What Will Be The Second Multi-planetary Species?

This line in “Earth in Human Hands“* got me thinking:

We need visions of a future in which we have applied our infinite creativity […] to enhance the survival prospects not just of humanity but of all life on Earth.

Survival to me obviously means being multi-planetary. How might we help all life on Earth become multiplanetary? And, to put it bluntly, what the first species we’ll take along for the ride?

So which species will it be?

  1. Bacteria — probably a bunch of species at once. Every human has 500 – 1,000 species of bacteria in our gut. Bacteria get a free ride. So in the same moment humans become multiplanetary, so do bacteria.
  2. The Dynastic Clam: The longest-living animal species on Earth, living to an estimated 500 years. Ming the clam died at the ripe age of 507 years old. If I were starting a multi-generational trip off of Earth to travel hundreds of years in space, the Dynastic Clam would be a sort of Big Ben of the journey, helping people keep track of time passing across multiple generations
  3. A Pine Tree: Pinus Longaeva, the longest living plant species on Earth, living to an estimated 5,000 years. Same reasoning as the Dynastic Clam. Gather round and count ma rings, kiddos.
  4. Red romaine lettuce: The first food grown and eaten on the ISS. I’m guessing that red romaine lettuce continues to persist as grown-in-space food, mostly inspired by my loose understanding of the Lindy Effect.

There you have it. #1 is bacteria, because we can’t get anywhere without them. Beyond that, it’ll be something that we pick (#2 and #3), or something we eat (#4).

I’ve often wondered about the first spaceship to leave the solar system. My image was so clear — staring eye to eye with other passengers, hearing what language was spoken, feeling what religion held? Now I realize there’s a lot more than humans onboard. There are trees, clams, what about giraffes, and ants. As I look around the spaceship isn’t sterile white…it’s a jungle world.

* Thought I like this particular quote, the book pushes a lot of my buttons. “Enhancing survival prospects” isn’t what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Also read my post “When will we be a ‘multi-planetary’ species?


Make Diamonds from Carbon Dioxide in Your Breath?

What if you could make a diamond from thin air? Diamonds are made from carbon, so what if you used the carbon dioxide in the air, compressed it together, and made a diamond? How much air would you need? Could you even do it with your own breath, and make a completely unique, personal diamond for yourself or a loved one? This led to the back of the envelope question at dinner last night:

How many human breaths would it take to capture enough carbon dioxide to make an average-size diamond?

Read the rest of this entry

I Blew Some $$ on “Carbon Credits”

I bought myself some carbon credits for the first time today. Credits for 1 month cost $14.97. Here’s why:

I wanted to see how it works. Kinda like when I tracked my calorie intake as part of Stanford’s 6 month gut-microbiome study (aka “swab your poop with this q-tip), and learned all about the ingredients and calories of what I ate.

Peer Pressure!
I hear lots about carbon credits but not much about individual people actually buying them. Then last week my friend Dan Walsh bought enough credits to offset his carbon dioxide for the entire year! Woa!! Now I had to try it myself.

Guilt? Nah. I believe climate change is the biggest financial opportunity civilization has ever seen. $14.97 is just table stakes. My impression is lots of other people do feel guilty, so that’s why I ask. Perhaps once I start buying credits my guilt will emerge :O

It’s EASY to buy carbon credits

Buying credits took 5 minutes. I went to http://terrapass.com, and clicked “Carbon Offsets”.

How much to buy? The Terrapass website says average carbon dioxide emissions are 3,000 pounds per month. So to start, I went with the average.

WTF is a “carbon credit”?

Did I flush my money down the drain on some eco-scam?

I’m learning as I go. From the Terrapass site, my impression is my money went towards carbon dioxide credits generated from windmills or planting trees or something. So I basically paid to support a windmill or forest.

From Terrapass.com: TerraPass carbon offsets support emission reduction projects in communities around the United States. Every 1,000lbs you purchase destroys greenhouse gases equivalent to 1,000lbs of carbon dioxide, or burning 51 gallons of gasoline!

Have you bought carbon credits?

To me, buying carbon credits is like taking a cheap course on environmental science. I learned a lot about carbon credits quickly, came up with questions, and found answers. I touched on peer pressure, curiosity, and guilt along the way. It’s a fast and cheap way to learn by doing.

Carbon credits get a lot of talk and discussion in climate conversations. Who is following through with their wallet and time, even if it’s just to experiment? Have you? Will you?

Carbon Dioxide Makes You Dubmer

“a 15 percent decline of cognitive ability scores at 950 ppm”

Here’s a nice overview discussing research from Berkeley and Harvard on cognitive impairment with higher levels of carbon dioxide: https://thinkprogress.org/exclusive-elevated-co2-levels-directly-affect-human-cognition-new-harvard-study-shows-2748e7378941/
A few choice quotes from the article:
  • “The Harvard group measured a 15 percent decline of cognitive ability scores at 950 ppm and 50 percent declines at 1,400 ppm.”
  • “The IPCC projects outdoor air concentrations up to 1099 ppm by 2100 (much higher in cities and indoors of course).”
  • “Measured outdoor CO2 levels in major cities from Phoenix to Rome can be many tens of ppm higher — up to 100 ppm or more — than the global average”
  • “As a result of these studies, NASA has already lowered the maximum allowable CO2 levels on the space station.”
Cognitive impairment presents a potentially untapped angle on the changing climate and rising carbon dioxide levels.
Please recommend a cheap, portable carbon dioxide meter! Comment below, 10 ppm accuracy is sufficient.
More sources:

How much carbon will be removed if you coated every skyscraper on earth in a thick moss?

7 billion people

600 sqft / person (My apartment has about 600 ft.² of wall space)

let’s say the mass of the moss is about two heads of lettuce per square foot (cut the head of lettuce in half)

Each head of lettuce weighs 1 pound

I remember reading that plants are about 20% carbon. Or was it 2%?

and 1 ton is about 2,000 pounds

7B p x 600 sqft/p x 2 lettuce / sqft x 1 lb / lettuce x 0.2 lb C / lb x 1 ton / 2000 lb = 840M tons of carbon

We need to remove roughly 260B tons of carbon. So 0.003 of what we need to remove.


What is Climate Change 2.0?

Climate Change 2.0

  1. Sounds Like: “Climate change is an opportunity”, “Climate change is the biggest financial opportunity civilization has ever seen”, “Climate change is happening for us”, “Giving Fucks About Climate Change”
  2. Words and Tone: Curiosity, open source, raw data, asking questions is how we build solutions, millisecond data to design and test solutions, “we are the public”, making fun of climate change, rarest pepe memes, 😀
  3. Looks Like: Giving A Fuck About Climate ChangeImpossible Labs, Blue Planet Ltd, Bret Victor, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, you?
  4. Overall: The hottest thing since /r/PrequelMemes


Are You Climate Curious?

I like reading anti-climate change articles. It’s interesting to read what people say about climate change who think it’s a waste of money or a big lie. They’re filled with interesting stuff I wouldn’t come across on a NASA or other “normal” site.

Here’s a recent one:

InfoWars.com: Australia Weather Experts Falsify Climate Change

It linked to this interview with James Lovelock, a big climate change-y environmentalist guy. And an epic quote that gets ya thinking:

Lovelock now believes that “CO2 is going up, but nowhere near as fast as they thought it would. The computer models just weren’t reliable. In fact,” he goes on breezily, “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change. You’ve only got to look at Singapore. It’s two-and-a-half times higher than the worst-case scenario for climate change, and it’s one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in.”

Something to ponder! I wonder what the Singapore bit is about. The whole interview is a great read.

I especially like the comments at the bottom of the articles, where people write in their own thoughts. Here’s one I followed up on since it caught my attention.

Sea levels world wide falling according to NASA

USA average global temperatures falling

Wow, what if those were true?

Link 1: Sea levels falling

Sea levels world wide falling according to NASA: https://www.iceagenow.info/sea-levels-are-falling/

All they did was zoom in on the 2015-2016 graph and say it’s fallen 2 cm in the past year. Even though it’s risen 80 cm in the past 20 years.

Duh! I’m used to all these types of horrible “logical” things because I used to trade penny stocks. You haven’t seen a garbage “trend” until you’ve traded stocks on the pink sheets.

So it’s easy to dismiss that one. But dismissing ideas isn’t the point. It also sparked an idea. I wonder what causes sea level to go up and down on the daily/monthly scale. I don’t know! Maybe a next dataset for http://carbondoomsday.com after carbon dioxide is finished.

Link 2: Global temperatures falling

USA average global temperatures falling

I don’t have anything to say about the graphs, kinda whatever. But the article from the “Deplorable Climate Science Blog” has a good quote:

Climate scientists say the exact opposite of the data, because they are consultants being paid to push the global warming scam.

The scientists I know work hard and for very little money. So I give “climate scientists” (whoever they are) a pass on this.

The rest of the “climate industry” does not get a pass. Wherever there’s money there’s potential for distorted and confusing motives. And climate change has been such an emotional issue. Big emotions and lots of money combine to create the perfect storm!

Something I think about often as I get booted up in climate change and meet different people and players.

And climate change software!

That guy from the “Deplorable Climate Change Blog” shared the sea level rise graphing software he made. I respect the effort. Climate change peeps should always show their code and raw data.

For the Carbon Doomdsay climate change chart we publish all code open source to the Github repository “Giving a Fuck About Climate Change“.

Why Climate Curious?

So why didn’t I spend my time reading a NASA website or something instead of anti-climate junk? Doesn’t it get me riled up, “triggered”, etc?

Nope! My secret is I’m not much of an arguer or debater. I don’t see it as my job to “convince” the world climate change “is a thing”. I’m more 5% identify the issue, 95% solve it.  I think that’s how a lot of engineers and entrepreneurs are wired.

Bill Nye, Al Gore, InfoWars, and the “Deplorable Climate Change Blog” are in the 95% debate it, 5% figure it out crowd. I appreciate these people because they gave me the raw information and perspective I need. And reading anti-climate change articles sparks my own curiosity and ideas.

Shout out if you’re like me: 5% identify the issue, 95% solve it 🙂