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New ways to visualize carbon removal

January 29, 2022

Getting to gigaton scale carbon removal requires a million fold improvement in our ability to pull carbon dioxide from the sky. That's a pretty abstract concept. One part of getting there means explaning carbon removal to a ton of new people so they can unleash their own superpowers. Visualizing carbon dioxide removal solutions is a key part of making that happen.

This is a note about visualizing new carbon removal concepts, and what visuals we need to get to gigaton scale carbon removal. And the video version of this note includes a bunch of visuals!

For starters, here's three examples of visualizing carbon dioxide:

  1. Negative's Kickstarter video: red balloons make carbon dixoide fun - pop one and pull carbon out of the air! Incredible work by the video team at Friends 'n Allies.
  2. PBS "Can We Cool the Planet": embedded animations show Carbon Upcycling's process that clicks while you're watching TV.
  3. Carbon XPRIZE Product Showcase: A world-class team of designers, engineers, and I worked on yoga mats, bathroom tiles, barbells, and slippers. All prototyped using real carbon dioxide based materials made by finalists for the $10M prize. The CarbonCure barbell is shown held by photographer Eric Haines with a badass sleeve tattoo. A few years later these concepts are becoming real products.

These visualizations are helpful for a broad audience of carbon removal, bringing in millions of new people.

Visualizing is also important inside the industry. Imagine you've got a new idea for a solution, but it gets stuck in your 10 slide pitch deck and stalls out. I've seen a lot of pitches like this. Good visuals help attract teammates, investors, and customers to your vision. A good visual for your concept can make or break and early company.

Whethere it's to build your team or inspire a generation, visualizing your work is key.

Looking ahead for 2022, I want to highlight a few people that are that are leading the charge in visualizing carbon removal:

  1. Marcus Sonoma's "Carbon Removal - Our Trillion Dollar Horizon?" - this is the most recent example that dropped last week. Marcus posted this great video on AirMiners Slack that covered all the different concepts of carbon removal. The color scheme is fresh. The design design language is modular. For those of you following carbon removal closely, this is a great video to share with friends to explain what the heck you're working on. And it can even help you re-think your own framing on carbon removal.
  2. Aarati Asundi's Direct Air Capture animation - Aarti released an series of "whiteboard diagram" style animations to explain complex scientific processes including Direct Air Capture. These are created to help investors understand what startups are making so they can get onboard!
  3. Lastly, this is more of a "coming soon", but I've heard from two teams at least working on new documentaries in carbon removal. Fabian Nilsson is leading a new documentary project called The Big SuckSteve Henderson is also working an up and coming documentary project. 

In 2022 we need on the order of a million new people to learn about carbon removal. Visualizers like Marcus, Aarati, Steve, and Fabian are leading the way. Their work will unlock new customers teammates to join this industry.

What are your favorite visuals in carbon removal? I want to make sure everyone sees the best examples. I've got a thread here on AirMiners Slack, reply there or to this email.


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