainable builders are working to not just reduce the carbon emissions associated with construction but turn homes and commercial buildings into carbon storage units. Chris Magwood is the executive director of The Endeavour...


75: A Chicago Lullaby (All About the Green New Deal)—with Rhiana Gunn-Wright

If you’re asked to picture an environmentalist or climate activist, what do you see? Is it a white guy with a beard who wears a Patagonia fleece and rides his bike to work? Whether you agree with the policy or not, one of the benefits of the Green New Deal lies in the fact that it ‘builds a bigger tent.’ By addressing the twin pressures of climate change and income inequality, the proposed legislation opens the conversation about climate to a wider audience—one that includes everyone from...


74: A Conservative Approach to Climate Solutions—with Benji Backer

In our polarized political climate, we are led to believe that ALL conservatives are irrational climate deniers, and ALL liberals are dead set on a large-scale policy solution that will shut down the American economy. But if you turn off the TV and close your social media tabs, you might discover that Democrats and Republicans actually agree on a lot more than we think. So, how do we get both parties to the table to talk about climate solutions? What is the best approach for getting...


73: Using De-extinct DNA to Restore Grasslands in Pleistocene Park—with Nikita Zimov & George Church

A significant amount of carbon has been stored in Arctic permafrost for tens of thousands of years. And unless we take radical steps to restore the ecosystem that we destroyed there, the permafrost will melt and release 1400 GT of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. This dwarfs the amount humans generate annually and would accelerate climate change on an exponential scale. So, what can we do to reestablish the grasslands and reintroduce the animals that used to dominate the...


72: Biomimicry, Politics, and Lunatic Farming—with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms

“What does forgiveness look like? What does loving your neighbor look like? I think … one of the reasons we have this physical creation is so that God could demonstrate what forgiveness looks like, what neighborliness looks like. And guess what? Forgiveness does not look like a farm that has to use more and more drugs all the time to keep its animals healthy. Forgiving is not a farm that has to use more chemicals to keep its soil healthy or keep the bugs away. A forgiving farm is one that...


71: Creating Carbon Beneficial Fashion Through Fibersheds—with Becky Porlier of the Upper Canada Fibreshed

Mass-produced clothing generates 37 tons of CO2 for every ton of fast fashion, making it the second dirtiest industry in the world. But there is a better way. A way to produce clothes locally with natural fibers grown in regenerative ways. A way that is at least carbon neutral, if not carbon beneficial. And that method of hyperlocal textile manufacturing is facilitated by fibersheds. Becky Porlier is the cofounder of the Upper Canada Fibreshed, a nonprofit dedicated to building a regional...


70: The Nori Marketplace Pilot Program—with Michael Leggett and Ryan Anderson from Nori

You’ve got to crawl before you walk. The Nori team aims to have their carbon removal marketplace up and running this year, and to that end, they are currently running a pilot program with a handful of farmers and ranchers in the US. So, what does the process look like? What is their progress on the software product to date? What milestones has the team reached—and what are their next steps? Michael Leggett serves as the Director of Product, while Ryan Anderson joined the team as a...


69: Fighting US Energy Policy with the Youth Climate Lawsuit—with Andrea Rogers of Our Children’s Trust

The amended complaint of the youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, includes a Prayer for Relief stating that “Defendants have violated and are violating Plaintiffs’ fundamental constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property by substantially causing or contributing to a dangerous concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and that, in so doing, Defendants dangerously interfere with a stable climate system required by our nation and Plaintiffs alike.” In other words, the...


68: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Biofuel—with Stephen Johnson of Illinois Clean Fuels & Mark Fitz of Star Oilco

The US is the Saudi Arabia of garbage. And Illinois Clean Fuels is working to use our surplus of municipal waste as its primary input, turning trash into biofuel. This solves two problems at once, providing a sustainable source of energy through a process that captures and stores CO2 underground. So, how does it work? Stephen Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Illinois Clean Fuels, a synthetic fuel project projected to produce more than 400M+ gallons of ultra-clean, climate-friendly diesel...


67: Advancing the Campaign for a Climate Nobel Prize—with Helene & Raoul Costa de Beauregard

The Nobel Prize was established in 1895 to recognize advancements that have the greatest benefit to humankind. As the need for climate solutions becomes more and more crucial, it seems only fitting that the Nobel Committee consider adding an award for progress in the realm of reversing climate change. Helene and Raoul Costa de Beauregard are the leaders of the campaign for the creation of a Climate Nobel Prize. They believe that climate change is the defining issue of our time and that...


66: Building a Business Around Cleantech Innovation—with Tom Ranken of the CleanTech Alliance

The Pacific Northwest boasts several world-class research institutions, making the region a hub for cleantech R&D. But how do you move from the lab to the marketplace, building a business around your new innovation? What government programs are available to help your startup gain traction early on? And what industry associations offer programs for entrepreneurs and advocate for cleantech companies large and small? Tom Ranken is the President and CEO of the CleanTech Alliance, a trade...


65: Translating Climate Data into Art—with University of Washington Doctoral Candidate Judy Twedt

Climate data is overwhelming. And being inundated with numbers can make you feel disconnected or even hopeless, especially if you’re not a mathematician or a scientist. So, how can we help people connect with important data sets like the Keeling Curve or the satellite record of Arctic Sea ice? Is there a way to transform the data into art, giving people a new way to talk about climate change? Judy Twedt is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington who shares climate science...


64: Restoring Soil Health for Resilient Farms—with Louise Edmonds of Intuit Earth

“We’ve got to nurture the land, nurture ourselves and nurture each other. That’s really what being human is about, and if we can get into that essence then we might have a future on the planet.” Healthy soil is key in restoring biodiversity, protecting against pests and disease, and improving water use and photosynthetic efficiency. Healthy soil supports healthy animals and healthy humans. And healthy soil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, effectively reversing climate change. Louise...


63: Reading Nutrient Density to Improve the Quality of Our Food—with Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association

Our current agricultural systems produce food with little nutritional value. And even the products labeled organic are not necessarily more nutrient dense. We assume that every carrot is as healthy as the next, but in truth, there is enormous variation and our existing standards assess process—not quality. So, is there a reliable way to determine the nutritional value of a particular food? To compare one carrot with another and make an informed decision on what to buy? Dan Kittredge is an...


62: The Shift to Perennialization in Agriculture & the Broader Culture—with Fred Iutzi & Tim Crews of The Land Institute

To maintain annual agriculture, we wipe out perennial vegetation and effectively destroy everything on the landscape in order to plant crops every year. The negative consequences of this ecological disaster include soil erosion, loss of organic matter, and loss of nutrients. So, what if we shifted to a perennial crop system that regrows from year to year without having to be reseeded? Could such a transition facilitate a broader cultural shift toward sustainability and justice? And what...


61: Leveraging the Life Cycle Assessment for Useful Carbon Accounting with Professor Kate Simonen

The processes of building material extraction, manufacturing, transportation and construction are ALL responsible for carbon emissions. So, how do you compare these embodied costs to make the best choices around which materials to use? How do you know whether it’s better for the environment to retrofit an existing building or build a new, passive one? How do you determine whether a building truly qualifies as zero-carbon? The primary tool we use to measure environmental impact is the life...