In climate tech news, it’s Oorja, plus meet unsung climate champ Charles Keeling. The Global Warming Mitigation Project, and DearTomorrow.org
Climate Champ Charles Keeling, Global Warming Mitigation Project, Climate Tech–Oorja, DearTomorrow.org
CLIMATE TECH AND AGRICULTURE COMPANY, OORJA
Affordable, reliable energy is fundamental to economic activity and poverty alleviation. It empowers people as they seek better livelihoods, increased food security, quality health and education, cleaner air and environment, and lives of greater dignity and less hard labor.
Access to clean energy can transform the lives of low-income communities, youth, women, and girls by significantly increasing income when linked to productive activities within their communities. Displacing fossil fuels in favor of solar energy also delivers significant carbon emissions savings.
Enter Oorja, a farming-as-a-service (FaaS) company that operates at the “intersection between sustainable agriculture and renewable energy” according to its website. Oorja finances, installs and maintains solar energy systems, the services of which it sells to farmers as reliable irrigation, milling and cooling services to farmers. These PV systems replace diesel systems.
An example is the The “Oonnayan” cooling service. Cooling-as-a-service is quite significant for India, where around 20% to 30% of produce is wasted after harvest due to the non-availability of nearby cold storage facilities. Running cold storage facilities requires regular electricity, but grid electricity in rural areas is often unreliable.
The solar-powered cold storage can accommodate up to 6 metric tons of perishable produce. A 5 kW PV solar panel powers the unit and it also stores power using phase-change-material-based thermal energy storage, rather than conventional batteries or diesel, providing cooling backup for up to 36 hours. Oorja’s Oonnayan service allows small farmers to store perishable horticulture produce on a per-crate-per-day basis
Oorja was founded and led by Amit Saraogi and Dr Clementine Chambon. Oorja has so far implemented 24 solar projects reaching close to 2,000 farmers and saving 30 metric tons of CO2.
UNSUNG CLIMATE CHAMPION CHARLES DAVID KEELING
If you’ve ever heard of the Keeling Curve, you can thank Charles David Keeling for inventing it. And if you haven’t, then you need to, because without it, and ol’ Chuck Keeling, anthropogenic climate change would still be happening, but Big Oil might still be trying to bamboozle us into believing it was a natural occurrence in Nature.
So enough pretty talk! Who is Charles David Keeling and what is the Keeling Curve?
The Keeling Curve is a graph of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the island of Hawaii from 1958 to the present day. It’s named for the scientist Charles David Keeling, who started the monitoring program and supervised it until his death in 2005.
Prior to the 1950s, measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations had been taken on an ad hoc basis at a variety of locations.
Charles David Keeling, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, was the first person to make frequent regular measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations in Antarctica, and on Mauna Loa, Hawaii from March 1958 onwards.
According to Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science at Harvard University, the Keeling curve is one of the most important scientific works of the 20th century. Many scientists credit the Keeling curve with first bringing the world’s attention to the current increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
It’s also significant that Keeling began gathering his Keeling Curve data in 1958 because just a year later, the American Petroleum Institute held a symposium at Columbia University to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the global oil industry. At that symposium, Dr. Edward Teller (of atom bomb fame) gave a speech in which he first detailed, for prominent leaders in Big Oil, global warming, a newly researched phenomena by the Scripps Institute.
Teller told his audience that a 10% increase in atmospheric CO2 would result in “All the coastal cities would be covered IN WATER, and since a considerable percentage of the human race lives in coastal regions, I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe.”
But that’s a story for another day…For now, let’s celebrate the life of Charles David Keeling.
THE GLOBAL WARMING MITIGATION PROJECT
So who sponsors the Keeling Curve Prize, and why does it matter to us?
The Global Warming Mitigation Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists to pave the way to a livable future; we bring visibility, credibility, and funding to science-backed climate solutions across the globe while providing inclusive and positive opportunities for individuals, companies, and organizations to contribute to climate mitigation efforts.
It was founded in 2017 by Jackie Francis. Through her vision and dedicated leadership, the GWMP has prioritized increasing the diversity and numbers of climate solutions applicants, connecting students to climate careers, and amplifying the urgency of global warming recognition and cooperation.
Comprised of a variety of programs, the GWMP is working to solve the climate crisis through global collaboration and innovation. It’s most popular program is Keeling Curve Prize. It’s a $250,000 prize split annually between 10 groups, individuals or companies who have projects demonstrating “the best climate solutions the world has to offer.” The first group of ten Keeling Curve Prize winners were announced in 2018
GWMP also sponsors The Sphere project. According to their website, The Sphere is a network of climate organizations, individuals, and future climate leaders to unite these parties behind the common mission to draw down greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Through our network, we connect organizations with opportunities, students with internships, and problems with solutions; fostering an environment of change.
Ever thought about writing a letter to your future self, explaining what you were doing now and why it was the best you could muster at the time? Well here’s your chance. Surf on over to DearTomorrow.org and get to it.
DearTomorrow is an award-winning climate storytelling project where people write messages to loved ones living in the future. Messages are shared now at deartomorrow.org and through social media, public talks, community events, and public art to inspire deep thinking and bold action on climate. With thousands of personal letters written and shared between 2015 and today, DearTomorrow is one of the first and largest climate storytelling projects in the world.
Jill Kubit and Trisha Shrum founded DearTomorrow in 2015 to harness the powerful perspective that parents have on caring for the next generation.
How it works: Participants submit letters, videos, and photo promises dedicated to their children, family, or future selves about climate change. These messages describe how people think and feel about climate change, why it is important, and what actions they will take to ensure a safe and secure future for their loved ones. The messages are shared on the website and through social media, trainings, community events, public readings, public art, and installations.
Why does DearTomorrow matter to us? It opens up conversations across generations about why climate change is important in order to create the cultural shift necessary to transition to a zero carbon world. Moreover, DearTomorrow makes climate change more personally relevant by connecting to the identities and values that people share across political and social boundaries: parental love, family, and legacy.
All messages become part of a long-term archive that will document the cultural shift arising person-by-person at this crucial moment in time. Create a message, or just peruse the messages already left at deartomorrow.org.