You've Been Warmed

Offset Your Carbon Footprint w/Landon Brand from Project Wren

Episode Summary

Landon Brand - co-founder of Project Wren - joins the show to discuss how Wren helps anybody offset their emissions by funding carbon removal & offsetting initiatives, how they help businesses offset their employees' emissions & his vision for the impact they can have in the future.

Episode Notes

Landon Brand is the co-founder of Project Wren - a startup which makes it easy for anybody to offset their carbon emissions, essentially negating their individual footprint. They have a simple and intuitive way of calculating your individual emissions based on the flights you take, the miles you drive, the food you consume or the way you heat your home. After that you can take a subscription that offsets these costs & contribute to projects which help with carbon removal or offsetting.

It was super interesting to see how Landon chose Wren as his first entrepreneurial project after college, sparked by the 2018 IPCC 1.5C warming report. We dove in detail on how Wren works, how they calculate individual emissions, what their business model is and why they are becoming a Public Benefit Corporation.

We also discussed what KPIs they use to measure their stated public benefit, debated carbon offsets vs carbon removal, covered how they work with businesses to help offset employees' emissions and we spoke about his vision for Wren's future down the line.

There are a lot of startups trying to educate consumers on how they can offset their emissions and fund projects which are helping us take carbon out of the atmosphere. That is what makes Project Wren extremely important and worth a close look.

TIMECODES

2:54 - Landon’s Background & How He Became Aware Of Climate Change
6:37 - The Turning Point In Realising He Wants To Get Involved In Fighting It
8:59 - How Project Wren Works & How They Calculate Individual Emissions
14:05 - Project Wren’s Business Model
17:00 - Becoming a Public Benefit Corporation & What KPIs They Measure For That
20:09 - What Types Of Projects Does Wren Fund For Carbon Offsetting & Removal
25:05 - How They Work With Businesses
29:42 - Their Targets For This Year & Their Vision For The Future
31:22 - Can We Keep Warming Below 2C?
33:47 - Science vs Business vs Politics vs Society

LANDON & PROJECT WREN LINKS

Landon's Twitter - https://twitter.com/landonsbrand

Website - https://projectwren.com/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/project_wren

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Project Drawdown - https://www.drawdown.org/

IPCC 1.5C Warming Report - https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/download/

Nori - https://nori.com/

Nori You've Been Warmed Episode - https://www.youvebeenwarmed.com/episodes/05-blockchain-powered-carbon-removal-marketplaces-w-nori

Climeworks - https://www.climeworks.com/

 

Episode Transcription

Landon Brand: (00:00)
In college. I think the real turning moment that I remember distinctly at least was one, the 2018 ITCC paper came out. Mmm. I have a few friends who are kind of sciency and into reading papers and I had looked at it and they made it clear to me that this was going to be a huge problem. Like we were thinking about, or at least I was thinking about it all wrong, where I thought like, okay, we're going to lose some ecosystems. Maybe it's not going to be a huge deal, but the, I guess the paper just made it, or at least the communication around the paper just kind of made it clear to me and the others around me that this was a problem that was going to lead to like millions of climate refugees if it doesn't go well and it's a, a challenge that would lead to a lot of suffering and RD is leading to a lot of suffering. So I'd say the 2018 IPC paper made a big shift.

YBW Intro: (00:55)
Ladies and gentlemen, you've been more, it's time to figure out the climate crisis with the top scientists, activists and entrepreneurs helping us get out of this mess. Now let's welcome your host. Did I? Gosh, in three two one

Dragos: (01:19)
Today's you've been warmed episode features, Landon brand cofounder of project brand. His startup makes it easy for anybody to offset their carbon emissions. Essentially in the gating, dear individual footprint, they have a simple and intuitive way of calculating your individual footprint based on the flights you take, the miles you drive, the food you consume or the way you heat your home. After that you can take a subscription that offsets these costs by going to projects which help with carbon removal or offsetting. It was super interesting to see how Landon chose Ren as his first entrepreneurial project after college sparked most part by the 2018 IPC 1.5 degree warming report. We dove in detail on how Ren works, how they calculate individual emissions, what their business model is and why they are a public benefit corporation. We also discussed what KPIs they use to measure their stated public benefit debate, carbon offsets versus carbon removal covered how they work with businesses to help offset employees emissions. And we also spoke about his vision for rent's future down the line. Really enjoyed this one particularly since there are a lot of startups trying to educate consumers on how they can offset their emissions and fund projects which are helping us take carbon out of the atmosphere. All right. That's enough for me. Let's go straight to the chat. All right. I'm joined now by Landon from project trend. How are you today? London?

Landon Brand: (02:49)
I'm doing great. Excited. I get to be on this podcast and talk to you.

Dragos: (02:54)
Awesome. So it's a morning there in in San Francisco. It's a late in the evening here for me. I just wanted to kind of get a sense of your background first if you can tell people your your story and how did you end up founding a startup focused on addressing climate change?

Landon Brand: (03:16)
Yes. So right now the startup is three people. It's myself and my two co founders and we all met in college. I just finished up last may, so that's what, like seven months ago now or so. So yeah, basically fresh out of school when we were going to school together, we really just wanted to work on some projects. This was like a couple of years ago now. We were just, we had the same major. We liked working with each other. We said, Hey like let's figure out if we can try out some side projects and maybe like instead of getting a real job we can be working on our own projects just cause we thought that'd be kind of fun. And so for awhile that's what we did. We were just trying out different ideas and playing around with different projects. Nothing really caught on. It was a lot of fun.

Landon Brand: (04:04)
We learned a lot. But eventually we were just in a position where we had to try out a bunch of ideas and we wanted to try something new. And so like we usually did, we got out a bunch of post-its, we wrote down a bunch of ideas and then put them on a wall and we realize we all wrote down something about climate change. Like that was a common theme throughout what we wanted to do. And so then we just decided, all right, yeah, let's just focus on climate change. Like it's going to be really hard to get something off the ground. That's what we've learned so far. We're probably going to fail. So we might as well just choose something that we're going to feel really proud of that feels like we're tackling basically the world's serious problem as opposed to just working on another random idea that we had.

Landon Brand: (04:53)
Because for us we saw like climate change was not looking good and it looked like it was really just getting worse. Mmm [inaudible] you can't really reverse it once it gets going, it's like kind of a now or never issue. So this was maybe in the second half of my last year at school. We decided to try to do something that has some impact on climate change. I mean, we were studying a mixture of design, engineering and business, so we weren't really experts. So our first idea was we would make a bunch of vegan food and we would just get everyone to go vegan. That was, that was the plan for a couple of weeks. And then we realized making good vegan foods pretty hard. There's all this logistics stuff, like we probably aren't actually cut out to do this. Maybe let's, let's try something different. And we had just discovered this awesome organization called drawdown that lists out 100 solutions to climate change.

Landon Brand: (05:51)
That's kind of like their tagline. Mmm. And we were looking at it and just saying like, Hey, like how come these aren't all funded right now? This, this is stuff that we can do today. Let's, let's just go out and do it. And then we had this idea, we can just start like a crowdfunding platform for averse in climate change. And so that's how Wren kind of started. We launched the crowdfunding platform. It was really simple. This was like June of last year now. And we just wanted to see if people would use it and it turns out they did. And yeah, we've just been iterating on it ever since. Kind of trying to get people to go from just feeling kind of anxious about the climate too, actually doing something about climate change and feeling like they're a part of this solution as opposed to just part of the problem.

Dragos: (06:37)
Interesting. Before we dive into the crowdfunding platform and how it evolved into what rent is now, can you comment a bit on, cause I find it really interesting since you, since you just finished college not long ago, everyone that I speak to mentions the fact that there's been a shift in 2018 2019 and the way that climate change is being perceived and you just being fresh out of college and deciding that your first startup is going to tackle climate change is kind of a Testament to that shifting awareness worldwide. So did you feel that while you were in college is do you think that played a major role and you decided to start this venture?

Landon Brand: (07:20)
Yeah, I'd say so. Before, I'd say there's two distinct areas of like thinking about climate change in my life. The first one was from a young age, I heard about climate change. Like they taught it in school. They were like, this is what the greenhouse gas effect is. This could be a serious problem, we should think about stopping burning oil, that sort of thing. And then in college, I think the real turning moment that I remember distinctly at least was one, the 2018 ITCC paper came out. Mmm. I have a few friends who are kind of sciency and [inaudible] reading papers and I had looked at it and they made it clear to me that this was going to be a huge problem. Like we were thinking about, or at least I was thinking about it all wrong, where I thought like, okay, we're going to lose some ecosystems.

Landon Brand: (08:09)
Maybe it's not going to be a huge deal, but [inaudible] I guess the paper just made it, or at least the communication around the paper just kind of made it clear to me and the others around me that this was a problem that was going to lead to like millions of climate refugees if it doesn't go well. And it's a, a challenge that would lead to a lot of suffering and RD is leading to a lot of suffering. So I'd say the 2018 IPC paper made a big shift. [inaudible] Also just, I think my generation kind of grew up with climate change as just an accepted facts like we were taught in school. So it, it is maybe different from folks who are a bit older and didn't learn about it until later in life. Like it's, it's just part of, it's part of life from a young age, I would say.

Dragos: (08:59)
Yeah, that's definitely the thing that I get. And by speaking to, I was actually speaking to a reporter for climate home news. They're based in London and she was citing that the IPC paper in 2018 and Gretta Berg and extinction rebellion are like the three main catalysts for this global awareness on climate change and the fact that everyone is like more and more people are jumping on board and trying to solve it. So you guys, you guys started ran as a crowd funding platform. Tell us a bit more about what you do now, how it evolved and how it works.

Landon Brand: (09:37)
Yeah, so it has evolved a bit since the early days. Right now how Wren works, you can think of it as like a monthly subscription to offset your carbon footprint. Basically you go to our website, you calculate your carbon footprint by entering in a bit of information about your lifestyle, like how much you're driving, how much you're flying, electricity usage, that sort of thing. Usually it takes like five minutes for most people and then you support a specific project that's either pulling down CO2 or preventing CO2 emissions. So whether that's protecting rainforests or planting trees there's a wide variety of different projects that can have that effect that we're looking into currently. And then we send you roughly a monthly update on how that project is going. So you can know, all right, it's actually happening and we're making progress data a day to day. I'm having an impact as an individual.

Landon Brand: (10:38)
That's the feeling that we want to get across to our users. So it has evolves, I'd say a bit from the early days where we thought of it more as like trying to crowd fund reverse in climate change. Now I think it's more like we see a lot of people who are concerned about climate change or worried about it but don't know what to do. They're not going to stop everything right now and become an activist there. Usually pretty busy people and they maybe a little bit, they're not ready to take a huge step yet. And so Ren is like an easy first step that we can get them to take. And our goal is to keep building more and more easy steps to turn people from feeling climate anxiety too. Feeling like they're doing something about climate change.

Dragos: (11:31)
That's interesting. And how, how do you actually calculate for those who don't know how they actually go about calculating one's footprint? Because I would imagine, I mean I know I've done it through your app and I've seen other apps that do something similar, but for those who don't know and are wondering, how easy is it for, for them to calculate their footprint and how do you actually go about it? Like what kind of science is there behind this? They can approximate what one person's carbon footprint is.

Landon Brand: (11:58)
Yeah, great question. So I will say the goal with Ren is to make it easy to calculate your carbon footprint more so than making the best possible carbon footprint calculator. In terms of like accuracy we try and be accurate, but we think 80% accuracy in five minutes is better than 95% accuracy, 25 minutes. So for us, our calculation starts from a national average so that it's basically the greenhouse gas emissions per capita of a given country. That's like the baseline carbon footprint that we start with. And then we start asking about the biggest parts of your carbon footprint. So that's generally for most people around the world that are most people in the U S and Europe I should say. It is mostly like driving and flying. Especially if you're the type of person who's flying a couple times or more per year. That's, that's going to be a pretty sizable chunk of your carbon footprint just because it takes flights, use a lot of emissions, that's their burning jet fuel to get around [inaudible].

Landon Brand: (13:08)
So after we get a little bit of information on transportation methods, we go for stuff like what your diet is because as you might know, like red meat for instance, has a really high carbon footprint compared to vegetables, grains, legumes any food has a little bit of a carbon footprint to it. And so we just try and make it easy for someone to calculate the carbon footprint of their diet. And then there's handful of other factors I should mention. Electricity usage, natural gas are really important too. Mmm. Any building that you live in has like a carbon footprint associated with the construction and usually some maintenance and water usage of that building as well. And so we factor that in. And there's a couple other smaller things, but those are sort of the big categories that you can calculate your carbon footprint with on red.

Dragos: (14:05)
Awesome. So it's pretty straight forward. And in terms of, let's say I calculate my carbon footprint and then what happens, I get a figure monthly and then I can choose a subscription plan to offset it. And it goes to one of those projects that you mentioned before, right?

Landon Brand: (14:22)
That's exactly it. Yeah.

Dragos: (14:25)
And do you guys, so I mean I know the answers to this question, but I just wanted you to mention it. Are you guys a nonprofit and if you're not a nonprofit, what's your business model and why did you choose it that way?

Landon Brand: (14:37)
Yeah, that's a, that's a great question. We spend a lot of time thinking about the best structure and business model. We still think about this like on a weekly basis right now. Mmm. So the things we really care about when it came to legal structure and business model first is that we were doing this for the mission. We want to have as much impact as possible. That's basically our goal. Second climate change is pretty urgent. It'd be really great if we could reverse it and like a hundred years, but it'd be so much better if we could reverse it in like the next decade. That would be amazing. So we, we want to scale quickly and, and have our impact sooner than later. And so that made us think it might make a lot of sense to take private investment and, but we were worried about what's the business model that's really gonna work for taking private investment.

Landon Brand: (15:31)
Like does that really make sense to do where we could generate return for shareholders while still being laser focused on the mission and not getting distracted by just like random revenue streams. So we see right now too main business model opportunities. One is kind of affiliate marketing for products that are reversing climate change. Like, for instance, replacing heaters or sorry, replacing natural gas heaters with heat pumps, that's sort of a high ticket value item that is decarbonizing a tiny, tiny part of someone's life. As well as stuff like renewable energy. If we can help market those problems or those products that'd be great for the mission and also provide a viable business model for us. And the other way is working with a lot of businesses who are creating their commitments around reducing their carbon footprint or going carbon neutral, that sort of thing. So the current structure that we are right now is a, or we're becoming a public benefit corporation, which is kind of like a hybrid of a nonprofit and a for profit where there's a mission but you can still raise private investment. Yeah. And so we think that's going to allow us the right level of flexibility too. B, raising private investment while still laser focused on the mission.

Dragos: (17:00)
I'm not aware of what does a public benefit corporation like, what's the difference between that and a nonprofit and a for profit company in terms of let's say from the point of view of the law?

Landon Brand: (17:12)
Yeah, it's a pretty new model. So legally legally it's, it's more like a for profit and that it's tax like a for profit. You can raise investment, but you have a stated what's called a stated public benefit. So that's basically like a mission. Like you write a mission in your legal documents that you're then held accountable to. Like your fiduciary duty is no longer just about generating profit like a typical business would be, but your fiduciary duty is also to accomplish your mission. So for us, that's helping end the climate

Dragos: (17:50)
Crisis. So the natural question that I'm, that I'm inclined to ask because I've asked this on from other guests as well, is we live in a world where Dean Centive is the bottom line. That's how we judge companies. That's how investors measure success. That's the base incentive. And as much as people want to do good in the world, I'm sure there's a lot of people that want to do good to their businesses. Ultimately they're held accountable by their bottom line. How do you actually, like how do you actually measure your, your stated public benefit? Are there any KPIs? Is there any way that we can actually measure these benefits and hold companies accountable not only by their bottom line but also by how much they improve the world world? Like are there any metrics that can help us measure that with numbers and not qualitatively?

Landon Brand: (18:47)
Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's absolutely critical for any company that has a mission to tie some KPIs to it to start thinking about how can we track if we're doing better and better for us right now it's relatively simple. We kind of have two KPIs, like first of all just how many tons of carbon we're offsetting [inaudible]. That's our main focus right now. And then also kind of how many, this one's a bit fuzzier, but how many people are like supporting projects on Ren? That just gives us an idea of the breadth of folks that we're touching. I think at scale hopefully we can bake in more KPIs around how we've changed people's perceptions or how we've made people do more in their own life about reversing climate change. Like maybe getting involved with some local political groups or maybe you're changing their lifestyle significantly in a way that really pushes the systems around them to change as well. So those are some other KPIs that we'd probably like to include. It's a bit later on once we have, you know, some more product built out around those features in red. But that's a really great question. I think any company that's like a public benefit corporation or any group that has a mission should have metrics tied to that mission.

Dragos: (20:09)
Yeah, I think the CO2 on the tons of CA two that are being removed is a really good one. Like that one I see as being super compelling, especially for what you guys do. What I wanted to ask you because I kind of want to geek out on this. I spoke to Paul Gamble from Noria about this as well. I saw on your website you say you only choose permanent proven ways to prevent or sequester carbon out of the atmosphere. So I know there's a big distinction between carbon offsets and carbon removal. Does this mean that you're more so leaning towards carbon removal project and what kind of like, what's fear is that these projects revolve around? What do you like, what do you think is the more, the most feasible and the most, let's say provable, that you actually remove carbon, you actually sequestered the carbon out of the atmosphere.

Landon Brand: (20:59)
Yeah, I think so. Nori is doing some great work around what does, what should be considered carbon removal and [inaudible] they're definitely thought leaders here and we, I talked to Paul and learn, try and learn from him as much as I can. Mmm. For Ren, we care a lot about, well, like I said, well we care about is basically getting people to take action and if we can educate people a bit more about the challenge of climate change, that's really great. So with carbon removal, I think what's interesting is looks like we're going to have to remove some carbon from the atmosphere, like we're going to overshoot or depending on who you ask, like maybe even right now we just have too much carbon in the atmosphere the second. So

Landon Brand: (21:44)
We should figure out some ways that we can remove a lot of that carbon. And there's, there's really only one that's [inaudible] well documented and kind of popular today, which is growing trees or growing plants that pull down that carbon and store it in their biomass. It'd be really good if we had some other options there. Like, I think what Nori is doing around soil carbon and trying to figure out, or I should say figuring out there, they're seeing a lot of success with this. Figuring out how much carbon can be stored thanks to regenerative agriculture processes and figuring out how to do that. At a cost effective rate too. Super important. And then there's also folks like [inaudible] climb works carbon engineering who are focusing on how to literally pull carbon out of the air with machinery. I think if that works at scale, that would be really amazing as well. There's, it's almost like there's nothing more permanent than turning carbon and trapping it into a stone like climb works is doing. So I think we need, we need more of those solutions, which is why at Ren we, we think carbon removal projects are in a way more valuable than some other projects because it's supporting future solutions that we're going to need to reverse climate change.

Landon Brand: (23:07)
I'd say though, in terms of just which products projects we consider and how we think about the projects in the first place, we take a more broad view than probably then certainly Nori does or

Landon Brand: (23:21)
Then probably most typical carbon offset providers would take. Mmm. We just think of it as like, people want to fund solutions to climate change. So if we can make that really easy for them and show them what solutions are the most promising, even if it's like R and D, so maybe it's not carbon pulls down right now, but maybe it means 10 years from now we can pull down a hundred times as much carbon. Mmm. That seems like a useful thing to fund or political groups that are pushing for systemic change. That could also be a really useful thing to fund. So right now it's mostly focused on carbon offsets, carbon removal, but we're [inaudible] our thinking is evolving a bit to be a bit more broad. Just what are the best solutions that an individual can fund that are somehow reversing climate change.

Dragos: (24:12)
I understand, but in those latter cases, it's harder to measure, right? Cause if they fund directly carbon removal projects, you can say, okay, this much carbon has been taken out of the atmosphere. Whereas funding a political group, it's much harder to prove the effect.

Landon Brand: (24:27)
That's exactly it. And it's, it's risky or like there's a risk profile associated with any project. Like, even drawing a tree, you know, that tree might be burned or it might be cut down or something like that. We might lose that carbon that's being stored. But for any large systemic change, there's just a small chance percent chance that that's going to happen. It's not a sure thing in any way. So there's different risk profiles with these projects that we try and look at. And w we don't know exactly how it will [inaudible] presenting that to Rennie run users right now, but it seems like something they're interested in.

Dragos: (25:05)
Gotcha. I wanted to ask you, do you also work, cause you mentioned businesses and I know so far at least it seems to me that your, your web app is tailored to individual users in the way that you work with businesses. Is it, is it to help them, like the business itself would do submissions or is it more to kind of train their employees and help reduce their emissions individually?

Landon Brand: (25:33)
Yeah. So when we started, ran a few businesses, just started reaching out about making like a a business account or something. And we didn't really have that feature. We weren't thinking that was gonna happen. And so we just kind of threw something simple together and started piloting it with a few companies. And right now we're, that kind of evolved to a few different products. One kind of the most popular one is just ran as an employee benefit. So companies basically saying we want to offset the emissions of our employee base cause that's, that's important to our culture. That's important to who our team is. How can we do that? And then another one is just businesses offsetting their business travel. We built some tools in Ren to make it easy to offset like a flight for instance. Mmm. So we offer that to businesses. A lot of them are excited about that product. And then a lot of times we talked to a business and we realized it doesn't make the most sense to work with Ren, but at least we can point them to who they should talk to. So we're also happy to do that just cause it's encouraging to see so many businesses wanting to start doing something and saying like addressing climate change is important to this country. Sorry to this company, how can we do it?

Dragos: (26:54)
Yeah, I saw you have that really cool new feature with flights and I guess that's what you implement with companies. So do you, is there any way you can automate that? And another question that I had which I think is overkill, but I was just curious. I mean I know you mentioned you think that estimating emissions with 80% accuracy in a short time is better than going for 95% and spending much more time on it. I'm wondering is there any way you can integrate with other providers API? So for example, I don't know, integrate with ways and whenever someone drives around, no. By knowing what car they have, you can calculate the emissions they've had. And I mean, I dunno. For example, I could love my food and my fitness pal and you could calculate the emissions of the food that I consumed like that. Is that something that's in your plan or am I overthinking here?

Landon Brand: (27:48)
Yeah, I'm totally mixed on that. So kind of like the nerdy data person in me is like, wow, that would be amazing. That's exactly what I want to do every day. Cause I want to know my carbon footprint. But then when I actually talked to a lot of other people about that, especially like people who are already using Ren, it's surprising to see it. It's not the most popular idea. I think a lot of people just want something simple, something automated, something in the background that they don't have to worry about on a day to day basis. Mmm. So I think it might be cool to build one day, but I think for today we have a lot of other work to do that's not building out the most specific data tracker for what someone's carbon footprint is.

Dragos: (28:30)
Yeah. And I also think that, I mean, just judging by, by how many missions we have, I mean depends person to person, but it's not that much. Like it's, those subscriptions are not that big for at least for, you know, Western people that who live in the Western world. So people might actually be tempted to two X or three X their offsets, which I think would be really cool. And those would be the people. So not only removing the carbon that you're, that you're responsible for, but maybe also trying to remove the carpet that you've been responsible for historically. Kind of like how Microsoft did it. It's, it's fine to do it at a corporate level. So I guess if people do that, there's no point in actually calculating precise admissions because people will go over anyway.

Landon Brand: (29:17)
Yeah, I think that's pretty much the psychology. It's like people are just looking for something really easy and they're totally fine to go, you know, 10% over what their actual carbon footprint is. I think would they care more about, is that it's, it's roughly what their carbon footprint is and they're covering it. It's like there internalizing that negative externality of carbon emissions by funding projects

Dragos: (29:42)
That are offsetting it. So, so far in, in, in January or by this point, you've removed over 4,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere through your member's subscriptions. What are your, what kind of targets are you looking at for the year and what do you think, if you, if you see this thing scaling up, what do you think you could achieve in the next five to 10 years?

Landon Brand: (30:07)
Yeah, I think for this year a hundred thousand tons, that's a pretty good number. That's getting me excited that I think we have a chance to hit on the longer term. I actually, I'd like to see us expand beyond carbon offsets and beyond just like how much CO2 are we offsetting too. Helping people make change in their local communities, like showing them how they can get involved politically with even just a little bit of their time. Mmm. Or showing like, Hey, this is how you can reduce your carbon footprint way more so you don't have to offset so much. And, and you can be pushing like the, the overall systems of corporations too, create more decarbonized products that, or efficient products. I think I'd like to see us doing a lot more of that over the five to 10 year time scale than just focusing on offsetting more and more carbon. I think of it almost like Ren is this personal Sherpa guiding you on a little climate journey as an individual of how to, how to have a better impact on the planet.

Dragos: (31:22)
Do you think we can get to the scale that is required to mitigate climate change and keep it, keep the warming below two degrees because the latest projections from what I know place us somewhere around three degrees warming plus minus one degree. So it can go either way and the plus one degrees. Pretty scary.

Landon Brand: (31:44)
Yes. Scale in terms of scaling, like how many people are on Ren or

Dragos: (31:51)
No, just us generally as, as a planet scaling our efforts to tackle climate change and keeping warming below two degrees.

Landon Brand: (32:01)
Yeah, I think we absolutely can. I'm not saying we will and it might, it might be a low chance, but I could, I could definitely see a world where that happens because I think at the core it all comes from like social change. Like people just changing their minds about what they think is acceptable or how they think we should live, how they think governments should operate or businesses should operate. And I think we're seeing a lot of change there right now. Like with groups like extinction, rebellion, and Fridays for future. It's people who are saying the current way, that's not acceptable to us. We, we really want to see systems change. And I think if more and more people think that way, think like, Hey, we should change some of these systems. Even if it's in a small way, even if it's just implementing a carbon tax and everything else is mostly the same.

Landon Brand: (32:55)
That can do a lot. I think the systems can change surprisingly fast because it's, it's just other people who are creating them. And technologically we have a lot of what we need to decarbonize so we can make a lot of progress. Mmm. With just existing technology. And if we can incentivize a lot of new technology to be created, I think we can totally get through this. In w we can reach net neutral and 10 or 20 years and then hopefully even start removing carbon be a net negative after that. It's definitely a question of will that happen? Like will we develop the political will and will people's mind enough people's minds change to where and these sorts of solutions become common? But I think it's possible.

Dragos: (33:47)
I like your optimism. That leads me to my, to, to the last question that I usually ask because you, you painted quite a nice picture there. I basically ask if he gets to rank the following sectors in order of importance to tackling climate change one through four. So the sectors that I define our politics sort of her policies, decisions can be made to tackle climate change. The second one is society. So activism, civil disobedience, lifestyle changes. The third one is businesses, so businesses contributing to lowering emissions. And then the final one is scientific research and innovation. So think of breakthroughs in energy efficiency battery power efficiency, developing new technology when it comes to nuclear. You kind of talked about it a bit in your previous answer and I'm aware that a lot of people don't want to rank these issues and they're all really important. Maybe they're all equally important. So in case you don't want to rank them, I would ask you to kind of talk about their, their interdependence because you, you kind of spoke about how it all starts with social change and that influences everything else. I'm wondering if when you, if the question is asked in this way, what do you think about the four sectors and how they relate to each other?

Landon Brand: (35:06)
Yeah, that's, that's a really fascinating question. I'm glad you're giving me that out. If not having to rank them, I will talk about their interdependence. So, okay. If I had to rank them, I'd put society as number one and that, or you know what? I'm already messing up. Like society and politics and policy. That's, it's really all number one in some ways. But they're really interdependent like society, regular people, the ones who vote, the ones who buy stuff from businesses. So they can create huge amounts of change on those systems, like corporate systems or political systems. And then the scientific research and innovation I think comes from is the policy put in place where this research is funded? If it's really early stage and just needs government funding or where it makes economic sense to do this research because it's gonna save a lot of money or it's going to create a lot of value and make businesses a lot of money.

Landon Brand: (36:17)
And then of course people are the people who make up businesses and we see at some tech companies just employees pushing for change on their company. Yeah. And so it's really interdependent and I think, I think that's a good way to look at it because I think looking at that interdependence gives you an idea of like where some of the leverage points are. Like, where can we start pushing? Or where could a small change sorta have a butterfly effect and ripple throughout other systems and have a positive feedback loop too to keep growing and growing with its impact. So I think, at least for me, that's the way I think about it. And it's really difficult to rank them because they play with each other so much. So I guess if I had to choose one, I think people are aware the change starts. So society and I also think politics, it's super important. So maybe, maybe that's a number to you, but also kind of number one. But hopefully society will push politics to put the right policy in place. [inaudible] I dunno, it's all, it's a spiderweb there.

Dragos: (37:26)
It's, it's interesting because it seems like the shift in society, at least in the U S is happening and you have elections this year. So I'm really curious to see what happens.

Landon Brand: (37:37)
I hope it goes well. I mean, I think society's shifting in some places, but you know, it's a big country. There's a lot of people here and everyone's a little bit different, so there's no, no guarantee yet. Whoa, I'm crossing my fingers and legs and toes and everything, but we have to keep pushing still.

Dragos: (37:55)
Yeah. And it's fascinating whenever asked this question, everyone has a different perspective. I mean you're definitely on the same page as a lot of people, a lot of others prioritize the issues differently. And I guess that just shows how, where we're all different and we're all trying to tackle the same issue and solve it in our own ways based on our own beliefs. So hopefully we can we can pull it off. All right. That's, that's about it. With all the questions that I wanted to ask for anyone who's listening now, how can they get involved with with project grand? How fast is it to, to calculate their emissions and should they do next?

Landon Brand: (38:37)
Yeah, you can just go to our website project ran.com ran is w R. E. N by the way, a lot of people get a little surprised when I say that word. And then you go on the site, you can calculate their car, your carbon footprint, and just a few minutes. It's kind of just an interesting fun exercise even if you don't want to support a project soft set it. Yeah, and if you do support a project that's having a real impact today and you'll, you'll get some fun updates about it. So I'd encourage you to check it out and if you have any feedback or you think this is totally the wrong approach or anything like that, I love to hear about it. Feel free to email me anytime just landon@projectren.com.

Dragos: (39:20)
Awesome. Yeah, definitely encourage you if you want to at least calculate their, their emissions and their footprint, there'll be a first step and then everyone can decide what a course of action they want to take. Thanks up Landon. It's been super fun and I hope we can speak soon when a Ren has offset their target for this year, a few months in advance and you're going to call me to celebrate.

Landon Brand: (39:45)
Awesome. That sounds great. Thanks so much. [inaudible]

Dragos: (39:49)
Cool. Take care. Drago shear. Again, thank you so much for listening to this. You've been wormed episode. I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Now you can find all the episodes on our website and it's www dot you've been warmed.com both in audio and written form, so you can find the transcriptions on there. I'd love for you to reach out to me on Twitter and tell me what your favorite episode has been thus far, or if you have any feedback on the episode they just listened to. My Twitter handle is at D R G Stephanie school, so DRG coming from draggish, my first name, and then Stephan school, which is my last name. And finally, if you want to get notified when new episodes are out, subscribe to this podcast and consider dropping a review for us if you enjoy the content that's all for now. See you soon.