Home > Archives

More mistakes in carbon removal

October 29, 2020

That message I sent out on mistakes got a lot of responses.

Truth: learning from mistakes is easier said than done. So how do you navigate that?

Here's my approach and here's the video version..

So I feel like an idiot...often when I'm doing something new, trying something different. I was just shipping a package internationally, and talking to someone who really knows their stuff. There is a whole extra set of requirements I needed to meet. One of those moments where I felt like "how the heck didn't I know this already".

It's at those moments I try to to pause and remind myself that when I'm doing something I've never done before, being lost sometimes is table stakes. The solution is talk to experts, get feedback, and talk to other people who have never done it before either but might have some insight.

I see this pretty often in carbon removal, people getting stuck because they don't have it all figured out. I was just talking to a friend of mine last week who doesn't feel like they knows everything they need to about carbon removal. Intimidated by people who seem to really know what's going on. This person felt like they were behind the pack...or even worse on the sidelines due to lack of expertise.

My sense is people like that are way further to the front than they think. Nobody really has this figured out, they're all figuring it out as we go. The ones that feel like behind, uncomfortable, are the ones really leading the charge.

But look, I get it. The story that you're behind the pack is almost comforting, isn't it? It implies that there is "an answer", just like in school. All these other people figured it out already figured it out, and if you just figured it out too it would all be ok.

The reality is you're basically at the front. No one has figured it out. There might not even be an answer. Get uncomfortable, nobody knows this completely, let's try it. That's table stakes for working in carbon removal.

INTRODUCING THE CARBY AWARDS: Self reflection is a tough skill. One thing we're doing with AirMiners is add a jolt of external recognition to the carbon removal industry. We're hosting the first ever "Carby Awards", the Oscars for air miners. We're going to be recognizing the people in air mining leading the way, some in public, some behind the scenes.

The closing date is sometime soon...so do a bunch of great stuff before then. May the Carby judges (TBD) look kindly upon you.

So get out there, try things, and share what works and doesn't work.


I write a weekly newsletter highlighting the AirMiners community and carbon removal industry.

Every week you’ll get insider perspective and community stories from the cutting edge of carbon removal.

The purpose of this newsletter is to accelerate the carbontech industry by speeding up connections, progress, and coordination. It's ideal for people working in carbon removal already, or beginners who want one individual's perspective. People curious about carbon removal are encouraged to sign up and see what sticks.

Subscribe here to get the next weekly update as soon it comes out.

Subscribe | Archive of 100+ Newsletters