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Month 1 in review: Climate Papa Launched!
At Stripe we had a habit of sending “5 - 15” emails - a personal update at the end of the week that took 15 minutes to write (honestly, more like 30-45) and 5 minutes to read. I was always shocked by how long ago Monday and Tuesday felt by the time I was hitting send on Friday afternoon and how much was accomplished in between.
Well it’s been about one month since “launching” Climate Papa to the world and I thought it would be helpful (at least to me) to give a 5 minute read on what’s happened and what’s happening next. Maybe this might help me see the forest through the trees.
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Nathan and I published our Guide to Software in Climate Tech.
The interest and responses exceeded our expectations—the guide has been read by 5,500+ individuals from 74 countries (led by the US, UK, India, Israel, and EU, but also hello to folks in Cyprus, Qatar, Uganda, and Mauritius).
Most meaningful to us, we’ve had people write in that the guide has impacted their path, or at least their speed down it:
I just read every word of your and Nathan's incredible "Guide to Software in Climate Tech." I am very excited to do many of the things you mentioned. I wanted to thank you again for writing such a thoughtful guide—it has fast forwarded my next steps in my climate journey.
A few things that followed:
MCJ shared an abridged version in their community newsletter. It felt particularly special to see me and Nathan side-by-side in their email blast to 25K folks. As soon as saw this—Nathan and I immediately texted each other “dad would have been proud.”
Matt Yao shared in his pragmatic guide to climate tech resources.
A podcast: 7 full episodes and a Father’s Day special with Rewiring America!
It’s been ridiculously fun and gratifying to take conversations that I’ve been having with family, friends, colleagues, and share them out with the world as we process climate change. Most of the conversations in some way center on parenthood as a source of motivation and connection to working on climate change.
A little run through of the episodes so far:
Episode 1: My brother-in-law, fund partner, and bestie, Arthur Shwab verbally processes the impetus for this podcast and what motivates their work on climate (hint: it’s our kids and it isn’t), and set an intention for the creative act of this project.
Episode 2: I met Dan Lindquist on a Tuesday and loved his story so we recorded a conversation that Thursday. He was a product leader at Google, founded MainStreet, and has shifted to build a new climate company.
Episode 3: Bill Clerico, the leading “firetech” VC, and I discuss the East Coast smoke and the relationship between wildfires, climate change, and the tools needed to improve our collective resilience.
Episode 4: I talk with 7-year-old, Asa, about everything—the basics of climate change, the work of Rewiring America, Indigenous practices, regenerative farming, and how to MacGyver hydropower and wind power.
Episode 5: Asa’s mom, Julia, is, conveniently, a psychotherapist. We go deep on the psychology of working on and living with climate change—how do we engage without being overwhelmed, how do we trade off our basic desires with long term planning, and do we focus on me and mine vs. the collective good.
Episode 7: I chat with my friend Noaa, who recently made them jump from data products at Google Cloud to accelerating solar deployments at InRange. We end up reflecting on climate anxiety, the existential, and the need to surrender to the present while staying focused on the work ahead.
Episode 8: I spoke with the amazing Jessyn Farrell, Director of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment about all of Seattle’s decarbonization plans. We talk about a number of important products that need to be built to upgrade our cities.
A website to house it all
Nathan helped me build the overall site—climatepapa.com to host it all. It’s been fun to do a little bit of front-end coding again and the latest tools, like Vercel, are phenomenal.
What’s coming soon
Decarbonization factory proposal: I’ll soon share out a proposal from me and Arthur, to build a home “decarbonization factory” that enables us to urgently upgrade millions of single family homes.
More podcast: I have a backlog of 5 podcast episodes that I can’t wait to get edited and released!
The problems with methane with Spark Climate founder, Erika Reinhardt
The big gas vs. induction stove battle with Weldon Kennedy, a Channing St. Copper Co. founder
The future of our home HVAC systems with Bill Kee from Quilt
A discussion with regenerative cattle rancher Stefan Selbert, from Las Cumbras Ranch
How the fashion industry can evolve, with Lauren, a designer
It means a lot any time someone listens to an episode or reads something I’ve written. That attention is a form of listening, which I consider a gift—so thank you! I’d like to get a bit greedy and ask for a couple more things from you:
If you’ve listened to an episode and have some reaction, be it “this was great” or “this felt like a waste of my 30 minutes”, I’d love to hear from you. I’m early in making this whole “Climate Papa” thing whatever it will be and nothing is more meaningful to me than direct feedback.
If you liked an episode, please send it to someone who you think might get something from it. My entire goal in doing this work is to motivate more of us to think about, work on, or do something with our swirling feelings on climate change. The more you can help share relevant pieces out the more leveraged the effort is.
If you haven’t already, please follow, rate, and review the podcast wherever you listen. It makes a huge difference early in the life of a show.
And #1 is the most important here — I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve read this far then please drop me a note to say hi! email@example.com
I thought I’d end this by echoing what we wrote at the end of our software in climate guide:
We are at the beginning of a wave. The existential drive and motivation to work on climate problems is clear, but it can be hard to see how unique this moment is. Consumers, businesses, and governments are sounding the alarm about the need to spend tremendous dollars and effort to bend the path we’re on. And yet, everyone who works deeply in the space knows that we have no silver bullet. We need more solar and nuclear and to replace every gas appliance we can and to electrify transport and to revolutionize agriculture and to build a new financial stack and and and and.
The scope of this transition requires us to blow on hundreds of dandelions to scatter thousands of seeds of ideas and talented people to build over the decades to come.
We want to let you in on a little secret. Working with other people who have chosen to work on climate is an unusually tremendous joy. Everyone is trying different things, utilizing different skills, but ultimately trying to get us collectively heading in the same direction. There is such an abundance of massive problems to solve that there is no room for industry territorialism. This is a rare moment, with a shockingly small set of people that all deeply care and just want to get good shit done.
We hope you’ll join us.
This month’s thank yous:
The last month of Climate Papa adventure wouldn’t have been remotely possible without the help of podcast guests, advisors, typo-catchers, and co-conspirators.
On the guide:
Thanks to these folks for reading and editing early versions: Arthur Shwab, Steven Zhang, Betty Chang, Peter Ehrlich, Adam Hasham, Matt Yao, Noaa Avital Cohn, Dave Nunez, Joseph Smarr, Michael Leggett, Anna Shwab Eidelson, Nikita Gamolsky, Kiran Bhattaram, Jonathan Wondrusch, Christophe Jospe, Dan Myers, Shaun Young.
Most of all, thank you to Nathan Eidelson, Arthur Shwab, and Anna Shwab Eidelson for being co-conspirators on all these schemes and continually showing me how much working with family can be a tremendous joy.
Lastly, thanks to my two kids for giving me the kick in the ass to do all of this work.
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