Undercurrents: November 2023
Seaweed Generation's roundup of company news and perspective on all things climate.
Blythe Taylor, Chief of Staff
This year’s State of Climate Action report has just been published and it makes for pretty depressing reading. In summary “global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees are failing across the board.”
It’s not that surprising. Here in the UK, we’ve seen in only the past two months, our government publicly climb down from promised climate commitments. Notably, pushing back the deadline for phasing out gas boilers and new petrol / diesel cars. It’s a clear statement that carbon reduction and net zero policies are not going to be top of the election agenda. But is this short sighted? Are green initiatives always going to come at an economic cost to the consumer?
There is no doubt this year has been tough. Energy and food inflation have skyrocketed, so moves to ‘save the consumer by delaying green pledges’ seem, on the surface, to make sense. For those of us working in climate it’s beyond disappointing. But arguably there’s a cohort of cash-strapped voters who may welcome the news.
At Seagen we’ve long discussed how real change is unlikely to happen until we all begin to feel the day to day implications of climate change. Last month we discussed how this is already happening with our weather. October once again broke temperature records, but while unsettling, this isn’t enough for many to push for a green agenda.
But what if those balmy autumn days came at a financial cost? Insurers are saying that ‘changing weather patterns’ are behind the increases many are seeing in their premiums. The average home insurance quote is up by almost 25% for the 12 months to June. Recent storms that have battered the UK would indicate this could be for good reason.
Carbon reduction and removal is at the heart of all our operations at SeaGen. We continue our work at pace, knowing that solutions and change are needed now, not when it’s too late. We’re all paying a terrible environmental price for our changing climate, but it’s easy to forget that cost when faced with the daily realities of mounting bills.
However, it looks like pushing back the important work and legislation that’s needed to make real change isn’t the money saver we’ve been led to believe. As consumers begin to feel the very real financial impact of the climate emergency, let’s hope there’s a push for action, and next year’s Climate Action Report shows better progress.
Progress and Press
It’s been a big month for SeaGen with deep water trials in Loch Ness. The whole team made the intrepid trip to the beautiful highlands to test out our latest prototypes; the AlgaRay (our independent glider) and AlgaProbe (deep sea monitoring system). Nessie remains unsighted (and unheard on our acoustic sensors!) but it proved a successful and sunny endeavour!
It’s been a labor of love, and we’re delighted to put out our latest thinking in the macroalgae CDR space with our white paper. We’d like to thank our amazing Science Advisory Board for advice and critique during production.
By Alison Van Houton, October 24, 2023
We were beyond proud to have the AlgaRay, our seaweed harvesting and sinking robot, feature in Time’s top 200 inventions of 2023.