#74: Incentivizing Those Dirty Capitalists to Solve Climate Change for Us

In Episode 74, Quinn & Brian discuss: Making carbon capture suck more (but this time, with carrots).

Our guest is Henry Elkus, the young and optimistic founder of Helena, an organization that assembles “some of the world’s most remarkable people to develop and lead projects that help build a better tomorrow.” They’re a little different from other think thanks, though, because they focus on one problem at a time, creating projects that aim to operationally address a societal problem.


The first project Helena focused on was a carbon capture solution – one of the most positive and lucrative possible solutions for addressing the excess carbon in our atmosphere, which has to be done if we want to slow down and possibly reverse climate catastrophe. They helped build and scale the world’s first commercial carbon capture company, Climeworks, creators of the first carbon capture plant that is carbon net-negative.

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#69: Rebuilding Los Angeles & L.A.’s Green New Deal

Show Notes

In Episode 69, Quinn & Brian discuss: Rebuilding Los Angeles and L.A.’s Green New Deal.

Our guest is Jeanalee Obergfell, who works just down the street from Important, Not Important HQ as a City Planning Associate for Los Angeles. When it comes to making L.A. greener and more equitable, you know Jeanalee is either helping someone’s cause or leading the charge.

Really, if the Game of Thrones were the game of creating more equitable housing and transportation options in a less hot and more breathable city (as opposed to literally burning all of the infrastructure and citizens, like some people), Jeanalee would be sitting on the Iron Throne. But, will real life end better than the show? For our sake, we sure hope so.

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#65: Chernobyl: A Preventable and Rare Accident from the Past or a Vivid Picture of Our Hellish Nuclear Future?

In Episode 65, Quinn asks: Is Chernobyl a preventable and rare accident from the past or a vivid picture of our hellish nuclear future?

Our guest is Craig Mazin, screenwriter, podcaster, and the creator and executive producer of a new HBO mini-series called Chernobyl – which is debuting TODAY, May 6th. So, if you currently have an account just to watch Game of Thrones, you’re in luck!

We’ve had some nuclear accidents, but we’ve learned from them... right? We answer that question, talk about the how and why of nuclear power (and disaster), and take a gander into the future of energy.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#55: What Are The Energy Requirements of Well Being?

In Episode 55, Quinn & Brian ask: What are the energy requirements of well-being?

Our guest is Julia Steinberger, a Professor of Social Ecology & Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing) – or, what happens when you drive your car every damn day. She is interested in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbon society.

Basically, all her research can be boiled down to one important question: are we going to make it and maintain our standard of living, given the resources available to us and the technology we have now? And, well... it’s possible, but it’s not going to be easy and some things are going to have to change. Fast.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#54: The state that's not a state is greener than your state

In Episode 54, Quinn & Brian discuss: the state that’s not a state is a hell of a lot greener than your state.

Our guest is Jamie DeMarco, a State-Level Carbon Pricing Coordinator with our friends the Citizens' Climate Lobby (who are working to save our collective asses every single day, NBD). Jamie is dedicated to passing state-level legislation that will serve as a model and inspiration for future national lawmakers – so he definitely has his work cut out for him.

Dealing with society’s environmental self-harm, it turns out, is a lot like acknowledging a toxic relationship with your significant other: you acknowledge the problem (maybe publicly), stop participating in the toxic behavior, and then move to being proactive about the problem. What can we do on both a micro and macro scale to begin influencing environmental policy for the better, and encourage others to do the same?

We already have all of the technology we need to power our society from 100% renewable sources – we just lack the political will to get there. Luckily, we have people like Jamie out there creating will where there’s already a way.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#30: What's the Business Incentive for Going Green?

In Episode 30, Quinn & Brian ask: what’s the business incentive for climate/clean energy action?

In light of the Paris Agreement and all the bullshit that’s gone down since, we drafted Will Hackman to be our guest and explain it all.

Will’s been a campaign manager for the House and Senate, he’s worked as a marine fisheries conservation advocate, he represented Georgetown University at the UN climate change conference, and he’s an author on various energy, environmental, and climate change topics.

He’s also leaving immediately after this call to go to Alaska and potentially never come back.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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