Featuring Carbon Almanac Contributors Anna Cosentino, Lisa Blatt & Michel Porro.
The collaborators presented in this episode come from the Netherlands, New York and San Francisco. Their backgrounds stretch from lawyer and designer, business founder and therapist to - fintech and podcast production.
With so many tools on their belt, their contributions to the Carbon Almanac span a wide variety of areas as well: research and writing articles, the resource section, editing and they were all major contributors to - the Photo PDF. “Post Almanac”, they keep contributing virtually everywhere: producing podcasts, email drip, marketing and much more.
In this episode, we talk about climate role models, what drove them to join this project, their favourite contributions to the Almanac and what impact they think that the Almanac will have on the adults of the future. The three also share their insights on working with people from 90 different countries, on connections they have made in the community and how they plan to bring the energy of working on this project to the outside world.
For more information on the project, and to pre-order your copy visit thecarbonalmanac.org
This podcast is a part of the Carbon Almanac Podcast Network.
Production Team: Jennifer Myers Chua, Sam Schuffenecker, Leekei Tang, Tania Marien, Barbara Orsi
Cover Art: Ray Ong
Copyright © 2022 The Carbon Almanac Network
About the Carbon Almanac Collective: What happens when regular people work together to create massive, meaningful change on a global scale? Welcome to the carbon Almanac collective. A podcast where the volunteers who created the Carbon Almanac share the insights and aha moments they had while collaborating on this landmark project to help fight the climate crisis.
Hosted by Jennifer Myers Chua, and featuring the voices of Carbon Almanac Contributors. Reminding you that it's not too late to join in on the conversation.
[00:01:11] Michel: I am Michel Porro I'm from the Netherlands and I wrote a bunch of articles from the beginning until the end. I was involved in the fact checking in the resources. That lasted about two weeks to make sure that all the facts are connected to sources. And I was assisting a little bit Lisa with the photo PDF, not too much. And now I'm just diving in just about every, anywhere I can do something.[:
[00:02:03] Jennifer: I'd love to hear why you joined the Carbon Almanac project.[:
[00:02:15] Anna: I really, liked the call from the email and I was intrigued by it. And at first I thought, okay, well, you know, I could dedicate, I dunno, four to eight hours a week. Brilliant. And the next thing I know is that I've probably dedicate 80 hours a week to it because it is just incredible. I first joined because I thought I could help. I could offer my service to it and, and help getting it together. And the more I found out about it, the more I wanted to really be in it.[:
[00:02:53] Michel: Yeah, I, I saw Seth's invitation and it lasted five seconds to jump on it. I've been involved in environmental issues all my life. And to be able to participate in a project with Seth on this scale, although I didn't know what scale it would be. At the time in the beginning of October, it was just the, the opportunity alone to be able to work with Seth and a big team in an environmental project that that was not to be missed. Was a no brainer completely.[:
[00:03:34] Anna: Well, I have a couple of heroes that are actually friends that have always. Has been in that space. First as lawyers and activists and eventually one is involved was at the Aspen Institute, went on to had a foundation in New York. So we've always had this kind of, I always saw them as they would be the ones that save us. And it's quite nice to have that connection with people to be aware of the fights that they are fighting on a daily basis while we go on with our own things.[:
[00:05:10] Jennifer: Lisa, do you have any climate change heroes?[:
[00:05:35] Jennifer: And all three of you contributed quite a bit to the Almanac. And I had the pleasure of seeing your faces coming up in conversations constantly throughout, but was there one contribution that you made to this project that you feel the most proud of?[:
[00:06:55] Jennifer: Yeah, the photos are really powerful. Lisa, there have been a part of the Almanac, like a contribution that you've made here that you've really feel like you're really proud of, of?[:
[00:07:51] Michel: I think what has been very, good to experience is that we can all learn something by just starting. Like, for instance, I wrote an article, which seems very simple. It's what do I get for one kilogram of CO2, but it requires a lot of research. And in the beginning, I didn't know where to start. So I just begin. And in the end you get, you get, a spread in the Almanac, which is very informative and based on facts with the good sources. And it looks like a really good I'm proud of that article. So that's like a, a material thing. And then I'm very proud of the fact that I have been able to, secure a Dutch publisher within, within two days really. What I learned is that it's not all that difficult. You just have to do it. And that counts for that's the same counts for all the things you, we actually do, not everything succeeds in one go but you have to begin to be able to have a shot.[:
[00:09:08] Jennifer: Yeah. And that spread, that you've referred to the one kg spread. I think we were calling it is visually beautiful. We had an illustrator Ray Ong jump in and do some custom illustrations. And I think it's probably my favorite spread in the Almanac itself.[:
[00:09:26] Jennifer: It's amazing she is so talented.
I just, I really enjoyed working on that spread with her and going back and forth and trying to figure out what we could use to represent your data.
But I think that the photo PDF is also just so visually impactful and I'm really looking forward to people, getting a chance to see that. was there one of those photos when you guys were working on that document, that really stands out in your mind, like, is there one of those photos that you just will never forget?[:
[00:10:16] Anna: Yeah, I, I love the one also of LA with such a clear view of the mountains behind it. I, you kind of never really see LA that way. it was just shocking. And I think, you know, also realizing that that happened while COVID was happening. So while we were going through something so devastating, we had these incredible results of clean air and nature coming back to, to cities. And it was just a bizarre contradiction that, that photo broke for me.[:
[00:11:33] Jennifer: Mm-hmm[:
[00:11:44] Anna: It was a really great effort. I mean, I think that's the beauty of something like that is when you're so committed and involved. It's a pleasure to actually do it. You dedicate time to it. If you have it because you want to go back to it, you want to see it happen. Which in general, I think has been my experience.
And I think the experience of many with the Almanac. It's like, how can I help? Where can I go next? Who's needing something. And I find for me, it was also a lesson of letting go of some things and not consider them mine. So that's why, when you ask me, what exactly is like one contribution, I'm proud of a lot of them, but they might not necessarily be mine a hundred percent, which is fine.
I mean, sometimes I have to like blow off my own steam and then go back, but it didn't matter. It's like, this is not. My project it's ours.[:
That is something that can go outside the Almanac into the way of being of how people deal with the climate[:
And with 1900 of us, or so having signed up at some point to work on the Almanac, not everyone stuck through with it, but there's been a lot of connections made. And when you think about the connections made either with you and another collaborator or with us and the outside world as a collective. Like I'm thinking immediately of our quest to get a copy of the book to Greta, for example, or it could just be your working with one other person within our community. Has there been one connection that has you feeling the sense of possibility?[:
I love the podcasting community because I'm a newbie podcaster. So I'm learning from, from every body there. And I'm seeing I'm really interested in developing the post book, like seeing what we can do first of all, for the book and the movement itself.[:
[00:14:45] Lisa: I can't really choose one person. I just feel like all the collaboration were really meaningful and I feel like people gave in the best way that they could. And so just grateful to be a part of it and to help lead it in certain areas and, you know, you always learn from everyone else. So it's been a great experience.[:
to, uh, a couple, uh, other collaborators and one of them is Lynn. She has always been so, intensely, intelligent and, and friendly and clever and ethical about everything, about the fact about the storylines. I was so happy to have been able to learn from her so much. And then there was Scott, another guy that, he's just unstoppable this guy. And there are, there are so many, many more people that, the list goes on.
That I can see as, as examples and each in a different way of how to interact, with other people on a platform like this. And the general feeling is helping others and not oneself is the theme.[:
[00:16:17] Michel: I'm so fortunate that there's a Dutch publisher. Who's really enthusiastic and the translation is almost done, or, well on the way. And he has a small but active marketing team. So I have a, that's a gift I can in my country. I can sort of copy paste, what I've learned in the Almanac team and the international team and help promote the book and create awareness in my country. So that's, one of the things that I will be doing, of course,[:
[00:16:51] Anna: Well, in a way, I'm hoping to see the, the Italian version as well, because you know, it gives me the same opportunity that Michel just talked about to kind of continue. I have always like the participating in, in some form of activism. So I'm trying to find a way to, to continue participating the best way that I can be.[:
[00:17:27] Lisa: I guess I'm gonna continue energy that I had towards these issues. Um, someone asked me to speak in, in a group and when I had told her what we are working on. So she wants me to speak and there's gonna be a lot of students in the audience.[:
[00:17:56] Anna: Yeah, actually, I was talking to them as well, because I, I know that they want to try and, um, try some of the exercises or the plans that they have for students. And I will help them if I can connect to a couple of schools or teach here that are interested in, in experimenting and bringing the curriculum in those schools.[:
[00:18:45] Anna: I, I think an actual active response to it because we all have books and we all buy them and read them or not read them and have them there. But the whole point, I think now the Almanac is beyond that. Right. It's trying to get. Action going a collective action. And I feel that there are a few things that come from it.ready, as you said, you know,:
That's a lot of people, it's not a small number. So already just with the if they were to act from what we are giving them if this is a tool. I think the possibility to grow is quite exponentially is pretty big.[:
[00:20:44] Lisa: I feel like there's a lot of people that get what we're trying to do and a lot of people care and I think it's always good to focus on hope in can we do versus the opposite. So I guess in some ways I wasn't surprised cuz I just have expectations that if you make the effort, things will happen. And I always believe in educating. So like, even though I think we started education and resources a little bit, like it's amazing how it's grown into something huge that I think can make a big difference. And I think that's the really important thing with this Almanac. It's giving people tools wherever they are to help them make the movement even bigger and to take action.
That's gonna make a difference.[:
Do you have any thoughts about what that experience has been like?[:
Such interesting, unique perspectives, even though we all care about the same issues. So I think it's fantastic. Like I think the more, the better, because everyone has their own unique experience.[:
And it's like, we're all in different places. We're all, you know, in different time zones. But at the same time, we've all connected through this. I think it's amazing.[:
[00:23:08] Anna: Yes. Yeah.[:
[00:23:11] Anna: But in the end, what Lisa just said is really important. Like it's the fact that everybody brings a different experience to the same subject. So the points of view are completely different. They come from a different place and, and a, yeah, that makes a difference perhaps in the results that are then in the Almanac.[:
[00:23:37] Michel: Um, what, what I think is, is, is. Important is that, like Lisa said we're from, and, and, and all of you, like we're from all over the world. That's climate change, is a universally experienced fear or problem. it's not it's it's we, it's not me. It's all of us. We all feel this problem. And the good thing about the Almanac is that we're all working as volunteer. And we find it so important that we give our time for months on end to work on this, but it doesn't feel like work because it's, it is important. It's like we, we have to, we have to do it because it's, it's. How, how can I say it's not something we have to do because someone tells us we have to do it, but if we don't, the next generation will have to fix it, what we have caused. And, but the last generation has caused. So it's a universal, um, universally driven energy. I think that's behind this. And that's also why the Almanac will be a huge success in terms of impact, I think.[:
[00:25:11] Anna: Well, I think that we are seeing actually a very alert and motivated youth movement right now. And I, in fact, Fridays is going to be Fridays for future a global cl climate strike. And. I am actually happy to see that there is a movement going, it needs all our support. what we are doing is, is really not personal. It has to be more generous than personal. Otherwise it's not going and to go anywhere.[:
[00:25:56] Michel: I think so. I I'm sure it is. We created this it's us and our parents and, and their parents, but nobody did that because they wanted to cause any harm. They, we just did it because yeah, it was allowed and we didn't think about it. And now only we begin to think about it and because it's all coming together, like the kids are becoming aware. And they cannot do it alone. The, they still need us to help them. So it's, it's the kids who are the greatest and millions of other children
and us, we are doing it together to inform it's just the there's the, the knowledge is here, but we need to repeat it.[:
[00:26:59] Jennifer: yeah.[:
I mean, through her Through her activism. I mean, seriously. And, and I think that that made the change. That was the moment where things started changing, where kids started getting, you know, have found somebody representing them and therefore able to, to be more involved. I think the, all the tools that we are giving for the kids for the educators are going to be. As important as the whole Almanac actually.[:
[00:28:14] Jennifer: Absolutely.[:
But in a, in with a different behavior.[:
[00:28:37] Michel: absolutely.[:
[00:28:53] Michel: Yep.[:
[00:29:05] Jennifer: And has this experience changed any of you? Do any of you feel profoundly changed by what's gone on here?[:
and and do it and deliver it. You don't get many chances like that. was the great thing.[:
[00:30:26] Michel: well, of course I learned an incredible amount of information on. If you write an article, you just have to look up everything and make sure you understand what you're talking about. So I learned a lot about different topics. That's the intrinsic part of it. Then I learned that I can do much more than I thought I could.[:
[00:30:50] Michel: Like getting a publisher, getting people to do stuff companies to do stuff. And it's not, it's made easier because this whole project is so credible and important. And then that's interesting. I, I just started changing my own lifestyle. Just buy less stuff I haven't bought it single thing since I started, since I started working on this project and we don't need to be, to continue to buy stuff to be happy. And that's another thing, one thing that really helps me a lot. We, I used to think I'm too small to make a difference. So you don't. If you do a lot of small things not, or you do them, it has an effect. And that's what I, uh, started to implement from the beginning of this project.[:
[00:31:47] Michel: Yeah.[:
[00:31:49] Anna: Yeah, I'm not sure about there were definitely, conversations about that and also about, you know, the power of one person and how you build, um, a collective action. I don't know. I mean, we definitely talked about it.[:
I live by example.[:
[00:32:07] Lisa: Yeah.
And I definitely defended that idea when people are jumping all over it, because I felt like it is important that people feel empowered to do something. And that those small things become the big things. At least that. How I think.[:
[00:32:39] Michel: I can give an example. I stopped using my car do everything within a 30 or 40 mile 30 kilo radius. I do by bicycle. And now some of my friends are doing the same. So just because not because I tell them to, but because I do and I think, oh, that's a, that's a neat idea to change behavior by showing that it's possible.[:
[00:33:06] Michel: Yeah. and it's fun and they think it's fun too. So there's two and then there's three and then there's 10.[: