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#9: Methane bubble baths, bad unit conversions, and working at the frontier with Erika Reinhardt

#9: Methane bubble baths, bad unit conversions, and working at the frontier with Erika Reinhardt

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Ben and Erika hop on post-bedtime to trade stories about their 5 and 2.5 year olds and make bathtub greenhouse gas analogies.

Erika has made it her, and Spark Climate’s, mission to find and invest in the solutions we are likely or possibly going to need in the future that are, today, woefully behind. This has led to a focus on methane–currently responsible for 0.5°C of warming. Despite methane being a leading cause (and the biggest lever) to impact near-term warming, we don’t have a plan for eliminating enteric methane or any options for atmospheric methane removal.

They talk about the problems with units and goals that only optimize for 2100, the need for non-profits to stand up systems that correct for market failures, and why it’s important to get to the ground truth on the state of climate solutions.

Erika reflects on why it might be that both her and her partner, Peter, are drawn towards these frontier problems–and how it feels for their kids to comprehend their parents’ role in “getting rid of bad gasses.”

Erika co-founded Spark, and leads the organization. Her background is in leading product engineering groups at high-growth software companies, with an impact orientation. Previously, she started and co-led U.S. Digital Response's work to provide local election offices across the country the products and technical expertise they needed to run a smooth election, led the Payments Experience engineering group at Stripe, served as the Director of Engineering at OpenAI, and was the Director of Product Engineering at Planet Labs after being an early engineer there. Erika studied computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering at MIT. She lives in San Francisco with her young family.

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Music: Slynk & Lazy Syrup Orchestra - Mellow Kinda Hype (Balkan Bump Remix)

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