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🏆 Top 10 Climate Bites to Read this Week

PodSnacks' Climate Picks

Table of Contents

👋 Welcome to this week’s roundup of PodSnacks.
🎙️ Discover selected quotes from 10 recently covered episodes.
Save 5 hrs 19 min of listening by reading these entire PodSnacks.


⚡ Carbon & Energy


Podcast: The Interchange
Episode: “The Future of Solar Storage”
Host: David Banmiller
Guest: Rebecca Ciez | Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering | Purdue University
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 44 min | 🗓️ 11/26/2021

Selected Quote:

[3:45] “You want to have [an] electricity system that's dependable, so that we can use renewable resources around the clock to meet most of our energy demands. We're talking mostly about electrical energy storage in that case. Today, the market is still dominated by pumped hydro storage. We built a bunch of pumped hydro, initially when we built nuclear power plants, because nuclear power plants run continuously, but people don't use electricity in the same continuous constant manner. […] Matching that was […] the initial idea behind all of this pumped hydro energy storage. But we […] tapped out that market, at least in the United States. […] Today, when you look at grid energy storage, you're mostly talking about adding things like battery energy storage, and primarily lithium ion battery energy storage. So lithium ion batteries got their start in electronics, they were co-opted for electric vehicles. Now grid energy storage is borrowing from those electric vehicle technologies and basically installing these battery packs on the grid.”

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Podcast: My Climate Journey
Episode: The One-Stop Shop for the Infrastructure Revolution (Original Title: "Scott Jacobs, Co-Founder & CEO of Generate Capital")
Host: Jason Jacobs
Guest: Scott Jacobs | Co-Founder & CEO | Generate Capital
Category: 💸 Funding
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 1 hr 14 min | 🗓️ 11/29/2021

Selected Quote:

[4:31] “Generate is a permanently capitalized company that invests in and operates sustainable infrastructure projects. […] We really looked at the problem we were trying to solve, which is to build a lot more sustainable infrastructure to save the world. And we realized that the existing capital markets, the existing structures, the existing companies really weren't going to get the job done. And so we had to start with a clean sheet of paper and think about what the market really needed, what the customers and communities really needed […], what the project developers and technology companies really needed when it came to sustainable infrastructure.”

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Podcast: Carbotnic
Episode: “Recovering Minerals from E-Waste”
Host: James McWalter
Guest: Megan O'Connor | CEO and Co-Founder | Nth Cycle
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 40 min | 🗓️ 11/29/2021

Selected Quote:

[7:23] “We work with folks that take the batteries, and they shred them down into this material that's called black mass. […] And it contains all the valuable metals. It contains the cobalt and nickel, and then some graphite, which is the anode of a battery. So we take that black mass, and we put it through our process, which is called electro extraction. And you can think about it as an electrified Brita filter. So it's a carbon filter that we push an electrical current across. And while we're pushing the dissolved black mass through, the electrical current helps select or recover the individual metals out at that specific voltage. So that's how we're able to select and remove the metals that we want, while the rest of the stuff goes through to the next stage.”

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Podcast: The Carbon Copy
Episode: “Ithaca’s Novel Plan to Eliminate Carbon from Buildings”
Host: Stephen Lacey
Guests: Luis Aguirre-Torres | Director of Sustainability | City of Ithaca, NY &
Katherine Hamilton | Chair | 38 North Solutions
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 16 min | 🗓️ 11/30/2021

Selected Quote:

[12:53] KH: “The infrastructure bill is going to allow capitalization of revolving loan funds for states and that will provide commercial energy audits, upgrades, retrofits for buildings. This is perfect for a community like Ithaca to access. And then if you look at what's coming down the pike with the Build Back Better Act, there’re tax credits for energy efficiency, there will be all kinds of rebates for residential electrification and energy efficiency, home energy performance based, whole house retrofits, training grants for contractors. There's a lot in that bill that is certainly going to be climate focused and pegged to greenhouse gases that I think will be perfect for Ithaca.”

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Podcast: Cutting Carbon
Episode: “The Economics of Carbon”
Hosts: Jeff Goldmeer & Brian Gutknect
Guest: Tom Kerr | Lead Climate Scientist, South Asia Region | World Bank
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 30 min | 🗓️ 12/02/2021

Selected Quote:

[5:09] “We actually did a study called “Decarbonizing Development” a few years back […]. And it really boiled down to the […] four fronts that countries need to act on. First, […] you need to decarbonize your electrical sector and get that as advanced as possible. Second, you need to massively electrify the rest of your economy using that clean electricity. This is for things like heavy industry, for buildings. […] Third is just greater efficiency and less waste and all sectors across the economy. And so this is driving energy efficiency in the home and buildings, and transport, as well as an industrial sector. [It’s about] circular economy […]. And then finally, and importantly, […] it's improving what we call carbon sinks. It’s […] reducing deforestation, helping soils and agriculture to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. That can help the agricultural sector to be more productive and at the same time, it helps us to win the battle as we're in as we see rising CO2 emissions […]. So those are the sort of four pillars and then […] each one of those obviously, will have several different policies underneath it.”

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💧 Water


Podcast: (don't) Waste Water!
Episode: Addressing Sub-Saharan Water Challenges & Opportunities (Original Title: "How To Irresistibly Rise in Sub-Saharan Africa When All Water Experts Step Out")
Host: Antoine Walter
Guest: Walid Khoury | General Manager | Desalytics
Category: 🗣️ Opinion
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 41 min | 🗓️ 11/24/2021

Selected Quote:

[7:26] “We're starting from a very low level of water infrastructure [in Sub-Saharan Africa]. And you have [many] drivers that are changing the landscape. So you have further urbanization, people are moving more to the cities. We also have industrialization. So typically, Africa would import a lot of products from outside, it has been shifting completely towards investment in countries in country manufacturing […]. And also, you're having more and more […] enforced legislations, in terms of water discharge, or the limits and so on. As well as the demographics with young people looking for jobs, and this is creating a lot of needs. And also Africa is rising in terms of GDP and prosperity. So the disposable income for people is becoming even higher, [which means] more demand, and you have more needs to address.”

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Podcast: What About Water?
Episode: “Replenishing a Broken Water Cycle”
Host: Jay Famiglietti
Guest: Sandra Postel | Director | Global Water Policy Project
Category: 🔬 Research
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 30 min | 🗓️ 11/24/2021

Selected Quote:

[10:24] “I've been studying water issues for nearly four decades now. And I readily admit that I have paid far too little attention to the health of soil as a water reservoir. We kind of go right from rivers to groundwater, and we forget about that layer of earth we call soil in between. And yet, when you look globally, soils hold eight times as much water as all the world's rivers combined, but we rarely manage that soil reservoir for a water reservoir. So if we can improve soil health, again we're getting multiple benefits. Better yields, the need to apply less chemical fertilizer, more carbon in the soil, and the ability to hold more water.

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Podcast: Solving Water
Episode: “What‘s Next for the Water Industry”
Host: Amanda Holloway
Guest: George Hawkins | CEO | Moonshot Missions
Category: 🔬 Research
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 23 min | 🗓️ 11/29/2021

Selected Quote:

[2:52] “The barriers for most utilities in underserved communities [are] resources. And the way I describe it, when I engage with these utilities is that they run fire departments. Really good, committed people, dedicated, but they're responding to problems, when the fire hits and mobilizing their trucks to respond. That is absolutely the most expensive way to run any operation and also after the risk has happened. So people are at risk, because there's a sewer backup, or a water main break, or whatever the problem is, and now you're responding.”

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Podcast: Words on Water
Episode: “One Water As A Framework For Collaboration”
Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Shalene Thomas | Vice President, Global Emerging Contaminants Program Manager | Wood
Category: 🗣️ Opinion
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 15 min | 🗓️ 12/01/2021

Selected Quote:

[2:11] “The […] common definition of One Water really spawns from the principle that any and all water has value. One Water is truly an integrated approach to the management of our precious resources, […] including groundwater, wastewater, stormwater, effectively managing every single drop from its origin into its final destination for use. So generally, this is considered an often limited by political boundary. So most commonly the local government unit, or source of funding mechanism. Still, much benefit really can be seen from the innovative approaches to integrated management, whether it's from stormwater capturing rainwater harvesting, aquifer storage and recovery, water use efficiency projects and the like.”

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Podcast: waterloop
Episode: “Flipping Front Yards In NOLA”
Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Dana Eness | Executive Director | The Urban Conservancy
Category: 🗣️ Opinion
Apple | Spotify | 🕰️ 26 min | 🗓️ 12/01/2021

Selected Quote:

[15:27] “To date, roughly, [the Front Yard Initiative has] financially assisted about 115 homes, […] over 67,000 square feet of paving have been removed. That's […] almost $650,000 investment that that represents going to green sector goods and service providers. And that's per rain event 108,000 plus gallons of water being kept out of our aging pumping and drainage system. So […] that's over 2 million gallons per year that is kept out of our pumping system.

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