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!



Recently updated notes

Hello everyone, and welcome to My Climate Journey!


I created this podcast to bring you along on my journey to better understand the climate change problem, and to identify areas where I or other people concerned about this problem (like you?!) might be able to help.


Here's what you can expect:


This will be a journey in every sense of the word. We will be learning in public as we go, as we interview guest after guest, and as we work to develop mastery in all aspects of the podcasting medium.


Each week we will bring on a new guest, from a wide range of backgrounds, to talk through this problem space with them, learn more about their area of focus, and talk about what things can be done to make their area move faster, and for our path towards a solution to move faster overall.


We will do our best to bring on guests from multiple sides of contentious issues, to further our own efforts to better understand the issues, as well as those of our listeners. We will not hold back from asking hard questions or engaging in lively debate, but our aim is to make sure every guest feels like they have been treated fairly and given a chance to express their views. Our goal is not only to surface the differences, but to find common ground across people with opposing viewpoints as well.


If done right, you should leave each episode feeling more informed and better armed with actionable steps you can take to help out, all while being entertained along the way.


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests you’d like to hear on the show.


For more information visit: www.myclimatejourney.co

Updated on October 16

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Ceres and its mission

  • How it works with capital markets and companies to integrate climate risks into their planning

  • The role of Ceres as an advocacy organization and relationship with companies

  • The genesis of Ceres and how it came into being

  • Ceres’ 30-year history since the Exxon Valdez oil spill

  • Mindy’s multi-disciplinary legacy working in climate change advocacy

  • The necessity to re-align major corporations toward the goals of the Paris Accord

  • How change and impact requires a multi-faceted strategy and effort

  • How the problem of climate change has evolved since Mindy first started her career

  • Why changing the public policy framework around setting climate rules is critical

  • Important political levers for enacting change

  • What motivates companies to address climate change and sustainability

  • How Ceres selects companies to engage with

  • The types of changes and policies Ceres strives to implement with its corporate partners

  • The distinction between “sustainability” and “climate”

  • The role of a sustainable leader within a corporation

  • What are the biggest barriers to change for companies to date

  • How companies report and measure their sustainability initiatives

  • Mindy’s perspective on the long-term implications of COVID-19 on climate change

  • The need for more attention on climate change as it relates to the developing world

  • Opportunities for individuals who want to take action on climate change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • How Oakland, CA has become the clean tech capital of the Bay Area

  • Danny’s work as an activist and entrepreneur to address climate change

  • How addressing climate change requires a war effort

  • How renewable energy presents not only a climate opportunity but also a much-needed employment opportunity

  • How Danny got into climate work and his underlying motivation

  • Danny’s journey into solar and founding his first startup

  • How the problem of climate change has evolved since Danny began his work

  • How clean tech and U.S. leadership in the movement represents a huge economic opportunity

  • How grassroots entrepreneurship is making up for an absence of government action

  • What government leadership to address climate change would need to look like

  • How the government-command of industry priorities to respond to COVID-19 is emblematic for what is required to address climate change

  • What the viable renewable energy mix for the future looks like

  • How Danny would address the main contributing sectors to GHG emissions

  • How effort needs to be focused on Africa and Asia, which will be the long-term contributors to carbon

  • How financial and software engineering are ripe areas of innovation

  • What is New Energy Nexus (NEN) and its mission

  • How NEN’s Clean Energy Fund invested in Tesla and other clean tech companies

  • How the “puck” of opportunity and innovation is headed to Asia

  • NEN’s clean energy accelerator in Indonesia

  • How Danny thought about incorporating NEN as a non-profit vs. for-profit model

  • Danny’s role in co-founding Oakland-based incubator, Powerhouse

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Shopify

  • What are its values

  • Tobi’s thoughts on consumerism

  • Tobi’s view that companies need to think of the world holistically

  • Shopify’s journey and what it discovered purchasing carbon credits

  • The misaligned incentives caused by poor quality carbon credits

  • Tobi’s personal journey in learning about climate change and taking action on it

  • The need to reform capitalism and the mechanisms to do so

  • Where Shopify is currently on its climate journey

  • Tobi’s reasons for optimism and what he sees as the key solutions

  • The need to reframe solutions beyond carbon sequestration and offsets

  • Why companies need to take responsibility for climate externalities

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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  • What is Energy Innovation (EI) and what it does

  • Genesis of EI

  • How Sonia’s love of nature influenced her journey into energy policy

  • The multidisciplinary talent of experts comprising EI’s team

  • How EI launched a opensource energy diagnostic model for policymakers globally

  • EI’s broad work in energy systems from utility regulations to work in carbon pricing in China

  • EI’s role as a resource for policymakers and regulatory decision-makers

  • How tonnage of GHG removal is EI’s success metric

  • Gamut of services EI offers its clients

  • How a range of societal benefits are also success metrics for EI

  • The role of carbon pricing and some of the perceived shortcomings

  • How policies that focus on power plants, factories, buildings and cars represent the lion share of impact

  • How EI weighs environmental impact vs. what’s politically feasible

  • How opportunities of bipartisanship on the state-level compare with those on the federal-level

  • How jobs, economic development and public health are important considerations in EI’s work

  • How EI projects that renewables can get the world to 90% carbon reduction, while keeping the costs stable

  • How leadership on the federal-level is critically needed in order to address climate change

Correction: Energy Innovation started at the end of 2011 - beginning of 2012, not in 2013 - 2014.

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Aclima and its mission

  • Davida’s journey to working on pollution

  • The notion of “ubiquitous measurement” as a way to assess the impact of climate change

  • How climate change and pollution are interconnected and impact human health

  • The lack of discussion of climate change being a public health challenge

  • Davida’s search for experts in the field of pollution and climate change

  • Davida’s early-focus on making traditional measurement technology cheaper and scalable

  • Aclima’s focus on empowering officials in government, regulators, and big companies with credible data

  • Aclima’s technology and deployment to measure hyper-local pollution

  • The hyperlocal variability of pollution in a community

  • Who are Aclima’s customers and the applications of its data

  • Partnership with Google Street View

  • The type of pollutants Aclima is measuring

  • How data extrapolations enable Aclima to “fingerprint” the source of a pollutant

  • How regulation can aid action to curb pollution

  • How pollution represents a global health issue and the leading cause of death

  • How climate change is fundamentally an economic problem

  • How the transportation and energy used by it represents a major opportunity to address climate change

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Varun’s wide-ranging background in academia, startups and public policy

  • His career as a technologist beginning with Cleantech 1.0

  • How he moved from science to public policy

  • How cooperation across sectors is critical to solve climate change.

  • The need for aggressive increases in federal funding for energy innovation

  • The lessons of Cleantech 1.0

  • How the missteps of VC cleantech investing offers insight into future funding models for climate companies

  • How the complexities of climate change make it different from the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program

  • Varun’s three-prong prescription for addressing climate change

  • How climate change in the U.S. should be couched and framed in terms of global competitiveness

  • How funding needs to be robust enough to demonstrate new technologies

  • How coordination between R&D and deployment needs to be the cornerstone of energy innovation policy

  • Varun’s view that VC is not the right model for the new wave of climate innovation technologies

  • How climate change priorities and challenges are distributed and regional

  • How the influx of Silicon Valley talent into climate tech can be challenged by lack of domain knowledge

  • How a “sector-switching” fellowship could help cross-pollinate talent across industries to address climate change

  • The importance of India’s energy transition

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • The focus and work of BNP Paribas Asset Management

  • Mark’s role in sustainability research

  • Sectors of focus for Mark’s team

  • How ESG is used as a lens to analyze different sectors

  • BNP Paribas Asset Management’s track record of Social Responsibility Investing

  • Asset management industry’s shifting focus into more SRI and ESG investments

  • The thesis that ESG investing will yield a greater return over the long term

  • How his firm has applied ESG into how the firm and fund managers operate

  • His firm’s ESG asset rating assigned to companies

  • How his firm balances return objectives, values, and sustainability considerations

  • The stigma around ESG

  • Reasons why ESG leads to better performing companies

  • Mark’s journey to sustainability-focused asset management

  • How clients are a major driver behind sustainability investing

  • Mark’s view on engaging with non-sustainable companies vs. divesting

  • Comparing the global economic toll brought on by COVID-19 with climate change threats

  • The need to make the world more resilient and adaptable to climate change

  • The opportunity around energy storage

  • How individuals should think of their own habits and behavior as it relates to climate change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Origins of Scale Microgrid Solutions (SMS)

  • What’s a “microgrid?”

  • “Front of the meter” vs. “Behind the meter” microgrids

  • The way utilities are setup in the U.S.

  • How Tim found his way into the energy sector

  • The value proposition of the microgrid

  • How the company’s management software controls the grid components

  • SMS’ modular solution

  • SMS’ Energy-as-a-Service model

  • The motives for customer adoption

  • Microgrid’s role in contributing to a resilient energy infrastructure

  • The barriers inherent in the U.S. regulatory system

  • Similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the climate crisis

  • Why one should join the climate fight

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Early learnings and thoughts on COVID-19 pandemic and parallels with climate change

  • Alex’s role at BCG and his work in the energy industry

  • His work with oil and gas companies in responding to climate change

  • How oil and gas companies’ climate change strategies have evolved

  • Oil and gas companies’ attitudinal change to accepting climate change as an existential issue

  • Impact of the IPCC report on the oil and gas industry

  • How stakeholders are demanding action on climate change

  • Reconciling the fossil fuel industry’s legacy of climate denial

  • Who should be accountable for the fossil fuel industry’s contribution to the climate crisis?

  • The argument that fossil fuel companies have assets needed to address climate change

  • Why should the public trust the fossil fuel industry?

  • Carbon pricing as a policy tool

  • Applying targeted regulation to ensure best behavior by the industry

  • Shift in lobbying focus from denying the science to focusing on the socio-economic considerations

  • Impact of divestment vs. ESG investing

  • Reasons why oil and gas industry has lagged in “total shareholder return” over the past decade

  • The increasing cost of capital for the industry and reasons for it

  • BCG’s ethical policies as it relates to climate change

  • “Deep de-carbonization technologies”

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Carbon Lighthouse, its business, vision and clientele

  • The genesis of the company

  • The opportunity of improving energy efficiency

  • The early challenges of driving sales

  • Carbon Lighthouse’s non-profit arm

  • The substantial role commercial buildings play in emitting GHG

  • Misaligned incentives of the many stakeholders involved

  • Factors that led to a tipping point in the sales challenge

  • What is HVAC optimization

  • How Carbon Lighthouse uses software to optimize commercial HVAC systems

  • Value and savings delivered to commercial buildings

  • Carbon Lighthouse’s customer profile

  • How landlord adoption is a continuing obstacle

  • Carbon Lighthouse’s financing, operational expenses and costs

  • Brenden’s views on utility-level policies to reduce emissions

  • Brenden’s thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to climate change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Kula Bio, its mission, and what it has developed

  • The importance of nitrogen as an ingredient in fertilizer and agriculture

  • The drawbacks and consequences of the Haber-Bosch process

  • Kula Bio’s unique fertilizer and how it addresses carbon emissions

  • The microbial process of developing the proprietary fertilizer

  • Profile of customers, to which Kula Bio is catering

  • Kula Bio’s value proposition to farmers

  • Benefits of organic nitrogen-based fertilizer vs. synthetic

  • Origins of Kula Bio’s technology in the Harvard Labs

  • Kula Bio’s commercial traction and milestones

  • The adjacent opportunities and long-term vision of the company

  • Bill’s perspective on scaling and financing Kula Bio

  • Insights and learnings derived from speaking with hundreds of farmers

  • The impact on climate change of Kula Bio’s technology

  • Bill’s reflection on his long-career as an entrepreneur and operator

  • Bill’s view on making impact vs. profits

  • How the economic viability of a climate solution is critical

  • Why impact is an important motivation for entrepreneurs

  • Bill’s retrospective on “Cleantech 1.0” and where it stumbled

  • The role of family offices as a source of long-term financing for clean tech ventures

  • How investor attention now focuses on specific milestones and pragmatic considerations

  • The importance of education and the need to improve STEM as a solution to address climate change

  • Bill’s perspective on nuclear as an important solution that should be scaled

  • Bill’s recommendation on finding purpose-driven opportunities, regardless of your background or stage of life

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is CalPERS, its origins and its mission?

  • How its priorities and concerns about climate change is rooted in its fiduciary responsibility to pensioners current and future

  • Anne’s career at CalPERS and early work focusing on corporate governance

  • What CalPERS learned from the 2008 financial crisis and how it informs its perspective and priorities regarding climate change

  • CalPERS’ ten “Pension Beliefs” that define its investment strategy

  • How being a longterm investor is both an advantage and a responsibility

  • Avoiding the curse of short-termism and how simply following the money isn’t sufficient

  • How CalPERS views types of capital beyond the financial

  • How Anne developed a strategy for sustainable investment

  • CalPERS’ top three sustainability factors (diversity & inclusion, demographics and climate change)

  • The role CalPERS plays as a climate change advocate

  • How it leverages its shareholder position to influence companies to be in accord with The Paris Agreement

  • Research done to better understand the portfolio’s contributions to emissions

  • Work performed to assess climate-risk among CalPERS’ assets

  • The fund’s emissions commitments over the next thirty years

  • The double-edged sword of divesting from companies not meeting climate goals

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Ken’s journey from making money on Wall Street to making meaning as a scientist

  • The perceived “information deficit” problem in public policy

  • How Ken distinguishes his role as a concerned citizen from his work as a scientist

  • How getting past social identities is a major challenge to effecting change

  • Bill Gates’ support and patronage of Ken’s work

  • The various climate change research, pursued by Ken’s post-doc graduate students

  • The prospect and viability of a 100% renewable energy model

  • Bill Gates’ notion of a “green premium”

  • Carbon pricing solutions

  • The problem of split-incentives

  • The viability of geoengineering as a solution

  • The need to reframe the problem and solutions to make it palatable for social acceptance

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • KoBold’s team and its business

  • Why cobalt is known as the “goblin metal”

  • The collaboration of software engineering, data science and mineral exploration at KoBold

  • KoBold’s “machine prospector”

  • Kurt’s journey to taking action on climate change

  • Why cobalt makes for a good ingredient in batteries

  • Why cobalt is known as the “blood diamond of metals”

  • KoBold’s technology and the “messy data problem”

  • KoBold’s business model

  • Investment from Equinor and reconciling working with an oil and gas company

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Deep Isolation and how it’s addressing the issue of nuclear waste disposal

  • The half-a-century history of nuclear waste

  • Genesis of Deep Isolation and Elizabeth’s earlier work founding Berkeley Earth

  • Directional drilling as a solution for long-term storage of nuclear waste

  • Partnerships with communities

  • Pollution studies performed by Berkeley Earth

  • The opportunity of using impermeable rock

  • The importance of being able to retrieve waste stored in drill-holes

  • How the issue of consent by a community underpins the solution

  • The pros and cons of Yucca Mountain as a long-term storage plan

  • Partnership with Bechtel

  • How it serves governments and utilities differently

  • The gamut of storage solutions used globally

  • Stages of going to market

  • Deep Isolation’s funding to date and sources of capital

  • Where it sees opportunities in terms of future financial partners

  • Stakeholders in the nuclear waste space

  • Engagement with environmental groups

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • The NAACP, its history and mission

  • Why climate is integral to promoting civil justice and equity

  • Climate change’s disproportionate impact on communities of color

  • Examples of how the NAACP is taking action from a climate perspective

  • Jacqueline’s journey that led her to climate justice

  • Her role at the NAACP in addressing climate issues that affect vulnerable groups

  • The intersectionality of the issues posed by climate change

  • NAACP’s climate priorities

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Blueprint Power and how its unique business model works

  • Who’s its customers and what is their need

  • How her early-career at Google was a springboard into a career in energy

  • The genesis and inspiration behind Blueprint Power

  • The current state of the renewable energy sector

  • The role of the energy grid and its stakeholders

  • How Robyn initially validated market demand for Blueprint Power

  • Blueprint’s current geographic footprint and market focus

  • How recent regulatory developments have served as a tailwind for the business

  • The perspective of executives at commercial property firms with respect to renewable energy

  • The current role of incumbent utility companies

  • Blueprint’s customer traction to date

  • The contributions Blueprint is making in combatting climate change

  • The challenges and evolution of raising venture capital as an energy startup

  • Squaring both impact and profit motives

  • Aspects of Blueprint’s business that appealed to traditional VCs

  • How Robyn sees a significant opportunity in clean water

  • How regulatory speed remains one of the biggest bottlenecks

  • Robyn’s thoughts on those seeking to transition their career to the climate space

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Her journey from Geologist to Historian of Science

  • The genesis of her climate change awakening

  • What led to her seminal book on climate change, “Merchants of Doubt”

  • How the science showing fossil fuels impact on climate change go way backHer work inspiring the movie, "An Inconvenient Truth"

  • The foundational work of Prof. Ben Santer, proving climate change

  • How the fossil fuel industry led a disinformation campaign, intent on discrediting climate scientists

  • Her views on how the fossil fuel industry is not a reliable partner in combatting climate change in this day

  • Why science should be trusted by the public

  • The significance of consensus in science

  • Remaining topics of climate change debate within the scientific community

  • How public policy changes is not in the domain of science

  • How the challenges with climate change are not within the science or technology but within policy and politics

  • Why nuclear is not a viable solution to climate change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Elemental Excelerator

  • Dawn’s journey to climate change

  • Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative

  • Applying the startup accelerator model to energy and clean tech

  • Investing focus and criteria

  • Holistic support for portfolio companies

  • Geographic focus for its projects

  • Sources of funding for Elemental Excelerator

  • Purpose of pilots

  • Coaching support

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Elemental Excelerator: https://elementalexcelerator.com/

Emerson Collective: https://www.emersoncollective.com/

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative: http://www.hawaiicleanenergyinitiative.org/

CarbonCure Technologies: https://www.carboncure.com/

Zero Mass Water: https://www.zeromasswater.com/

Cyclotron Road: https://www.cyclotronroad.org/

Trove (f.k.a. Yerdle): https://www.trove.co/

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is Carbon Tracker and what’s it role in the financial markets?

  • How fossil fuels and carbon emissions play into the valuation of stocks, etc.

  • How Carbon Tracker influence investors and their strategies

  • The investment risk associated with not factoring in climate change

  • The meaning and examples of a “stranded asset”

  • How the energy transition to cleaner technologies can disrupt incumbent industries to the detriment of investors

  • How inertia continues to drive the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure

  • Asset reallocation as the primary lever in Carbon Tracker’s strategies

  • Kingsmill’s prognosis of the fossil fuel industry

  • Allocating out of the “losers” than allocating into the “winners”

  • Kingsmill’s journey to working on energy-transition financial strategy

  • Fossil fuel incumbents, friend or foe to the climate change movement?

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Jupiter and its mission

  • Rich’s journey from data analytics to climate change

  • Parallels between the opportunity around cybersecurity and climate change

  • The importance of physical climate risk

  • How Jupiter initially narrowed its focus on flood risk

  • How Jupiter develops a “peril model” to assess the risk of flooding and fires

  • Profile of Jupiter’s customers

  • How critical infrastructure companies represent a major customer

  • Why insurers are not the ones who bear the financial risk of worsening climate disasters

  • Corporate indictments as a symptom of unaddressed climate risk

  • The U.S.’ “armed lifeboat diplomacy”

  • Jupiter’s nonprofit work

  • Resilience planning in the face of climate-related catastrophes

  • The need to restrict land use in at-risk areas

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • What is CGC and its mission as a nonprofit?

  • Why “green bank” is somewhat of a misnomer

  • The history of green banks in the U.S. both on the federal and state level

  • Where the CGC adds value in the clean tech financing ecosystem

  • Customers served by green banks

  • The role green banks have played in jump starting new markets for clean tech

  • Comparing green banks with for-profit investment firms (e.g. Ultra Capital, Generate Capital)

  • Sources of funding for CGC

  • Opportunities in the U.S. for green banks

  • How the U.S. Department of Energy loan program aids companies in getting through the commercialization gap

  • Jeffrey’s perspective on putting a price on carbon

  • Views on the impact of the 2020 presidential elections and the various positions of candidates

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Role, function and mission of IIASA

  • The context around SR15

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Dr. Huppmann’s work on the message integrated assessment model for environmental scenario planning

  • Significance of selecting a decade as the timeframe for action

  • Unpacking the meaning of publicly stated thresholds

  • Implications of Dr. Huppmann’s modeling on humanity

  • How new research affects older predictive models

  • Dr. Huppmann’s view on carbon storage

  • Delivering sustainability via initiatives that improve quality of life

  • The important role of carbon taxes

  • Open-source climate change data movement

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Her journey to elected office and the challenges she faced in her campaign

  • Her inspiration to run for state office

  • What she discovered about the state of Albany politics

  • How the campaign for state senator felt like a street fight

  • Her upbringing in a politically-minded family

  • How the existential problem of climate change underpins all other issues

  • What other actions concerned citizens can take beyond voting to combat climate change

  • The viability of bipartisan collaboration

  • How she would allocate $100 billion in the fight against climate change

  • Resources for elected officials to remain informed and develop onions about climate change

  • The opportunity to introduce CLCPA-inspired bills in states that don’t have climate-focused legislation

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • How Zahra landed at Buzzfeed covering climate

  • The Trump Administration and how its policies have affected climate

  • Her audience and readership

  • The positioning of her news room and editors

  • Journalism’s role

  • Her journey from studying geology at Brown to the world of climate journalism

  • What she learned at Inside Climate News

  • How climate change has become increasingly topical and relevant

  • Editorial decisions around what stories to cover

  • Delivering impact vs. ad revenue

  • Journalism’s shifting focus

  • Challenges faced by journalism and the rise of disinformation

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • David’s influential career in tech

  • His advocacy of various causes

  • DHH’s view that, regardless of one’s background, one should become versed in climate change

  • How his attention first peaked with the California drought

  • How the fires near Malibu made the crisis feel personal and urgent

  • “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace Wells helped inform him of the catastrophe brought about by a temperature rise above 2 degrees centigrade

  • How it’s remarkable to think that, since Seinfeld has aired, we’ve doubled GHG

  • His family’s carbon budget and how it showed him how much more complicated the problem is 

  • His belief that changes in consumer and voting behavior will only happen when people see the existential threat themselves (e.g. fires, floods, etc.)

  • His pessimism that things won’t change until the situation becomes more dire

  • Do carbon offsets inhibit decisive action?

  • The longer democracies fail to address climate change, the more society becomes ripe for the rise of dictators

  • DHH’s recommended reading: “The Divide” by Jason Hickel

  • His acceptance of the likelihood that he will live on an uninhabitable earth; that we’re not going to stay below 2 degrees Centigrade

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:

• Shayle’s journey from energy transition in the market intelligence space to climate change venture capital at Energy Impact Partners (EIP)

• EIP, a VC with ~$1B in AUM whose LPs are a coalition of utility companies

• EIP invests in the energy sector, attempting to bridge the gap between incumbent utilities and startups deploying new technologies

• Abe’s journey from Rockport Capital Partners, a cleantech VC originally based in Boston, to cofounding Congruent Ventures in 2016

• First clean tech wave in Silicon Valley (c.2007) ended with a bust and dry-up of capital in 2008

• Interest in clean tech (specifically climate) was renewed in c.2015

• How first cleantech wave compares with the Great Recession of 2008, in that overhype in thin-filmed solar cell (Solyndra, MiaSolé) and biofuel companies amounted to billions of dollars in bad bets

• In spite of the widespread losses, a number of viable companies, like Tesla, Nest and Solar City, emerged during this time

• After the bust, it was challenging to reignite excitement among entrepreneurs and investors

• Beneficial outcome of the bust was that solar became the cheapest resource for new power generation

• The traditional VC model is appropriate for some businesses and for others it’s not a good fit

• Among the lessons from the first wave is taking bets that require less capital; to finance go-to-market, rounds of $5M or $10M are more attractive than excessive capital requirements

• One of the hallmarks of the second wave is the feverish level of excitement among entrepreneurs and investors

• Many circumstances are unique to the second wave: climate change is more acute; the masses are more aware of the crisis; and the ubiquity of devices to capture data

• Caveat around “technology fetishism” or getting overly excited about any one particular technology without acknowledging the challenges to scale

• Shayle sees a major opportunity around scalable solutions for “CNI” (commercial and industrial) companies to go green

• There’s a need for ways to retire existing energy assets in a way that doesn’t spike the cost for consumers

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

• Energy Impact Partners: https://www.energyimpactpartners.com/

• Congruent Ventures: https://www.congruentvc.com/

• Rockport Capital Partners: http://www.rockportcap.com/

• Solyndra: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra

• Thin-film solar cell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin-film_solar_cell

• MiaSolé: http://miasole.com/

• Alpha: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/alpha.asp

• National Renewable Energy Lab: https://www.nrel.gov/

• Lawrence Berkeley Lab: https://www.lbl.gov/

Key points in this episode

In today’s episode, we cover:

● The Rebound Effect and the ironic implications of improving energy efficiency

● Harry’s journey into Climate Change

● How Harry earned the moniker, “The Godfather of Rebound”

● Contention around rebound and its Climate implications

● Factoring in the welfare of those in developing countries and the plight of “energy poverty”

● The integral role of nuclear in any clean energy strategy

● Ecomodernism and the focus on GDP-driven solutions to Climate Change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

● Decision Processes Incorporated: http://www.decisionprocessesinc.com/

● Khazzoom–Brookes postulate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khazzoom%E2%80%93Brookes_postulate

● The Rebound Effect: https://blog.ucsusa.org/peter-oconnor/energy-efficiency-what-is-the-rebound-effect-946

● Amory Lovins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amory_Lovins

● Rocky Mountain Institute: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_Institute

● Ecomodernist Manifesto: http://www.ecomodernism.org/

● Environmental Kuznets Curve: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuznets_curve#Environmental_Kuznets_curve

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Today’s guest is Rob Hanson, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Monolith Materials, where he leads the development of next-generation technology for producing low cost, low emission hydrogen and carbon black, an important raw material used in the manufacture of rubber and plastic. Prior to Monolith, Rob served as the global director of product management for AREVA Solar, the solar division of the world’s largest nuclear company. He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford, and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford, UNL, Foothill College and the University of Saskatchewan on topics ranging from thermodynamics to entrepreneurship. Rob also co-founded uforia studios, a 65-employee health and fitness company with locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Rob’s journey from solar to the chemical sector

  • The dirty process of traditionally producing carbon black

  • How a generalist background (e.g. blending science and finance) can be positioned to make a big impact as an entrepreneur in the climate technology space

  • Scaling the method of cleanly creating carbon black from natural gas

  • The genesis of Monolith

  • Staggered financing model

  • Markets for carbon black

  • Importance of establishing a market “beachhead” with product-market fit

  • Reception of the clean “story” and value proposition among prospective customers

  • Opportunities Rob finds interesting outside Monolith’s focus

  • The opportunity and importance of education in addressing Climate Change

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

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Today's guest is Matt Eggers, Investor & Company Builder at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1.1 billion, patient capital fund dedicated to building companies that will have a massive impact on greenhouse gas mitigation. He also serves on the Board of the Institute for Market Transformation.

Matt is a seasoned cleantech leader, investor and advisor with 20 years of experience delivering results in diverse companies. Matt’s recent past experience includes serving as a Vice President with Yardi Energy. He has also been the Vice President of Sales, North America for Tesla and the Vice President of Operations for Sunrun, a national leader in home solar power service operating in 11 states. His earlier experience includes leading the stack operations team and serving as Director of Product Management at the fuel cell company Bloom Energy. In that role he led development of the plan to massively scale manufacturing of Bloom’s core cell technology and developed the features and specifications for the second generation “Bloom Box.” Before Bloom, Matt worked for Genentech where he led the commercial launch of Herceptin Adjuvant, a breast cancer drug with over $1 billion in sales. Matt’s early career experience includes serving as an Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners where he championed investments in biotech and enterprise software companies. Matt has a BS in molecular biology from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford University.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Mission of Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and its high-network individual investment model

  • Success metrics anchored around half-a-gigaton carbon atmospheric reduction and financial return for investors

  • BEV’s long investment time horizon (20 years)

  • BEV’s investment criteria

  • Pivot Bio, a portfolio company, addressing carbon emissions found in fertilizer

  • 75F, a portfolio company, offering AI-driven software to drive efficiencies with HVAC systems

  • Matt’s climate journey from a farm in Iowa to BEV

  • Matt’s perspective on the climate problem and its multifaceted solutions

  • Putting a price on carbon 

  • Inadequate funding in the climate space

  • Disrupting the dairy industry’s carbon footprint via low-emission Casein 

  • The patience required with Climate Change investing  (cf. traditional software venture investing)

  • The role of corporate strategic investors and banks

  • Policy developments at the municipality-level that factor in Climate Change and affect homeowners

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

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Today’s guest is Phil Duffy, President & Executive Director at Woods Hole Research Center.

Expertise Climate modeling, extreme weather risk, societal impacts of climate change, domestic climate policy, international climate change negotiations, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Dr. Philip Duffy is a physicist who has devoted nearly 30 years to using science to address the societal challenge of climate change. Dr. Duffy frequently engages domestic and international policy- and decision-makers, including delegates at the United Nations climate conferences, and the United States Congress. Dr. Duffy is frequently quoted in major national media outlets such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, Science, the Boston Globe, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. He serves on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and advises state and local policymakers. Dr. Duffy is particularly interested in working with diverse groups to address climate change, including faith leaders, business leaders, and thought leaders across the political spectrum.

Prior to joining WHRC, Dr. Duffy served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as a Senior Advisor in the White House National Science and Technology Council. In these roles he was involved in international climate negotiations, domestic and international climate policy, and coordination of US global change research. Before joining the White House, Dr. Duffy was Chief Scientist at Climate Central, an organization dedicated to increasing public understanding and awareness of climate change. Dr. Duffy has held senior research positions with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and visiting positions at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. He has a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard in astrophysics and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Woods Hole Research Center

  • Origin story & nature of the work

  • Role of natural solutions

  • Physical climate risk

  • How Phil’s views on the nature of the problem have evolved over the years

  • What are the highest impact solutions

  • The role of political will

  • The future of capitalism and GPD growth

  • Carbon removal and direct air capture

  • Solar geoengineering

  • Nuclear

  • How Phil would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Phil’s advice for others looking to find their lane

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is David Keith, Professor at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Kennedy School, and Founder of Carbon Engineering.

David has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for twenty-five years. He took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, won MIT's prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was one of TIME magazine's Heroes of the Environment. David is Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and founder of Carbon Engineering, a company developing technology to capture CO2 from ambient air to make carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels. Best known for his work on the science, technology, and public policy of solar geoengineering, David led the development of Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, a Harvard-wide interfaculty research initiative. His work has ranged from the climatic impacts of large-scale wind power to an early critique of the prospects for hydrogen fuel. David’s hardware engineering projects include the first interferometer for atoms, a high-accuracy infrared spectrometer for NASA's ER-2, and currently, the development of pilot plants for Carbon Engineering and the development of a stratospheric propelled balloon experiment for solar geoengineering. David teaches courses on Science and Technology Policy and on Energy and Environmental Systems where he has reached students worldwide with an online edX course. He has writing for the public with A Case for Climate Engineeringfrom MIT Press. Based in Cambridge, David spends about a third of his time in Canmore, Alberta.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of solar geoengineering

  • How concentrated an area can it be deployed in

  • Steps that go into testing it

  • 'History of solar geoengineering

  • Potential risks of deployment and potential risks of not doing the testing

  • Potential for unintended consequences

  • How hard it is to deploy

  • How much research is needed (and for what) and how much it will cost

  • Bridge versus longterm solution

  • Where it fits into overall climate solutions portfolio

  • What fossil fuel companies think of solar geoengineering

  • David’s advice for others looking to help facilitate research in this area and/or learn more about it

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Additional Reading:

David Keith, “Let’s Talk About Geoengineering,” Project Syndicate, March 21, 2019.

David Keith, “Toward a Responsible Solar Geoengineering Research Program,” Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2017.

James Temple, “What is Geoengineering—And Why Should You Care?MIT Technology Review, August 9, 2019.

Lizzie Burns, David Keith, Peter Irvine, and Joshua Horton, “Belfer Technology Factsheet Series: Solar Geoengineering,” Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Technology and Public Purpose Project, June 2019.

Jon Gertner, “Is It O.K. to Tinker With the Environment to Fight Climate Change?,” The New York Times Magazine, April 18, 2017.

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is BJ Fogg, Founder & Director, Behavior Design Lab at Stanford, with an appearance by William Shan, one of his students who is project managing the launch of his new Behavior Design for Climate Action online training program.

BJ teaches good people how behavior works so they can create products & services that benefit everyday people around the world. He is a behavior scientist, with deep experience in innovation and teaching. At Stanford University he runs the Behavior Design Lab. He also teaches his models and methods in graduate seminars with students from various majors.

On the industry side, BJ trains innovators to use his work so they can create solutions that influence behavior. The focus areas include health, financial wellbeing, learning, productivity, and more.

BJ wrote a seminal book, Persuasive Technology, about how computers can be designed to influence attitudes and behaviors. That book, together with his early innovations, inspired an annual global conference on the topic. His Stanford students have gone on to co-found Instagram, as well as launch a global movement focusing on “time well spent” and the Center for Humane Technology. Starting in 2010, BJ’s Stanford lab started shifting focus away from Persuasive Technology toward a new domain they named “Behavior Design,” a set of models and methods about human behavior (with nothing to do with technology.)

BJ’s new book Tiny Habits will be published in over 15 languages.

Fortune Magazine named BJ a “New Guru You Should Know” for his insights about mobile and social networks.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of BJ’s work

  • How his work has evolved since he started doing it

  • Who BJ’s work is meant to help, and some details on the framework/process it follows

  • How (and why) BJ first became interested in helping address climate change

  • What he and Will are going to do about it, and how they plan to help

  • How others in similar positions might apply their skills and station to help with the climate fight

  • BJ’s advice for others looking to find their lane.

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

This was an experiment using a new app Talkshow, which is a live discussion broadcast via twitter where listeners can text questions as we talk!

Today's guest was Clay Dumas from Lowercarbon Capital, to talk about what they are up to with the fund and their newly opened roles! It is also always great to talk shop with Clay on everything climate change.

Enjoy!

Clay's bio:

Clay is a partner at Lowercarbon Capital where he invests in startups and research organizations developing technology to reduce emissions, suck carbon out of the air, and cool the planet. He is also a partner at Lowercase Capital. Previously, Clay served as an Executive in Residence at the Pramana Collective, a strategic advisory firm in San Francisco. Before that, he was the Chief of Staff for the White House Office of Digital Strategy, a team tasked by President Obama with connecting people with purpose. In 2017, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. At the start of President Obama’s second term, he served as an aide in the Chief of Staff’s office. Before joining the White House, Clay worked on President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He graduated from Harvard in 2011.

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Jigar Shah, President & Co-Founder at Generate Capital.

Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE, TERP), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. He is the author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Generate Capital, the Carbon War Room and SunEdison all follow from Jigar’s vision that business model innovation will unlock the largest wealth creation opportunity – resource efficiency. Jigar is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using “pay as you save” project finance models. Jigar holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute. Jigar lives in New York City and is trying to find the perfect cocktail.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Generate Capital

  • 'Generate’s business model and approach

  • Industries and solution types they are interested in

  • Example project

  • Jigar’s backround and experiences leading up to Generate

  • How Generate measures success beyond returns

  • How Jigar thinks about the nature of the climate problem

  • The role of the new blood coming into the space

  • Capital types and capital gaps

  • Capitalism, GDP growth, and climate change

  • Where economists get it wrong

  • How optimistic is Jigar for the future?

  • The most effective ways to address this issue

  • How Jigar would allocate $100B to maximize its impact on the problem

  • How you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Gary Cohen, President & Co-Founder of Health Care Without Harm.

Gary has been a pioneer in the environmental health movement for thirty years. Cohen is President and Co-Founder of Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth. He was also instrumental in bringing together the NGOs and hospital systems that formed the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. All three were created to transform the health care sector to be environmentally sustainable and serve as anchor institutions to support environmental health in their communities.

Gary was Executive Director of the Environmental Health Fund for many years. He has helped build coalitions and networks globally to address the environmental health impacts related to toxic chemical exposure and climate change. 

Gary is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, India, which has been working for over 25 years to heal people affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy and to fight for environmental cleanup in Bhopal. He is also on the Boards of the American Sustainable Business Council, Health Leads and Coming Clean.

He has received numerous recognitions for his achievements, including: The MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Award (2015), the White House’s Champion of Change Award for Public Health and Climate Change (2013), the Huffington Post’s Game Changer Award for Health (2012), the Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service (2007), and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2006).

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Health Care Without Harm and origin story

  • Gary's background and path leading up to it

  • Their initial starting point and strategy

  • Progress to-date

  • Team composition

  • How they measure success

  • How decarbonization fits in

  • Biggest levers to bring about decarbonization of health care

  • Barriers impeding progress

  • Changes that would be most  impactful

  • How Gary would allocate $100B to maximize its impact on the problem

  • How you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

 

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Tim Fruendlich, CEO of ImpactAssets.

Tim is a long-time innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sector, which he now applies as the head of ImpactAssets, the $1 billion boutique donor advised fund and investment note offerer for impact investments. While previously at Calvert Foundation for 12 years, he conceived of and launched the donor advised fund. He was also instrumental in building the $250mm Community Investment Note with more than $1 billion invested into 300-plus nonprofits and for profits globally.

He co-founded and serves as Managing Partner for Good Capital that, in addition to its flagship Social Enterprise Expansion Fund LP, founded the 2,500-person annual Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conferences in San Francisco and four Impact Hubs in the US; co-working, meeting and community space serving approximately 2,000 social innovators.

Tim is a sought-out industry speaker and regularly featured and quoted in media such as ThinkAdvisor and WealthManagement and has appeared on TheStreet and Forbes. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. Tim and his wife, Julie, live in San Francisco with their sons, Milo and Gus.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of ImpactAssets

  • Origin story and how the model works

  • How it is different than a typical institutional asset allocation

  • Who the target customers are

  • Traction and progress to date

  • Some example success stories

  • Long vision

  • Impact, if successful

  • What comes next

  • Barriers holding them back

  • What could change to help them move faster

  • Advice for people looking to allocate their philanthropic capital to maximize its impact

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Akshat Rathi, a London-based reporter, covering science, energy, and environment for Bloomberg News. He has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford, and a BTech in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai.

He tells stories of the people and their ideas tackling the biggest problem facing humanity: climate change. And he is currently working on a book about scaling up climate solutions.

Previously, Akshat was a senior reporter at Quartz and a science editor at The Conversation. He has also worked for The Economist and the Royal Society of Chemistry. His writings have also been published in Nature, The Hindu, The Guardian, Ars Technica, and Chemistry World, among others.

In 2018, Akshat won Journalist of the Year at the Drum’s Online Media Awards ceremony, he was a finalist for the John B. Oakes award for distinguished environmental journalism, and he was shortlisted for British Science Writer of the Year by the Association of British Science Writers. In 2019, he was shortlisted by the British Journalism Awards for the best science journalism category.

Akshat has won fellowships from Columbia University and City University of New York to enhance his reporting work. He has also served on the advisory panel of the 2019 Cairncross Review on the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Akshat’s most recent role at Quartz

  • How and why Akshat came to be a climate journalist, and where his concern about this issue came from

  • His transition from PhD to journlism

  • The importance of rigor in science journalism, and how Akshat defines it

  • The state of media business models, and the implications for climate coverage

  • Some different paths to introduce more scientific expertise in the newsroom

  • Akshat’s assessment of the problem of climate change

  • Akshat’s thoughts about market forces vs regulation, a carbon price, US role vs developing countries, carbon removal, fission & fusion, solar geoengineering, and more

  • Role of the fossil fuel companies in the transition

  • Consumer and corporate offsets

  • Adaptation and resiliency

  • How Akshat would allocate $100B to maximize its impact towards decarbonization

  • Akshat’s advice for others looking to figure out how to help

  • A teaser for Akshat’s upcoming role with Bloomberg News (which he’s since started!)

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Joey Bergstein, CEO of Seventh Generation, recently acquired by Unilever. Seventh Generation’s mission is to inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations. The company is a leader in positive business practices through the use of renewable plant-based products, industry-leading transparency with respect to ingredient disclosures, and recyclable packaging.

Joey joined Seventh Generation in 2011 and, together with the Seventh Generation team, has been transforming its business, more than doubling revenue during this time, while fulfilling the company’s mission to incite a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations. Following the sale to Unilever, Joey was appointed CEO. Growth is accelerating, as is the company’s ability to impact millions of people around the world.

A graduate of University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Bergstein began his career at Procter & Gamble where he held marketing leadership roles over the course of ten years across North America and in Europe. Since then, his career turned to beverages where Joey served as VP Global Business Development and then VP Marketing at Molson and finally at Diageo where as Senior Vice President of Global Rum, Joey led a global team that doubled the rum business to over $1 billion, transforming Captain Morgan into the fastest growing premium spirit brand in the world.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Seventh Generation overview and origin story

  • 'Discussion about it’s unique principles, and when/how those came to be

  • Joey’s career arc, and what led him to Seventh Generation

  • When/how/why he became passionate about helping address climate change

  • How he thinks about the problem, and the best ways to solve it

  • Some examples of initiatives within the company to help with this issue

  • How they prioritize which projects to take on, and how they measure results from an impact standpoint

  • Discussion about B corps, and their role going forward versus changes that need to come with capitalism overall

  • What else matters in the climate fight, beyond the work of Seventh Generation

  • How Joey would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact on climate change

  • Joey’s advice for others looking to determine how to best help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Senator Stephen Fenberg, a Democrat who serves as state Senator in the 18th District in Colorado where he's served since 2017. He also serves as the Senate Majority Leader.

A few years after graduating from CU, Senator Fenberg founded New Era Colorado, a nonprofit organization dedicated engaging, educating, and training young people in the political process. The organization has registered hundreds of thousands of young people to vote in Colorado and successfully passed several pieces of legislation related to election reform, student debt, and climate.

He has also served on the Board of Directors for ProgressNow, One Colorado Political Committee, and INVST Community Studies as well as the Boulder Housing Working Group and the city of Boulder Capital Improvement Taskforce. Senator Fenberg now serves as an Advisory Board member for the dZi Foundation, an international nonprofit providing development work in remote areas of Nepal.

Senator Fenberg is part-owner of the Bread Bar, a cocktail bar in the historic town of Silver Plume. Bread Bar resides at the site of a historic bakery from the 1800's.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Senator Fenberg’s history prior to holding office

  • New Era Colorado, a nonprofit organization founded by Senator Fenberg, dedicated to engaging, educating, and training young people in the political process

  • His decision to run for office and why

  • His early work in office to gain Democratic majority

  • His assessment of the state of the Federal government, and the role of the states

  • How he thinks about the climate problem

  • His assessment of Republicans and the climate change problem

  • Importance of going after coal plants

  • One benefit of regulated monopoly utility

  • How to not just get policy done, but durable policy

  • What the oil and gas industry wants

  • Senator Fenberg’s advice to those that want to help

  • His advice for the future incoming President in 2021

  • How Senator Fenberg is thinking about his future

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Shreya Dave, co-founder and CEO of Via Separations.

Via Separations has pioneered a new membrane based on graphene oxide for fine liquid filtration in harsh environments, with applications in food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and bulk and specialty chemicals.

Shreya graduated from MIT with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Her PhD research focused on the design and manufacture of graphene oxide membranes for water desalination, including fundamental characterization methods of graphene oxide, membrane synthesis, and economic analysis of the role of membranes in cost constraints of desalination plants.

Via Separations is scaling up and commercializing the material platform for use in industrial separation processes such as food ingredient production and chemical manufacturing. She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and technology & policy.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview and origin story of Via Separations

  • Discussion about industrial processes and their emissions footprint

  • Why and when sustainability became important to Shreya

  • How she came to be doing the PhD research that led to the company formation

  • The importance of doing customer discovery, and how the I-Corps program helped them

  • Comparison between I-Corps and Cyclotron Road / Activate

  • Similarities between customer discovery and fundraising

  • The key phases of company building so far

  • Business model

  • Discussion about project finance, and how accessible it is to early stage hard tech companies

  • Discussion about project insurance

  • Discussion about when and how to engage strategics

  • Discussion about where, as a new founder, Shreya turns for help navigating the different phases of growth

  • What some of the more impactful things are that could change to accelerate progress

  • Role model companies

  • Advice for other PhDs in the lab thinking of following a similar path

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is David Perry, President, CEO, and Director of Indigo Ag,

 Indigo Ag is harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. They improve grower profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health through the use of natural microbiology and digital technologies. Founded in 2016 Indigo Ag has raised more than $650 million in funding. The recently announced Terraton Initiative is a global effort to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to enrich agricultural soils.

David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and built three innovative companies in the last 20 years, leading the last two through successful IPOs and to multi-billion dollar market capitalizations and raising over $1.2 billion while generating significant returns for investors. He was most recently CEO and Co-Founder of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANAC), a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel small-molecule therapeutics to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. The company was acquired by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in 2016 for approximately $5.2 billion. David previously co-founded and served as CEO of Chemdex (NASDAQ: CMDX), later creating its parent company Ventro Corporation (NASDAQ: VNTR), a business-to-business marketplace focused on the life sciences industry. At its peak, Ventro was valued at $11 billion and was later sold to Nexprise. David is Founder and Chairman of the San Francisco-based digital health startup Better Therapeutics (f/k/a FareWell) and a Board Director of the human microbiome company Evelo Biosciences.

In 2000, David was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California by Ernst and Young. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa. He also attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a National Merit Scholar. 

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview and origin story of Indigo Ag

  • David’s career as an entrepreneur, and how he has prioritized what projects to take on along the way

  • The most striking problems to David about the food and agriculture system

  • David’s consistent approach to starting from zero as he kicks off a new venture

  • Indigo’s vision, strategy, and progress to-date

  • Overview of regenerative farming

  • Value prop to farmers

  • Overview of Terraton Initiative and other key Indigo projects

  • How they fit into the climate fight, and what their impact can be if successful

  • How David thinks about climate change in general, and what else can be impactful in the climate fight beyond Indigo’s work

  • How David would allocate $100B to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • David’s advice for others looking to find their lane

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of Project Drawdown. Project Drawdown is a world-class research organization that reviews, analyzes, and identifies the most viable global climate solutions, and shares these findings with the world. Their book, Drawdown, has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and describes the hundred most substantive solutions to global warming. For each one, describes its history, its carbon impact, the relative cost and savings, path to adoption, and how it works.

Dr. Foley is a world-renowned environmental scientist, sustainability expert, author, and public speaker. His work is focused on understanding our changing planet, and finding new solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on.

Foley’s groundbreaking research and insights have led him to become a trusted advisor to governments, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders around the world. He and his colleagues have made major contributions to our understanding of global ecosystems, food security and the environment, climate change, and the sustainability of the world’s resources. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles, including many highly cited works in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2014, Thomson Reuters named him a Highly Cited Researcher in ecology and environmental science, placing him among the top 1 percent most cited global scientists.

A noted science communicator, his presentations have been featured at hundreds of international venues, including the Aspen Institute, the World Bank, the National Geographic Society, the Chautauqua Institution, the Commonwealth Club, the National Science March in Washington, D.C., and TED.com. He has taught at several major universities on topics ranging from climate change, global sustainability solutions, the future of the food system, and addressing the world’s “grand challenges”. He has also written many popular pieces in publications like National Geographic, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Scientific American. He is also frequently interviewed by international media outlets, and has appeared on National Public Radio, the PBS NewsHour, the BBC, CNN, and in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Salon, WIRED, the HBO documentary on climate change “Too Hot Not to Handle”, and the upcoming film series “Let Science Speak”.

Foley has won numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, awarded by President Clinton; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America; and the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award. In 2014, he was also named as the winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment.

Before joining Project Drawdown, Foley led a number of world-leading environmental science and sustainability organizations. From 1993 to 2008, he was based at the University of Wisconsin, where he launched the Climate, People, and Environment Program (CPEP), founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), and served as the first Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies. From 2008 and 2014, he was the founding director of the Institute on the Environment(IonE) at the University of Minnesota, where he was also McKnight Presidential Chair of Global Environment and Sustainability. Then, between 2014 and 2018, he served as the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences, the greenest and more forward-thinking science museum on the planet.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview and origin story of Project Drawdown

  • Dr. Foley’s background and experience leading up to his time at Drawdown

  • Some of the challenges that come with being a scientist focused on this area

  • The nature of the climate problem, and what the scientists have gotten very right

  • What kind of leadership will be needed to solve it

  • What are the biggest levers to solve it

  • Where Drawdown 2.0 fits in, and how it can help

  • How Dr. Foley would allocate a big pot of money, to maximize its impact on decarbonization

  • His advice for others looking to find their lane to help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

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Today’s guest is Barney Schauble, Chairman, Nephila Climate, the world's largest asset manager dedicated to weather and catastrophe insurance risks.

Barney joined Nephila Capital in 2004 as a Managing Partner and moved to San Francisco in 2010 to set up Nephila Advisors. Barney is the Chair of the Board of Nephila Climate (NCx), and also a Director of Nephila Capital Ltd. and Nephila Holdings Ltd.

Barney is the Head of Nephila Labs, where his primary responsibilities include oversight of research and insurtech; he is also involved in investor relations and business development. Barney began working in re/insurance in New York in 1993 as a broker for Marsh and Guy Carpenter. He joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in their Risk Markets group in 1996, where he helped to execute the first catastrophe bond and spent six years working on development and distribution of catastrophe and
weather-linked products. Barney joined XL Capital in 2003 and was head of marketing for the weather risk management business.

Barney attended Harvard College and received his BA in Economics in 1995. He wrote his senior thesis to explore investing in bonds linked to property catastrophe reinsurance risk. He served as a Director of The Climate Corporation (2007-2012), MetroMile (2009-2011), and Advisen (2014-2016).  He is Chair of the Board of Ceres (a non-profit devoted to sustainable capitalism) where he has been a Director since 2011. He is also an advisor and/or board member of several insurance-related technology companies.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Nephila, and of reinsurance, in general

  • History of the reinsurance market

  • Founding story of Nephila, and Barney’s experience leading up to that

  • The nature of Nephila’s work and how it has evolved over time

  • How Barney thinks about climate change, and his thinking has evolved over time

  • Barney’s views on climate risk, and short-term/long-term considerations looking into the future

  • Barney’s views on the best ways to solve

  • Barney’s work at Ceres, and why it is important

  • Is the reinsurance market a leading or lagging indicator of climate risk?

  • The role of policy

  • How Barney would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Barney’s advice for how you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Marilyn Waite, Program Officer, Climate & Clean Energy Finance at William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Marilyn manages the foundation’s grantmaking on climate and clean energy finance with the ambitious goal of addressing climate change by accelerating the transition to a climate-friendly economy. Her grantmaking mobilizes private capital investments in low-carbon and climate-friendly energy infrastructure and systems, seeking to redirect finance from high- to low-carbon activities and encourage wiser energy investments. A key component to this work includes assessing climate finance flows, identifying ways to lower the cost and risk of investment, and supporting innovations in capital markets to address investor requirements for clean energy and climate-aligned projects.

Marilyn has worked across four continents in venture investment, startups, and low-carbon energy. She previously led the clean energy practice at Village Capital, where she sourced and performed due diligence for early-stage startups solving energy challenges and built a network of 1,000-plus clean tech entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and government stakeholders. As a senior research fellow at Project Drawdown, she modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change. Marilyn led several operational and research and development projects at AREVA in France, including performing technical and economic studies in the energy-water nexus and the nuclear energy cycle.

Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn serves on the board of directors for the Biomimicry Institute and lectures on sustainable business at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. She is an E2 1 Hotels Fellow, and as such, her work and writing highlights opportunities in women-led, green economy startups throughout the country.

She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in civil and environmental engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University and a master’s degree with distinction in engineering for sustainable development from the University of Cambridge.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of the Hewlett Foundation

  • Marilyn’s professional history, leading her up to her current role

  • When she started caring about climate change, and why

  • Her current role, focus areas, how they determine how grants are allocated, and some example projects

  • How they measure success, and how this work ties into broader climate fight

  • What else can be high impact in climate fight

  • How Marilyn would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Marilyn’s advice for you and I for how we can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Gene Berdichevsky, Co-Founder & CEO of Sila Nanotechnologies. 

Prior to co-founding Sila, Gene was the seventh employee at Tesla Motors where he served as Principal Engineer on the Roadster battery, leading the development of the world’s first, safe, mass-produced, automotive lithium-ion battery system.

Gene holds two degrees from Stanford University; an MS in Engineering with a focus on energy and materials, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He has co-authored 42 patents and 4 academic publications. Gene has been named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list, the MIT Technology Review 35 Under 35, and was a recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Sila Nanotechnologies

  • Battery industry overview, and the role of batteries in the climate fight

  • Where EVs are in their adoption curve, and how they will connect to the grid in the future

  • Gene’s path to becoming a battery entrepreneur, including joining Tesla as employee #7

  • Gene’s great story about how he got hired at Tesla!

  • Origin story of Sila Nanotechnologies, including how it formed while he was an EIR at Sutter Hill Ventures

  • The importance of starting in high value markets in tough tech

  • Gene’s views on the best ways for tough tech companies to get funded

  • The importance of focusing on the process, not the result

  • Sila’s progress to-date, and how the company has been capitalized along the way

  • The potential impact it can have, if successful

  • What’s coming next, and what barriers and hurdles they face to adoption

  • The most impactful things that could change in order to accelerate their path

  • What Gene would do with a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • His advice for others looking to find their lane

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Shayle Kann, Managing Director for Energy Impact Partners.

EIP is an investment firm that invests in companies shaping the energy landscape of the future. It's backed by a broad coalition of some of the world's largest and most innovative utilities that collectively span the globe, access millions of households, and spend more than 20 billion annually on new technologies and procurement. Shayle leads research & strategy at Energy Impact Partners.

Previously, Shayle spent over eight years building and running GTM Research, the market intelligence arm of Greentech Media, where he led a 30-person team tracking and forecasting the evolution of the electricity sector. Shayle oversaw this business through and beyond GTM’s successful 2016 acquisition by Verisk Analytics.

Shayle is a renowned expert on the energy transition. He has spoken at conferences around the world, testified in front of U.S. Congress, and is regularly cited in outlets including the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Economist, and Bloomberg. His writing has been featured in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Nature Energy and Public Utilities Fortnightly.

Shayle is also Senior Advisor to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy. Prior to GTM, Shayle was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, researching renewable energy project finance in Australia. He also worked at Conservation Services Group (acquired by ClearResult) and the California Public Utilities Commission. He graduated cum laude, phi beta kappa from Pomona College.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Energy Impact Partners

  • Areas they invest in

  • Shayle’s role with the firm

  • How the utilities that are LPs engage, and what they are hoping to get out of their involvement

  • Shayle’s history, and what led him to EIP

  • When and why he started caring about climate change

  • Shayle’s throughs on the nature of the problem and the best ways to solve

  • Role of policy vs innovation

  • Future of capitalism

  • How Shayle would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Shayle’s advice for how you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Jason Jacobs, host of this podcast!

That's right. Enough people were asking me to do an episode where someone interviews me to summarize where I am on the journey, that I finally but the bullet and did it. And it wasn’t even planned! I was having coffee with an avid MCJ listener, Remy Evard, and he said “you should really do an episode where someone interviews you”, so, with about 5 minutes of prep, we grabbed the microphones and did an episode right on the spot!

It is a brief discussion relative to the normal longform episodes, but it won’t be the last time you hear from me in  this way (like it or not, haha!).

Let me know your feedback, in terms of whether this kind of episode is helpful, and how I can make them more helpful going forward.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Professor Sam Fankhauser, Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Director of the ESRC-funded Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, both at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

He is also an Associate Director at economics consultancy Vivid Economics and a Non-Executive Director of CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.

Previously, Sam worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. From 2008 to 2016 he was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Grantham Research Institute

  • Nature of the research they do

  • 'When and why Sam came to care about the environment'

  • How urgent Sam thinks the problem is

  • How settled is the science?

  • 'Some causes for optimism

  • Public perception in US vs Europe

  • Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

  • 'Free markets vs regulation

  • 'Should we price carbon?

  • The inequity of climate change

  • Where Sam would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Sam’s advice for others looking to find their lane

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest Dr. Julio Friedmann, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Dr. Friedmann recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy where he was responsible for DOE’s R&D program in advanced fossil energy systems, carbon capture, and storage (CCS), CO2 utilization, and clean coal deployment. His expertise includes Large-Scale Carbon Management, CO2 removal, CO2 recycling, Oil and Gas systems, international engagements in clean fossil energy, and inter-agency engagements within the US government. He has also held positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, including Senior Advisor for Energy Innovation and Chief Energy Technologist. He is also the CEO of Carbon Wrangler, LLC, is a Distinguished Associate at the Energy Futures Initiative, and serves as a special advisor to the Global CCS Institute. He was recently named as a Senior Fellow to the Breakthrough Institute and the Climate Leadership Council.

Dr. Friedmann is one of the most widely known and authoritative experts in the U.S. on carbon removal (CO2 drawdown from the air and oceans), CO2 conversion and use (carbon-to-value), and carbon capture and sequestration. His expertise includes technology, policy, and operations. In addition to close partnerships with many private companies and NGOs, Julio has worked with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Treasury.

Dr. Friedmann received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Southern California. He worked for five years as a senior research scientist at ExxonMobil, then as a research scientist at the University of Maryland. He serves as a formal and informal advisor to several clean energy and CarbonTech companies.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Julio’s current work at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, leading an initiative called the Carbon Mitigation Research Initiative, CAMRI.

  • Julio’s prior work, including at places like Lawrence Livermore National Lab, DOE, and ExxonMobil.

  • When Julio started caring about climate change, how that came about, and how his thinking on the problem has evolved over the years.

  • What culpability the fossil fuel industry has, and their role in the climate fight looking forwards.

  • Julio’s current work in emissions-heavy industries.

  • The role of government.

  • The role of carbon capture, and best ways to accelerate.

  • The importance of prioritization, based on big levers but also on what’s doable.

  • The role of consumers.

  • How Julio would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Julio’s advice for the most important things you and I can do to help.

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Ilan Gur, the CEO of Activate and the Founder of Cyclotron Road. Cyclotron Road is an entrepreneurial fellowship program that pairs PhD fellows working on promising scientific breakthroughs with grants that pay their salaries. Access to a bunch of expensive equipment and showers them with mentorship to try to bridge the gap between early academic research that shows great promise and actually turning the corner to become a company. Prior to founding Cyclotron Road, Ilan launched two science-based startups including Seeo, an advanced battery company that was acquired by Bosch in 2015. He was also a program director at ARPA-E. He holds a PhD in material science and engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview and origin story of Activate & Cyclotron Road

  • Ilan’s time at ARPA-E and key learnings

  • The 3 components of Activate’s entrepreneurial fellowship program

  • How it works, application process, etc

  • Relationships with corporate partners, government agencies, etc

  • How the organization is funded

  • Key learnings from initial cohorts

  • Expansion plans

  • What is missing that would help accelerate their efforts

  • How you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Lara Pierpoint, Director of Technical Strategy at Exelon.

Exelon is America's leading competitive energy provider with one of the cleanest and lowest cost power generation fleets. Its utility serves millions of electric and gas customers. Lara's team is tasked with enhancing Exelon's ability to capitalize on new technology and respond to disruptive innovations. Her expertise is in systems analysis, modeling and policy. And her knowledge is deep in nuclear, gas and electric interface and energy finance as well as widely across the electricity spectrum.

Prior to Exelon, Lara has had a number of different roles. She was Senior Advisor for energy policy and Systems analysis at Department of Energy. She was a AAAS fellow at the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. And she also has her PhD in Engineering Systems from MIT, as well as a Masters in Nuclear Engineering and in Technology and Policy also at MIT, and an undergrad in physics from UCLA. Suffice to say Lara's got a really interesting perspective to talk about everything energy and everything climate change.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Exelon and Lara’s role within the company

  • Overview of the utilities market, and history of deregulation

  • Lara’s career history, and what motivates her to do the work she does

  • Deep dive into the technical strategy team, its history within the company, the work they do, and some example projects

  • Broader discussion about the optimal energy mix, and the roles of nuclear, renewables, etc

  • Some of the headwinds, and the best ways to accelerate the energy transition

  • How you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Shawn Murphy, Founder & CEO of Titan Advanced Energy Solutions.

Titan is an advanced battery management system technology company, which is revolutionizing the renewable space by lowering the cost of lithium ion batteries by at least 30 to 40%, and doubling their expected life.

Titan's technology uses ultrasound to measure and determine the state of health, and state of charge real time and is about 100 times better than the current state of the art. This technology will eventually be implemented in electric vehicles, stationary storage and consumer electronics. Previously, Shawn was the founder and CEO of multiple successful startups, the former head of Space Science and Technology for Draper Labs, and was also the founder and former director of Shell's innovation center called Shell Tech Works.

We have a wide ranging discussion in this episode, including Titan, where it fits in the broader battery landscape, how the battery landscape fits in terms of the grid, and the rise of things like solar and wind, and also how to think about all this in the context of climate change. We then come back around to have a great discussion on the proper sources of capital for this type of innovation, the role of startups versus incumbents, and of course, the underlying motivators that make Shawn get out of bed every day and give him purpose in his work.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Titan Advanced Energy Solutions

  • Shawn’s background leading up to starting the company, including at Draper Labs, Shell, and several startups

  • Titan founding story, long vision, traction to date, and next steps

  • How Titan’s product fits into broader climate fight, and what success looks like at scale

  • What else can be high impact in climate fight

  • Shawn’s advice for how you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is David Burt, the CEO and Founder of DeltaTerra Capital and the lead Portfolio Manager for DeltaTerra funds. DeltaTerra provides proprietary financial models, customized portfolio analysis, and unique hedging strategies that enable highly informed climate risk management for asset owners and investors.

Before founding DeltaTerra, David was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Wellington Management Company. Prior to Wellington, he built investment processes at BlueMountain Capital, AlderTree Capital (a 2006 startup he founded to bet against the mortgage credit bubble), BlackRock Financial Management, and State Street Research and Management. He began his career as a Real Estate Economist at Property & Portfolio Research, Inc. David has spent 22 years applying his imagination, synthesis talents, and quantitative skills to help institutional investors get the most out of their real estate and structured finance investments. David has been a CFA charter holder since 2002 and received a BS in Mathematics, with a minor in Economics, from MIT in 1997.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of DeltaTerra Capital

  • Dave’s background, and what led him to identifying this opportunity and pursuing it

  • Dave’s role in the mortgage backed securities market and The Big Short.

  • How Dave thinks about purpose and where hedge funds fit in

  • The importance of investing in the clean energy transition, and Dave’s bet for what will accelerate that transition the most

  • How much exposure asset owners and investors have to climate risk, and in what forms

  • How DeltaTerra will help, the business model, and the types of clients it will serve

  • What else will help facilitate this transition, beyond DeltaTerra’s work

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Melinda Hanson, Head of Sustainability at Bird, a micromobility company based in Santa Monica, CA. Founded in September 2017, Bird operates shared electric scooters in over 100 cities in Europe, the Middle East, and North America, with 10 million rides in its first year of operation.

Melinda joined Bird from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, where she served as deputy director of NACTO's international programs. Before that, Melinda was a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, helping design and implement public transit projects in Pakistan and the Philippines. Earlier in her career, she was a founding staff member of the ClimateWorks Foundation where she managed the sustainable transport portfolio.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • An overview of Bird

  • How Melinda became interested in sustainability and micromobility

  • Car culture, and some of the challenges inhibiting cities from changing

  • The rise of e-scooters (and why)

  • How Bird is different, relative to competition

  • Melinda’s charter as head of sustainability

  • Their progress to-date, and some examples of key learnings

  • The value prop Bird offers to cities, and how the cities tend to evaluate the decision'

  • Some barriers inhibiting progress, and the most impactful things that could change to accelerate their efforts

  • What success looks like at Bird, from a sustainability standpoint

  • What else matters in the climate fight

  • Melinda’s advice for others trying to figure out how to help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

You can find me on twitter at @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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Ken Kimmell, President of Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading science-based nonprofit that combines the knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens to build a healthy planet and a safer world.

Ken has more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy. He is a national advocate for clean energy and transportation policies and a driving force behind UCS’s “Power Ahead” campaign to build a large and diverse group of clean energy leadership states. Ken served on the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth, which advised Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration on future transportation needs and challenges. Ken was one of 18 members the governor appointed to the panel charged with looking at five areas anticipated to have a dramatic impact on transportation: climate and resiliency, transportation electrification, autonomous and connected vehicles, transit and mobility services, and land use and demographic trends.

Prior to joining UCS in May 2014, Mr. Ken was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), an agency with a $100 million budget and 800 employees, including a large staff of scientists and engineers. As commissioner, he also served as chairman of the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, helping to prod the nine member states to reduce power plant carbon emissions by almost 50 percent through 2020, reducing emissions in the region by some 90 million tons.

Ken has also served as general counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, and spent 17 years as the director and senior attorney at a Boston-based law firm specializing in environmental, energy, and land-use issues.

Ken decided to focus his legal work on environmental issues after clerking for the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where he assisted a judge in a case involving the health effects of Agent Orange. Originally from New York, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University and his law degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ken has been quoted widely, including by the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg Business, the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has appeared numerous times on E&E TV and National Public Radio.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview and origin story of Union of Concerned Scientists

  • Scientists, and their changing views regarding political advocacy

  • Nature of UCS work, and some example project

  • How UCS selects these projects, and what success looks like

  • Details on tactics and execution

  • What motivates Ken personally do the work he does

  • Ken’s assessment of where we are, and what has gone right and wrong in climate fight

  • What gives Ken optimism looking forward

  • Role of States vs Federal Government

  • Ken’s thoughts on the best way to get meaningful bipartisan legislation done

  • Ken’s thoughts on most impactful things that could happen to accelerate progress

  • 'How Ken would allocate big pot of $ to maximize it’s impact in climate fight

  • Ken’s advice for how you and I can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Paulina Jaramillo, Professor, Engineering and Public Policy, & Co-Director, Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Paulina Jaramillo has a bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering from Florida International University (2003), as well as a master's and PhD in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis in green design from Carnegie Mellon University (2004 and 2007, respectively). Her past research has focused on life cycle assessment of energy systems with an emphasis on climate change impacts and mitigation research. As a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, she is involved in key multi-disciplinary research projects to better understand the social, economic and environmental implications of energy consumption and the public policy tools that can be used to support sustainable energy development and consumption. She is now the Co-Director of the Green Design Institute and has started pursuing research about infrastructure systems for global development.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • The nature of Dr. Jaramillo’s research, and how she came to focus in the areas she does

  • Some of the unique challenges of Africa, in terms of both climate change and energy poverty

  • How the work of her students is funded, and from what type of donors

  • The criteria that make a project a good focus to take on, and some example projects that her students are currently working on

  • How Dr. Jaramillo measures project success

  • The role of academic research in broader solution development

  • The growing importance and challenges of science communication

  • Broader discussion about climate change, where we are, and some of the most impactful potential solution areas

  • Dr. Jaramillo’s advice for anyone looking to find their lane in the climate fight

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Dr. Jaramillo bio: https://www.cmu.edu/epp/people/faculty/paulina-jaramillo.html

CMU Africa: https://www.africa.engineering.cmu.edu/

National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov

Mini-grids: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-grids

Diesel generator: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_generator

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: https://www.ferc.gov/

Subsistence farming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsistence_agriculture

1.5C IPCC report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Justin Guay, Director of Global Climate Strategy at Sunrise Project, and organization that grows social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

Justin  has a decade of experience in nonprofit advocacy and foundation strategy development, including managing grant making and strategy for global coal campaigns at ClimateWorks Foundation and the Packard Foundation. At the Packard foundation he oversaw a $40 million grant making portfolio across all climate and energy priorities in India, China, the US, the EU and South East Asia. He has also run the Sierra Club’s International Coal Campaign as the Associate Director for the International Climate Program.  The program focused on global efforts to transition energy systems beyond coal to clean energy with a special focus on international finance.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of Sunrise Project

  • Justin’s history pre-Sunrise Project

  • When he started caring about climate change, and why

  • How his thinking has evolved on the problem from when he started to now

  • Goals of Sunrise project and nature of the coal problem

  • Where we are with getting off of coal and where we need to get to

  • Biggest changes that would accelerate this path

  • Biggest hurdles to these coming about and how to help

  • Role of CCS, nuclear, etc

  • Role of innovation, philanthropy, and policy

  • Justin’s advice for others looking to find their lane in the climate fight

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Phil Giudice, Board Member at Ambri, FirstFuel, PRIME Coalition, Clean Air Task Force and NE Clean Energy Council.


Most recently, Phil was the CEO of Ambri. Ambri, formerly Liquid Metal Battery Corporation, is a technology company creating cost effective, reliable, wide spread grid electricity storage solutions, enabling separation of power demand from power supply. Phil has more than 30 years' experience in the energy industry as a geologist, consultant, executive, and state official.Phil was appointed by US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu to US DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee as well as its State Energy Advisory Board. In addition, he is a board member for the energy business leadership trade group Advanced Energy Economy as well as the efficiency start up FirstFuel.


Prior to Ambri, Phil served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Undersecretary of Energy and as Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for fulfilling Governor Deval Patrick's vision for a clean energy future. Prior to his service in the Patrick-Murray Administration, Phil was senior vice president and board member at EnerNOC, a start-up providing electricity demand-management services to businesses, institutions, utilities, and grid operators that became a public company in 2007. He was previously a senior partner and leader of Mercer Management Consulting's global energy utilities practice for 20 years. He started his career as a metals exploration geologist with Freeport-McMoRan and with Chevron.


Phil is also active in the nonprofit realm, having help found the Center for Effective Philanthropy and serving as Board Chair for 8 years as well as currently serving on the President's Council of ACCION. In addition, he completed full terms on the boards of the City Year Boston, First Parish Church of Wayland, and Haitian Health Foundation. He was also the founding chair of Boston Cares. Phil is a geologist (B.S. from University of New Hampshire and M.S. in Economic Geology from the University of Arizona) and a management professional (M.B.A. from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth).


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Phil’s fascinating career, and the different hats he has worn over the years as a strategy consultant, in oil and gas, in government, and in cleantech.

  • The EnerNOC ride, from employee #3 to publicly traded

  • Phil’s time as Energy Commissioner, and then as Undersecretary of Energy for the State of MA.

  • The Ambri story.

  • Phil’s reflections on decades of work on this area, and our seeming lack of progress.

  • Some reasons for optimism.

  • Phil’s rallying cry to me, and anyone else who wants to help in the climate fight.

  • Phil’s views on carbon pricing.

  • Some examples of how we have successfully solved some adjacent problems.

  • Phil’s words of warning to me about my podcasting :)

  • A substantive discussion about some of the barriers preventing more people from helping and more progress from being made.

  • Phil’s advice and the areas he is most excited about.


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Bill Nussey, CEO & Founder at the Freeing Energy Project.

Bill Nussey is the founder of the Freeing Energy Project, whose mission is to accelerate the shift to cleaner, cheaper energy. Prior to Freeing Energy, Bill spent most of his career as a tech CEO. His first company, which he co-founded in high school, provided graphics software for early, text-based personal computers. His second company, Da Vinci Systems, was started out of his college dorm room and grew to serve millions of users across 45 countries. Later, he spent several years as a venture capitalist with Greylock. In 1998, he left the firm to run a portfolio company, iXL, which went public and grew to almost $500 million in revenue. After iXL, he joined Silverpop as CEO. Silverpop grew to nearly $100 million and became a global leader in cloud-based marketing. In 2014, IBM acquired the company and made it the foundation of the IBM Marketing Cloud. Shortly after the acquisition, Bill was promoted to VP Corporate Strategy out of IBM’s world headquarters in New York. Bill’s companies have created thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in value.

For the last few years, Bill has been conducting research for a 2019 book called Freeing Energy. Supported by 200 interviews across the world, the book’s mission is to help non-industry readers understand how we can accelerate the shift to clean energy. The core ideas focus on decentralized (or local) energy, novel business models, and new approaches to ownership and finance. Much of his early research was shared at Bill’s October 2017 TED talk called Accelerating the Shift to Clean Energy.

In 2018, Bill co-founded Solar Inventions. Based at Georgia Tech’s ATDC incubator, the company’s mission is to commercialize a set of scientific breakthroughs for improving silicon photovoltaics.

Bill received a degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He holds several patents, has published two books and sits on several commercial and non-profit boards. Bill and his family are involved in a handful of projects providing off-grid, resilient electricity in places like East Africa and Puerto Rico.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Bill’s history, and what led him to get excited about energy

  • How Bill went about switching gears to transition into this new field (to him)

  • Bill’s book, why he wrote it, and the process he followed to pull it together

  • Digitization of energy opportunity

  • Potential of energy innovation of appealing across both sides of the political aisle

  • Role of venture capital in clean energy innovation

  • Lessons from last cleantech bubble

  • Solar and batteries, and implications when cost becomes less than purchasing electricity from the grid

  • One policy change that would move the needle more than any other

  • Bill’s thoughts on politics, GND, etc.

  • Importance of looking at carbon equivalents as well, not just carbon

  • Inevitability of putting a price on carbon

  • Role of utilities and oil/gas companies

  • Thoughts on upcoming election and the stakes

  • Bill’s advice to others trying to find their lane in the climate fight

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Freeing Energy: https://www.freeingenergy.com/

Bill Nussey: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billnussey/

Bubba McDonald: http://www.psc.state.ga.us/pscinfo/bios/mcdonald.asp

Amory Lovins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amory_Lovins

Loren McDonald: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenmcdonald/

Solar Inventions: https://www.solarinventions.com/

Henry McCance: https://skoll.org/contributor/henry-mccance/

Fullstory: https://www.fullstory.com/

Arcadia Power: https://www.arcadiapower.com/

Drift: https://www.joindrift.com/

Form Energy: https://www.formenergy.com/

Ethanol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_the_United_States

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Kelly Wanser, Executive Director of SilverLining, a mission organization driving research to ensure safe pathways for climate within a decade.

Previously, Kelly was the director of the Marine Cloud Brightening Project, a program focused on research in reflecting sunlight to reduce heat in climate. Kelly is member of the National Academy of Sciences President’s Circle. She also served as Senior Advisor to Ocean Conservancy on climate-ocean risk and to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on industry strategy for fusion energy. A technologist, executive and entrepreneur, she previously founded companies in IT infrastructure, analytics and security, and is the author of over 20 patents. She resides in San Francisco.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Overview of geoengineering

  • Challenge of predicting earth system’s response to heat stress and risk of hitting catastrophic tipping points

  • 'The case for geoengineering

  • SilverLining’s work, and how it came to be

  • What the critics say about geoengineering, and Kelly’s responses

  • 'Some example projects they have taken on at SilverLining'

  • How the org is funded, and future goals in this regard

  • What fossil fuel companies think of geoengineering

  • Potential risks, side effects, and unintended consequences

  • Research vs widescale deployment, the best ways to stage exploration in this area

  • What else can be impactful in the climate fight

  • Kelly’s advice to others trying to find their lane to help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Stephen Schneider: https://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/References/Biography.html

IPCC special report on oceans and cryosphere: https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/home/

The Royal Society: https://royalsociety.org/

Marine cloud brightening: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_cloud_brightening

Strategic aerosol injection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratospheric_aerosol_injection

Some links provided by Kelly to learn more about her work:

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures, a NY-based venture capital firm.

Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and an early hosted data analytics company. Albert graduated from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT.

In today’s episode, we cover:


  • Albert’s assessment of the problem of climate change and his concern level

  • His views on what it will take to get the problem under control in the short term and long term

  • The work they do at USV, their core expertise, and how that expertise can help

  • The roles of innovation, policy, and collective action

  • What types of innovation can be most impactful, and when

  • The upcoming election and stakes

  • Roles of China and India

  • Roles of big oil and utilities

  • How Albert would allocate $100B to maximize its impact in climate fight

  • Albert’s advice for others looking to find their lane

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

USV: https://www.usv.com/

World After Capital: http://worldaftercapital.org/

Greta Thunberg: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg

Extinction Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/

Nori: https://nori.com/

John Maynard Keynes, Economics Policies for our Grandchildren: https://www.sloww.co/keynes-economic-possibilities/

Faye McNeill: https://cheme.columbia.edu/faculty/v-mcneill

Ecosia: https://www.ecosia.org/

Universal Basic Income: https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/universal-basic-income-UBI

How Much is Enough?: https://www.amazon.com/How-Much-Enough-Money-Good/dp/152267795X

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.

Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta, Inc.


Malta’s electro-thermal energy storage system is a new grid-scale technology that collects and stores energy for long durations. Energy can be stored from any power generation source in any location – be it wind, solar, or fossil fuels – enabling reliable and predictable operation of the grid.


Ramya joined Malta from Rye Development, where she was CEO, co-founder, and Member of the Board of FFP New Hydro. Under her leadership, Rye Development grew to be the leading developer of new hydropower projects in the United States and its portfolio of development projects, held at its holdco affiliate, FFP New Hydro, advanced from concept through FERC licensing and late stage development financing. She was also responsible for the expansion of Rye’s platform into energy storage, with the addition of two sizable pumped hydro storage development projects in the Pacific Northwest. At Rye Development, Ms. Swaminathan led a multi-disciplinary team, with specialists in engineering and construction, regulatory and environmental aspects, and power marketing.  She also led the company through several financing rounds, both at the platform and the project levels. 


Prior to her work in the hydropower space, Ms. Swaminathan was a public finance banker, most recently as a Director at UBS, where she focused on public power clients and senior managed more than $10 billion in financings. Ms. Swaminathan holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Anthropology from Amherst College.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Ramya’s background and what led her to Malta

  • Overview of the grid, storage, long duration storage, and why it matters

  • A look at hydro, lithium ion, and other companies and approaches gunning for long duration storage market

  • Malta’s approach, long vision, progress to date, and what’s coming next

  • How it works, which aspects are proven and which are the riskiest assumptions

  • Business models for storage

  • Regulatory risks

  • Importance of transmission and distribution

  • Unique opportunities in developing countries

  • The right capital sources for this type of tough tech innovation

  • Role of strategics as investors, partners, acquirers, etc.

  • Role of insurance to decrease tough tech risk to make these projects more viable to finance

  • One change that would bring highest impact for accelerating Malta’s progress

  • Ramya’s advice to others looking to find their lane in the climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Mark Reynolds, Executive Director at Citizens’ Climate Lobby.


Executive Director Mark Reynolds’ tenure at Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been marked by exceptionally rapid growth, with the organization doubling or tripling in size every year.


During his years as a private sector trainer and consultant, Citizens’ Climate Education Executive Director Mark Reynolds worked to maximize personal and organizational effectiveness in a variety of fields. Today, he uses those skills to empower ordinary citizens to educate influential stakeholders about the benefits of national climate solutions. As a globally-recognized expert on helping disparate interests find common ground on energy, public policy, and the environment, Mark has appeared before the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, AREday, and Power Shift. He oversees a training curriculum that reaches tens of thousands of supporters every year, has been a frequent guest on TV and radio shows, and has written op-eds on climate solutions for 85 print journals, including the Houston Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Des Moines Register, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Salt Lake Tribune. Mark also serves on multiple advisory boards including Climate Advocate Platform and Climate Cost Project.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • CCL founding story and their areas of focus

  • The growth CCL has had under Mark’s leadership, and why Mark feels that is

  • Polarized government and implications for getting things done

  • Details of their carbon fee and dividend proposal

  • Where things stand today and where they need to go

  • Some headwind with their proposal and carbon pricing in general

  • The CCL playbook and plan of attack

  • Discussion on how bills get signed into law and what this bill would need to get signed into law

  • Learnings from Waxman Markey

  • How people can  help

  • Parallels Mark draws to cigarette smoking

  • GND and price on carbon

  • If Mark could wave magic want to accelerate their efforts, what would he change and why


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Ted Nordhaus, Founder & Executive Director at the Breakthrough Institute.


Ted Nordhaus is a leading global thinker on energy, environment, climate, human development, and politics. He is the founder and executive director of the Breakthrough Institute and a co-author of An Ecomodernist Manifesto.


Over the last decade, he has helped lead a paradigm shift in climate, energy, and environmental policy. He was among the first to emphasize the imperative to "make clean energy cheap" in The Harvard Law and Policy Review, explained why efforts to establish legally binding international limits on greenhouse gas emissions would fail in The Washington Post and Democracy Journal, made the case for nuclear energy as a critical global warming solution in The Wall Street Journal, has written on the limits to energy efficiency and the need to prepare for climate change in The New York Times, and has argued for the importance of intensifying agricultural production in order to spare land for forests and biodiversity in Scientific American and The Guardian.


His 2007 book Break Through, co-authored with Michael Shellenberger, was called "prescient" by Time and "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" by Wired. (An excerpt in The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, "The Death of Environmentalism," was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists.


Over the years, Nordhaus been profiled in The New York Times, Wired, the San Francisco Chronicle, the National Review, The New Republic, and on NPR. In 2007, he received the Green Book Award and Time magazine's 2008 "Heroes of the Environment" award.


Nordhaus is executive editor of the Breakthrough Journal, which The New Republic called "among the most complete efforts to provide a fresh answer" to the question of how to modernize liberal thought, and the National Review called "The most promising effort at self-criticism by our liberal cousins in a long time."


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Ted’s background and history, and what led him to care about climate change

  • Ted’s views on the problems with the environmental movement, which led him to founding BTI

  • BTI mission, vision, work

  • Ted’s views on the nature of climate change, and the misconceptions people have about the best ways to solve.

  • Ted’s views on the best path forwards, and where innovation, policy, and government fit in.

  • Ted’s views on how to think about the 2020 election and the stakes. Different views here than most other guests!


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Deepika Nagabhushan, Program Director, Decarbonized Fossil Energy at Clean Air Task Force, which develops policy and advocacy strategies aimed at making carbon capture, utilization & storage technologies widely available, globally by mid-century.


Deepika has developed analysis and led advocacy efforts related to CCUS, including power sector modeling that studied CCS deployment in the US under various federal policy scenarios, including 45Q tax credit that the Congress passed in 2018, an assessment of the role of zero carbon technology in developing countries, and securing a CCUS protocol under the California LCFS. She works across policy, regulatory and market-based areas related to CCS.


Prior to joining CATF, Deepika spent 5 years with Schneider Electric. She led the deployment of global marketing operations across Asia-Pacific countries and managed marketing communication projects for Schneider Electric’s energy management solutions in the United States. She also helped expand the reach of Schneider Electric Access to Energy initiative “BIPBoP” by identifying partner companies and frameworks for collaboration.


Deepika graduated in 2015 from The Earth Institute at Columbia University with a Master of Science in Sustainability Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Bangalore University in Karnataka, India. She is currently based in San Francisco.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Overview of the decarbonized fossil energy program at CATF

  • How CCS works, and analogy to sulfur dioxide and acid rain

  • What will and won’t drive people to adopt, and the role of government

  • Some of the cost drivers for CCS and the variables that go into it

  • Initial market of EOR, how it works and why it is getting so much attention

  • What the critics of CCS for EOR say, and Deepika’s responses

  • Concerns about CCS & why they are unfounded, according to Deepika

  • Role of big oil and gas, role of innovation, and the role of policy

  • Importance of R&D

  • Some examples of companies leading in this area

  • Is divesting a good idea?

  • How Deepika would allocate a big pot of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Deepika’s advice for others looking to find their lane in the climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs.


Dr. Emily Reichert serves as Chief Executive Officer of Greentown Labs, the largest clean technology startup incubator in the United States. As the company’s first employee, Emily has spearheaded the rapid growth of Greentown Labs into a global center for clean technology innovation, attracting visitors and partners from around the world.


Emily started her career at Arthur D. Little as a Ph.D. scientist and progressed into R&D, business development and general management roles. Prior to Greentown Labs, she was the Director of Business Operations at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry where she helped grow the angel-funded startup into a sustainable contract R&D business with a mission to minimize environmental impact of chemical products. Emily also served as a MIT Sloan Fellow in Innovation and Global Leadership as well as a Venture Labs Fellow at Flagship Ventures, a Boston-based Venture Capital firm.


Emily has served as a board member or as a key advisor for a number of innovation and entrepreneurship-focused organizations including the Northeast Clean Energy Council, Cleantech Open Northeast, Cyclotron Road, the Incubatenergy Network and the MIT Enterprise Forum. She has been appointed to leadership positions on innovation, economic development, entrepreneurship and clean technology commercialization at both the state and federal level including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Economic Development Planning Council and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Emily has earned international recognition for her leadership in cleantech innovation and has received invitations to speak at International Conferences such as Les Rencontres Economiques d’Aix-en-Provence, France, and the Fish Family Foundation’s Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative in Tokyo, Japan.  


She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.


When Emily isn’t at Greentown Labs, you’ll likely find her traveling the world with her husband, Chris Nielsen. As an avid outdoorswoman, Emily has experienced adventures in many corners of the globe including, tree-climbing in the Amazon, swimming with sea turtles off the island of Fernando de Noronha, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekking the Andes of Ecuador, and cycling along the Danube River bend north of Budapest.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Overview of Greentown Labs

  • Origin story and what problem it is solving

  • Traction to date, long vision, and what is coming next

  • Long vision and whats coming next

  • How the model works - tools, resources, and benefits

  • Some example member success stories

  • How large companies can/are engaging

  • Role of innovation in the climate fight

  • Lessons from the first cleantech bubble

  • Barriers holding back innovation today

  • Encouraging signs

  • 'Best ways to accelerate

  • Greentown’s role

  • Role of policy and how it interrelates with innovation

  • How startups should know if right they are a fit for Greentown

  • How Emily would allocate a large pool of money to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Emily’s advice for others looking to find their lane to help with this problem


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Josh Bushinsky, Co-Founder & Partner at Trajectory Energy Partners.


Trajectory Energy Partners brings together landowners, electricity users, and communities to develop solar energy projects with strong local support.


Josh was born in Illinois, and at seven moved with his family to Rochester, New York, where he grew up backpacking. He brings to Trajectory Energy Partners a comprehensive appreciation and commitment to the environment, first working in energy as a visiting researcher at the University of Cape Town. An attorney by trade he has represented the renewable sector at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, as well as worked with the Microgrid Investment Accelerator, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing.


Josh is proud to develop community solar in Illinois and remains an avid hiker — now sharing that skill with his children and family.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • What led Josh to care about the environment, and his path before founding Trajectory Energy Partners

  • The opportunity they saw with community solar, and specifically in the midwest, where it is lesser known

  • Trajectory Energy approach, including how they handle community involvement

  • Criteria that makes a land parcel a good fit

  • Pitch to farmers and the  benefits to them

  • Some of the biggest recurring concerns that come up from farmers and why

  • Benefits to the town of community solar

  • Resistance from utilities and why, and how legislation is required

  • Sellers market - more money out there than good projects

  • What success looks like for Trajectory

  • Long vision, and what opportunities lie in store in the future

  • Broader discussion about climate change and some of Josh’s ideas for the most impactful ways to help

  • Josh’s reflections, after many years working in this problem area


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Dan Lashof, Director of World Resources Institute, United States.


He coordinates WRI’s work in the United States across climate, energy, food, forests, water and the sustainable cities programs. This includes overseeing the work of the U.S. climate team, which aims to catalyze and support climate action by states, cities, and businesses while laying the groundwork for federal action in the coming years.


Dan has been working to promote solutions to climate change for more than two decades. Before the World Resources Institute, Dan was the Chief Operating Officer of NextGen Policy Center and previously served as the Director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.


His focus is developing federal and state regulations to place enforceable limits on carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants. He has participated in scientific assessments of global warming through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has monitored international climate negotiations since their inception. He was a member of Governor McAuliffe’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, and has testified at numerous Congressional and California legislative hearings.


Dan earned his Bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics at Harvard and his Doctorate from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.


Dan is married to Diane Regas and has three adult children. When not working Dan enjoys bicycling, hiking, eating, and cheering for the Golden State Warriors.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • WRI history and the nature of their work

  • The 4 pillars Dan believes are needed to solve climate change

  • Some examples of WRI’s current initiatives

  • How they measure success

  • How WRI is different

  • 'Unique nature of the climate problem

  • Role of government

  • Role of policy

  • Role of natural gas in short and long-term

  • Role of big oil

  • Role of adaptation

  • Where Dan would allocate a large pool of money to maximize impact

  • Dan’s advice for others seeking to find their lanes to help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Todd Allen, Chair and Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at University of Michigan.


An offer to skip history class in high school to listen to a Navy ROTC recruiter sent Todd Allen on a serendipitous journey that led to him becoming one of the top U.S. experts in nuclear energy, with focus on the material science of nuclear systems.


Todd began his professional career as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy where he learned the practical applications of operating a nuclear power plant as well as how to take a submarine to periscope depth. Following active duty, he built on that practical Navy experience by earning a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering with specific focus on how radiation changes the physical properties of metals.


His first post-Ph.D. position was as a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. While at Argonne, he joined the leadership team tasked with developing the Generation IV Roadmap, the document that framed the resurgence of the nuclear research programs early in the 21st Century.


Following Argonne, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. While there, he split his time between establishing a premier material science program at the university and supporting the Idaho National Laboratory. At INL, he led the transition of the Advanced Test Reactor into a national user facility, creating a unique distributed network of national research facilities working together to support novel research ideas brought by universities and private industry. He also ran a six-institution Energy Frontier Research Center focused on answering fundamental questions about heat transfer in nuclear fuel.


From 2013-2016, he helped lead the Idaho National Laboratory as the Deputy Laboratory Director for Science & Technology, including being an important contributor to the development of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative announced at the White House in November 2015.


He is the author of over 200 technical publications, many of which are readable.


Todd has degrees in nuclear engineering and management information systems. He is a native of Michigan and tries very hard to find ways to watch baseball. His best summer ever (2016) was 64 different stadiums across the U.S.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Todd’s history, the history of the nuclear industry, and how those have intersected over his career

  • Some of the opportunities of nuclear energy

  • Some of the misconceptions about it

  • Some of the risks and downsides

  • The impact nuclear can have in the climate fight

  • What else can be impactful in the climate fight

  • Todd’s advice for others looking to find their lane in the climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Josh Freed, SVP of the Clean Energy Program at Third Way.


Third Way is a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas.  Their work is grounded in the mainstream American values of opportunity, freedom, and security. As the founder and leader of Third Way’s Clean Energy Program, Josh promotes policies to use every tool possible to combat climate change—including scaled-up innovation, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture technologies in addition to the increased use of renewables and efficient storage.  


Since 2009, he has overseen Third Way’s clean energy and climate advocacy efforts, serving as the organization’s chief strategist on these issues. He regularly advises senior federal and state policymakers, philanthropies, academics, and business leaders. Under his leadership, his team’s accomplishments include Third Way’s groundbreaking research on advanced nuclear technology—which transformed federal support for nuclear innovation—and building new alliances to defend federal support for clean energy research and development. 


Josh regularly writes and speaks on climate, clean energy, and innovation issues, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, National Journal, POLITICO, The Los Angeles Times and Wired.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Josh’s history and what led him to Third Way

  • Third Way founding story

  • What the climate team looked like when he got there vs today

  • Their goal to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050

  • Areas of focus, how they prioritize, and what they do in each area to help drive things forwards

  • Current political climate and the path forwards

  • Sober assessment of where we are with climate progress, and what it will take to solve

  • Josh’s thoughts on GND, carbon tax, and other topics

  • Josh’s advice for others looking to find their lane in the climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Joseph Majkut, Director of Climate Policy at Niskanen Center.


Joseph is an expert in climate science, climate policy, and risk and uncertainty analysis for decision making. He is frequently cited by prominent media outlets; his writing has been featured in scientific journals, public media, and environmental trade press; and he has been invited to testify before Congress on climate and scientific research. Before joining the Niskanen Center, he worked on climate change policy in Congress as a congressional science fellow, supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds a PhD from Princeton University in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the Delft University of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Joseph’s background pre-Niskanen, including why he left academia and came to DC

  • Overview of Niskanen and their work

  • Niskanen origin story, including how it is similar and different to the Cato Institute

  • Joseph’s role as director of climate policy and how his team fits in

  • Initiatives they are currently working on, and how they select and prioritize

  • Discussion about carbon pricing, viability and implications

  • Discussion about political landscape and best way to make headway in polarized climate

  • Advice to others looking to help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering.


Founded in 2009, CE is a Canadian-based clean energy company leading the commercialization of groundbreaking technology that captures CO₂ directly from the atmosphere, and a second technology that synthesizes it into clean, affordable transportation fuels. From a pilot plant in Squamish, B.C., CE has been removing CO₂ from the atmosphere since 2015 and converting it into fuels since 2017.


Steve brings more than 20 years of executive experience to CE’s team, stemming from previous roles in technology, robotics, and aerospace sectors. Steve served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development for MDA, a leading Canadian technology firm. At MDA, Steve held a variety of senior executive positions across Canada and the US, covering General Management, Business Development, and Strategy. He has secured financing from Government and commercial sources for a variety of complex technologies, including several large satellite programs. Steve holds a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Birmingham in England.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Overview of direct air capture and how it works

  • Progress to date, long vision, and what is coming next

  • Cost drivers, and go to market strategy

  • Discussion about carbon math and why carbon removal is so important

  • Discussion on 45Q tax credits, LCFS credits, what they are and why they matter

  • Discussion around price on carbon, whether it is essential, and why it may make sense to distinguish legacy carbon removal from removal at point of emission and also why incentives may make sense based on carbon intensity

  • Discussion about enhanced oil recovery vs pure CO2 removal services, and Carbon Engineerings short and longterm plans

  • Discussion around historic role of big hydrocarbon companies, role going forward, and how important they are to the equation

  • Discussion around CE and how they are working with some of the big hydrocarbon companies, and the nature of those relationships

  • CE’s licensing model, profile of partners to take into other parts of the world

  • What policy initiatives Steve finds to be most impactful

  • Steve’s advice for others trying to find their lane in the climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is John Larsen, a Director at Rhodium Group who leads the firm’s US power sector and energy systems research.


John specializes in analysis of national and state clean energy policy and market trends. Previously, John worked for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis where he served as an electric power policy advisor. Prior to working in government, John led federal and congressional policy analysis in the World Resources Institute’s Climate and Energy Program.


John is a non-resident Senior Associate in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has lectured at several academic institutions including Johns Hopkins University and Amherst College. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Overview of Rhodium Group

  • The state of the state in US in regards to climate policy, emissions projections, energy makeup looking forwards, and the role of specific technologies and policies

  • Role of federal vs state government and what we can learn from history that applies looking forwards


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



You can find me on twitter at @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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Nat Keohane, Senior Vice President of Climate at Environmental Defense Fund,  where he leads EDF’s Climate program and helps to shape the organizations advocacy for environmentally effective and economically sound climate policy.  


EDF is one of the world's largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. Guided by science and economics, they tackle urgent threats with practical solutions.


An economist with expertise in energy and environmental policy, Nat also holds a position as Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University, where he teaches a seminar on climate change policy.


Previously, Nat served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council, where he helped to develop and coordinate administration policy on a wide range of energy and environmental issues. Before joining the Administration, he directed economic policy and analysis at EDF, playing a lead role in the efforts to enact comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation in Congress.


Prior to EDF, Nat was an Associate Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2001, and his B.A. from Yale College in 1993.


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Nat’s history, what led him to care about climate change, and what led him to EDF

  • What EDF does, and how Nat’s responsibilities have evolved at EDF since 1994 when he joined to today

  • Nat’s time teaching at Yale, what he liked about it, and what ultimately led him back to the advocacy world at EDF

  • His time at the White House in 2011/2012 as Special Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council

  • The role of markets vs policy

  • The importance of striking the right balance between urgency and hopefulness

  • EDF’s focus on pragmatism and getting stuff done, not just what the right answer is in theory

  • EDF’s bipartisan approach and the importance of that for any meaningful policy initiatives to be durable over the long term

  • Importance of the 2020 US presidential election, and the stakes

  • The role of China, and of geography in general when determining climate impacts and strategy

  • Some reasons for optimism

  • How Nat would allocate $100B to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • Nat’s advice for you and I on how to help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • Nat Keohane’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathaniel-keohane-00809988/

  • Nat Keohane’s twitter: https://twitter.com/natkeohane?lang=en

  • EDF: https://www.edf.org/

  • Yale School of Management: https://som.yale.edu/

  • Waxman-Markey bill: https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/glossary/1805110/waxman-markey-bill

  • National Economic Council: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/nec

  • EPA: https://www.epa.gov/

  • Cap and trade: https://www.edf.org/climate/how-cap-and-trade-works

  • China cap and trade: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611372/china-is-creating-a-huge-carbon-market-but-not-a-particularly-aggressive-one/


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Kathy Hannun, the co-founder & CEO of Dandelion. Originally conceived at X, Alphabet’s innovation lab, Dandelion is now an independent company offering geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the Northeastern US.


Previously, Kathy was a product manager and Rapid Evaluator at Alphabet's X. Prior to Dandelion, Kathy led a team that created technology to extract carbon dioxide from seawater to create carbon-neutral fuel.


Kathy has been recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, one of Albany Business Review's 40 under 40, and as a Leader of Tomorrow. Kathy graduated from Stanford with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Computer Science. 


In today’s episode, we cover:



  • Founding story of Dandelion

  • Overview of geothermal and how it works

  • Its market potential and what has been holding it back

  • Why now is the right time for it to flourish and how Dandelion plans to make that happen

  • The process that went into identifying the Dandelion opportunity, and what led to the decision to spin out from X

  • What utilities like about the approach

  • The impact Dandelion/geothermal can have @ scale on decarbonization

  • How special it is that a high impact opportunity like this fits neatly in the venture capital model and timelines

  • Whether the process to select Dandelion could be repeatable to find other ideas

  • The pros/cons of launching at X vs independently and how to decide

  • The magic of finding a solution that makes people’s lives easier while having a meaningful impact 

  • Some key wishes Kathy has for things that would change that would help accelerate the clean energy transition

  • Some surprising advice Kathy has for people concerned about climate change for how you can help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • Kathy Hannun Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cooperkathy/

  • Dandelion website: https://dandelionenergy.com/

  • Geothermal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_energy

  • Google X: https://x.company/

  • Dan Yates: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/dan-yates

  • Con Edison partnership: https://dandelionenergy.com/press-release/con-edison-dandelion-energy-partner-offer-westchester-homeowners-5000-off-geothermal-installation

  • Impossible Foods: https://impossiblefoods.com/


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Jessica Lovering, Director of Energy at The Breakthrough Institute.


Jessica is the director of Breakthough’s Energy program and has worked on nuclear energy policy since 2012. Jessica’s research has focused on how innovation in nuclear energy can bring down costs and accelerate deployment to help mitigate climate change, as laid out in the reports How to Make Nuclear Cheap and How to Make Nuclear Innovative.


Jessica was the lead author on the peer-reviewed paper, Historical construction costs of global nuclear power reactors, which was the top-rated paper in Energy Policy for over a year. She co-authored the report Atoms for Africa: Is There a Future for Civil Nuclear Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa?, with several Breakthrough Generation Fellows. She worked with experts from R Street Institute and ClearPath to publish a set of policy recommendation around micronuclear in Planting the Seeds of a Distributed Nuclear Revolution. And she has published more broadly on energy innovation and clean energy standards.


Jessica has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vox, Forbes, Wired, and The Australian. You can hear her interviewed on The Interchange podcast and on Titans of Nuclear. Jessica is a frequent public speaker and has given talks across the US as well as in Japan, Australia, China, France, and Argentina. She is featured along with Ted Nordhaus in the documentary The New Fire.


Jessica holds a B.A. in Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an M.S. in Astrophysics and Planetary Science and an M.S. in Environmental Policy, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also worked for two years on NASA's New Horizons mission, which flew by Pluto in July 2015.


Jessica grew up mostly in northern California, but has also lived in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In her spare time she enjoys doing ballet, reading post-apocalyptic fiction, and pursuing a PhD. She is married to Linus Blomqvist.


In this episode we cover:



  • Jessica’s history and what led her down path to focus on climate change

  • What led Jessica to BTI and to working on nuclear specifically

  • What Jessica feels is the biggest thing holding nuclear back domestically, what led her to that conclusion and what we can do about it.

  • The role, advantages, and stage of advanced nuclear development

  • The role of the federal government versus the states

  • The pros/cons of public utilities and deregulation

  • The ecomodernist movement, and different flavors such as “hard ecomodernists” vs pragmatists

  • The most impactful things that, if changed, would help accelerate rapid decarbonization

  • What you and I can do to help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • The Breakthrough Institute website: https://thebreakthrough.org/

  • The Breakthrough Institute funders: https://thebreakthrough.org/about/who-we-are/funders

  • Jessica Lovering Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicalovering/

  • Jessica Lovering twitter: https://twitter.com/J_Lovering

  • Fukushima nuclear accident: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

  • Ecomodernist Manifesto: http://www.ecomodernism.org/

  • Roger Pielke, Jr.: https://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/about_us/meet_us/roger_pielke/

  • Vogtle Power Plant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_Electric_Generating_Plant

  • Climate Bathtub Model: https://scied.ucar.edu/climate-bathtub-model-animations

  • Nuclear Energy Leadership Act: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2019/3/murkowski-booker-and-13-colleagues-reintroduce

  • Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA): https://www.energy.gov/articles/president-trump-signs-bill-boost-advanced-nuclear-america

  • Advanced nuclear: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_nuclear

  • Highly enriched uranium: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium#Highly_enriched_uranium_(HEU)


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.


Enjoy the show!


(show addendum: Jessica moved on from the Breakthrough Institute in September 2019)

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Jim McDermott, Managing Director of Rusheen Capital Management, LLC.


Rusheen Capital Management is a Santa Monica, CA-based private equity firm that invests in growth-stage companies in the carbon capture and utilization, low-carbon energy and water sustainability sectors. Prior to co-founding RCM, Jim has started, invested in and run numerous companies. These include: US Renewables Group (Founder & Managing Partner), Stamps.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:STMP – Founder), Spoke Software, Inc. (Founder & CEO), Archive, Inc. (Founder & CEO – sold to Cyclone Commerce), NanoH2O, Inc. (Founder & Board Member – sold to LG Chemical), SolarReserve (Founder & Board Member), Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member), Common Assets (Founder & Board Member – sold to NASDAQ:SCTY), SET Technology (Board Member) and OH Energy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member). Jim holds a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Jim’s transition from dot com entrepreneur (back) to energy/climate

  • Formation and operation of US renewables group

  • Some examples of companies Jim has backed

  • His views on impact capital and how it returns relative to a more mercenary approach

  • Importance and necessity of carbon removal

  • Role of the big hydrocarbon companies looking backward and forward

  • Importance of policies like the 45Q tax credit

  • The emergence of the carbon-to-value economy

  • Some of the most exciting innovations to keep an eye on

  • What Jim would do with $100B if he could put it to work to maximize impact in the climate fight

  • Jim’s advice to people trying to find a way to help


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • Jim McDermott Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesacmcdermott/

  • US Renewables Group: https://usregroup.com/

  • Fulcrum BioEnergy: http://fulcrum-bioenergy.com/

  • Bret Kugelmass: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/bret-kugelmass

  • 45Q tax credit: https://www.catf.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CATF_FactSheet_45QCarbonCaptureIncentives.pdf

  • Carbon Engineering: https://carbonengineering.com/

  • Renewable portfolio standard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_portfolio_standard

  • Oil depletion allowance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_depletion_allowance

  • Low carbon fuel standard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-carbon_fuel_standard

  • Electrolysis: https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-electrolysis

  • Photocatalyst and hydrogen production: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-photocatalyst-hydrogen-production-efficient.html


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is David Buzby.


David has been starting, building and investing in “impact” businesses for the last 27 years with an emphasis on renewable energy generation, energy storage/grid services, wastewater treatment and e-commerce.


He currently sits on the Board of Cambrian Innovation, Leading Edge Crystal Technologies, Paragon Power and Stem, as well as being a member of the Investment Committee at the PRIME Coalition. 


He has in the past been a founding investor and director of SunRun (NASD:RUN), SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE), Valueclick (NASD:VCLK), Brilliant Light Power, Bright Plain Renewable Energy, Prevalent Power, Resource Holdings and Best Internet.


David has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Middlebury College.


In this episode we discuss:



  • The two moments in David’s life that led him to focus on impact based businesses

  • How David got his start in the impact business world

  • Some of the companies that David has started, invested in, and advised

  • The criteria David uses for his investments and the dual focus on impact and profits

  • Some of the issues with funding impact businesses with traditional venture capital, and thoughts on how to solve

  • A teaser of what David is thinking about doing next

  • David’s thoughts on science risk, time horizons, upside, price on carbon, nuclear, and more


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • David Buzby LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-buzby-8840a217/ 

  • Johns Manville: https://www.jm.com/ 

  • SunEdison: http://www.sunedison.com/ 

  • Jigar Shah: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jigarshahdc/ 

  • SunRun: https://www.sunrun.com/ 

  • Stem: https://www.stem.com/about-us/executive-team/ 


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Gregg Dixon, the CEO . of Voltus, Inc.


Gregg connects customers, investors, teammates, and the world with Voltus value, ensuring that the vision for the company, and its culture, is meeting their expectations. Gregg is a world-renowned expert in commercial and industrial energy management and has pioneered many of today’s innovations that unlock the economic and environmental benefits of “intelligent energy.”


Prior to co-founding Voltus, Gregg was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales and a founding executive at EnerNOC, a leading provider of demand response, energy procurement, and energy intelligence software, where he led all facets of marketing, sales, product, and professional services. Gregg developed and executed EnerNOC’s award winning go-to-market strategy that took EnerNOC from $0 to nearly $500 million in revenue over the course of 10 years. Among his proudest achievements, he created more than 350 jobs, brought to market more than 10,000 MW’s of demand response around the world, delivered more than $1 billion in cash savings to customers, opened more than two dozen markets for the very first time to demand side resources, architected the company’s product strategy, and, before he left, led EnerNOC’s Supreme Court of the United States case on FERC Order 745, which was decided in favor of EnerNOC, ensuring that the demand response industry can continue to grow.


Prior to joining EnerNOC, Gregg was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Hess Microgen, the leading provider of commercial on-site co-generation systems and services in the United States, where he pioneered efforts to bring more than 100 co-generation systems to leading grocery, hospitality, commercial property, and manufacturing customers. Gregg was also a Partner at Mercer Management Consulting, where he advised Fortune 1000 companies on customer and product strategy, economic analysis, and new business development.


Gregg has been the keynote and contributing speaker at hundreds of energy conferences, and his work in the industry has been cited broadly in the media, including The Wall St. Journal, The Economist, USA Today, Wired Magazine, and The Boston Globe, among others. Gregg graduated from Boston College with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Information Systems and he is a Certified Energy Manager, Certified Demand Side Management Professional, and Certified Sustainable Development Professional with the Association of Energy Engineers with whom he was also recognized as a “Lifetime Legend in Energy.” Gregg was also voted one of Boston’s “40 Under 40” by Boston Business Journal as recognition for having established himself as a leader to be watched in the field of technology and energy.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Overview of Voltus, Inc., including founding story

  • Gregg’s history with EnerNOC, and how Voltus is a natural extension of that work

  • Overview of demand response and how it works

  • Discussion on climate change and capitalism, and how the two interrelate

  • Discussion on climate impact Voltus can have, if successful

  • What Voltus skeptics would say, and how Gregg responds

  • Voltus value prop to customers and pitch

  • What Gregg does to help combat climate change in his own life

  • His advice for others trying to figure out how to make an impact

  • How Gregg would allocate $100B to maximize impact in climate fight


Links to topics discussed in this episode:



  • Gregg Dixon Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregg-dixon-4521b61/

  • Gregg Dixon Twitter: https://twitter.com/gregg_dixon

  • Voltus, Inc: https://www.voltus.co/ 

  • EnerNOC: https://www.enernoc.com/index.php 

  • FERC Order 745: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-demand-response


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Andrew Beebe, Managing Director at Obvious Ventures.


Andrew brings to Obvious Ventures a lifelong passion for building companies around sustainable systems and people power.


For over a decade, Andrew has focused on clean technology and clean energy solutions. He started down the clean tech path with Energy Innovations in 2003, which he grew from a business plan to a major solar developer serving customers like Google, Disney, Sony Pictures, and British Telecom.


After selling the company to Suntech in 2008, Andrew served as Chief Commercial Officer at Suntech as well as Vice President of Global Product Strategy. During his tenure, Suntech became the largest solar company in the world. After leaving Suntech, Andrew spent two years as Vice President of Distributed Generation for Nextera Energy, the largest clean energy developer in the US.


Before his clean tech career, Andrew spent a decade building companies in the early days of “Web 1.0.” In 1998 Andrew co-founded Bigstep.com, an e-commerce platform designed to serve the needs of small businesses entering the Internet age. He has been supporting the enterprising ideas of people power ever since.


A graduate from Dartmouth College, Andrew lives in Burlingame, CA with his wife and three children. When he's not helping to build early stage companies, Andrew builds wooden boats and furniture.


Andrew was born in New York City and spent his formative years on an avocado ranch in Ojai, California.


In this episode we discuss:



  • What Obvious Ventures does and the types of investments they make

  • How Andrew and Obvious Ventures think about and apply the term “purpose-driven”

  • Thoughts on investing in companies with science risk

  • Thoughts on time horizon and how that factors into investment decisions

  • Thoughts on upside potential and how that factors into investment decisions

  • How Obvious screens for purpose and impact, as applied to startups they back, members of their investment team, and LPs

  • Areas of investment they are excited about

  • Other areas outside of their investment focus Andrew thinks will be impactful in climate fight

  • Advice for anyone trying to find their lane to help with this problem


Links to the topics discussed in this episode:



  • Andrew Beebe LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewbeebe/ 

  • Andrew Beebe Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewbeebe

  • Obvious Ventures: https://obvious.com/ 

  • Beyond Meat: https://www.beyondmeat.com/ 

  • Diamond Foundry: https://diamondfoundry.com/

  • Amply Power: https://www.amplypower.com/ 

  • Good Eggs: https://www.goodeggs.com/sfbay/welcome/step/zip

  • Lillium: https://lilium.com/ 

  • Canvas Technology: https://canvas.technology/ 

  • Article that Andrew wrote with Diann Eisnor: https://worldpositive.com/a-tale-of-two-cities-2030-edition-c9bceb8ea1e3


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.


Enjoy the show!

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Bill Weihl.


Bill was the Director of Sustainability at Facebook where he focused on energy efficiency initiatives. Prior to joining Facebook in early 2012, he spent 6 years as the Green Energy Czar at Google, where he led efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy, spearheading Google's drive to become carbon neutral, founding the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, and leading the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Austin Whitman, Executive Director of Climate Neutral.


Climate Neutral is an independent non-profit organization working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world by putting a price on carbon emissions. They are enlisting brands in the fight against climate change by showing them that measuring and paying for their carbon emissions is cheaper and easier than they think. Climate Neutral believes that brands, together with their consumers, can lead the transition to a low-carbon economy by placing a price on carbon within their business.


In today’s episode we discuss:



  • Overview of Climate Neutral

  • Intro to carbon neutrality

  • Intro to offsets

  • Founding story

  • Reason for being a non-profit

  • Process of raising money for non-profit

  • Pitch to brands

  • Traction to date

  • Future plans and long vision

  • 'How it fits into broader climate fight

  • Where Austin would put $100B to maximize its impact in the climate fight

  • 'Advice to people trying to find their own paths to help with this problem


Links to topics discussed in today’s episode:



  • Austin Whitman LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/austinwhitman/

  • Climate Neutral Website: https://www.climateneutral.org/ 

  • Climate Neutral Twitter: https://twitter.com/climateneutral

  • Natural Capital Partners: https://www.naturalcapitalpartners.com/

  • UN Climate Neutral Now: https://unfccc.int/climate-action/climate-neutral-now

  • Science Based Targets Initiative: https://sciencebasedtargets.org/

  • Kleen Kanteen: https://www.kleankanteen.com/

  • Peak Design: https://www.peakdesign.com/

  • BioLite: https://www.bioliteenergy.com/

  • Alex Honnold: http://www.alexhonnold.com/

  • Connecticut Green Bank: https://ctgreenbank.com/

  • 'Chris Van Hollen: https://www.lcv.org/environmental-facebook/chris-van-hollen/

  • Project Drawdown: https://www.drawdown.org/

  • Paul Hawken: http://www.paulhawken.com/


I hope you 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.

Key points in this episode

Marshall is the co-founder and Managing Director at Upstream Tech, a public benefit corporation that partners with nonprofit and for-profit organizations working towards ecological restoration, supply chain sustainability, and energy efficiency improvements goals, among others. Upstream Tech’s goal is to help translate data into better, faster resource use decisions. They use satellite data, sophisticated data processing, and easy-to-use applications to supercharge their customer’s conservation impact.


Marshall oversees the product development, growth and partnerships at Upstream Tech. Prior to co-founding Upstream Tech, he worked in a number of early- and late-stage technical companies that have collectively raised over $100M USD in venture capital. He was awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy and has served on panels for the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Marshall holds a BA in Computer Science from Tufts University.


In today’s episode we discuss:



  • Upstream Tech overview and history

  • Marshall’s background prior to Upstream Tech, including what led him to care about climate, how he went about making the transition, and what led him to this opportunity specifically

  • Some projects they have worked on

  • Upstream Tech’s acquisition by Natel Energy and what the combined entity can do together

  • What are some other levers in the climate fight beyond Upstream Tech

  • Marshall’s advice for anyone looking to make a similar transition


Links to topics discussed in today’s episode:



  • Marshall twitter: https://twitter.com/marsh?lang=en

  • Marshall Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marshallmoutenot/

  • Upstream Tech: https://upstream.tech/

  • Natel Energy: https://www.natelenergy.com/


I hope you 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.

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Armond Cohen, co-founder and Executive Director at Clean Air Task Force, an organization whose task is to reduce climate change by applying an overwhelming amount of force to some of the biggest levers to reduce carbon and other climate warming emissions. Armond has led CATF since its formation in 1996.


In addition to leading CATF, Armond is directly involved in CATF research and advocacy on the topic of requirements to deeply decarbonize global energy systems. Prior to his work with CATF, Armond founded and led the Conservation Law Foundation’s Energy Project starting in 1983, focussing on energy efficiency, utility resource planning, and electric industry structure. Armond has published numerous articles on climate change, energy system transformation, and air pollution; he speaks and testifies frequently on these topics. He is a member of the Keystone Center Energy Board, co-Chair of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, and a member of the US Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee. Armond is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School and Brown University.


In today’s episode we discuss:



  • CATF overview and history

  • CATF current focus areas, how they prioritize, and measure success

  • Climate problem explained, including a look at various high leverage potential solutions, and barriers that make the issue difficult to solve

  • Policy vs innovation, and the role of each

  • How to make progress in a polarized world

  • Armond’d thoughts on the term ‘environmentalist’

  • Armond’s advice for listeners on how to help


Links to topics discussed in today’s episode:



  • Armond’s Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armond-cohen-83a1484/

  • Armond’s twitter profile: https://twitter.com/armondcohen1?lang=en

  • CATF website: https://www.catf.us/

  • Carbon180 website: https://carbon180.org/

  • EDF website: https://www.edf.org

  • Bret Kugelmass: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/bret-kugelmass

  • USA Today article on Chernobyl and nuclear: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/06/17/hbo-chernobyl-tragic-nuclear-power-safe-clean-vital-column/1409096001/

  • Stewart Brand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewart_Brand

  • Sheldon Whitehouse: https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/


I hope you 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.

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Rob Day, General Partner at Spring Lane Capital.


Spring Lane Capital partners with strong management teams who are selling or using distributed assets with compelling customer economics in the energy, water, food and waste sectors. In these sectors, they focus on solutions that have significantly positive impacts on the sustainability of our natural resources, which they believe offer advantaged long-term benefits economically and socially. They’ve found that in practice, most such solutions have major physical components – “distributed assets” are those solutions using equipment or facilities smaller and less concentrated than traditional project finance can address.


Rob has been a sustainable resources private equity investor since 2004, and acts or has served as a Director, Observer and advisory board member to multiple companies in the energy tech and related sectors. Rob also serves on the Board at the New England Clean Energy Council. From 2005-2016 he authored the column Cleantech Investing, which appeared on GreentechMedia.com, and co-hosted several conferences with that group on the topic of new investment models for the sustainability sector.


Formerly a consultant with Bain & Company, Rob has worked with companies and evaluated private equity transactions in the energy/ utilities, telecom, IT, medical/pharmaceutical, and retail industries. Earlier in his career, Rob was a member of the World Resources Institute's Sustainable Enterprise Program, where he co-authored the report The Next Bottom Line: Making Sustainable Development Tangible. Rob received his MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University), and his BA at Swarthmore College.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Overview of Spring Lane Capital

  • Rob’s background & history and what got him initially caring about the planet and sustainability

  • Spring Lane Capital model, target customers, what alternatives existed before they came along, and how they are different

  • How they measure success, in terms of both financial returns and the mission

  • What Rob would be doing to focus on climate change if he wasn’t doing this

  • Rob’s advice to people trying to find their own ways to make a mark in this problem space


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Aries Clean Energy: https://ariescleanenergy.com/

  • Generate Capital: https://generatecapital.com/

  • Ultra Capital: https://www.ultracapital.com/

  • Rob Day’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robday/

  • Rob Day’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleantechvc


I hope you enjoy the show!


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

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Diego Saez Gil, co-founder & CEO of Pachama.


Diego Saez-Gil is Co-founder & CEO of Pachama, a company focused on restoring the forests to solve climate change. Prior to Pachama, Diego co-founded Bluesmart (acquired by TravelPro) and WeHostels (acquired by StudentUniverse). Diego was awarded MIT 35 Under 35 and was selected High Impact Entrepreneur by Endeavor. Pachama is working to help restore the forests to solve climate change. They are developing technologies to bring trust, transparency, and efficiency to the Forest Carbon Market. They are combining machine learning with satellite and drone data to accelerate the verification of carbon in forests and increase the flow of capital from those offsetting their carbon emissions to those protecting and restoring the forests. They are backed by some of the best investors in Silicon Valley including Chris Sacca, Paul Graham, Y Combinator, among others.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Overview of Pachama

  • Background on carbon offsets and how they work

  • Overview of reforestation and why it is important

  • Background on why reforestation has been difficult to certify land for historically, and how Pachama can help

  • Progress of the company to date, long vision, and what is coming next

  • What success looks like, and how it ties into broader climate fight

  • What else can be high leverage on climate change, besides reforestation

  • Role of policy, specific to Pachama and with broader lense in climate fight

  • Role of venture capital in climate fight, and what types of climate solutions are the right fit for VC

  • Advice to people trying to figure out how to help


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Diego Saez Gil Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dsaezgil/

  • Diego Saez Gil twitter: https://twitter.com/dsaezgil

  • Pachama website: https://www.pachama.com/

  • Project Drawdown: https://www.drawdown.org/

  • Why Forests? Why Now?: The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1933286857/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_.krdDbWWR127E


I hope you enjoy the show!


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

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Noah Deich, the Founder & Executive Director of Carbon180.


Carbon180 is a new breed of climate-focused NGO on a mission to fundamentally rethink carbon. They partner with policymakers, scientists and businesses around the globe to develop policy, promote research, and advance solutions that transform carbon from a liability to an asset. Their vision is to build a prosperous, carbon-conscious economy that removes more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit.


Noah is a cleantech professional with a passion for fighting climate change. Prior to founding Carbon180, Noah worked in consulting, and gained experience with environmental market and carbon offset modeling, financial valuation of renewable and fossil energy power plants, energy efficiency and demand response program design and implementation, and corporate social responsibility strategy assessments.


Noah received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and his B.A. from the University of Virginia, and his writing has been published in GreenBiz.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Carbon removal defined & why we need it

  • Carbon180 overview, history, etc

  • Where they are the journey today, the long vision, and what is coming next

  • Types of projects they work on, some examples, and how they measure success

  • State of carbon removal and where it needs to go

  • Some barriers holding it back and the best way to unlock faster progress

  • Role of policy vs innovation

  • Carbon 180’s role

  • How you and I can help

  • What else matters in the climate fight

  • Advice to people trying to find their lane


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Noah Deich LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noahdeich/

  • Noah Deich Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecarbonsink

  • Carbon180: https://carbon180.org/

  • National Academy of Science: http://www.nasonline.org/

  • Carbon removal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_removal

  • Occidental Petroleum: https://www.oxy.com/Pages/default.aspx


I hope you enjoy the show!


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

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Alicia Seiger, a lecturer at Stanford Law School who leads sustainability and energy finance initiatives at Stanford Law, Graduate School of Business and the Precourt Institute for Energy. Alicia serves as Managing Director for both the Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and the Sustainable Finance Initiative. Her work focuses on business and financial innovations to accelerate the transition to a decarbonized and climate resilient global economy.


In 2018, Alicia was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to serve on the first-ever Decarbonization Advisory Panel for the $209 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund. She also serves on the boards of Ceres and PRIME Coalition, and co-founded Stanford Professionals in Energy (SPIE). In 2014, she created Investing in a New Climate, an investor workshop series to help asset owners manage climate risk and capitalize on innovation opportunities.


A serial entrepreneur and pioneer of new business models, Alicia has been designing and executing climate and energy strategies for businesses, foundations, investors, and NGOs since 2004. She has served on the management teams of multiple startups, including at TerraPass, a pioneer of the US carbon offset market, and Flycast Communications, one of the world’s first web advertising networks.


In this episode we discuss:



  • The type of work Alicia does at Stanford with the Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and the Sustainable Finance Initiative

  • How the financial world is thinking of climate change, including the disconnect between valuations and climate risk

  • Where the US stacks up against the rest of the world in terms of sustainable investing

  • Advice for people trying to figure out how to find their place in the climate fight

  • What Alicia would do with a big pot of money, if she could put it to work to maximize its impact on deep decarbonization


I hope you 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.


Edit notes from Alicia:



  • I failed to mention “minimum standards”, which was the third headline of our report. To read more on this check out the NYCRF climate action plan (https://www.osc.state.ny.us/pension/climate-action-plan-2019.pdf) or our panel’s recommendations (https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/newer.PDF-NYCRF_DAP_FinalReport_Full.pdf.pdf).

  • NYCRF did everything except adopt the headline. They didn’t actually publicly commit to 100% sustainable assets by 2030, but they started on the road towards that goal.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Alicia Seiger’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aseiger

  • Alicia Seiger’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaseiger

  • Alicia Seiger’s Stanford Bio: https://law.stanford.edu/directory/alicia-seiger/

  • Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance: https://law.stanford.edu/steyer-taylor-center-for-energy-policy-and-finance/

  • Stanford Sustainable Finance Initiative, Precourt Institute for Energy: https://energy.stanford.edu/sustainable-finance-initiative

  • Ceres: https://www.ceres.org/

  • FSB, TCFD Website: https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/

  • FSB, Mark Carney Video on TCMD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvLsLJ7kl3E

  • Sarah Kearney: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/sarah-kearney

  • Matthew Nordan: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/matthew-nordan

  • Prime Coalition: https://primecoalition.org/

  • Cyclotron Road: https://www.cyclotronroad.org/

  • Tom Steyer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Steyer

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Pat Brown, CEO & founder of Impossible Foods, a company at the forefront of making nutritious, delicious meat and dairy products from plants to satisfy meat lovers and address the environmental impact of animal farming.  Founded in 2011, the Bay Area-based company has now raised a total of $687.5 million from a host of backers including Khosla Ventures, UBS, Bill Gates, Serena Williams and singer Katy Perry.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Pat’s background as a chemist and the sabbatical that led him to founding Impossible Foods

  • What the company does, how it goes to market, and progress to date

  • Mission, long-term vision, and how it ties back to broader climate fight

  • What else can be impactful on climate change beyond the work of Impossible Foods

  • Pat’s advice to consumers on the most impactful things they can do to be helpful in the fight against climate change


I hope you 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.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Pat Brown’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-brown-338b467

  • Impossible Foods website: https://impossiblefoods.com/

  • Impossible Foods Impact Report 2019 https://impossiblefoods.com/mission/2019impact/

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Saul Griffith, the founder of Otherlab.


Saul is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur but was trained as an engineer. He received his Ph.D. at MIT in the junction between materials science and information theory. Prior to MIT, Saul studied in Sydney, Australia and at UC Berkeley in metallurgical engineering. Since graduating in 2004 he has started numerous technology companies based in the Bay Area including Makani Power 2007-acquired by Google, Instructables 2006-acquired by Autodesk and Squid Labs 2004-2007. Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007. Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, energy production, manufacturing and smart geometry.


Otherlab is an independent research & design lab that pairs creativity & rigor to innovations in sustainable energy and robotics.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Saul’s childhood experiences that led him to care about the environment and his interest in engineering and robotics, which resulted in his unique views on how to approach the problem of climate change

  • The type of work Saul and his team are doing at Otherlab, including process, projects, success criteria, and how they partner with orgs like ARPA-E and the government

  • The role and importance of hydrocarbon companies in the climate issue, and Saul’s unique idea for how to mobilize them effectively

  • Saul’s idea for a new financial product focused on enabling home electrification for individual families

  • The evolving role of Silicon Valley

  • Saul’s thoughts on climate math and the future


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and via email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share feedback on episodes and/or suggestions for guests/topics you'd like to see covered in the future.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Saul Griffith’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saulgriffith

  • Otherlab: https://otherlab.com/

  • Otherlab Twitter: https://twitter.com/otherlab

  • James Hansen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen

  • Sunfolding: https://www.sunfolding.com/

Key points in this episode

Today’s guest is Matt Rogers, the co-founder of Nest and now Incite.org. Incite turns big ideas to improve the world into big deals. They offer early money & support for changemakers through Incite Labs, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that makes grants and program-related investments to further charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, Incite Ventures, an investment fund that supports mission-driven enterprises through investments in businesses with the potential to scale, inspire others, and make a difference, and Incite Politics, the name of the work of Incite’s founders, Matt and Swati, to personally organize and support initiatives to pass legislation and elect candidates who approach our country’s issues from a fresh perspective.


Matt is a builder at heart. He started at Apple, building the software team for 10 generations of the iPod. He was one of the first engineers on the original iPhone and involved in the development of 5 iPhone generations, and the first iPad.


As co-founder of Nest, Matt built the team that built the first machine learning thermostat. And by doing so, has built the leading connected home brand — Nest.


Matt is a Star Wars enthusiast and can often be spotted playing with his Airedale terrier friend, Bingley.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Matt’s time at Apple where he worked on the iPod, iPhone, and iPad

  • The aha moment that led to Matt leaving Apple and founding Nest with Tony Fadell

  • How Matt blended product and mission at Nest, which helped lead to it’s 3.2B acquisition by Google

  • Matt’s time post Google acquisition and what led him and his wife Swati to found Incite.org

  • The work Matt and his wife Swati are doing at Incite in startups, government, philanthropy, and politics

  • Matt’s personal views on climate change and his expectations of those who have achieved success


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Matt Rogers LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattrogers2/

  • Matt Rogers Twitter: https://twitter.com/nestmatt

  • Swati Mylavarapu: https://www.linkedin.com/in/swatimylavarapu/

  • Incite.org: https://www.incite.org

  • Yoky Matsuoka: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoky_Matsuoka

  • Apple: https://www.apple.com/

  • Nest: https://nest.com/

  • Tony Fadell: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonyfadell/

  • Dan Yates: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/dan-yates

  • Google acquires Nest: https://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2014/01/13/google-acquires-nest-for-3-2-billion/

  • Carbon180: https://carbon180.org/

  • Cyclotron Road: https://www.cyclotronroad.org/

  • Julio Friedmann: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julio-friedmann-86a83a44/

  • ClearPath: https://clearpath.org/

  • UC Davis: https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/can-seaweed-cut-methane-emissions-dairy-farms/

  • New York Times article w/ Matt Rogers: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/business/carbon-removal-technology-start-ups.htm


I hope you enjoy the show!


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


One correction: In this episode Matt Rogers said Cyclotron Road will soon be called Activation Energy. In fact, Cyclotron Road is a program managed in partnership between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Activate (formerly called Activation Energy), an independent nonprofit organization.

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Joshua Posamentier, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Congruent Ventures. Congruent partners with entrepreneurs to build companies addressing sustainability challenges, investing early across hardware, software, enterprise, consumer, deep technology, fin-tech, and business model innovation.


Joshua oversees Congruent’s investments in PolySpectra, Sense Photonics, Energetic Insurance, TeleSense, Bellwether Coffee, Xtelligent, ArcByt, Fox Robotics, and Emergy Labs. He has rich experience in venture (Prelude Ventures, Intel Capital) and operating roles (Intel, National Semi, TI), and entrepreneurship (CEO of Blipstream). He was an integral member of Intel’s first wireless chip team, started and ran National Semiconductor’s EV, Energy Storage and Smart Grid business units and initiated investment in several new business lines. Joshua has over 50 patents issued or pending, holds a BA in physics from the University California at Berkeley, and holds MBAs from the Columbia Business School and the Haas School of Business. Josh is an avid cyclist, skier, sailor, surfer, and photographer and lives with his family in the SF Bay Area.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Joshua’s background in both operating roles and ventures roles that gave him the conviction to start Congruent and focus on sustainability investing

  • How Joshua balances generating returns vs making impact through his investments

  • Examples of some of the companies Joshua and Congruent have invested in and the impact they are having on sustainability markets

  • Joshua’s views on the climate issue and his advice to others who are struggling with the decision on where to spend their time in the climate fight


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and/or requests for topics/guests to cover on the show!


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Joshua Posamentier's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/posamentier

  • Joshua Posamentier's Twitter: https://twitter.com/posamentier

  • Congruent Ventures Website: http://www.congruentvc.com/

  • Congruent Ventures Twitter: https://twitter.com/CongruentVC

  • Abe Yokell's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abe-yokell

  • Daniel Hullah: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/daniel-hullah

  • Prelude Ventures: https://www.preludeventures.com/

  • Amp Robotics: https://www.amprobotics.com/

  • Energetic Insurance: https://www.energeticinsurance.com/

  • James Bowen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesbowen/

  • Jeff McAulay: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jlmcaulay/

Key points in this episode

Today's guest is Adele Morris, a senior fellow and policy director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. Her research informs critical decisions related to climate change, energy, and tax policy. She is a leading global expert on the design of carbon pricing policies.


She joined Brookings in July 2008 from the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the U.S. Congress, where she advised members and staff on economic, energy, and environmental policy. Before her work in Congress, Morris was the lead natural resource economist for the U.S. Treasury Department for nine years. In that position, she informed and represented Treasury’s positions on agriculture, energy, climate, and radio spectrum policies. On assignment to the U.S. Department of State in 2000, she led negotiations on land use and forestry issues in the international climate change treaty process. Prior to joining the Treasury, she served as the senior economist for environmental affairs at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the development of the Kyoto Protocol. Morris began her career at the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversaw rulemaking by agriculture and natural resource agencies. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University, an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Utah, and a B.A. from Rice University.


In this episode we discuss:



  • Adele’s background and her climate focused work at the Brookings Institution

  • The political make up of the Brookings Institute and how they work on both the left and right side of the aisle

  • Some of the recent projects Adele has been working on including a deep dive into carbon taxes

  • The no nonsense straightforward approach Adele takes to her work and how she hopes it is received in this current polarized political climate we find ourselves in

  • Adele’s advice to others: vote and educate yourself, and talk to others


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share any feedback or requests for specific topics/guests to have on the show!


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • The event with the members of Congress on June 20: https://www.brookings.edu/events/leading-carbon-price-proposals-a-bipartisan-dialogue/

  • The paper on the policy insights from our big modeling study: https://www.brookings.edu/research/policy-insights-from-comparing-carbon-pricing-modeling-scenarios/

  • The book I mentioned: https://www.amazon.com/Implementing-Carbon-Tax-Explorations-Environmental/dp/1138825360

  • How to find your representative in Congress: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

  • Contact information for U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

Key points in this episode

In this episode I interview Kiran Bhatraju the Founder and CEO of Arcadia Power.


Arcadia Power connects customers to local community solar projects and purchases renewable energy certificates from wind farms on their behalf.


To date, Arcadia Power has 250,000 customers that have produced 680,000 megawatt hours of clean energy.


In this episode we discuss:



  • How Arcadia Power is making it easy for customers to transition to clean energy.

  • How Arcadia Power uses offsets and renewable energy certificates and the impact those have on energy markets and innovation by demonstrating demand.

  • The pricing strategy and freemium model Arcadia Power is using to attract customers.

  • Kiran’s fear about societies tendency to adapt to the “new normal” and the consequences of tendency.

  • Why Kiran believes its important for policymakers to remember those most significantly impacted by the transition to clean energy.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Kiran Bhatraju’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiran-bhatraju

  • Kiran Bhatraju’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiranRaju

  • Arcadia Power: https://www.arcadiapower.com

  • Wealthfront: https://www.wealthfront.com/

  • Bettermint: https://www.betterment.com

  • Runkeeper: https://runkeeper.com/

  • Solar Holler: https://www.solarholler.com/

Key points in this episode

In this episode I interview Rich Powell, the Executive Director of ClearPath.


Rich is the Executive Director at ClearPath and ClearPath Action, the DC-based organizations developing and advancing conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation.


He educates policymakers on investing wisely in energy innovation, removing roadblocks to building and exporting American clean energy technology, and maintaining and promoting our baseload clean energy resources. Rich also leads ClearPath’s external advocacy and research partnerships with non profits, academia, and the private sector.


Previously, Rich was with McKinsey & Company in the Energy and Sustainability practices. He focused on corporate clean energy strategy, government low carbon growth strategy, and clean tech market entry.


ClearPath partners with in-house and external experts on nuclear, carbon capture, hydropower, natural gas, energy storage and energy innovation to advance their mission.


In this episode, Rich and I discuss:



  • Rich’s previous experience working at McKinsey and how that led to him meeting Jay Faison, the founder of ClearPath, and ultimately joining the company.

  • How ClearPath prioritizes their efforts by evaluating impact vs likelihood of a particular policy passing.

  • How ClearPath uses the conservative values of cost benefit analysis and performance technology in developing policy proposals.

  • ClearPath’s non-dogmatic view on what it will take to solve the energy issues of climate change.

  • How ClearPath hopes to achieve it’s long term goal of zero emissions by 2050.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Rich Powell’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richpowell

  • Rich Powell’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/powellrich

  • ClearPath: http://clearpath.org/

  • Jay Faison: https://clearpath.org/about-us/jay-faison/

  • SnapAV: https://www.snapav.com

  • McKinsey: https://www.mckinsey.com/

  • NetPower: https://www.netpower.com

  • Oxy: https://www.oxy.com

  • 45Q: https://clearpath.org/jay-and-richs-take/why-45q-matters-and-why-its-not-enough/

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interviewed Susanne Brooks, Senior Director, U.S. Climate Policy & Analysis at Environmental Defense Fund.


Susanne’s areas of expertise include climate change, U.S. climate and energy policy, and carbon pricing.


Specifically, she works to develop and advocate environmentally responsible and economically sound policies aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. Susanne’s areas of expertise include U.S. federal and state climate and energy policy, the economic impacts of climate change, and the design of carbon pricing programs.


The Environmental Defense Fund is one of the world's largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. EDF’s work focuses on four main areas including: Climate & Energy, Health, Oceans, and Ecosystems.


In this episode, Susanne and I discussed:



  • What sets EDF and their work apart from other NGO’s

  • Where EDF’s work fits into the broader picture of climate change

  • What Susanne does specifically for EDF which includes looking years ahead to make sure EDF is prepared for future legislation proposals

  • How EDF has been helping legislators by providing suggestions for carbon tax proposals using EMIs

  • How Susanne found her way into climate and climate policy related work


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Susanne Brooks LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanne-brooks-28a0894/

  • Susanne Brookers Twitter: https://twitter.com/susannebrooks

  • EDF’s Website: https://www.edf.org

  • Nat Keohane: https://www.edf.org/people/nathaniel-keohane

  • EIM’s: http://blogs.edf.org/markets/2016/11/03/ensuring-environmental-outcomes-from-a-carbon-tax/

  • Resources for the Future: https://www.rff.org/

  • CEO Climate Dialogue: https://www.ceoclimatedialogue.org/

  • Climate Leadership Council: https://www.clcouncil.org/

  • World Resources Institute: https://www.wri.org/

  • IPCC: https://www.ipcc.ch/

  • Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interviewed Bret Kugelmass, the Managing Director of the Energy Impact Center.


We covered a number of topics, including Bret’s background and what led him to focus so passionately on nuclear, his atypical entry point and tremendously successful podcast, the work he is doing at Energy Impact Center, and his ultimate vision for what Energy Impact Center can become and the mark he wants to leave on the world.


Out of all of the people I’ve met so far in my journey, Bret is the closet to my spirit animal - recovering technology entrepreneur looking to work on something more purposeful, concerned about climate change, deep dive into climate brought him to nuclear, and had many discussions and started a podcast on his quest to enter this new field without a historical background in it.


Bret put out some pretty bold, controversial viewpoints. Definitely thought provoking, and whether you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing, a worthwhile listen, for sure.


I would love to hear your thoughts after listening to the episode.


His bio here:


Bret Kugelmass is an American technology entrepreneur who's turned his focus to climate and energy advocacy. One the early pioneers in commercializing drones (Airphrame - acq. 2017) for environmental surveys and emergency response he's experienced first-hand market growth within complex technical, regulatory, and public opinion framework.


He received his Masters in robotics from Stanford and his earlier work includes designing a lunar rover controller for NASA, a concept electric car for Panasonic, and automating solar manufacturing processes for Nanosolar.


Motivated by the climate crises he moved to DC to set up a research initiative (Energy Impact Center) focused on exploring nuclear power and its role in deep decarbonization. He also hosts a podcast (Titans of Nuclear) where he’s conducted hundreds of audio interviews with experts throughout the nuclear sector communicating to a tech savvy and environmentally concerned audience the unique complexities and benefits of the technology.


In this episode, Bret and I discuss:



  • Bret’s background and what caused him to join the climate fight

  • His journey talking to scientists and experts and the three a-ha moments that led to his focus on nuclear

  • Bret’s view on the single only solution to climate change

  • A deep dive into the world of nuclear including a line by line rebuttal of all the common concerns with nuclear energy and reactors

  • Bret’s ultimate goal and definition of success with his work


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Bret Kugelmass: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bkugelmass

  • Titans of Nuclear: https://www.titansofnuclear.com/

  • Fukushima: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

  • Bret Kugelmass’s Lecture Series on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgTfjKxO_dTeFNOjWZXUCM0ghpDBVc2oO

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interviewed Alex Flint, the Executive Director of The Alliance for Market Solutions.


Alex joined AMS as executive director in May 2017. He previously served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, senior vice president of governmental affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute, and as a member of President Trump’s transition team.


The Alliance for Market Solutions (AMS) is an organization of conservative leaders addressing two of America’s most pressing challenges: the need to reduce carbon pollution and grow the economy.


AMS respect’s climate change science and supports replacing regulations with a revenue-neutral carbon tax—a policy that would efficiently protect the environment and deregulate and grow the economy.


AMS engages directly with influential conservatives, including policymakers, to cultivate support for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. We also conduct research on key aspects of carbon tax policies to provide policymakers insights into issues including the impact of a revenue-neutral carbon tax on economic growth, income, and innovation.


In this episode, Alex and I discuss:



  • Alex’s background and childhood that led to his awareness and appreciation for the environment

  • The early days of The Alliance for Market Solutions and how it came to be

  • Alex’s time working in nuclear and then on Trump’s transition team

  • Alex’s case for why and how conservatives should address the issue of climate change

  • The specific solution that AMS proposes to address climate change

  • Why Alex does not think any solution is better than no solution when it comes to climate policy


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Alex Flint: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-flint-0a294574/

  • The Alliance for Market Solutions: https://amsresearch.org/

  • Alex's Op Ed from Dec of 2018: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/419392-republicans-are-losing-on-climate-issues-we-can-change

  • Article on the email Alex wrote about climate change deniers: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060162805

  • Interview of Alex - Addressing Climate Change with a Carbon Tax | White House Chronicle: https://vimeo.com/278688768

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Nathaniel Stinnett, the Founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project.


Nathaniel Stinnett founded the Environmental Voter Project in 2015 after over a decade of experience as a senior advisor, consultant, and trainer for political campaigns and issue-advocacy nonprofits. Hailed as a "visionary" by The New York Times, and dubbed "The Voting Guru" by Grist magazine, Stinnett is a frequent expert speaker on cutting-edge campaign techniques and the behavioral science behind getting people to vote.


He has held a variety of senior leadership and campaign manager positions on U.S. Senate, Congressional, state, and mayoral campaigns, and he sits on the Board of Advisors for MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative.


Formerly an attorney at the international law firm DLA Piper LLP, Stinnett holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. He lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two daughters.


In this episode, we discuss:



  • Nathaniel's background in law and politics which led to him founding the Environmental Voter Project

  • What the Environmental Voter Project is and what kind of work they are doing

  • Insights into voter behavior and how it factors into climate policy

  • How voting records and your voting file factors into climate policy regardless of which candidate you support

  • The results and progress Nathaniel and his team at the Environmental Voter Project have made to date along with their future plans

  • Ways people can get involved with EVP and Nathaniel’s advice to those looking to join the climate fight


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Nathaniel’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/NCStinn

  • Environmental Voter Project: https://www.environmentalvoter.org/leadership

  • Environmental Voter Project: How Much Do People Lie About Voting?: https://www.environmentalvoter.org/sites/default/files/documents/how-much-do-people-lie-about-voting.pdf

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Gustaf Alstromer, Partner at Y Combinator and former Product Lead of Growth at AirBnB. Prior to AirBnB, he led Growth at Voxer and was the Co-Founder and CEO of Heysan (YC W07), which was acquired by Good Technology in 2009.


In October of 2018, YC published a Request for Startups that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which YC President Sam Altman described as “the most elaborate RFS we have put out.”


Gustaf is one of the partners at YC that spends a portion of their time working with these companies that are focused on addressing climate change.


In this episode, we discuss:



  • Gustaf’s background in consumer tech working at AirBnB and Voxer

  • Where Gustaf spends most of his time at YC

  • The background and reason for YC’s carbon removal focused Request for Startups (RFS)

  • Why YC decided to focus specifically on carbon removal

  • Gustaf’s view on the similarities and differences between “traditional” YC companies vs climate focused companies

  • A few of the climate focused companies YC has invested in

  • What YC looks for in climate focused companies


I learned a lot about the YC model from talking with Gustaf and I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Gustafs LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gustafalstromer/

  • Gustaf’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/gustaf

  • Y Combinator: https://www.ycombinator.com/

  • YC’s Carbon RFS: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs/#carbon

  • YC’s Carbon specific website: carbon.ycombinator.com

  • Pachama: https://www.pachama.com/

  • Watsi: https://watsi.org/

  • ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

  • Tarjimly: https://www.tarjim.ly/en

  • Vote.Org: https://www.vote.org/

  • Good Food Institute: https://www.gfi.org/

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Matthew Nordan, the Managing Director at Prime Impact Fund and the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MNL Partners. Matthew also sits on numerous boards including Greentown Labs, Sense, and Quidnet Energy.


As you may know from listening to Sarah Kearney’s episode, Prime Impact Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on breakthrough climate innovation.


Before Prime, Matthew was a venture capital investor at Venrock, one of the world’s oldest and most successful VC firms, where he and colleagues drove the firm’s investment in Nest Labs (acquired by Google for $3.2 billion). Prior to Venrock, Matthew was President of Lux Research (acquired by private equity firm Bregal Sagemount), an advisory services firm for science-driven innovation that he co-founded in 2004. Under Matthew’s leadership, the Lux Research analyst team became a globally recognized authority on the business impact of emerging technologies. Earlier, Matthew held a variety of senior management roles at emerging technology advisor Forrester Research (NASDAQ:FORR) in the U.S. and Europe.


In addition to Prime, Matthew is co-founder and Managing Partner at MNL Partners, which develops energy and environmental projects in China. Matthew also co-founded and serves on the board of Prime Coalition, Prime Impact Fund’s non-profit parent organization.


Matthew has testified before the U.S. Congress four times on emerging technology issues, was a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, and is a widely sought-after speaker and commentator. He serves on the boards of MicroByre, Lilac Solutions, Sense Labs, Quidnet Energy, and Greentown Labs (the world’s largest incubator for energy and environmental companies). Matthew graduated from Yale, where he conducted cognitive neuroscience research on emotion and memory.


In this episode we discuss:



  • The a-ha moment Matthew experienced at a conference that sparked his climate journey.

  • The differences between traditional VC and the investments Matthew makes through Prime Impact Fund specifically as it relates to moon shot ideas and climate focused companies.

  • How Matthew and Prime balance the return of capital vs impact along with the differences between catalytic capital and market based capital.

  • Matthews view on the role and importance of policy in the climate fight.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Prime Coalition: https://primecoalition.org/

  • Life Alive in Cambridge: https://www.lifealive.com/

  • Lux Research: https://luxresearchinc.com/

  • Richard Smalley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Smalley

  • Quidnet Energy: http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/philanthropists-back-energy-startups/

  • Venrock: https://www.venrock.com/

  • Ray Rothrock: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ray-rothrock-75b9403/

  • Nest Labs: https://nest.com/

  • Lucid Motors: https://lucidmotors.com/

  • Kyoto Protocol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol

  • Sarah Kearney: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/sarah-kearney

  • Program Related Investments: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/private-foundations/program-related-investments

  • Genocea Biosciences: https://www.genocea.com/

  • Gates Foundation: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/

  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures: http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/

  • Evok Innovations: https://www.evokinnovations.com/

  • Opus12: https://www.opus-12.com/

  • Nicholas Flanders: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-flanders-378a6044/

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University. Most of his work has focused on the mitigation and adaptation sides of climate change.


A quick reading of Professor Yohe’s bio will give you a sense of what a heavy hitter he is:




  • He is the author of more than 175 scholarly articles, several books, and many contributions to media coverage of climate issues.




  • He has been involved since the early 1990’s with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he received a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a senior member.




  • He was a Lead Author for four different chapters in the Third Assessment Report that was published in 2001 and as Convening Lead Author for the last chapter of the contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report that was published in 2007.




  • He was a Convening Lead Author for Chapter 18 of the Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report on “Detection and Attribution” and a Lead Author for Chapter 1 on “Points of Departure”.




  • Most recently, he has been a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report on a 1.5 degree temperature target for mitigation.




Professor Yohe continues to serve as a member of the New York (City) Panel on Climate Change (NPCC); the NPCC was created in 2008 by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help the City respond to the risks of climate change. The third iteration of NPCC reports was released on March 15, 2019, at the offices of the New York Academy of Sciences.


He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the “Hidden (climate change) Cost of Oil” on March 30, 2006, the Senate Energy Committee on the Stern Review on February 14, 2007, and the Senate Banking Committee on “Material Risk from Climate Change and Climate Policy” on October 31, 2007.


In April of 2011, Professor Yohe was appointed Vice Chair of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee for the Obama Administration by then Under-Secretary of Commerce Jane Lubchenko for the Third National Climate Assessment. The Third National Climate Assessment Report was released by President Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony on May 6, 2014.


He served as a member of the National Research Council Committee on America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change between 2008-2011 and the National Research Council Committee on Stabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations that was chaired by Susan Solomon from 2009 through its release in 2010. His more recent activities include the National Academies serving as the Review Editor for their report on the “social cost of carbon” and as a member of their Panel to review the 4th National Climate Assessment. He was also a member of their Panel that prepared the 2017-2027 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space for NASA in 2018.


Professor Yohe is currently Co-editor-in-Chief, along with Michael Oppenheimer, of Climatic Change (since August of 2010).


His opinion pieces now frequently appear in various national media venues.


All of that is a long way of saying Professor Gary Yohe is an expert that has dedicated much of his career towards the fight against climate change, and anything I may accomplish on my journey is standing on his (and people like his) shoulders.


In this episode we discuss:




  • Professor Yohe’s history at Wesleyan and how his views of climate change have and have not changed since he entered the field in the early 80’s.




  • His views on the three choices our planet has in response to climate change.




  • How an economist approaches the issue of studying and addressing climate change as well as Professor Yohe’s work with the IPCC.




  • Professor Yohe’s views on the political climate and the role policy and regulations play in climate change, including his thoughts on the Green New Deal.




  • Professor Yohe’s thoughts on Tobacco, Big Oil, President Trump, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Michael Bennet.




  • His advice to people who are looking for ways to get involved in the fight against climate change.




I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:




  • Gary Yohe Biography from Wesleyan University: https://gyohe.faculty.wesleyan.edu/




  • Bill McKibben: http://billmckibben.com/




  • Michael Mann at Penn Station: https://www.michaelmann.net/




  • Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth: https://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/




  • Michael Bennett: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bennet




  • The Paris Agreement: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/d2hhdC1pcy




  • Center for American Progress: https://www.americanprogress.org/




  • Resources for the Future: https://www.rff.org/




  • Environmental Defense Fund: https://www.edf.org/




  • National Climate Assessment: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/




  • Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Erosion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEx-F-pSdXA




  • Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W68mLkxYWg




  • Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Redemption: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0awFSnTeI4



Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Dan Yates, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Opower, an energy software company he took public and ultimately sold to Oracle for $532 million. I was eager to speak with Dan, as he started Opower from a place of concern about the planet. It was clearly a financial win, but I had so many questions. Was it a win in terms of fulfilling the initial mission? How does he feel now about climate change vs when he started Opower in 2007? How is he evaluating what kinds of projects he takes on moving forward? What advice does he have for other people trying to figure out the same thing?


Dan is a consummate professional and clearly a great leader. I also found him to be quite humble and introspective. His perspective was quite helpful to me as I am figuring out my next moves as it relates to helping with climate change, and I hope you find it helpful as well.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Jason Diamond’s Collapse: https://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Societies-Choose-Succeed-Revised/dp/0143117009

  • Map from EIA.gov consumption categories: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=36412&src=%E2%80%B9%20Consumption%20%20%20%20%20%20Residential%20Energy%20Consumption%20Survey%20(RECS)-b1

  • Robert Cialdini Understanding and Motivating Energy Conservation via Social Norms: http://media.cbsm.com/comments/168079/09+PE+Cialdini+Hewlett+Foundation.pdf

  • Opower: https://ux.opower.com/

  • Oracle Opower acquisition: https://www.oracle.com/corporate/acquisitions/opower/

  • Dandelion Geothermal: https://dandelionenergy.com/

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Bob Mumgaard, the Co-Founder & CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems.


I was looking forward to this interview for many reasons. I had many questions about fusion, how close it is to primetime, what the benefit to the world would be if it gets there, and what barriers stand in its way. And also about CFS, how it came to be, how it is positioned in the fusion landscape, and where it is in its evolution.


Bob is a great guy, as knowledgeable as they come, and also pretty funny! While the discussion was airy and lighthearted, it was also substantive and he gave an incredibly candid look inside the CFS machine.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems: https://www.cfs.energy/

  • Light-water Reactor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-water_reactor

  • ITER: https://www.iter.org/

  • Kitty Hawk & The Wright Brothers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Sarah Kearney, founder and executive director of Prime Coalition. Sarah founded Prime Coalition in 2014 to build a tribe of courageous philanthropists that believe market-driven technology innovation and deployment is critical to our fight against climate change. Prime's approach is based on her prior experience with the Chesonis Family Foundation, graduate research at MIT, and her personal drive to ensure that our children won't have to confront increased geopolitical conflict over dwindling global resources. She believes the world needs a robust marketplace of catalytic capital investment intermediaries like Prime and that she will spend her whole career trying to help build it.


We cover a number of topics, including an overview of PRIME and how the model works, why it matters for philanthropists and for the breakthrough innovation that is needed to help address climate change, and where else this model can apply beyond climate change over time. Sarah was a terrific guest, in that she is quite knowledgable, mission driven, and as high energy as they come. She’s also patient with all of my beginner questions, as “catalytic capital” was not a topic that I was very familiar with.


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


For more information and to sign up for updates on My Climate Journey visit: www.myclimatejourney.co


Links discussed in this episode:




  • Prime Coalition: https://primecoalition.org/




  • The Fink Family Foundation: http://www.thefinkfamilyfoundation.org/about-us.html




  • Program Related Investments: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/private-foundations/program-related-investments




  • Quidnet Energy: http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/philanthropists-back-energy-startups/




  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures: http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/




  • Evok Innovations: https://www.evokinnovations.com/




  • Donor Advised Funds: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/donor-advised-funds




  • Impact Assets & Tim Freundlich: https://www.impactassets.org/about_us/team/timothy-freundlich



Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Sanchali Pal, the co-founder and CEO of Joro, and app and community to help people automatically track their carbon footprints, discover and stick with low-carbon habits, and see their small steps add up to big impact for for themselves and the planet.


I have known Sanchali for a while and have found her to be both very smart, and incredibly mission driven. I was a little apprehensive to bring her on as a guest, because I have found myself a bit skeptical about the impact that changing consumer behavior can have on the problem, given how deep the hole we are in is and how limited our time horizon is to act. But this is an important topic and debate, and Sanchali is as knowledgable on the issue as anyone.


We cover a number of topics in this episode, including the role of consumer behavior change in the climate fight, what types of behavior change is most impactful, and what levers we have to impact consumer behavior most effectively. We also chat about what other areas can be helpful to the problem beyond the role of consumers.


I really enjoyed this discussion, and Sanchali did a good job of educating me and making the case for why consumers play an important role. I hope you find this episode as valuable and informative as I did!


Enjoy.


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


For more information and to sign up for updates on My Climate Journey visit: www.myclimatejourney.co


Links:


Food, Inc.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food,_Inc.


IPCC: https://www.ipcc.ch/


Joro: https://joro.tech/


Ant Forest by AliPay: https://www.alizila.com/how-alipay-users-planted-100m-trees-in-china/


Carbon Offset: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset


Mobile Carbon Footprinting Project at MIT: https://climate.mit.edu/projects/mobile-carbon-footprinting-project-mit


Katharine Hayhoe: https://twitter.com/khayhoe

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Pamela Templer, ecologist and biology professor at Boston University. Pamela is broadly interested in ecosystem ecology and the influence that plant-microbial interactions have on nutrient cycling and carbon exchange, and is particularly interested in the effects that human activities such as climate change, urbanization, and air pollution have on forest ecosystems. Her lab currently examines a variety of nutrient sources, including rain, fog, and atmospheric deposition, and how plant-microbial interactions influence nitrogen and carbon retention and loss within natural and managed ecosystems.


It was fascinating to talk to Pamela, as her and her students are literally on the front lines in the woods, getting a first-hand look at how climate change is impacting our forests. She also helped shed light for me on how research labs at universities get funded, and what steps she is taking to make sure that the work they do isn’t just academic, but ends up having impact in the world.


I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


For more information and to sign up for updates on My Climate Journey visit: www.myclimatejourney.co


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Pamela Templer's Bio: https://www.bu.edu/biology/people/profiles/pamela-templer/

  • Templer Lab at Boston University: http://people.bu.edu/ptempler/

  • Boston University URBAN Graduate Program: http://sites.bu.edu/urban/

  • The "Climate Change Across the Seasons Experiment" in New Hampshire that Pamela's students and lab conducted: http://people.bu.edu/ptempler/workDetails/climateChangeWinter.html

  • National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov/

  • Feasibility of Harbor-wide

    Barrier Systems for Boston Harbor: https://www.greenribboncommission.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Feasibility-of-Harbor-wide-Barriers-Report.pdf

Key points in this episode

In this episode, I interview Joseph Stagner, the Executive Director, Sustainability and Energy Management at Stanford University. Over the past several years, Joe and his team transformed Stanford’s energy infrastructure by electrifying its heating system, replacing its gas-fired power plant with grid power, creating a unique system to recover heat, building massive tanks to store hot and cold water, and building a solar power plant. This project cut the campus’s total greenhouse gas emissions 68 percent and is lowering the system’s operating costs by $425m over 35 years.


Joseph was very gracious to come on and talk about the origins of this project, the hurdles his team met along the way, the results so far, and where it is going in the future. We also covered how these learnings can be applied to get other universities and entities with large campus infrastructures to follow suit.


I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did! Joseph is a rare one, in that he not only has a firm grasp on the problem and what is needed, but he’s gone out and deployed it at scale and is posting amazing results. His story struck me as a real bright spot in what, at times, can feel like an uphill battle. Enjoy!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


For more information and to sign up for updates on My Climate Journey visit: www.myclimatejourney.co

Key points in this episode

Welcome to the inaugural episode!


Our first guest is Daniel Hullah. Daniel is a longtime cleantech investor, who has seen it all, yet is still smiling. We had a great convo about some of the history of cleantech investing/innovation, where some of the biggest opportunities are, the role of strategics vs startups in pursuing that innovation, and how it all fits into our broader climate change problem.


Tune in, and enjoy!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


For more information and to sign up for updates on My Climate Journey visit: www.myclimatejourney.co


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Blackrock’s Report on climate-related risks in the market: https://www.blackrock.com/us/individual/literature/whitepaper/bii-physical-climate-risks-april-2019.pdf

Key points in this episode


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