Airrows on Air
By Tomorrow's Air
Airrows on AirFeb 03, 2021
Martin Romero — Adapt or Die: Meeting the Demand for Eco-Tourism Using Technology, Local Resources, Innovation, and More
This is a conversation with Martin Romero, General Manager and Partner of Peruvian-based Explorandes, a multi-year recipient of the World Travel Awards, and the first company to operate the Inca Trail trek. A pioneer in adventure travel, they continue to innovate their experiences with sustainability at the forefront.
Martin is a living example of someone who has adapted to any challenge put in front of him. As a Peruvian-American, he has spent time living in both countries as well as in Australia. Martin’s background includes positions in both tech and ecotourism. From working as a mountain biking tour guide in West Virginia to an integral part of Amazon’s team in Seattle, and now back to Peru at his current position at Explorandes, Martin has applied his extensive background in tech to improve the adventure travel experience for all parties involved.
In this conversation we discuss how travel companies can measure, monitor, and analyze data in order to help reduce the carbon footprint from travel. Technology can be used to reduce costs, emissions, waste, and more. We also discuss the evolving landscape of travel in Peru - from overcoming the terrorist reign of the Shining Path, to the impact of receding glaciers. Martin also gives us a glimpse of the tours available through Explorandes that will make you want to book a trip to Peru.
“You just learn to adapt to whatever’s in front of you.” - Martin
Clarence Edwards — Imagine the Possibilities
“That’s the important thing about the climate movement in general; this isn’t just about scientists and economists. It has to really be something that people across the country, whatever walk of life they’re coming from and whatever their background, can relate to and feel motivated to get involved.” - Clarence Edwards.
Don’t miss this conversation with policy advocate and strategist Clarence Edwards. Clarence leads the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s (FCNL) work on sustainable energy and environmental policy. FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, opportunity, and environmental stewardship. From his roots in Maryland and Virginia to interning for a Senator, to then working on Australian foreign trade, Clarence reveals what it now means to work with a Quakers advocacy group.
In this episode, we look at policy and legislation, specifically focusing on the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. While this is the first major climate legislation to ever go into law, it's not without its shortcomings and further highlights how this is just the first step in a long road to progress. We discuss how approaching climate change will not be an overnight change nor just one solution, yet the answer lies in a multi-shareholder approach. An approach that must be more attainable, equitable, and inclusive to garner enthusiasm from people of all walks of life. With climate change coming to everyone’s doorstep, we talk about the need to include the workforce of legacy industries, those seeking a mid-career shift, and even the Burning Man community.
We also look at the spiritual element of climate and nature and how the changes are all around us everywhere, every day. Most importantly, we turn to the sense of hope; imagine the possibilities if we all can dream of a better climate future.
Christina Leala Gale — Perspective from the Pacific: A Local Looks at the Connection Between Climate Change and Tourism.
This is a very special and unique conversation with Christina Leala-Gale who is a Samoan native and is now based in Fiji. Christina is the Manager for Sustainable Tourism Development with the South Pacific Tourism Organization. She works at the regional level focusing on the inclusion of the global sustainable tourism agenda as well as SPTO’s member countries. Christina is passionate about advocating for sustainable development and hopes the Pacific can become the green tourism destination of the future. Christina and I met through the Adventure Travel Trade Association and she continues to open my eyes to the abundant culture within and apart from the tourism industry in the Pacific. In our conversation she highlights a key part of that culture: Pacific Islanders are centered around community and shared prosperity. She gives us a glimpse into how locals feel about tourism, why sustainable tourism is the key to preserving host villages and countries, and the tangible effects of climate change in those countries that are closest to the equator. We also discuss plastics’ impact on climate change, the tourism industry's contribution to plastic waste and conservation, the double-edged sword of cruises, and much more.
In this conversation with Philippe Beauchamp, a champion freediver, history professor and polyphonic singer, we find a unique perspective on breath and air. Philippe is the former Vice President and Founder of ApneaCity; the only AIDA freediving school in Montreal. He is also a history professor and father. Philippe had a serendipitous introduction to freediving after many years training in martial arts ended with injuries and surgeries.
I learned so much in my conversation with Philippe and was truly inspired. Rather than accepting defeat after his series of injuries, he used them as a chance to rebuild. We discuss lessons learned from freediving including discipline, focus, and facing your fears. His connection to breath and history then led him to the ancient art of polyphonic singing; a truly fascinating and beautiful artform.
It’s amazing to see how Philippe’s natural connection to water and love of history have evolved into conservation work. He’s a genuine example of someone tapping into the full human experience and using it to protect and educate others, a teacher in every sense of the word.
Tristan Copley-Smith and Duncan McDowall - Carbon Catchers: A Focus on the Changemakers Behind Climate Solutions
Listen in on today’s conversation with award winning filmmakers and creatives, Tristan Copley-Smith and Duncan McDowall, who discuss their documentary series “Carbon Catchers.” Together they’re planning to travel the world learning the stories of maverick entrepreneurs, visionaries, and tech-savvy activists dedicating themselves to climate solutions. The series will tell the “story of a radical cultural phenomenon; a hybrid of activism, entrepreneurialism, and cutting edge science.”
Broadcasting respectively from a barn in Ontario and a cottage in the UK, Duncan and Tristan discuss how they met in a climate action course and combined their artistic talents in hopes to enact change. Rather than using pessimistic and doomsday messages often associated with climate change, they hope to change the narrative with action-oriented, positive stories from some of the top climate action technologies available.
In our conversation we discuss the relationship between technology and nature; often seen as conflicting forces, their symbiosis is now essential for climate action. Tristan and Duncan talk about the many hats they wear as artists and conservationists, their family lives, their nomadic childhoods, beekeeping, biomimicry, past and future projects, and more.
Dr. Harry Hilser - Human Geography: Why Understanding Behavior Change May be the Key to Climate Policy
I’m so pleased to welcome Dr. Harry Hilser to the podcast today. Harry is the Program Director for Selamatkan Yaki (SY), a conservation program based in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. SY protects the habitat and remaining populations of the Critically Endangered Sulawesi crested black macaque (Macaca nigra), whilst supporting local initiatives, developing alternatives to hunting and capacity building for local communities. He has a Ph.D. in Human Geography primarily focused on connectedness to nature and pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors.
Harry is also the Co-Founder of Lestari Environmental Education Consultancy. Lestari facilitates the transformation of communities and society, working within the social and environmental sciences to combine education and conservation practice with sustainability, behavior change, and principles of nature connection. They collaborate with NGOs, universities, governments and businesses to deliver high-impact projects and implement innovative strategies for change.
I met Harry through a shared passion for Project Vesta; a non-profit promoting accelerated weathering in order to capture carbon absorbed in the world's oceans.
We talk about Harry’s beginnings in the English countryside to a small island working with primates and everything in between. His human geography and ethnography studies have allowed him to observe how different cultural drivers impact climate change. We discuss the link between pro-social and pro-environment, the behavioral motivations that drive humans, and how belief systems impact conservation and environmentalism.
Harry also gives his thoughts on what he sees for both the future of climate communications and the shift he’s seeing in climate and sustainability education. Harry’s optimism for systemic change in policy and regulations as they relate to climate change is inspiring.
Chloe Berge - Rethinking Humanity’s Relationship to Nature and How That Intersects with Travel
I am so thrilled to get the chance to sit down with travel and nature writer Chloe Berge. Chloe is a Vancouver-based journalist and writer specializing in travel, culture, conservation, and the outdoors. Her work appears on BBC, National Geographic, The Globe and Mail, Conde Nast Traveler, ELLE Canada, and more. She also lends her marketing and copywriting expertise to numerous clients, creating engaging campaign copy and branded content.
Chloe’s work in conservation was inspired by her travel, yet she’s conscious and aware of the complexities of travel as it pertains to the environment. With her writing, she hopes to highlight travel that makes conservation issues accessible to people.
We talk about Indigenous-led movements that continue to move the needle for conservation and how the Magpie River may help progress the legal rights of natural entities. Chloe explains what solutions journalism is and how empowering people is more effective than radical approaches. She also talks about rewilding and how it relates to travel, her upcoming plans to visit Botswana and Uganda, an awe-inspiring turned frightening encounter with a mountain gorilla, and more!
Nim De Swardt — From A Treehouse to Antarctica and All the Places in Between, Weaving A Multifaceted and Intergenerational Approach to Climate Action
Today I finally interview Tomorrow’s Air co-founder Nim de Swardt on the show. Nim is a social entrepreneur, audio storyteller, founder, board director, strategic advisor, “lifestorian”, and champion of co-generational connections. She was also the world’s first Chief Next Generation Officer when she co-founded NEXT GEN; a global intrapreneurship program in a company operating across 20 countries with 6,500 employees.
Nim’s connection to the natural world began in her childhood in Queensland, Australia where she was raised in a treehouse in a tropical beach community. Later she would leave the nest and become a world traveler and a climate action champion.
Nim and I met in Antarctica while she was in the “valley” chapter of her life and seeking more meaning and purpose. It was there, and together with Robert Swan, that Tomorrow’s Air was born. We discuss Nim’s impressive career that led to where she is now, her focus on intergenerational collaborations, her passion for gathering others’ stories, the one song that she would have to include on her playlist, and much more.
Ep. 23: Birds in the Freezer and How the Scientific Collections of the Past Can Predict Our Future
Today I’m chatting with Senior Preparator, Becky Desjardins, from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. Among other accolades, this museum earned the prestigious award of the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) in 2021. Becky may have one of the most interesting, and definitely the most unusual, jobs of anyone I've had on the show.
After majoring in Geology, Becky began her 20-year career traveling from Boston to the swamps of North Carolina to the Netherlands. She has an infectious imagination and passion for science that is unmatched. Becky has the unique ability to collect scientific information and data, break it down, and present it as an engaging story with endless possibilities.
We have a fun conversation where we talk a lot about scientific collections, but also roller derby, the difference between life/work balance in the US vs. the Netherlands, why Becky has dead birds in her freezer, eco-restoration camping, what museum collections tell us about climate change, and how Becky thinks they are going to save the world.
Ep. 22: Recognizing the Impact Our Food Systems and Choices Have on Climate Change
I am so pleased to welcome Joyce Bergsma to the podcast today. Joyce is a registered nutritional therapist who has been practicing orthomolecular and functional medicine since 2010. Joyce was born in Canada and soon became a world citizen and traveler who now resides in Amsterdam. While conscious about the impact travel has on climate change, Joyce shares my belief in the many benefits and opportunities it also provides.
My conversation with Joyce highlights the parallels between regenerative farming and travel, as well as the undeniable connection our eating habits as a society have on climate. With the world’s food system responsible for about ¼ of the annual planet-warming greenhouse gases, the work Joyce does to focus on individual nutrition is an important source of climate action we can all readily access.
We chat about hobby farming, the impact generational farming had on her path in nutrition, the far-reaching benefits of regenerative agriculture, principles of permaculture, food sovereignty, victory gardens, what it was like working inside Patagonia with the sustainable foods team, and about a new series of online courses she’s launching.
Ep. 21: Lorelei Kelly — From Nuclear Weapons to Modernizing Congress: A Funny, Down to Earth and Expert Perspective on How Regular People Can Build Systems of Change
In today’s episode, I sit down with a true renaissance woman who always inspires and challenges my way of thinking. Lorelei Kelly is an expert on inclusive and informed democratic systems and her work explores how data, technology, and new participation methods can increase civic voice in the lawmaking process. She is the founder of the Resilient Democracy Coalition (RDC) based at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University where she leads research on modernizing the US Congress.
Lorelei got her start in Washington DC as a nuclear weapons expert and now turns her attention to how to better incorporate local expertise and voices in the political process. She attended Grinnell College, Stanford University and the Air Command and Staff College of the US Air Force. She has co-authored two books, both free and available online.
We talk about the problems of climate change, how an engaged and inclusive political process can help, the power people have in organizing and banding together, and why we have to act now. We also talk about her many diverse experiences including transitioning from high school in Berkeley, CA to the desert in New Mexico to an underground library in Berlin during a historical revolution. We also talk about the shift the pandemic has had on thinking and actions for so many. Lorelei’s diverse experiences lead the way to an open dialogue and give an intimate, informed look at the impact of climate change on local, federal, and international levels.
Ep. 20: Nicole Cocolas Shares An Aussie Academic’s Perspective on Climate Communications Reveals The Power of Optimism
Today I am joined by a kindred spirit in developing applicable climate solutions. Nicole Cocolas is a scholar of climate change by way of researching tourism and consumer attitudes and behaviors within the industry. She is Australian-born, currently based in San Francisco where we met, and soon to be moving to the UK to work as a lecturer in Transport Management. As a world traveler, she has now dedicated her life to helping others travel responsibly and sustainably.
We discuss how Nicole first came to the US by “winning the lottery”, her continuous and impactful research on consumer behavior in tourism, the relationship between air travel and climate change, how she sees the aviation industry’s role, thoughts on climate calculators, the importance of carbon removal, and more. Nicole’s research has shown that people often have binary extremes to travel attitudes, and she hopes through climate communication we can empower consumers on what they can do as opposed to guilting them into what is going wrong.
Ep. 19: Anna Ahn - Young and Working in Climate Tech: A View from Switzerland On Natural and Technological Solutions
Today I’m talking with someone I’ve been so impressed with for a while, Anna Ahn, who is on the Communications Staff at Climeworks. Climeworks is Tomorrow’s Air’s first carbon removal supply partner. Climeworks uses direct air capture carbon removal technology to clean up carbon from the atmosphere and store it permanently, and is Tomorrow’s Air’s first carbon removal supply partner. Anna and I met while pitching Airbnb to host our online experience called “Pull Carbon Dioxide from the Air” which included a virtual tour of the Climeworks plant in Hinwil. Now I’m lucky to call her a friend.
Originally from Germany, Anna now lives in Switzerland and has spent time in Korea, Iceland, and traveling to other parts of the world. Anna is passionate, curious, and acting now professionally on a long held interest and passion for sustainability and environment. We discuss our mutual love of hiking and backpacking, knitting, the properties of volcanic stone in Iceland, a beautiful summarization on the difference between direct air capture and carbon capture and storage, giving a direct air capture plant tour to employees from Google, the ways in which current social trends influence climate communications, and Momo – a German fantasy story about the concept of time.
Momo by Michael Ende
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Ep. 18: Genevieve Hathaway - Stories of Women’s Empowerment + Climate Change in the Middle East through A Climber’s Lens
Today I am joined by the awe-inspiring Genevieve Hathaway. She is a travel and documentary photographer and entrepreneur who is passionate about telling stories that empower women and local communities. She hopes to inspire the world, especially adventurer travelers, through images and influence conservation efforts. Her work has been featured in Innovation Norway, National Geographic Traveler India, Lonely Planet, The Seattle Times and many more. Genevieve is the recipient of the SmartVentures Grant and the Seattle Artist Fund Grant, a member of Equal Lens nonprofit, and an Artist for Air with Tomorrow’s Air.
Genevieve splits her personal time between Seattle and Peru, and her assignments have taken her across the globe to places like the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and beyond. She is one of the rare people who turned her childhood dream into an actual career that marries her passion for climbing and archaeology into a creative endeavor. I love her philosophy of “connection first, pictures second”—reminding us that relationships truly are the foundation for everything.
We talk about the many people and stories she’s encountered in her travels, her commitment to authenticity, photographing Moroccan adventurer Bouchra Baibanou, and more. We also get an intimate look at the thoughtful process behind her candid, positive, and bright imagery.
Genevieve Hathaway on Instagram
Adventure Travel Trade Association
AFER: Helping Women in Rural Morocco
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Ep. 17: Matt Eggers – The Future is NOW in Climate Tech
Today I finally sat down with a guest I’ve been wanting to have on the podcast for a long time. Matt Eggers is a seasoned expert in climate tech with more than 20 years of experience. He is an investor at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a coalition of private investors formed in 2015 by Bill Gates, funding the brightest hopes for leading the world to net-zero emissions. His extensive career has garnered him in-depth knowledge of solar, electric vehicles, clean energy, fuel cells, the colors of hydrogen, and more, in the fight against climate change.
Matt grew up in Iowa on a farm and his work today proves his heart never left. He now lives in Northern California, but he shares my love of traveling the world. We also share a passion for science, the arts, meditation, and hiking. Matt is a true steward for the environment, consistently making career choices to align with his core values. Lots more on that in this episode that will truly inspire you, as Matt has inspired so many others, to take action!“The way to cure everybody of everything is to keep the planet flourishing.” – Matt
Adventure Travel Trade Association
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Ep. 16: Shannon Stowell - Bonus – Another Call from Shannon Stowell: Out of Place in A Sea of Suits
On today’s episode I continue my conversation with Adventure Travel Trade Association’s CEO Shannon Stowell. I had to have Shannon back to share some inspiring and hilarious personal anecdotes about stepping into, and owning, unfamiliar places - in this case an economic conference in New York City.
“The friends I enjoyed being with the most are the YES people.” – Shannon
Adventure Travel Trade Association
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Ep. 15: Shannon Stowell – Traveling Escapades, Mishaps and Humility
In today’s episode I’m talking with Adventure Travel Trade Association CEO, Shannon Stowell, who shares my hope for more sustainable and responsible tourism. Shannon brings to the conversation more than 25 years of business experience in adventure travel, e-commerce, outdoor retail, and environmental science.
Shannon’s family history includes adventurers in Colorado’s wilderness and that spirit has been an underlying guide for most all his life’s journey. We talk about his many escapades around the world including climbing Mt. Rainier (twice), a trip with his teenage son to Kurdistan, a lavalier mishap at a conference in Scotland, sweating through success as well as a kidnapping escapade in Mexico. Shannon emphasizes the importance of balancing his adventurous spirit with other risk takers, while also teaming with more logical minds in order to push the conventional boundaries. We also talk about the importance of humility and gratitude while having the privilege to travel to other cultures.
“The friends I enjoyed being with the most are YES people.” – Shannon
Adventure Travel Trade Association
The Kimberley Process
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Ep. 14: Jeffrey Foote – Exploring the Role of Corporations in Sustainability and Climate Change
In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey Foote. Jeffrey is a career sustainability man who held an executive position with Coca-Cola for 20 years, spearheading climate action in the very early days, and now heads up his firm Footeprints Resourcefulness Consulting. We discuss how he got started in sustainability, his family’s roots in community benefit, and his various investments in clean-tech. Our conversation explores successes and challenges in key pillars of sustainability in our modern lives, including recycling, composting and the ways in which consumers are driving circular economy practices in the corporate landscape.
Jeffrey reveals why he’s optimistic for the fate of carbon emissions and the role he believes big brands will play. We also dive into our shared love of travel and The Boss — Bruce Springsteen!
Ep. 13: Casey Hanisko & Christina Beckman – On Mainstreaming Carbon Removal and the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s Role in Launching Tomorrow’s Air
In this week’s episode, we are doing something a little different. I am the subject of today’s interview with ATTA President and dear friend, Casey Hanisko, leading the conversation. She is a longtime traveler who began her career at the space voyage division of Zegrahm Expeditions and is a key player in helping Tomorrow’s Air take root.
We’ll talk a little bit more about my background, Tomorrow’s Air’s beginnings (and naming!) as well as visions for the future, why we decided to focus on carbon removal, and why the Adventure Travel Trade Association has been the perfect place to incubate a transformation in travel. Plus, I get to talk a little bit about my amazing trip to Antarctica. I loved my conversation with Casey, and I know you will too.
Ep. 12: Jeff Shafer – Women and Wool Come Together in a Brand Built for Women’s Empowerment and Climate Action
On today’s episode our guest is Jeff Shafer, Chief Empowerment Officer at BRANWYN. Jeff shares his story from growing up surfing in L.A., to ski-bumming in Flagstaff, Arizona, to launching multiple successful clothing brands including AGAVE and Bluer Denim. He has studied psychology and computer science along with wilderness survival and is blunt about the realizations behind his midlife pivot to sustainable brand BRANWYN, which is focused on women’s empowerment and sustainability.
Jeff has an incredibly interesting background in sports, travel, and fashion that he’s now bringing together in his own way to make the world a better place.
Ep. 11: Jessica Reilly-Moman – An Exploration in Climate Action Tradeoffs and Stories of Resilience in Rural Communities
This week I am joined by Jessica Reilly-Moman. Jessica is a social scientist, political ecologist, and a mixed media journalist focusing on climate change and resilience in coastal communities. We discuss her climate research that has led her through the mountains, to large-scale solar projects in the desert, and sailing through Latin America. Jessica’s cross-national perspective has given her insight on the unique set of issues in different places but also their commonalities. She shines a light on inequities as they relate to climate change and why we must view climate actions not as having singular effects, but rather as a whole system. And who and how they impact.
After all of her worldly travels, Jessica is back to where she grew up in New England finishing her Ph.D. in Ecology & Environmental Studies at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center. In her off time from saving the world, she enjoys singing and dancing with her daughter. She even treats us to a little serenade!
Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley
Sailing for Climate blog
Ep. 10: Dr. Letty B. Brown – Forests, Carbon Offset Verification and Monkey Poop in a Discussion on Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change
Today I’m delighted to speak with a brilliant scientist and personal friend, Dr. Letty B. Brown. Letty is a Fulbright Scholar with a Ph.D. in Forest Science from UC Berkeley. As a scientist, she specializes in restoration, conservation planning, and nature-based solutions to climate change.
If you’ve ever considered carbon offsetting a flight by supporting a forest project, you might be interested to hear how Letty describes what goes on behind the scenes to verify the integrity of that carbon offset purchase. Letty and her crew study forest areas and interview local communities to verify the claims that a project’s benefits are indeed present.
There’s some technical talk in here along with some great stories as Letty shares how she got her start in conservation as a teenager — drawing some early inspiration in a Costa Rican jungle! — and a few of her experiences in the forests of the US, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cambodia, Peru, Indonesia, and Kenya. Stay tuned to the end to hear about Tabitha the bear guard in Alaska before we close out with some samba.
Ep. 9: Jonny Bierman – A Digital Nomad Speaks Up About Regenerative Travel & The Importance of Giving Back More Than You Take Away
Our guest today is Jonny Bierman. Jonny is a travel journalist and founder of Eco Escape Travel — a platform for travelers to find excellent sustainable travel experiences and businesses. He works with clients in values-based destination marketing and content creation.
Jonny is from Canada, but he joins us today working remotely from Costa Rica. We have a shared idealism on what tourism can and should bring; including an ecological connection, cross-cultural engagement, environmental stewardship, and community empowerment. We cover a lot of territory in this discussion, from why Jonny’s favorite example of regenerative travel is Misool Eco Resort in Indonesia, to his perspective on marketing to LGBTQ travelers, to the wonders of British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.
“Indigenous tourism is regenerative travel; it always has been.” – Jonny
Eco Escape Travel
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association
Land of Hidden Waters
Gold Rush Trail
Misool Eco Resort
Ep. 8: Grant Faber – Systems Expert Grant Faber on the Cascading Effect of Climate Change and the Importance of Funding Carbon Removal
In this episode, I’m delighted to be joined by Renaissance man Grant Faber. Grant is a Research Assistant at the Global CO2 Initiative and is currently in the Master's program for Sustainable and Complex Systems at the University of Michigan. His focus when it comes to systems is on carbon capture and utilization, and he shares how climate change has a cascading effect on all systems.
A Detroit native, Grant shares how a key travel experience — visiting a coal mining site in West Virginia — motivated him to focus on clean energy. He particularly piqued my interest when he spoke about a tool he had developed for measuring emissions associated with online conferences. In this conversation we chat about Grant’s many interests, find a shared love of the Santa Fe Institute, and explore how much we can learn today from ancient civilizations. We explore how very large numbers — such as are so prevalent in climate action discussions — often have a numbing effect and we need other methods to motivate individual behaviors. Lastly, he gives me hope for the future of low emissions travel. I just love the way his brain works, and it was a treat to have Grant on the podcast.
Adventure Travel Trade Association
Santa Fe Institute
Lovely Bloodflow by the Baths
Trials of the Past by SBTRKT
Bored in the USA by Father John Misty
Why We Build the Wall by Anais Mitchell
Ep. 7: Matthew Eshed – Carbon Expert Matthew Eshed on Changing our Mindset and Approach to Climate Change
This week I’m joined by Matthew Eshed. He is an entrepreneur, systems designer and engineer working in climate innovation. Matthew’s extensive background has made him an expert in the carbon community. He talks about his experience as one of the early players in Direct Air Capture and his latest projects with his organization Climatetech Advisors. Matthew talks about the power of “awe” and how he wants to change the way the world values an ecosystem on both a systemic and individual level.
I met Matthew at AirMiners, where he and his fellow founders focus on creating, identifying and facilitating a market demand for products that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Matthew transitioned into his current organization, Climatetech Advisors, after demonstrating a direct air capture system at the Global Climate Action Summit. He sourced raw materials from other organizations in the community to create a concrete planter prototype. I loved my conversation with Matthew about how small behaviors can make a big impact in the world of climate.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode:[1:23] I met Matthew at Air Miners where he and his fellow founders focus on creating, identifying and facilitating a market demand for products that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. [7:31] Matthew transitioned into his current organization, Climatetech Advisors, after demonstrating a direct air capture system at the Global Climate Action Summit. He sourced raw materials from other organizations in the community to create a concrete planter prototype. [11:22] Direct Air Capture seems to be showing up everywhere these days. How does Matthew feel about this as an early player in the arena? [16:15] Matthew talks about the power of “awe” at the core of healing and travel. [19:20] What the climate future can and should look like; it’s contained in Project Drawdown’s book. [22:15] Matthew discusses more in-depth what Climatetech Advisors is and how they’re working to change our everyday products into something that heals, instead of hurts, the planet. [25:00] Matthew’s latest project required him to create a valuation of the ecosystem and his results are inspiring a new methodology within him. [32:38 ] We should move from a society to where our GDP is a clean environment. [34:58] How a 10-day Amtrak journey across the country brought Matthew his “awe”. [37:07] There are ways that individuals can take climate change into their hands. Small behaviors can make big impacts and we shouldn’t be deterred if we can’t be zero waste. [42:05] Matthew has funky musical tastes.
“There are millions of people—possibly even hundreds of millions or maybe even a billion people—all around the world who sincerely at their core want to be in partnership with the Earth just like we do. And all we have to do is be open to seeing that they’re all around us.”
Mentioned In This Episode:
Institute for the Future
Global Climate Action Summit
Ep. 6: Edmund Morris – Bringing An Economist and Investigative Reporter Perspective to Sustainable Travel with Edmund Morris
In this episode, Edmund Morris speaks to me from the future! — from Perth, Australia a day ahead of my US west coast time zone. A market systems and tourism consultant with deep experience in the country of Jordan who, since this conversation was recorded, has launched Equator Analytics, a consulting firm that uses data analytics for sustainable tourism development.
One of the widest ranging discussions to date on Airrows on Air (because Edmund has such a broad set of interests and fascinating experiences!) we cover topics both dense and fluffy: traveling through Syria as a young college graduate, assembling the data needed to calculate the number of jobs created by adventure travel in a country, why Jordan is a great place to learn how to dive, the cultural mashup that occurs when a Brit weds a Jordanian, how a lack of economic measurement systems for non-mainstream types of tourism results in a misunderstanding of the varying impacts of different types of tourism, how the world’s leading expert in Scandanavian medieval studies (Edmund’s mum!) is supporting work on his new book, his project to quantify the impact of the world’s largest cruise ship on the rainforest, and of course …the state of climate action and global warming in places Edmund has worked and played.
**Excuse us please, repeated mention is made of a person named ‘Shannon’ — that would be Shannon Stowell, President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
“Carbon removal just hadn’t crossed my radar because it’s so nascent in terms of scaling. As I started to dive into the numbers though, unlike carbon offsetting, it gives me a lot of hope.” — Edmund
Adventure Travel Local Analytics System
Caroline Bremner, Euromonitor International
Jurassic Five: Concrete Schoolyard
Dave Brubeck: Take 5
Floating POints Ensemble - Live on KEXP
Caribou: Can’t Do Without
Four Tet: Daughter
Nujabes: Reflection Eternal
Quarteto Em Cy: Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser
Ep. 5: David Hone – Hard Realities and Real Optimism in a Discussion About Scaling Up Technologies Along Our Transition to Net Zero
David Hone is an expert in global warming scenarios as the Chief Climate Change Advisor for Shell; he is also the author of Putting the Genie Back and is on the board of the International Emissions Trading Association; the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the Global Capture and Storage Institute. He joins me today to discuss his perspective on energy and climate change issues, how the system is starting to move, and a few of the changes already in energy that are visible and available. David also is a world-class traveler and shares my love for Antarctica, so we talk a little about the beauty and magic of the land, and what he thinks is in store for travelers in the future.
What You’ll Hear on this Episode:How travel builds awareness and appreciation for changes in our environment even for someone as well-travelled and immersed in developing climate change scenarios as David A rundown on our energy system and its historical roots that have not shifted a great deal in a long time, although a lot of the technology we need to bring about in this system is visible and available. The reasoning behind working now to scale up technologies we know we need in the future and why carbon removal is an important technology option for the future, even as we are transitioning away from fossil fuels Perspective on the European Union’s pending legislation to support all countries under the EU to have net zero energy systems by 2050.
Putting the Genie Back
Shell Climate Change Blog
The Case for Removing CO2
Dr. Gabrielle Walker
Ep. 4: Maren Krings – Photojournalism As a Transcendent Language for Climate Action with Maren Krings
This week, I am joined by Environmental Photographer and Visual Storyteller Maren Krings. Maren shares her fascinating story from milking cows on an Alpine Mountain to learning mountain rescue, and now using her photojournalism skills to advocate for the use of hemp in many applications including climate action. Maren also talks about what life was like growing up in Austria, the brilliant idea she had on a cross country bike ride, and how hemp can provide the world with a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution to many current issues.
What You’ll Hear on this Episode:Maren’s family had a retreat in Austria, where she spent much time in the wilderness and grew an appreciation for nature. Maren has published three books and has been featured in many publications for both her photography and writing. Does the experience of milking cows on an Alpine mountain farm sound amazing to you? It sure was for Maren, so much so that she did it for two summers. Maren took the leap and became a member of the Mountain Rescue Team, which triggered her environmental interest even more. She spent time in Florida as an exchange student, which ultimately led her to her dream school at The Savannah College of Art and Design. Photography has always been a transcendent bridge to communicate no matter what country or location she is in or the language she is speaking. Maren is an advocate for hemp because of how it can feed, dress, and shelter us in a financially and environmentally friendly way. She went on a four-year journey to document just what you can do with hemp and became fascinated by how it allowed her to focus on something positive as a visual storyteller. Maren founded the Center for Art and Humanity while on a bike ride on the east coast of the United States.
Mentioned:Maren Krings Adventure Travel Steve McCurry Goeksegh Center for Art and Humanity
Playlist:Laaje — Dawn Norrsken Goeksegh-Jag ar fri Orda — This is My Land Shoog Shoog
Ep. 3: Eli Mitchell-Larson – Whiffenpoofs, Obama, Penguins, the ‘How’ of Carbon Removal and the ‘Where’ of Carbon Storage with a Little Yeats Thrown In
“CO2 is a cumulative pollutant. Once it’s released, it effectively is there forever in circulation. The first flight that our grandparents ever took, the first car that was ever driven, that CO2 is still up there.”
In this episode we chat with Eli Mitchell-Larson, a former impact investor and social entrepreneur, currently at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford where he focuses on carbon capture and storage, standards for credible carbon offsetting, and pathways for decarbonizing fossil fuels. Eli is a Tomorrow’s Air Supporter and Science Advisor.
In this podcast Eli shares how his travels - from the White House to Antarctica - have inspired him, along with his perspective on the role of carbon offsets in voluntary carbon markets, and why all offsets are not created equal. And, unexpectedly closes with a song!
Eli’s Musical Influences Song List:
Green Day: Basket Case
Weezer: Island in the Sun
RedHot Chili Peppers: Californication
Appalachian folk music: Raleigh and Spencer
Medieval ballads: Cauldron of Changes
Ep. 2: Natasha Martin – In Which Grandmas Assert Their Influence, Sustainability Tops the Agenda in Saudi Arabia and Tourism Planners Drink Whisky With The National Police
“There’s so much information online, it’s hard to be surprised by a place, but Saudi was a place that really surprised me.”
A lifelong expat, Natasha Martin has lived in 15 different countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Carribean. Speaking from Cambodia she shares her personal escapades and insights on sustainability, tourism development and why it’s more fun to have a guide as we join her in Greenland, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia and India.
You’ll learn why grandmas are never to be underestimated and how that food tour you loved actually came to be. Learn about Saudi Arabia’s sustainable tourism development plans and how Greendlanders are adapting to their changing climate.
5:00 How the first Indian to work for British Airways in East Africa in the 1950s handled racist passengers
6:10 From coffee houses to tourism: Natasha’s career path to founding Good Tourism
8:15 Reflections on tourism development in the northeastern state of Assam in India
9:40 Tourism development intersects the Haflong insurgency in Haflong, India and whisky with the National Police
10:56 Sustainability thinking shifts from 2008 to now
13:56 From Newfoundland to Cambodia, deconstructing the tourism experience and behind the scenes on a food tour
18:20 In love with local guides and the pros and cons of devices in travel
20:17 Busting stereotypes in Saudi Arabia and sustainable tourism development in the region
24:45 Hip to climate change yet struggling still to respond to immediate concerns
29:45 Crushing it on capital cities of the world quiz
31:40 Minus 35 and hard won realizations sleeping on the Greenland Ice Cap
35:30 Climate change in everyday life and the Greenlandic approach climate change
38:29 Natasha’s booklist leaves us feeling fishy
Ep. 1: Walker Cahall – On Wayzgooses and a Life Philosophy of ‘Always Have a Trip Planned’
“If we always have a trip planned, it’s always something to look forward to - it can be a small or big trip - but the act having something to look forward to drives me.”
In this episode Portland, Oregon based environmental illustrator and teacher Walker Cahall brings us into his creative process as we explore the connection between art, travel and climate change. We learn how a documentary about rivers in Argentina brought Walker to the challenge of bringing the subject of carbon removal to life for Tomorrow’s Air, the world's first collective of passionate travellers who clean up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
A few highlights and links to art discussed in the show:
7:40 General discussion of Walker’s work at waltronic.net
9:58 Why a wayzgoose is like the Formula One of printing with an audience and the magic behind Snake Print
14:19 The connection between art, travel and climate change and the power of art and culture to
to inspire and why the act of visiting places can inherently threaten them
17:30 Direct air capture and the opportunity to build awareness for this method of carbon removal
18:34 How Walker created the Tomorrow’s Air Brand (snowy egrets!)
20:50 Dreams of Ireland and how the phrase ‘always have a trip planned’ has become a life philosophy
23:30 What the teacher in Walker suggests for bringing carbon removal education to a broader education
30:30 Pop punk and the influence of original hipsters, and how Johnny Cash’s anti-authoritarianism makes him a punk