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- Our Climate Stories, Our Motivations
Our Climate Stories, Our Motivations22 January 2023
Why is the Climate Crisis Important to Our Team?
Many of us, just like you, had a moment where we realized that climate change would be the problem that defined a generation. A new, wicked problem with global consequences, expansive social impacts, and no clear solution in sight. The Raise Green team wants to share our experiences with you, our reasons for joining the fight against the climate crisis.
What motivated you to turn your career towards climate? When did you realize how serious of a problem climate change would be?
Aaron R — Investor Marketplace Associate
High School. Media, teachers, independent research. I think climate is a massive problem, a generation-defining problem. I don't know what would be a better use of my time and energy. I have thought about whether or not to have a family given the possible consequences of climate change. The severity of the problem cannot be understated, which is why I joined Raise Green. I wanted to be part of an organization that was out there supporting those at the front lines, those really making a difference.
Tyler O— Head of Projects
After discovering the Rome Club's Limits to Growth, reading Jared Diamond's Collapse, and the IPCC report in college. Understanding the science and the clear significance in history, perhaps combined with a philosophical/scientific view of humans as just another animal. I decided to commit my career to it because renewable energy sits at the intersection of technology and socioeconomics, my intellectual interests in college. Working to address an existential threat motivates me, as it puts you in a position to confront the status quo and create meaningful change.
Laura P — Head of Business Development
Early during undergrad in engineering school I went to a talk where the speaker asserted the top 10 biggest problems that society would face for the next 50 years, and number 1 was ENERGY - energy poverty, energy access, clean energy, energy politics - it's tied to everything! I knew climate was a problem, but that was when the nexus of energy, climate, water, and social impact really clicked for me. I knew I wanted social & environmental impact to be core to my career so it seemed like a no-brainer to tackle the number 1 problem! Since then I have constantly pursued ways to help out in energy and climate.
Sophie N — Investor Marketplace Associate
The first time I heard about climate change was in my 7th grade science class — I remember drawing pictures of holes in the ozone layer on big poster boards with my classmates. But I think the moment that I really got freaked out was watching The Day After Tomorrow - while that's not really how it's going to play out, the apocalyptic message totally got to me. I've spent a lot of time really scared of that apocalyptic moment, but in reality, it's a much slower and harder to discern process, and that's kind of what makes it hard to deal with. There are a lot of small choices we're having to make to prevent a lot of really large outcomes. But ultimately, I want to have kids, and I want them to not be choking on wildfire smoke.
Krystel L — Marketing Intern
Ever since I was a kid, I felt a need to take care of "Mother Earth" in my own little ways. It was sort of an innate thing — I don't know also how that happened, especially since I grew up in a country where climate change was never a priority. Back home, I always noticed little things: how my hair smelled like smoke whenever I rode my vespa, how we would always have typhoons and they seem to get more severe each year, or the most visible of all — the amount of plastic waste scattered throughout towns. I became consciously aware of it after working at an agriculture company, as agriculture is a huge factor in climate change. I had to learn how to balance growth while minimizing the environmental impacts of agriculture. That experience has led to an intense desire to change the way we produce food, how we use food, and how we relate to our food systems.
Lauren H — Executive Assistant
I first took AP Environmental Studies in high school, thinking I'd learn how to save the trees, and ended up being exposed to how much more complicated it was than just using less paper. I knew immediately that's what I wanted to go to college for, where I learned how even MORE complicated it all is- government, policy, social issues— all intertwined. I graduated overwhelmed and disheartened. When Trump was in office f*cking it up all the still-too-slow progress we made in the Obama administration, I was enraged enough to realize it was going to take regular people like me to step up and do something about it. Eventually I found Raise Green and their "tired of waiting" attitude drew me right in, the rest is history.
Ben D— Integrated Marketing Manager
I wasn’t forced to come to terms with the consequences of climate change until they appeared in my own life. While on a mountaineering trip in the Andes, our route was made much more dangerous due to the slow death of a glacier, the splintering out of web-like cracks in the ice as the glacier melted. The pain in the voices of the local guides made it clear— this was not supposed to happen. My world revolves around the outdoors, and for the first time, I couldn’t immediately solve the issue at hand; climate change is much more difficult to tackle than cleaning a stream, picking up litter, or repairing a trail. After that trip, I knew I had to dedicate my professional life to protecting that which has given me so much.
Franz H— Founder and CEO
The hills of Northern California were my first inspiration, and many of the hikes that my parents took me and my brother and sister on as kids were spellbinding. I learned about ecology, conservation and pollution in grade school. That love of nature has stayed with me from a young age. The first time I became fully aware of what climate change was and why it was such a serious problem was during my freshman year of college at UC Santa Cruz at Rachel Carson College's core course on Environment and Society. Acting on it was an imperative as soon as I understood how drastic the implications will be. The thing that motivates me above all else about the climate crisis is that things are going to get worse before they get better. We know that the warming we’re experiencing now was baked in 20 years ago, and emissions have continued to go up, but at the same time, we have all of the proven and commercialized technologies we need to reduce emissions to near zero today. It comes down to how we collectively decide what happens next. It’s truly the fight of our lives, and it’s the people of this epoch that will decide the fate of future generations, it’s on us to give them a fighting chance.
Ethan R — Financial Analyst Intern
Being good stewards of our environment is something I've always been interested in. But it wasn't until high school when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast that I had my first experience with a serious weather event attributed to climate change. When I was an undergrad studying urban planning and later working in affordable housing I realized none of the infrastructure we were working to build would matter in a future devastated by climate change and quickly came to realize we need climate resilient infrastructure.
Jackie L - Founder and Chief Investment Officer
For about a decade, I’ve tracked the reports on climate change and become increasingly worried about its impact on biodiversity. In 2017, while working at Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth, I saw firsthand the growing interest from investors in taking action with their money, and the challenges in creating investment strategies with verifiable and direct impacts. My anxiety about climate and a desire to roll up my sleeves intersected with a potential wave of capital to impact investing — and then I met Raise Green. Raise Green is my solution. I bring my 20+ years of capital markets experience, working with institutional and retail investors, to help shape the offerings on Raise Green that raise capital for smaller scale climate action projects and available to just about anyone to invest.
Matthew M - Founder and Chief Operations Officers
I realized climate change was a serious problem standing on the Siberian Tundra. I was there studying the release of methane from thawing permafrost on a research expedition with the Woods Hole Research center. As I stood looking at the lakes pooling in the permafrost, with methane bubbling out so thick you could light it with a lighter, I realized that I could spend 30 years publishing 30 papers that maybe 30 people would read, and that would only result in a 0.03% change to the uncertainty of the climate prediction models for 2100. It's not the time for science (which breaks my heart because I love it). It's time for action. It's about deploying all the technologically available solutions as quickly as possible. We have everything we need to make it happen but it's not just a business or sector opportunity. Climate change is our Vietnam War. Nobody wants to fight this war. Everyone is drafted. Some dodge to Canada, some protest, and some fight. I want to go down swinging, or better yet, triumph towards a new version and vision of what the world can be.
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