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🏆 Top 10 Climate Bites to Read this Week

PodSnacks' Climate Picks

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👋 Welcome to this week’s roundup of PodSnacks.
🎙️ Discover selected quotes from 10 recently covered episodes.
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⚡ Carbon & Energy


Podcast: CleanTechies: The Podcast
Episode: “Improving Grid/Transmission Infrastructure with IoT”
Host: Silas Mähner
Guest: Tim Barat | CEO & Co-Founder | Gridware
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 54 min | 🗓️ 01/20/2022

Selected Quote:

[9:28] “Nine out of the top 20 catastrophic fires in California were ignited by the grid. […] How they're responding to that […] is with public safety power shut-offs. So during periods where there's elevated winds and high fire risk, utilities switch off the grid, because they'd rather have an outage than a fire. And that's also expensive. In 2019, we had a three week long outage. For every day, there was $100 million in economic impact.

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Podcast: My Climate Journey
Episode: Solutions for the Large Scale Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (Original Title: "Startup Series: TeraWatt Infrastructure")
Host: Jason Jacobs
Guest: Neha Palmer | CEO | TeraWatt Instructure
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 49 min | 🗓️ 01/20/2022

Selected Quote:

[21:59] “What we need to be thinking about for charging […] all of the vehicles that are coming to market is not even 10X, it's 1,000X in terms of [the] infrastructure on the ground today, and what we're going to need 24-36 months from now. Public charging has been truly focused on the passenger vehicle market. […] It hasn't been thinking about […] how do you address all of those needs of fleets, which are very different than passenger vehicles. […] I think the scale is just mind boggling when you think about electrification of the entire vast sector of the economy [...] that is fleets.”

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Podcast: The Interchange
Episode: “Innovation & Data are Revolutionizing the Grid”
Host: David Banmiller
Guests: Peter Wells | CEO | Smart Wires &
Hudson Gilmer | CEO | LineVision
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 42 min | 🗓️ 01/21/2022

Selected Quote:

[9:31] HG: “Currently, there are hundreds of large-scale wind and solar generation projects that are stuck. They're stuck in what's called the interconnection queue. Basically, they're waiting to be connected to the grid. And they represent over 1,000 gigawatts of generating capacity and hundreds of thousands of jobs and also have the potential to just provide much more resilience, much more surplus capacity on the grid to withstand some of these severe weather events. So there was a study called “Unlocking the Queue” that was done by the Brattle Group about six months ago, that showed that these grid enhancing technologies collectively […] can more than double the amount of renewables that can be connected to the existing grid. And if deployed on a national basis, they can deliver about $5 billion in consumer savings. So that’s savings to households, it's more competitiveness to industry, and has a payback period of around six months. And then of course, you've got all the jobs that are tied up in those projects that are stuck in the interconnection queue.”

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Podcast: Volts
Episode: “Minerals & the Clean-Energy Transition: The Basics”
Host: David Roberts
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 20 min | 🗓️ 01/21/2022

Selected Quote:

[1:34] “In its encyclopedic 2021 report on the subject [of minerals] IEA estimates that a concerted effort to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement would mean a quadrupling of mineral requirements for clean energy technologies by 2040. An even faster transition to hit net zero globally by 2050 would require six times more mineral inputs in 2040 than today. Some individual minerals will see particularly sharp jumps. The World Bank says graphite and lithium demand are so high that current production would need to ramp up by nearly 500% by 2050 under a two degree scenario, just to meet demand.”

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Podcast: Catalyst with Shayle Kann
Episode: “Why Chemicals are the Hardest Industry to Decarbonize”
Host: Shayle Kann
Guest: Rebecca Dell | Program Director for Industry | Climateworks Foundation
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 1 hr 6 min | 🗓️ 01/24/2022

Selected Quote:

[56:53] “In theory, most of the plastics we use are infinitely recyclable. […] In practice, we are incredibly bad at retaining material value from one use to the next. […] This is because we tend to just mix all the plastics together and some of them are easy to recycle and others […] are hard to recycle. But in all cases, if you have a highly impure waste stream, […] things that used to be useful additives are now impurities that are compromising material properties. And so what you get out is a much lower quality plastic than what you put in. […] In the US, the EPA estimates that only 8 or 9% of plastic is collected for recycling at the end of its life. And then only about half of that actually gets recycled. And […] the products that we get out of the end at the end of that is a very, very low quality plastic. So right now, we are doing a terrible job. And this ties back to the question about clean energy versus clean feedstocks. Because […] even if we have high recycling rates, if eventually where that plastic ends up is in an incinerator, then the CO2 ends up in the atmosphere, even if we use clean energy to make it.”

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💧 Food & Water


Podcast: Words on Water
Episode: “Omicron’s Impact on Wastewater Utility Management”
Host: Anna Mehrotra
Guest: Amy Kirby | National Wastewater Surveillance System Lead | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Category: 🔬 Research
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 47 min | 🗓️ 01/18/2022

Selected Quote:

[38:40] “When I talk about wastewater surveillance, where it can be helpful [is] in low incidence periods to detect reemergence. So are we seeing infections come back up in a community, or emergence of a new variant, as we've seen for Omicron. But when we know that the infection is prevalent in a community, then what wastewater surveillance is really useful for is tracking the trends. […] I expect that wastewater surveillance will play a really critical role for us in understanding when we are actually past the peak of Omicron.”

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Podcast: What About Water?
Episode: “From Toilet to Tap”
Host: Jay Famiglietti
Guest: Mike Markus | General Manager | Orange County Water District
Category: 🚰 Utility
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 30 min | 🗓️ 01/19/2022

Selected Quote:

[3:18] “The Orange County Sanitation District treats all of the municipal and domestic wastewater in central northern Orange County, which serves about 2.5 million people. So they take the wastewater and […] go through a primary and secondary type treatment process, which makes the wastewater safe enough to discharge into the ocean. But rather than discharging it into the ocean, we intercept that water after it's been treated. […] We consider wastewater a resource, not a waste. We take that wastewater, secondary treated, and then we run it through an advanced purification process consisting of micro filtration, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation. By the time it's gone through our treatment process, it's nearly distilled water. […] We then take that highly purified water and we put it back into the ground. So we put it back into the groundwater basin and then the retail water agencies in the area pump it out of the groundwater basin and go directly into their distribution system serving their customers.”

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Podcast: The Stream
Episode: “Leading the Air to Water Movement”
Hosts: Will Sarni & Tom Freyberg
Guest: Cody Friesen | Founder | Source
Category: 🤖 Technology
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 38 min | 🗓️ 01/20/2022

Selected Quote:

[27:06] CF: “In […] almost every installation we do, we are the lowest cost solution, which should tell you everything you need to know about how big the alternative costs really are in so many places. […] I had that thought […] [of looking at the] GDP PPP per hour, […] gross domestic product purchasing power parity per hour. […] In India, it's about $3.40 an hour. And the average distance walked is about 5 kilometers for water. And then you can look at the average rate of walking while carrying something, it’s about 3.5 kilometers per hour. […] Then you say, how much can a reasonable girl or a woman carry? And so that turns out to be about 60 or 70 cents a liter direct cost to the economy associated with walking for water rather than doing something else. Because the way that the GDP PPP per hour works is, what's the value to the economy of a human per hour? […] So already, that's quite insane. Keep in mind that the global average price of bottled water is 55 cents a liter. That includes all the places where bottled water is very cheap. So it's far more expensive than that in India for a woman or girl to walk for water today.”

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Podcast: Carbotnic
Episode: “Stopping Food Waste With Imperfect Produce”
Host: James McWalter
Guest: Jan Heinvirta | Co-Founder | Perfekto
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 45 min | 🗓️ 01/18/2022

Selected Quote:

[0:16] “What we do at Perfekto is we aim to reduce food waste in Latin America. We do that by offering a subscription box of imperfect produce. So that means that weekly or biweekly you will get a box sent directly to your home, that includes fruits and veggies, that might look a bit odd, so maybe a bit bigger, a bit smaller than your usual produce at the supermarket or even out of shape, out of color. […] And that's what we offer […] since 54% of all fruits and veggies in the region end up wasted.

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Podcast: waterloop
Episode: “Toledo's Turnaround From Toxic Algae”
Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Patekka Bannister | Chief of Water Resources | City of Toledo
Category: 🚰 Utility
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 31 min | 🗓️ 01/24/2022

Selected Quote:

[23:43] “Looking at all the challenges that are in the [water] industry now, you have to have a broader view, not just looking at your utility, creating water, cleaning water, looking at wastewater systems, but you need to look at the long term, and then how that impacts people. I mean, we're really in the people business. So we are creating a product for public health, which has come out a lot during the pandemic, because in order to wash your hands, you need water. Hospital systems need water. […] But also, thinking about the affordability.”

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