ClimateTech Updates For September 2021



Erik Kobayashi-Solomon

Bad climate news was front and center in September. The month started with stories of Louisiana heat deaths in the wake of Hurricane Ida and of New Jerseyans drowning in flash floods from the same system a few days later. The month ended with a tornado on the Baltic Sea port of Kiel, in Germany’s northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Luckily, we had some good news as well in the ClimateTech world, including several announcements about which I am particularly excited! This month, we had news from…

  • Xpansiv
  • Stem, Inc. (STEM)
  • Storegga
  • LanzaTech
  • EnergyVault



Krissy Brady

Though not an official clinical diagnosis, the American Psychological Association defines eco-anxiety as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” Eco-anxiety is just as real as any other form of anxiety in that it typically involves the same physical and emotional sensations.

“It’s even more real, in a sense, because the problem triggering the anxiety symptoms is objectively real and massive in scale,” Erica Dodds, chief operating officer of the Foundation for Climate Restoration, told HuffPost. “There used to be more distance between any one person and the world, but now it feels like every problem in the world is right in our living rooms with us.”

Like other forms of anxiety, eco-anxiety can affect anyone, and to varying degrees. “Some people might be proactive in taking measures to protect the planet’s resources, while others might feel so powerless to stop the degradation of the environment they can’t handle thinking about it at all,” Dodds said.

Fast Company


Adele Peters

Thirty-three years ago, on a sweltering summer day in 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen stood up in front of Congress and testified about an existential threat to the planet: The climate was changing. Heat-trapping gases from fossil fuels were pushing up the global temperature and would lead to more extreme heat and drought in the future. It wasn’t the first warning about the problem, but it helped spur a response. Even George H.W. Bush, campaigning for president at the time, pledged to take on the “greenhouse effect.” The same year, the United Nations launched the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as the IPCC.

A year later, the fossil fuel industry launched an organization to help sow doubt about the problem, funding researchers who were willing to argue that climate science was uncertain, even as internal research at Shell and Exxon detailed the catastrophes that were likely to come from the use of their products. Governments moved slowly to respond, and emissions continued to grow.



Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp and Erica Dodds

In these anxious times, there’s a bright spot, though it’s sometimes hard to see: our attitudes about climate change are shifting and converging, including among people of faith. Three quarters of Americans including people of all faiths—white Evangelicals and Black Protestants, Jews, Catholics and people of all other religions—believe climate change is real and is caused by humans.

This is part of an ongoing shift in religious awareness, “a greening of faith,” that has been underway for some time. Christians’ understanding of the Biblical term “dominion” has evolved from our God-given right to dominate and exploit the Earth to our God-given responsibility to care for creation.

The Hill


Erica Dodds and Marcius Extavour

Governments are adopting aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals. But they won’t be enough by themselves to keep global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius and stave off the worst effects of climate change.

The problem is rapidly getting worse. New data show climate change accelerated over the last year notwithstanding the pandemic, with atmospheric greenhouse gases now at 419 parts per million of CO2 equivalent and counting. The latest Arctic research finds sea ice, considered one of the tipping points for irreversible climate change, retreating faster than ever before. A new UN report says there’s a 40 percent likelihood we could reach 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels in at least one of the next five years.

SF Examiner

Robyn Purchia


“For the last 40 to 50 years, we’ve been talking about turning down the tap on carbon dioxide emissions, but we’ve been really slow to do this,” Dr. Erica Dodds, chief operating officer at the Foundation for Climate Restoration, told me. “Climate restoration involves opening the drain and getting back to a healthy level of carbon dioxide.”

El Pais

Santi Carneri


In this interview, on the occasion of her participation in the Global Climate Restoration Forum, Harada calls on the world to “drain” excess CO2 in the atmosphere and recommends investment opportunities in new technologies to combat climate change.

The Washington Post

Rick Parnell and Sir David King


The pandemic has also raised the bar for credible crisis response. Our climate goals have been mostly limited to mitigation and adaptation: incrementally ameliorating climate change where we can and learning how to live with it where we can’t. Our coronavirus response has included mitigation (flattening the curve) and adaptation (social distancing), but these strategies aren’t ends in themselves. They’re designed to limit the virus’s impact while we look for ways to eliminate it and restore public health (vaccines and treatments).


Ryan Heath


They want to restore the climate to its pre-industrial balance and stop pandemics. This year will also be the most youthful UNGA ever — thanks to two “climate strikes” led by teenagers that will bookend the week. If it looks messy and chaotic, that’s because it is.