$25,000 prizes for climate projects & help debunking deniers

by | January 21, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I got another wave of deep relief this week. Possibly the most powerful person in the world has just changed from someone who was actively making the climate crisis worse, to someone who is working to rapidly accelerate climate solutions.

That is a huge step in the right direction. And I think it’s worth celebrating (best to appreciate our wins and find joy where we can right?).

I’ve got two things for you this week!

New podcast episode & $250,000 for climate solution initiatives.

In the latest Crowdsourcing Sustainability Podcast episode, I spoke with the Keeling Curve Prize’s Executive Director, Jackie Francis about her story, this year’s prize, and all the different ways the KCP is helping climate organizations.


  • 0 – 1:40: Intro
  • 1:40 – Important moments in Jackie’s climate journey
  • 3:20: What inspired you to start the Keeling Curve Prize?
  • 5:45: What is the Keeling Curve? And how does the KCP work?
  • 9:25: How do you evaluate projects/applications?
  • 12:00: Who is eligible? How else are applicants supported?
  • 16:30: Who are the orgs who have won the prize in the past and what are they doing?
  • 20:20: Benefits of joining the Troposphere (KCP network)
  • 23:20: Jackie’s top 3 book recommendations
  • 25:15: Key takeaways & final thoughts
  • 27:40: Call to action: Apply for the prize and/or tell others about it!

More info on the prize (for you or to share with people you know working in climate!)

The 2021 Keeling Curve Prizes will award $25,000 apiece to 10 winning projects that will help bend the Keeling Curve (CO2 in the atmosphere) down the fastest.

Applications will be accepted through February 10th.

There will be two winners for each of the following categories:

  • Capture & Utilization
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Social & Cultural Pathways
  • Transport & Mobility

So, if you or someone you know is working on a truly impactful solution to help stop global warming (and could use $25,000), apply online or spread the good word!

How to debunk a couple of those (loud) climate denier/delayer arguments.

I typically try not to engage with climate deniers commenting on my articles. I think it’s a better use of time to focus on the people who can be moved, inspiring those who already care to take action, and empowering people already acting to do so more effectively. Because there are more than enough people who are already concerned or alarmed (54%) to make the transformation that is needed (only 18% are doubtful or dismissive now in the US).

But we all hear their arguments – the same ones we’ve been hearing for decades.

And I do think ending these harmful beliefs once and for all is important. So I thought it might be useful to share a couple quick hitters you can have in your back pocket in case you hear these myths come up.

The “climate change is natural” or “humans are only a small part of the warming” arguments

Only 57% of adults in the US think “global warming is mostly caused by human activities”.

But the fact is that humans have caused just about 100% of the 1.1°C of global warming we’ve seen since 1850.

Other studies have shown this in the last couple of years, but here’s the most recent one that came out this week.

And here’s a useful 1-minute video that compares all the human vs. natural impacts on temperature.


Another one that comes up a lot is the…

Sometimes it can be hard to remain calm if you find yourself in one of these conversations (trust me, I know). But keep in mind it’d be counterproductive if you accidentally ended up being mean or shaming someone. Better to be patient and try to find common ground/values first. Or say your bit and move on.

If I do engage a denier, and I’m at my best, I assume the other person has positive intent (e.g. they are trying to improve society’s well-being in their own way) but have simply been misinformed along the way.

Be firm on the scientific consensus (that it’s real, it’s us, and it requires immediate action to transform all aspects of society). But be gentle with the people you’re speaking with, assuming they are coming from a place of good faith.

Also, if you do have questions on climate science, or would like to debunk/check an argument you’ve been wondering about, Skeptical Science is a great resource.

Talking about the climate crisis and its solutions more and more is critical. Hopefully this helps a bit if/when these weak but persistent talking points pop up!

This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

What others are saying:

“Strikes the perfect balance between smart, understandable, funny, and compelling.” – Jackie

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