Dr. Phil Taylor is the Cofounder and Executive Director of Mad Agriculture, a venture that aims to restore our relationship with Earth through the story, community and the practice of good agriculture. Mad Ag works on-the-ground with producers to design Regenerative Farm Plans, heal mismanaged landscapes, and help farmers and ranchers thrive—ecologically and economically.
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.
Marissa, Mariana, and Paula explain how the microTERRA bioreactors turn the excess nitrogen and phosphorus in our waterways into fish food. They also describe their experiences in launching the microTERRA pilot in Mexico, discussing what they learned about leveraging every voice on the team to create a community of creative problem-solving.
Woody Tasch is the founder of the Slow Money Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live. Today, Woody joins Ross and Christophe to discuss how he developed the idea of Slow Money and explore the reasons why we can’t seem to get our money out of the markets and do something radically different with it—especially foundations whose investments are out of alignment with their missions.
Peter Brannen is an award-winning science journalist with expertise in ocean science, deep time, astrobiology, and the carbon cycle. Peter walks Ross and Christophe 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.
Bob Inglis is a former Republican congressman representing South Carolina and the current Executive Director of republicEN, an EcoRight organization that supports a free market approach to climate change. Today, Bob joins Ross and Christophe to share the three-step metamorphosis that inspired his belief in climate change. He defines conservatism, discussing the link between Christianity and climate action and explaining why current conservative politics don’t reflect Christian values.
Joshua Hughes, Sara Czarniecki and Amanda Wilson are the CEO, COO and CMO of Blacksheep, a regenerative resource management cooperative taking direct action against landbase destruction by investing in natural capital. Today, Joshua, Sarah and Amanda join Ross and Christophe to define permaculture and explain how Blacksheep began with the intention to recover that 20 acres of eroded land—and how the business has grown since then.
Wendy Owens is the founder and CEO of Hexas Biomass, a producer and distributor of sustainable biomass that can supplement or replace wood in multiple applications. Wendy’s team is dedicated to using sun, water and land to benefit people and the planet through renewable resources. Today, she joins Ross to discuss the process of growing giant reed for use in products or to produce energy.
Thaddeus Russell joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to explain why he takes issue with the environmental movement. He challenges the moralist approach to political problems, describing how environmentalists leverage guilt and shame individual choices—while ignoring big emitters like the US military. Thaddeus also offers an overview of the Progressive Era, discussing the historical efforts to eliminate cultural diversity in the US and sharing his take on the parallels between progressives and environmentalist
Dr. Emma Fuller is a Lead Data Scientist with Granular, a farm management software company working to apply data science to the agriculture industry. In her role, Emma tracks consumer trends in sustainability and works with NGOs and startups to identify opportunities for Granular growers to get rewarded for their stewardship. Today, Emma joins Christophe and Michael Leggett, Director of Product at Nori, to discuss the partnership between Granular and Nori and share their pilot program’s progress to date.
While a plastic straw ban might make us feel better, does it actually reduce consumption in the long-term? Does recycling really make a difference? As we think about waste management solutions, what questions should we be asking in terms of sustainability? What can we do to be more thoughtful about our waste and consider where our trash goes when we throw it AWAY?
Zoya Teirstein is a climate reporter for Grist, an environment and climate change media platform based in Seattle. She walks us through several of the presidential candidates’ climate plans, covering Biden’s shifting approach, Inslee’s comprehensive policy, and Warren’s initiative to green the military.
Today, Albert Bates joins Christophe and Alexsandra to share his unique path from the courtroom to the ecovillage, describing how he came to study terra preta soils and get involved in the biochar movement. Listen in for Albert’s insight around the waste streams that could serve as biochar source material and learn about the ecovillages and cities that serve as proof of concept for using biochar to draw carbon out of our atmosphere and oceans!
Apoorv Sinha is the Founder and CEO of Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT), a Canadian cleantech startup that is turning CO2 waste into a profitable commodity. CUT’s proprietary technology manufactures CO2-enriched nanomaterials, improving the performance and value of concrete, polymers and adhesives, and energy storage products. CUT is a finalist for the Carbon XPRIZE, and Apoorv has been honored as a Clean 50 Emerging Leader.
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 drones?
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.
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.
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?
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 region?
Today, Joel joins Ross and Christophe to share his practice of duplicating nature’s patterns on the farmscape. He offers his take on the flaws in the environmentalist approach to climate change and where the Christian faith community, libertarians, and economists fall short. Joel also describes how the regulatory environment is prejudiced against small-scale operations, exploring the way oversight stifles innovation.
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.
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?
Today, Andrea joins Ross and Christophe to explain why Juliana v. US qualifies as a constitutional law case, sharing the progress of the case to date and discussing how it provides a framework for decarbonization. She describes the nuances of the government’s duty to protect its citizens and counters the argument that the government didn’t know its energy policy contributed to climate change.
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?
Helene and Raoul Costa de Beauregard are the leaders of the campaign for the creation of a Climate Nobel Prize. They believe that climate actions should be ‘supported and rewarded with the highest distinction.’ Helene served in the Ministry of Ecology for the French government from 2009 to 2013 before Raoul’s role with Amazon brought the couple to Seattle six years ago. She is also the founder of GarageHop, an app designed to reduce the emissions generated looking for parking.
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?
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?
“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.
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?
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. What if we shifted to a perennial crop system that regrows from year to year without having to be reseeded? And what impact would perennialization have on reversing climate change?
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 cycle assessment
The need for energy innovation has never been more urgent. To effectively reduce climate change, we need to implement new technologies at scale quickly. Yet, the politics and regulations that dictate the energy industry make it incredibly difficult to put new ideas into practice. Despite the challenges around change, the use of solar energy continues to grow as production becomes more and more affordable. So, how do we navigate public policy while brilliant ideas can take a decade to adopt on a large scale?
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.
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?
Sustainable energy is a wicked problem. As we solve one aspect of the challenge, others arise—and the very definition of the problem evolves over time. Yet admitting uncertainty is unpopular. No one is holding a picket sign that reads, “It depends on a number of factors that are mutually interdependent.” So, what should we be thinking about as we work toward a sustainable energy future?
About 65% of Washington voters support action on climate change. But after six years of working to pass legislation for a carbon tax, the state has yet to put a price on emissions. How do political divisions make the mission so challenging? What alternative solutions are advocates exploring? And how might the Nori marketplace fit into a broader policy framework?
To make Nori work, the data of carbon removal must be somehow transferred from a model like COMET-Farm to the blockchain—and that is precisely the infrastructure that Jaycen Horton is building at Nori. So, how does communication between the software work, exactly? Why did Nori choose to build on the Ethereum blockchain? And what is the benefit of building in an open-source community?
Nori has ambitious plans to reverse climate change by using the blockchain to pay the people who draw down CO2 from the atmosphere. And the team is in the process of building the infrastructure necessary to make that happen. But how do they go about talking farmers, for example, into using the platform? How do they convince companies to buy CRCs? How do they make the business case for carbon removal?
With the Industrial Revolution and the development of a mechanistic mindset, we have come to view ourselves as entities separate from the earth. 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 adopted—on a large scale—the regenerative agricultural practices that produce nutrient-rich foods, restore the soil, and remove carbon from the atmosphere?
“The man who says it can’t be done should get out of the way of the woman who’s doing it. We focus all the time on politicians and what they’re going to do. Meanwhile, we’re becoming more energy efficient every day. We’re using fewer resources every day. We’re finding a way to do more with less, quietly, every day. But [the free market is] where the solutions are coming from.”
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?
America’s farms are disappearing at an unsustainable rate of 1.5 million acres per year. Yes, this has implications in terms of food production, but it also impacts our ability to deal with climate change. Through conservation practices and regenerative innovation, agricultural lands have the potential to sequester a great deal of carbon in the soil—and that can’t happen if development continues to erase our farms and ranches. So, how do we promote agriculture as a natural climate solution?
The business of the future is a good cooperator, working with other players in a particular space to drive progress. Collaboration is a core part of the ethos at Propagate Ventures as their team looks to leverage agroforestry to contribute to the growing pool of climate solutions and help build a world where people live in a symbiotic relationship with the ecosystem.
Stories connect. And if we want to motivate people to engage in climate advocacy, authentic communication is key. Risalat Khan believes in the power of people to inspire each other, realize the urgency and join the global civic movement to reverse climate change. But for climate activism to facilitate real transformation, we must reach more and more people in a story-driven way and leverage public momentum to influence policy.
Like it or not, humans have become the dominant agent of change on the planet, and as we proceed further into the Anthropocene period, we have a responsibility to accept responsibility and find a way to gracefully integrate our presence. But what if we are not the only ones who have experienced this phenomenon? What if the process of inadvertent planetary change is universal? What if the climate challenges we face are a natural part of planetary evolution?
Historically, civilizations collapse when there are high levels of inequality and depleted resources. Hunter Lovins argues that we either solve the climate crisis now, or we lose everything we care about. But the good news is, we CAN build an economy in service to life, one that reverses climate change—at a profit.
Corporations are not obligated to contribute to nonprofit organizations. But what if serving the underserved would drive sales? What if addressing the most pressing social issues would improve profits? What if making the world a better place would increase share price? Paul Polizzotto has demonstrated that social impact does, indeed, drive business value, and he is on a mission to transform commerce and afford resources to our most urgent social issues.
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?
When Anne Biklé started rehabilitating her Seattle backyard to plant a garden, she didn’t anticipate the return of carbon to the soil. She invited a soil scientist from UW to compare samples from the original dirt with samples from the Eco-Lawn, perennial beds, and vegetable bed. The Eco-Lawn had 5% more carbon than the baseline, the perennial beds had 8% more, and the vegetable bed had 12% more carbon. What if farmers applied these ideas at scale?
If you’re a technologist or designer who happens to be passionate about reversing climate change, what do you do? Join an advocacy group? Donate to a nonprofit organization? Write your congressperson? What if you could leverage your skill set and play an active role in reducing the amount of CO2in the atmosphere?
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?
Today, Jon sits down with Ross, Christophe, and Paul to share the idea behind Starfish Mission and explain his interest in both blockchain technology and ecological projects. He discusses his vision for a regenerative economy that functions appropriately rather than dumping an expense (e.g. nuclear waste disposal) on the rest of us. Jon offers insight around the potential to regenerate and flip land, the restrictions on silvopasture in the US, and the need for inclusion in the blockchain/ecology movement.
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.
We know that Nori is on a mission to reverse climate change by building a platform that pays people to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But how exactly will the token economics of that platform work? Why is Nori creating its own cryptocurrency separate from its carbon removal certificates? And how can we get involved and invest in Nori?
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.
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?
Knowledge is the only truly infinite resource, and its value multiplies by the number of people who put it to work. How can we put what we know about climate change to work and develop sustainable innovations that either reduce emissions or capture carbon from the atmosphere? And what role might Nori play in accelerating that innovation?
Marsupials in Tasmania can get everything they need from the rainforest without destroying it. So, why can’t humans do the same? Brian Von Herzen wants to apply this idea to the ocean and restore the sea life wiped out by climate change via marine permaculture. The way he sees it, if we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.
A big part of public interest in the blockchain can be attributed to a desire to reclaim our digital identities and reintroduce privacy to our online lives. But cryptocurrency remains vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks. What can we do at the consumer level to protect ourselves from scams and keep our digital assets safe?
The State of Washington is a clear leader in technology innovation and carbon-free energy, so it is fitting the Nori chose Seattle for its headquarters. To learn more about the state’s leadership in the climate change space and cryptocurrency regulations, we are speaking with Joseph Williams and Brian Young with the Washington State Department of Commerce. Joseph serves as Governor Inslee’s ICT Industry Sector Lead, while Brian works as the Sector Lead on clean energy technology.
If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Yet when it comes to reducing carbon in the atmosphere, the current solutions fail to recognize what has worked in the past. So, what can we learn from the pollution reduction success stories in our history? What can those successes tell us about the shortcomings of existing strategies like cap-and-trade and carbon taxes? Why do our current methods of carbon pricing fail so spectacularly?
Alex Ortiz believes that technology should be used as a tool to teach, to heal, and to create personal freedom—in short, it should be used for good to make the world a better place. He has spent the last 11 months doing a deep dive into the blockchain space, working to build a community that can learn together and develop use cases for the technology that will improve our lives. So, what exactly is the blockchain? And how might it be used to incentivize positive behavior change?
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?
John Elkington is most comfortable when he is least comfortable, most engaged when he is making it up as he goes along. A pioneer in working with businesses toward sustainable development, John has been a proponent of the triple bottom line for 40-plus years, making both his corporate clients and other environmentalists uncomfortable and earning a reputation as the ‘grit in the corporate oyster.’
Mark Stevenson is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant futurist’ and author of the bestsellers An Optimist’s Tour of the Future and We Do Things Differently. One of the world’s most respected thinkers, Mark supports a diverse mix of clients including government agencies, NGOs, corporations and arts organizations in becoming future literate and adapting their cultures and strategy to face questions around climate change and gender inequality, among other issues.
What if we could develop a currency backed by the living health of ecosystems? A sort of ‘life currency’ with a robust verification system that would incentivize practices that promote ecological health? What if we could use technology to regain the capacity to understand the consequences of our day-to-day decisions and act for the health of planet Earth? And what would it take to build this infrastructure—a kind of Subway to Regeneration?
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.
One of the tenets at Nori is Find, Don’t Whine. Rather than complaining about the complexity of reversing climate change, the startup believes in actively seeking out solutions. At the end of April, we took steps to engage a diverse group of stakeholders through the Reversapalooza Summit, inviting academics, influencers, policy-makers, potential carbon removal certificate suppliers and buyers to come together and initiate a conversation around incentivizing carbon removal by way of the blockchain.
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.
The construction industry will never reach carbon zero. And while we have made great strides in the way of operational emissions, we have only begun to think about reducing the embodied carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing, transport and construction of the necessary building materials. In most cases, it takes 250 years of operation to match the emissions related to the building process itself. So how do we reduce embodied carbon emissions as much as possible—and responsibly offset the rest?
Today, Joe sits down with Ross, Christophe and Paul to explain how seasteading facilitates innovation and Blue Frontiers’ role in establishing such floating islands. Joe discusses the benefits of seasteading for coastal and island nations impacted by climate change and Buckminster Fuller’s concept of pollution as ‘resources we’re not using.’ They talk about what’s next for Blue Frontiers, including its upcoming token ICO and the SeaZones project.
Initiatives designed to reverse climate change generally lack funding. Yet there are investors with large pools of money who are increasingly interested in the space. How do we bridge that gap and promote impact investing? How do we support regenerative agriculture projects that will restore the soil and reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere?
Today, Amanda sits down with Ross and Christophe to share the vision of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and its namesake’s legacy as an early environmentalist, humanitarian, and techno-optimist with a global vision of the future. They discuss how Nori fits into that vision as part of the ‘design science revolution’ and how the transparency of the blockchain aligns with Fuller’s ideas.
Reversing climate change goes beyond the math and science of reducing the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. It’s also about economic justice, social equity, and increasing the standard of living for all people across the planet. That’s the beauty of the approach presented in Drawdown. Not only does the suite of solutions tackle climate change, its co-benefits uncover a path forward that addresses human rights and ‘raises the boat’ for all people.
Carbon is not bad, in and of itself. The problem is that it’s currently in the wrong place. The Center for Carbon Removal (CCR) is on a mission to accelerate the development of scalable, sustainable, economically-viable carbon removal solutions that capture excess carbon from the atmosphere and put it back where it belongs—in soil, building materials and underground geologic formations. The Center is founded on the belief that we can enjoy a prosperous economy AND a safe environment at the same time.
Dr. Friedmann joins Ross and Christophe to define his role as a carbon wrangler and why it’s important, walking us through the current climate math and sharing his insight on reframing carbon in the atmosphere as a resource to be mined. They discuss the best approach to inspiring progress around climate change, the fundamentals of carbon capture and storage, and the differences among offsets, onsets and insets.
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?
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.
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.
Today David joins Ross and Christophe to explain why civilizations that degrade their soil don’t last. We discuss the troubling numbers around soil degradation and loss and the three simple farming practices that would restore our soil. David walks us through the residual benefits of regenerative farming and the factors that inhibit widespread adoption.
Andrew Himes is a partner at Carbon Innovations, currently working with the University of Washington’s Carbon Smart Building Initiative. The project seeks to transform the built environment from an existential threat to a net carbon sink that absorbs more than a billion tons of CO2 each year by converting captured carbon into useful building products and creating market demand for carbon capture.
Professor Dowlatabadi joins Ross and Christophe to share his frustration with the lack of evidence-based policy employed by governments as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change temperature targets. He offers his insight on geoengineering, explaining why he is so confident in its inevitability. We debate the ‘unobtainable goals’ of Elon Musk and compare Nori with Professor Dowlatabadi’s 2005 Offsetters program.
When it comes to climate change, the mining industry is typically seen as a ‘bad guy,’ depleting the Earth’s natural resources and emitting CO2 in the process. So you might be astounded to learn that carbon can actually be captured and stored using the waste produced in the mining process. Indeed the potential exists for scaling up this carbon capture process to remove billions of tons of CO2 per year—simply by recycling mining waste.
Why don’t voluntary or compliance carbon offset markets work? The numbers simply don’t add up. A lack of connection between the certificates and the physical inventory means that both parties—the seller and buyer—take credit for a reduction in emissions. And this double counting (issuing two certificates for a single credit) leads to a surplus of certificates under which the associated markets crash and burn. The good news is, the blockchain will allow us to start over and do the math correctly.
Ross and Christophe are joined by Dr. Klaus Lackner, the director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) and professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering. The CNCE is known for advancing carbon management technologies to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air in an outdoor operating environment. Today Klaus explains how he conceived of the windmill-sized structures that could scrub CO2 from the air and how these towers prove to be a more efficient solution than planting trees.
Today Ross and Christophe are speaking with corporate environmental attorney and blockchain enthusiast Mike Denby of Arizona Public Service, the largest power company in Arizona. APS is a vertically-integrated utility, both generating and selling power to its customers. They discuss how blockchain technology might be utilized in the energy sector and how the conservative business culture of the utility industry is likely to impact its interest in cryptocurrency.
In a world where ideology informs decision-making and policy-makers have little understanding of what is plausible when it comes to negative emissions technology, challenging doesn’t even begin to describe the task of reversing climate change. In this top-down approach, a small number of academics, activists and politicians are making the decisions for 7.5 billion people—and spending a lot of time arguing hypotheticals rather than taking action.
Carbon sequestration is an integral part of reversing climate change. The question becomes, where can we permanently store all of that CO2? One possibility lies in the basalt rock under the ocean floor. In fact, Earth science researchers at Columbia University have a project in the works that could scale up to capture millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Today Ross and Christophe are joined by Propagate Co-Founders Jeremy Kaufman and Ethan Steinberg to discuss the fundamentals of agroforestry and how the Propagate model works to provide farmers with capital for planting trees. They walk us through the process, explaining how an analysis of crops appropriate to the bioregion and the farmer’s goals work together to determine the specific tree crop appropriate to the project.
Today, Ross and Christophe are joined by Sophia Mendelsohn, Head of Sustainability at JetBlue to discuss the incentive to offset carbon emissions at the personal, company, and global levels. They speak to how the industry is addressing climate change via the CORSIA deal and why limiting carbon exposure and liability makes good business sense from a financial perspective.
On the inaugural podcast, Ross and Christophe are joined by Nori CEO Paul Gambill to discuss the concept of carbon removal and the scope of the problem presented by climate change. Paul addresses Nori's approach to reversing climate change, explaining the necessity of removing carbon from the atmosphere rather than simply reducing emissions. They also cover the basics of how Nori would use tokens to eliminate the problems presented by the current cap and trade system.