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April 21, 2023

ClimateTech Will Eat the World — Friday Thoughts

ClimateTech Will Eat the World — Friday Thoughts

More than a decade ago, Marc Andreessen famously claimed “Software is Eating the World,” and he was right. We now live in a virtual world where software touches nearly every aspect of our lives. However, I believe we’ve now entered a new phase: ClimateTech will Eat the World. If it doesn’t, we might not survive.

Bad Energy

Fossil fuels still account for over 80% of global energy production, and their continued use contributes to climate change. Nuclear power, the only current, scalable alternative, is politically unpalatable. To thrive in this century, we need massive innovation in energy generation, storage, and waste handling.

Controlled Components

As the world becomes increasingly virtual, we still rely on physical devices like phones, tablets and laptops; electric cars still need batteries. Currently, China controls more than 80% of the critical rare earth metals supply required for these devices. As demand increases, a totalitarian state dominating supply will have severe consequences. To maintain the pace of global innovation, we must find new, sustainable sources of these elements and drastically improve recycling.

Climate Repair

At present, we have approximately ~420ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in the atmosphere. Before 1950, those levels hadn’t exceeded 300 ppm for nearly 3 Million years. This is a bad situation and we need to reverse some of the damage by capturing and reducing atmospheric CO2. Current solutions are costly and small-scale, so substantial progress must be made in the coming years.

The good news is that the companies building solutions to these enormous challenges will potentially be the first to hit $100 trillion market caps, with all the rewards that come with such success.

Let me know your thoughts!

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Ash Rust

Ash Rust

Managing Partner, Sterling Road

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