Great to chat with Andreas Homer, Co-Founder & CEO at Aerial! Aerial is the app with the easiest, most accurate way to manage your carbon footprint and sustainable lifestyle! We discussed tracking your carbon emission with an app, offsetting options, NFTs, starting a company during the pandemic and more!

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James

The unedited podcast transcript is below

James McWalter

Hello today we’re string good Andreas Homer cofounder and CEO at Aerial welcome to podcast Andreas. Great to start. Could you tell us a little bit about Aerial.

Andreas Homer

Thank you so much for having me.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, absolutely so we founded Aerial based on the concept around quantifying carbon emissions across different sources and making it really easy for people to see those numbers and take action on them. So my team my founding team we have. Background building products at companies like Instagram Microsoft Casper um and many others and we decided that we could probably have a unique take on the way we build a brand in a product in this space. And build something that feels familiar lovable relatable and like a lot of your favorite products and so we saw that the space was really lacking that. Um and so we first built an ios app that quantifies your entire carbon footprint for the last. 3 years based on a travel rideshare train confirmations. So you sign up with like your Google or your Microsoft account and we show you usually within 30 seconds depending on how many confirmations you have what your carbon footprint looks like across those different categories. Um. And we’ve since launched on Android and we also built a whole suite of tools for web 3 so um, a lot of creators wanted to learn more about their energy consumption on Ethereum and we built a couple prototypes and ended up launching them with. First with Calviniris for one of his big projects that he was working on and then since then we’ve further developed the tools and methodologies and um, worked with a lot of different brands like Pepsi and Levi and budvisor to other celebrities like Shakira and then other web 3 collections like some that you might have heard of like moonbird and deadfeass etc. So yeah, we’ve really started out with the idea that you know how can we take the skills that we had at these other you know companies that we help build and build those delightful experiences in the climate space for people and brands and really everybody to use.

James McWalter

Yeah, so I actually downloaded the app. Um before the call and had had it. You know, go through my emails and yeah, so I’m in the 23% worst emissions anyone on on the platform which for somebody working on climate is obviously not not ideal. Um. And it’s very slick. It is absolutely as you mentioned it’s it’s a very you know, kind of delightful experience. But I’m sure it wasn’t like that like out the gate. So you know how any kind of difficulties as you’re kind of building out your Mvp or you know what were the kind of interim steps to get it to something as smooth as this.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, well I think one of the first things that we started to think about was how could we wow people when they signed up for the product. So we’d seen like a lot of different. Ah. Websites and tools that had existed where you would answer a series of questions or check some boxes and then just get information that was more or less like a one-time. Screenshot. So our first thought was what are some of the signals that we can use to make that. Ah, much more rich experience that shows you much more. You know customized information based on your own behavior and um, really make it something that you can live with so you know every time you get an uber receipt or a ride chair or a trainer seat. You get? ah. Notification and a new activity in the product that shows you the distance the kilograms or pounds of co 2 depending on your setting and then an overall view like a pie chart. So initially you know looking at different signals like there are a lot that exists there. There are motion. Signals there are signals from your inbox or signals from your your credit cards and we ended up settling on email because it gives you so much information and around your carbon footprint. So your uber receipts your lyft receipts your train your any flight right? Delta united etc. Um will show up. So um, that was initially probably the biggest challenge was building that out just because there is a lot of complexity around parsing that information. So. Um, yeah I’d say I’d say initially it was a big, pretty big hurdle to get over. Um, but once we started you know, onboarding early users. They had this sort of aha moment where you know this pile of what would normally just be useless information turned into. Ah, new rich data set that that not just gave them that view into the past but also that view going forward with those new activities. So I’d say that was probably initially the first big challengers like what signals exist that. Can give you real insight here and created engaging experience that not only gives you that 1 time snapshot into the past but also an accurate view going forward.

James McWalter

Yeah, that that that makes a ton of sense I Guess you know as you’ were of trying to think through whether credit cards or email know receipts and like the different kind of sources of information. Um, how did that I guess kind of translate into what the total total typical potential users emissions look like. So again for me who does not own a car and does way more flying than they should ideally like it’s probably a pretty accurate total because basically everything outside of that I’m just cycling So it’s like it’s It’s pretty low, but um I guess for people like like my exact profile. Um you know Suburban heights would. But a car. It might not show up in the same way and so how do you think about? you know, balancing different type of users to get like a accurate representation of their emissions and.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, we’ve we’ve looked at other sources like for example, credit card charges and the problem is is. It’s not a great signal for emissions because you actually don’t know. What dollar amount correlates to an emisssion type or a distance for example, so if you book a last minute flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco that’s a pretty short flight but it could cost $400 so booking a flight to europe sometimes you know you can get. To London from San Francisco for for just about that much one way. Um, so how do you differentiate between those 2 those 2 charges same goes for grocery shopping like you have no insight into what’s being purchased so we’ve thought that it was kind of a weak signal and you are asking. Yeah, of course asking you’re asking someone to sign up with their Google or Microsoft account that does have friction but so does ah credit card. But at least we’re giving people like accurate information. Um, so I think that was the tradeoff there was like you know by going that route. You couldn’t possibly capture more activities if you’re using like 1 credit card for example, but how accurate is that information. Um, so I think I think that’s one big thought there that we had um and neither one is perfect of course. But when it comes to other activities. I’d say the biggest the biggest 3 categories for an individual are travel transportation and home energy. Especially since we’re all doing a lot more working from home these days. So in addition to that there are things like diet that account for. Ah, you know a percentage of your overall footprint. But if you’re driving you’re flying and you’re you know, working from home doing all one 2 or 3 of those things chances are that that’ll consist of the vast majority of your bureau footprint. Um, so yeah, we’ve been looking at other sources we have ah a prototype for home energy that we’ve been playing with which is pretty interesting, especially as I said people are working from home more permanently now. It’s not just a pandemicic phenomenon and then things around motion as well. So capturing. You’re driving capturing ah positive activities that you do like biking you mentioned or taking an electric scooter or any form of transportation that’s cleaner than the alternative which is you know, maybe a suv for example, so we’re constantly looking at these different sources of emissions.

Andreas Homer

But at the core we’ve wanted to create the most seamless experience for the most people and not require like manual tracking of information or you know giving false positives which is a common theme around motion Sentencing. So. Yeah, it’s a tough problem. But I think you know if you can cover travel transportation and home energy. That’s like the vast majority of the footprint.

James McWalter

And yeah, it’s it’s so interesting. You know I’m again, maybe in some areas are typical reason typical I’m talking about myself just because ah you know you’re getting user test out of this as well. I guess um, but I’m very much a quantified self kind of person and even for me who tries to track an incredible amount of things. Those elements that use things like Gps to identify where I’ve been and the time I spend in certain places and you know you like my office is is connected and it automatically tells me how much time I’m spending at a work site versus an nonwork site those always get are just. Have way longer history and more effective history than the ones where I have to actually imagine it open up a spreadsheet once a month and like try to remember what I did so absolutely think starting from the lowest friction data collection point and then that’s your wedge like makes absolutely a ton of sense. Another thing I know slow in the app was this? Ah. Community has saved 22000 trees and so kind of trying to connect the um, the spent emissions with something that is you know mitigating can you speak to that process in in more detail.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, absolutely so when it comes to the community aspect I think it’s really important to obviously you know have mechanisms within the product that make people feel like they’re part of something bigger. And that’s one of the goals with you know that community feature is just to show people that there is a broader you know broader community there’s broader action that’s happening outside of just yourself. Um, so yeah, that’s ah, that’s the idea there. Um. When it comes to those types of statistics. What we’ve been trying to do is make the the numbers as relatable as possible to people. So for example, not a lot of people know what a carbon credit is or how much carbon it equates to but 1 carbon credit is equivalent to one metric ton of c o two and so you can you can make estimates on for example, like tons of co 2 equivalents to number of trees or cars taken off the road or you know there are some statistics that can be used in order to show why these numbers are relevant and what they mean because I’m sure you’ve noticed like at that main screen view of your footprint. Knowing what a ton of co 2 is is pretty difficult so trying to build that relationship between the the individual and tons of cotwo is really the goal there um build that that intuition and awareness. Um, because if I ask you. How many kilograms of flight from San Francisco to New York emitted it might be a tough question answer you might know I don’t know but ah well yeah, yeah, so it’s it’s one of those things where if you can relate those.

James McWalter

Sure I wouldn’t and again I live in this world and I actually do not.

Andreas Homer

Numbers to other statistics that make sense to people I think it becomes a lot easier to communicate and that’s one of the challenges in this space is you know the activity tracking space had this problem ten twelve years ago where products like Fitbit and Strava would show you. Calories burn for activities. But for the longest time like the average person just didn’t understand like what that metric meant because we had been used to like pedometers and numbers of steps and over time like there. There is sort of this connection that you build with the metric. So. You know now I know if I do a three mile run I’ll Burn Eight hundred calories depending on the pace of works. But you know you have you build that relationship with the metrics and I so I think a similar thing is needs to happen on on the sustainability side where people actually start to understand what what these libers. Actually mean and what they equate to.

James McWalter

I absolutely agree. Um I actually did some whiteboarding a year or two ago with a couple folks who are trying to come up with a better than a ton ah concept and then you know things like trees are like probably the most sensible one and the way you’ve done it um in terms of the offsets themselves though. You know it says in your website you know verified environmental projects you what would it like a typical ah you know carbon ah offset from a specific or a typical type of project look like.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, so there are quite a few different partners that we work with. We have a few listed on our website which are ah forestry projects as well as advanced carbon removal through a partner called charm industrial. Um, so for the most part you know every project type has pros and cons. So generally we like to do a blend of different projects. So um, you know forestry like ah land-based projects as well as blue carbon projects and advanced carbon removal. Projects. Um, so we’ve been doing a lot more blue carbon which we’re going to be communicating more on our website. We’ve done some we did a cool partnership with an entity called sea trees based in Southern California they have some really cool ocean-based projects and.

Andreas Homer

Plant mangrove trees and restore kelp forests. So we did a partnership with an nf platform called bitsky over Earthweek and we also did one with maker place. Another Nft platform that included some of these blue carbon projects so more to more to come there on our website. To update that. But um, yeah, generally speaking the land-based projects anything that we work with it has to be verified by by one or more third parties so the most popular ones are ah american carbon registry climate action reserve and. Vera. Um, so yeah, and in short any practice that we work with have to be verified. Um, and in addition to that we’re doing a lot more with blue carbon projects as well as our existing work with advanced carbon removal.

James McWalter

I Yeah I’m I’m very familiar with charm I know some of the folks over there pretty well very cool company doing some really cool. Ah you know offsetting and it’s It’s great to hear that we’re starting to see more blue carbon offsets I Know a lot of people go through the you know Kelp and mangrove obsession when they start for sort of reading about offsets. But. Scalability elements become an issue and you saw you know running tides and few other kind of companies who are early to it and you know it’s great to see that sea trees um are starting to kind of get offsets on the market as well because it’s It’s very cool. The the kind of power of your blue carbon relative to the landbased stuff.

Andreas Homer

Exactly? Yeah, Oh no I was going to say um, it’s It’s also it’s interesting because you know every project type like I was saying has pros and cons and so um, you know there are issues around scalability for like the direct air capture. Technologies There are issues around additionality with a lot of land-based projects and um, you know I think questions around like erosion arise when you discuss like mangroves and ocean-based Projects. So I think Overall it’s just best to have a more. Um. Balance approach when you’re looking at credits because none of them are perfect. But I think when combined they can be be pretty strong. Um, yeah, so that’s just ah, a.

James McWalter

Yeah’s portfoli. Especially if you’re starting to have a lot on the demand Side. You have the ah ability to kind of create a portfolio of credits who you know have various kind of flavors. You know some more permanence but maybe more expensive some that are hitting specific ah kind conservation elements like. Mangroves and so on um and you can start to build something that you know I think yeah, any the consumers using your product will actually find compelling at least someone across all those different options like some people get very excited by dac and some people are like you know, show me some trees. Um I Also noticed I Guess the kind of final section of of of the app. Um, and I like that various. Um these kind 3 steps. It’s like what what are your activity Your overall um overview The last one is discover and seems to have you know some specific kind of action items that. Yeah I Presume is kind of custom to the individual. Um that they can take to have a more kind of sustainable kind of Lifestyle. Can you speak to that process. So.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, so we actually almost all of those content pieces are are written all and were written by our science writer and ah there are a few that we’ve reposted under the the rules. That apply for example from Mit and a few others. But for the most part they’re written and curated by our science Writer. Um, and the the process there is just to keep them as short and concise as possible and make them. Ah as as. Um, friendly and not intimidating as possible because obviously I think what we’ve seen a lot of is sort of like guilt or shame-based tactics to get people to reduce their consumption of like you know. Troum based goods or fast fashion but the reality is is like people are still going to travel. They’re still going to drive. They’re still going to buy things online. So Why not show them maybe better ways to do those things without telling them that they shouldn’t do them or making them feel. Bad about doing them. So if you notice like the themes in most of those pieces of content are mostly like how to do things more efficiently as opposed to you know don’t fly or um, don’t use energy at home during these hours like we’re not. Know That’s not realistic for a lot of people. So yeah, just generally we try to be informative give people information that they can act on and as best as possible, not alienate people because I think it can be a bit intimidating if you. So reading content about these topics and feel like you’re helpless or feel bad about yourself. So It’s a goal there.

James McWalter

Yeah, that that that makes sense and yeah I think there’s always like a balanceunce between the carrot and the stick as well with with these different things like if you’ve too much stick people have that sense of learned helplessness or you know give up like why bother. It’s too big. A problem. Um. Termly if it’s like oh it’s so easy like that don’t have to do anything at all like that’s not that not true at all and so I think as you said it’s it’s kind of trying to strike that balance the other piece that that you mentioned at the beginning was around this idea of offsetting you know and Nftts from various kind of creators and anything to do with Blockchain has ah. Like definitely had a lot had a lot of articles written about the you know the relative dirtiness from a energy point of view an energy consumption point of view of things that have are kind of based in the blockchain and so I guess we’re the genesis of kind of focusing on. Nfts and crypto come from and what’s the kind of overall approach there in terms of you know what? Aerial ‘s trying to achieve.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, so early on a couple years about two and a half years ago we we’d been playing with and nftts and me and my cofounders had you know, been aware of a lot of the projects in the ecosystem just because. Do follow a lot of you know, different areas of the the software the technology industry. So my cofounders had minted a few as creators like photography and design and nfts and we we realized that there there was. Lot of potential there. Um, and it wasn’t until really the beginning of 2021 the end of Twenty Twenty that mainstream artists started to take on and nfd projects. Um, and so around that same time. This discussion around the environmental impact of of crypto and nfts started to come to the fore forefront. Um, and so and happening was this immense popularity of Nfts rapidly increased like public awareness you know around. What the ethereum network was and also you know in in conjunction with just more volume in trading and mining increased the consumption across the network. So that’s when we started to see that people were you know looking into the energy consumption. Ah, ethereum and Nfts and by chance we had actually been prototyping adding your crypto wallet emissions to our app believe or not so we had been looking at ways to show you your your wallet alongside your your flying your train travel your rideshare. But we tabled it because we thought it maybe didn’t really make sense for that audience but we had a really unique opportunity come along someone that we were close to knew that we we had worked on that wallet analysis and said hey we’re working on some. Really interesting nfd projects. Um, you know, maybe we can help you know help people understand their the footprint of their Nfts and so we built a pretty rudimentary first prototype and then did a couple. Big partnerships out of the gate with like Calvin Harris and Mr Brainwash and some other really really well-known creators and then from there. We just had a lot of inbound interests and started I started reachant to a lot of my.

Andreas Homer

Like my contacts as well who were working on projects and um, you know the idea really was like how can we try to move the space forward and provide like a temporary rage for people who are maybe a little bit more reluctant to enter the space. So from the first day that we started to work on this stuff like we’ve always known that technology would solve these problems with Blockchain Blockchain energy consumption. But we thought you know how can we help your exact app. Give people some numbers and the same in the same spirit as what we do in our app right? where we show you the numbers around your travel and transportation. Can we put an estimate on these nft emissions and your ethereum transactions and so what’s happened you know what’s interesting is I don’t know if you follow. This world at all, but the merge to testnet was successful for ethereum to move over to a proof of stake network and so what was once just a talk of you know, talk of the town around um the sustainability of ethereum. Has actually now moved materially in the right direction and so still unsure when it’ll move from testing that to production. But um, you know it’s a pretty dramatic shift from the power hungry proof of work mechanism that currently power. Powers Ethereum um, and I think a lot of that is due to obviously efficiency issues across like number of transactions per second but also just like the immense demand for a more sustainable ethereum immense demand from artists from creators from. Platforms. Um, and really anyone with a voice in this space because if you’re a minor you’re not going to care one way or another um you know about making noise about this because it’s not in your interest. But if you’re ah a well-known creator who has a platform. Like a famous artist or a brand. Um, it’s in your best interest to talk about it and um, do something in the short term but also like discuss how this can be solved from a technological standpoint. Um.

James McWalter

So it idea then you know let’s say I’m yeah famous djfamous musician I’ve minted you know a thousand nfts of a certain type and that’s produced a certain amount of carbon just because of the energy. Mix used in the production. So some of it was green but let’s say a lot of it was from traditional dirtier sources and would I then offtset the thousand or would anyone a purchasing have the option to offset like how does that kind of dynamic work I guess where it’s responsibility for. You know, greening the Nft lie.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, exactly yeah so it really depends on who the creators but it’s generally whoever is minting and selling the nfts that will take that action and part of it is because they’ll have the most visibility into. Overall number of transactions and really the responsibility for that and they’ll also be able to talk about it and you know at their launch at their Twitter spaces or their discord. It can be a ah talking point that that that they discuss um. So I think you know obviously you don’t get that if you’re an individual buyer and you’re just offsetting your crypto wallet. For example, your ethereum wallet. Um, so yeah I think it gives um you know the creator the opportunity to take that action to talk about it with their fans. Um. And hopefully like I said before keep pushing the space in the right direction which I really I’m very bullish on space from a sustainability standpoint I mean there are several blockchains that are alternatives to ethereum that exist that are very energy efficient like salana. Flow tesos polygon and you can min nfts on those blockchains and it’s ah very very low energy consumption like even to the smaller energy consumption on some of these watchins than doing a Google search. Um.

James McWalter

Emailing a Jpeg which is not too disabler.

Andreas Homer

And yeah, yeah, so these these these alternatives exist and once ethereum you know moves over to the consensus layer. It used to be called ethereum two point zero. But now it’s called the consensus layer I think you know it’ll it’ll Mark a pretty big shift in. Um, the way the network works and the way that all networks going forward ah will work. So I mean if you’re building anything now in blockchain sustainability and energy efficiency is a core pillar and that wasn’t necessarily true. A couple years so things are moving in the right direction.

James McWalter

How do you think about that from I guess a business point of view at Aerial  because I guess the cleaner the blockchain gets the the less of your opportunity I mean obviously better for the planet which is in the end. What we all want but ah yeah I guess you know you’re building for that use case and that use case is getting. Yeah, dramatically cleaner. There might just be less to be offseted in that space.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, so it’s interesting since we we did our first release which was the beginning of last year um we explicitly mentioned ethereum 2.0 and our position has always been that. What we’ve built is a temporary bridge for people who are probably a little skeptical or less likely to want to build particularly on ethereum but that as I said before this problem will be solved by technology. It’s not going to be solved by. Carbon offsets or carbon removal like it has to come from the top down. So I think we’ve been like pretty clear about that. Um, and for us like we’re actually really excited for ethereum to become a a proof of stake network because it. Opens up the door for us to do a lot more on chain which we we plan to do so we actually think like it opens up the door for us to do a lot more in the space and so we’re we’re actually pretty excited about it. Um, and we never viewed it as ah, you know, maybe the longest term part of our business. Um, and we we want. We want it to move in a cleaner direction. It’s better for us. Actually.

James McWalter

That’s that’s that’s great to hear and so then kind of thinking ahead. You know what are those kind of next 12 to 18 month goals for Aerial .

Andreas Homer

Yeah, we have we have a couple big bets that we’re making right now. Um across on the mobile side and on the the web 3 side as well. Um, and I’ll have you know, hopefully more to share there soon. Um, but yeah, we’ve we’ve definitely been pretty good about seeing where people are using our products where there’s traction. Why people like the brand why they feel compelled to share it or talk about it and so we’ve been looking at a lot of those signals across our products. And thinking big like how can we you know have the most impact. How can we scale? Um, and so yeah, we’ve we’ve got a couple things we’re cooking up that um, can’t talk about Jesse yet. But I think will be. Pretty exciting.

James McWalter

Yeah, excellent, no, but I’m sure I’m looking forward to kind of keeping an eye out for that I guess thinking about you know how the company has evolved over the last couple of years I believe you know you raised some capital last year. Um, you know and and and kind of building that team from those that that core. Early group any kind of I guess surprises along the way things that know I believe is the first company you’ve been Ceo of ah you know even mistakes that you were like oh that that was not what I expected as I kind of try to build the company.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, so it’s actually this goes back to Microsoft so I actually I helped build a couple different software startups 1 was a private social network called path that was founded by an early Facebook or. And the cofounder of Napster. Um, the company did all right? You know, ended up selling it to cacao talk which is like a korean equivalent of Whatsapp and I did another company that was a mobile email calendar startup a really small team. We ended up selling the company to Microsoft so I was. Ah, director at Microsoft for four and a half years and I left near the end of 2019 and I raised this little small tiny round to just get things going with with my co-founder and lo and behold dun and. The pandemic hits just a few months later um in March of 2020. So yeah I think when I look at you know challenges along the way. Definitely leaving one of the most stable companies in the world to build something new. Um, you know, particularly in ah, an a nascent space um presented present a lot of challenges. Um. You know, obviously like we were all working together in our office in San Francisco and then overnight our office just closed down and we had to work you know from our apartments and so so yeah I I think you know for from our standpoint like. You know and my cofounder was at Instagram before and um, you know having that sense of stability and then you know leaving and starting something new and pushing through to get a product out. But yeah I’d say you know it’s not a. A direct answer to your question around. You know some of the things that we could have done differently but I it just goes to I guess the point I’m making is like it’s good to learn from your past mistakes and.

James McWalter

So sure.

Andreas Homer

Also at the same time realize that there’s no perfect timing to do anything like starting a company. Yeah, um so I think like you know going back to your question like Hidesight’s 2020 but it’s like oh would I have chosen how to start a company.

James McWalter

Right? Always start.

Andreas Homer

In the worst pandemic in 100 years probably not right? so.

James McWalter

Yeah I mean it’s it so interesting to say that. So I think a lot of it is kind of kind of where you’re situated so as you mentioned you know you’re in the Bay Area you know you’re working at Microsoft and so on and so interpersonal. All physical connections were obviously so important. That time I was actually living in Mexico waiting on my green card and I just had so little access to a certain type of yeah investor and and people who wanted to work on things and then everybody was on a Zoom screen and so nobody cared that I was in Mexico or wherever you were as long as you could you know make a meeting a specific time. Um, you had that access and so. I think depends on the kind of company and the access. So for me, it’s like it probably made it more difficult in the traditional areas where startups flourish but it definitely leveled the playing field for a lot more areas the world as long as they’re they’re willing to kind of work with a time zone difference on ah on a Zoom call.

Andreas Homer

Of course, yeah, no I completely agree. It was just it’s you know you get used to just you know being elbow to elbow early on and just turning to each other and discussing ideas and you kind of lose that you know with not being near each other. Um, so It’s a pretty big challenge and I do agree the the fundraising like you could take 20 meetings in two days if you wanted to all over Zoom which wasn’t a case in the past where you had to do a lot of things in person and meet people for coffee or for lunch or whatnot. So. I do think the velocity of meeting people for fundraising also wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. You could do a lot more in a shorter period of time. There are some good things that came out of it but definitely difficult to adjust to particularly you know. So early on in the company building process to have to just you know disband from our office and our routine and you know have to go on Google meets and hope for the best.

James McWalter

Right? that those super early days. There’s they’re so fragile as well. Right? like you’re trying to summon something out of nothing. Um, and so yeah, not like that that level of disruption. Ah you know is is is absolutely super high. Um. Andreas This is this’s been great for really enjoyed the conversation before we finish up is there anything I should have asked you about but did not.

Andreas Homer

Um, I think we covered a ah lot of cool topics I I guess 1 thing that we didn’t talk about which I um, you know wouldn’t mind touching on is pertains. Ah, you know the idea of individual responsibility with. Regard to climate change and it’s a question that I get asked a lot and you know by friends and like people in the space like you know why should an individual care when the biggest polluters in the world are. You know oil and gas companies and big corporations and I think what’s interesting there is especially in light of you know the last couple years which has shown that. Big companies and governments alone can’t solve our most pressstling problems. So right? Like if you look at the last couple years like keeping distance from people and getting revaccinated and you know, avoiding crowded places. Um, those are like the only ways to actually. You know temper the aggressive spread of a really big global problem. So you know we as individuals had to decide collectively that that was something we were going to do to limit the severity of this problem and so I think that climate is actually. Quite similar because you have this problem that affects everybody regardless of where you are in the world in different ways of course. But um, you know it’s pretty convenient to just point to governments and big companies as the culprits and the enemies here which I’m not arguing with right. Oil and gas is by far the biggest fluter on the planet. But at the same time. Why do these oil and gas companies keep drilling and keep producing fossil fuels because there’s the demand for it. There is a man for it across. Ah. Lot of different sectors transportation is 1 whether it’s flying or the cars that we decide to buy. Ah if you look at fast fashion right? like that’s ah, a lot of those materials that are used in fast fashion or petroleum-based materials. There’s a lot of plastic nylons polyesters right. Are derived from fossil fuels. So I think and our ah you know societal obsession with plastic in general. Um, but yeah, if you look at just across the the spectrum of consumption. You know we are driving.

Andreas Homer

Demand for Fossil Fuels for for petroleum-based products and so at what point do we yes hold corporations responsible. But also you know, read the room and realize that we’re contributing to a lot of this demand. Um. And I think Consumers Underestimate sometimes like how powerful we can be um because you know sometimes I think it’s easy to think that you know obviously ah you know your your your voices and counter action actions don’t Count. Um, but. Thinking change pretty quickly and I think you know there is a lot of greenwashing going on. But I think a lot of companies are realizing that consumers are caring more about sustainability and reducing reliance on on Fossil Fuels and um. Dirty Materials petroleum based materials and so hopefully you know Collectively we can ah apply more pressure on that on that system and reduce some demand for for for Fossil Fuels. So anyway, that’s just a.

James McWalter

Yeah, yeah, I’ve ah but yeah, have a couple couple thoughts on that. Um, and generally I actually do agree with you I mean the way I think about how how do you kind of enact dramatic climate you know change mitigation so we have these large levers and so government is a lever. Um.

Andreas Homer

High level.

James McWalter

You know, corporate action is a lever you know activism is a lever and I would say those are the 3 big levers today with consumer behavior this like distant for it and 1 of the I guess the dirty truths of environmentalism today is that climate change mitigation is very much an elite driven like phenomenon right now like it is. Generally in the and the fine elites. Yeah, however, want to wish but educational profile economic profile those kind of things. The people who are working most actively and making the most kind of active change to climate are generally people who fall into that kind of elite level booke. Um, on the other hand. 1 of the things I think from a yeah, just a human psychology point of view if you take ownership and action. You will feel better about the problem and that is just regardless of nearly any kind of phenomenon out there right? Um, you know there’s a but pothole on your on your local road right? um. You know you can take ownership fill the pothole and then you can take action. You know bug your local like counselor or whoever the government official response for that until like they commit to never doing that again or making sure that those proper upkeep and that’s a lotsh more powerful than kind of just like complaining to your you know spouse or friend. Oh they never fill up the potholes right. And so and even if it’s unaffective and effective. It’s like oh I keep complaining about this pottle not being filled and nobody’s filling it at least if you’re complaining and and doing activism and and working on the actual right levers you are actually making some progress you are probably starting to connect with people who have common you know, common cause on those cotopics and so I think. But on the individual level even if it doesn’t necessarily have a massive effect and even if it is true that the largest polluters you know one person’s change is not going to necessarily affect the largest. Yeah relative to the larger producers changing it still gives you ownership in a way that like. Not just the despairing are on climate right? like the only people I who are like incredibly hopeful of climate are the people who are actively working on climate like mitigation right? All those people are like super optimistic even when they’re pessimistic, they’re like for. We’re going to figure something out you know and that’s mainly because they take an ownership and action and even if it’s in some areas like a kind of. Yeah, maybe borderline and pointless endeavor. There’s still such kind of psychological power in taking those steps yourself.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, definitely yeah and it’s it’s also interesting to see like you’re right regarding the that sort of top 1 you know to 2% who globally right? who or who who care about these topics. Um, those people also omit more exponentially more emissions per year than someone who sorry, there’s a fighter jet flying right over my house right now. Ah yeah, is it.

Andreas Homer

Very loud. Um, but yeah, wealthier people in developed countries tend to emit exponentially more than people in in developing countries. So it’s it’s ah it’s shitty because a lot of. Developing countries will be hit a lot harder than developed countries. Um, and even though they’re not emitting as much carbon per per individual typically um, but but yeah, it’s it’s I have to look up the the statistics again, but there are some some. Pretty good studies on emissions per capita of you know, wealthier societies and wealthier upper tranches of countries and it’s not great. Um, so yeah I guess it’s good that those individuals you know. Care a lot because they are emitting a lot more per capita. Um, but yeah I do agree. It’s also tough because 1 of the symbols of economic development is the ability to harness energy like if you can that’s. But it’s led to so much of our progress and development is our ability to harness energy and you know if you look at a lot of developing parts of the world. Not all but some of them are just trying to harness energy. They’re trying to progress they’re trying to. You know, catch up. Um, and you know they might not have the cleanest sources of energy to to use. Um, so that that’s another you know topic it makes it tricky. Because obviously the hierarchy of needs in some of those places is very very different than ours right.

James McWalter

I no absolutely um and this it was was good chatting. Um, best liquid Aerial  and thanks for your time.

Andreas Homer

Yeah, thank you so much. And yeah, let me know if you ever get out to the Bay area yet. Okay, thanks.

James McWalter

Absolutely um I’ll be there next month

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