New     Submit     Search     Register  
My Climate Journey on Smash Notes

My Climate Journey podcast.

December 31, 2019

A podcast about a recovering software entrepreneur (me!), and my quest to reorient my career around helping solve climate change for this next chapter and beyond. Includes interviews with people in the thick of tackling this problem, and commentary from yours truly. I'm glad you are here!



Episodes with Smash Notes

This is a preview for an episode exclusively available to My Climate Journey Members. If you're interested in listening to the full episode, you can learn about becoming an MCJ Member on the website: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/become-a-member.

Today's guest is Jason Bordoff, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Founding Director at the Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

After his tenure in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change (on the staff of the National Security Council), Jason joined the Columbia faculty in 2013. As one of the world's top energy policy experts, Jason has led research and developed policy at the intersection of economics, energy, environment and national security. We have a great discussion in this episode, in which Jason walks us through the many aspects of the energy policy discussion and debate.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Tim Latimer, Co-Founder and CEO of Fervo Energy.

Fervo Energy is a geothermal energy developer, that has developed technology that is more cost-effective than traditional methods. The company is commercializing technology to develop, own, and operate geothermal assets as a dispatchable foundation to a 100% clean energy future. Its technology incorporates proven cost-effective methods such as horizontal drilling and advanced fiber optic sensing to lower the cost and increase the productivity of geothermal development.

This is the first episode that I've done putting geothermal front and center, and Tim does a great job in this discussion of providing an overview of geothermal technology. I learn why it matters, where it is in its evolution, where it needs to get to and the barriers holding it back. We also talk a bunch about Tim's journey from starting as a drilling engineer, working in the Permian and Eagle Four Basins, to now being laser-focused on thermal technology and the clean energy transition. I really enjoyed this one and I hope you do as well.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Bryce Smith, Founder & CEO at LevelTen Energy.

Described as a “Zillow for energy contracts,” LevelTen Energy provides a renewable energy procurement platform that connects corporations that have renewable energy goals with developers that want to build solar, wind and energy storage projects. LevelTen provides access to all the planned projects in the market as well as sophisticated data analysis to help corporations understand, compare, and select the best overall project for them. In addition, the company offers a team of industry experts and a range of software tools to manage the process from beginning to end, helping corporations achieve their goals faster and at less risk.

We have a great discussion in this episode about Bryce's career and experience, what brought him into the energy world, and what led him to founding LevelTen. We talk about the vision of LevelTen, the company’s origin story, the products they've had to date, and what types of things are coming next. And we have a great discussion about the energy marketplace and how the projects LevelTen facilitates are helping to usher the transition to renewable energy.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

This is a preview for an episode exclusively available to My Climate Journey Members. If you're interested in listening to the full episode, you can learn about becoming an MCJ Member on the website: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/become-a-member.

Today's guests are Nan Ransohoff & Ryan Orbuch, members of Stripe’s Climate team.

Nan and Ryan form the Climate team at Stripe, and I was very excited for the opportunity to interview them. While it’s not a climate company, Stripe recognizes that climate change poses a long term risk to its mission of growing the GDP of the Internet. As a result, Stripe is doing a number of things that I think are fascinating. For one, it’s treating the climate team like a product team. The company embraces a culture of experimentation and, as part of that, it’s leaning into negative emissions. The company has been transparent in its efforts, open sourcing much of its work. Second, Stripe is figuring out how to include merchants in its efforts to decarbonize. I can't wait to see what Stripe does in climate over time. It's a fascinating company, and I really enjoy this discussion with Nan and Ryan.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

This is a preview for an episode exclusively available to My Climate Journey Members. If you're interested in listening to the full episode, you can learn about becoming an MCJ Member on the website: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/become-a-member.

Today's guest is Sean Casten, U.S. Representative of Illinois 6th Congressional District.

Congressman Sean Casten is an American entrepreneur and Democratic politician, serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois sixth congressional district. A freshmen in the 116th Congress, he is the first Democrat to represent the sixth district in nearly 50 years. We cover a lot in this episode, including Sean’s roots and how he came to care about climate change. We also discuss how his thinking on the problem has evolved from his time as a science and engineering student in college to his career as a clean energy entrepreneur to his current role as a member of Congress. I learned a lot in this one and I hope you do as well.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Andrew Salzberg, Loeb Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

The former Head of Transportation Policy at Uber, Andrew is just wrapping up a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, which was a one-year fellowship to study how new mobility technology can be skewed towards serving the public interest. Andrew has had a particular focus on advancing zero carbon transportation systems.

I was excited for this one, because transportation is such a key lever in decarbonization and one that we haven't yet spent enough time talking about here on the pod. We cover a lot in this episode, including an overview of the transportation ecosystem, where we are today, where we need to go and what are some of the barriers that have been holding us back.

We also talk about the arc of Andrew's career and his time at Uber. I enjoyed this one a lot and I hope you do as well.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

This is a preview for an episode exclusively available to My Climate Journey Members. If you're interested in listening to the full episode, you can learn about becoming an MCJ Member on the website: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/become-a-member.

Today's guests are Gene Berdichevsky, Co-Founder & CEO at Sila Nanotechnologies, and Jigar Shah, President & Co-Founder at Generate Capital.

Now we've done episodes with each of them before individually, but I asked them to come on together. And the reason is in the My Climate Journey Slack room, there was some discussion about hydrogen.

And as it turns out, Jigar is a hydrogen "bull" and Gene is a hydrogen "bear." I respect both of these guys' opinions and so I thought it'd be interesting to have them come on the show and talk through hydrogen, what they think about it, what they like, what they don't like, where they agree, and where they disagree. They have a really fruitful and fascinating debate, covering topics such as applications for hydrogen, the ongoing barriers and what the atom’s future prospects are as a source of energy technology. This is a great discussion and one I think you’ll learn a lot.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Philip Behn, CEO of Imperfect Foods.

Imperfect Foods is an online grocer on a mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. They do this by sourcing “imperfect” and surplus produce and shelf-stable goods directly from farmers, growers, and food purveyors, and delivering them directly to customers through a subscription that's often 20% - 30% less than traditional grocery store prices. Phillip has over 19 years experience as a retail executive, including ten building and running online grocery businesses for Walmart in the U.S., Mexico and China. I didn't know much coming in about food waste or how big of a problem it is for the climate fight.

It turns out that it's a really big deal: 30% of food produced globally is wasted every year. In the U.S., that's more than 40%! Project Drawdown lists reducing food waste as the number three action item (out of 80) to the tune of more than 70 gigatons of carbon reduction. And that's not including any number of other food-related solutions on the list.

There are also studies that indicate as much as 11% of greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated, if food waste were brought to zero. We have a great discussion in this episode, and I'm excited for you to hear it.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is May Boeve, Executive Director & Co-Founder of 350.org.

350.org is an international climate change campaign that was founded by a group of university friends, along with author, Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public. May has been active in the climate movement since her days at Middlebury College, and that includes co-founding and leading the "Step It Up 2007” campaign, which brought together communities from 1,400 places for a national day of climate action. It also includes getting handcuffed and arrested in front of the White House while protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline. Through it all, May has maintained her commitment to fighting for what's right.

And in 2015, Time Magazine recognized her as a "Next Generation Leader." I was looking forward to this episode because activism is so important for the climate movement, and it's a topic that I haven't covered enough yet here on the pod. It's also a topic that's going through a bunch of change. People say that climate in many ways has been like a rich white people's problem. And until we tackle the issues of environmental and social justice, we're not really going to address climate change as well. Moreover, without addressing issues of racial and social equality, we're not going to be able to ensure that there's a "just transition." We have a great discussion in this episode about May's roots in activism and in fighting to combat global warming, where that came from, how it came about, and how her thinking on these topics has evolved over the past decade. We also talk about the current state of affairs in the climate movement and in the world, where we need to go, and what are some of the things that can be most impactful for helping us get there.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Phil Bredesen, Former Governor of Tennessee.

Governor Phil Bredesen served as the governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011 and the mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999. He's also the founding chairman of Silicon Ranch, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. More recently, he's also Co-Founder of Clearloop, which offers short-term agreements that enable companies to compensate for their carbon emissions impact by paying to fund new solar panels in the communities with the dirtiest electric grids.

This is a fascinating discussion because I haven't come across many people who have made the transition from entrepreneurship to politics back to entrepreneurship. But Governor Bredesen has danced back and forth in both of these areas quite successfully over a long illustrious career. We also have a great discussion about climate change, its impact, the best path forward and what levers we've got to solve it. And which ones governor Bredesen is most excited about.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

This is a preview for an episode exclusively available to My Climate Journey Members. If you're interested in listening to the full episode, you can learn about becoming an MCJ Member on the website: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/become-a-member.

Today's guest is Katie Rae, CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine.

The Engine is a venture capital fund, spun out of MIT, that invests in early-stage companies, solving the world's biggest problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering, and leadership. A for-profit organized as a public benefit corporation, The Engine not only maximizes for investor returns but also for purpose. Its investing focuses on several so-called “tough tech” domains: reversal climate change, biological human health (e.g. agriculture), “compute of tomorrow” and infrastructure (e.g. quantum computing). Primarily, it invests early at the seed stage or small Series A as the lead investor.

I was excited for this one, as Katie is an old friend and a longtime fixture in the Boston innovation community. She's advised hundreds of founders and invested in a myriad of companies. Now at The Engine, she serves as a board member at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations and Lilac Solutions. We have a great discussion in this episode about tough tech, why it matters and what led Katie to switching gears to focus exclusively on what historically has been an underfunded field of innovation.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Today's guest is Rebecca Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University.

In her position at Harvard, Rebecca has a joint appointment at the Harvard Business School in both the general management and strategy units. She's also a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work explores how organizations respond to large scale technological shifts most recently in regard to energy and the environment. She teaches “Reimagining Capitalism” in the MBA program and recently published a new book called, "Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire," which was released on April 28th. We have a great discussion in this episode about the role of capitalism in society, what's gone well with capitalism, what has gone not so well, and what needs to change as we enter this next era.

We also talk a lot about climate change, how to think about the problem, the path forward, and most importantly how Rebecca came to be doing this work to begin with. She has a fascinating journey, and I know it was helpful for me as I'm navigating my own journey. I hope you find it helpful too.

Enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.