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Ask HN: How do I make the largest positive climate impact with dev/CTO skills?
3 points by kristiandupont 26 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 1 comment
I am running an indie SaaS company and I intend to continue that work for next 2-5 years. However, it's becoming clear to me (especially after becoming a father) that I want to do something that is good for the climate. So I am spawning a background thread in my brain that will ponder what that means in the long run.

I can't do politics even if that is possibly the most important factor. I don't have any skills and I certainly don't have the desire. I also don't know anything about physics or chemical engineering etc. I think those are skills I could obtain but say I want to capitalize on the developer/CTO skills that I have amassed over two decades, where should I be working to maximize my impact?

I am slowly educating myself on renewable energy, battery tech, carbon capture and things like that. There are so many frontiers and since everything needs software, I feel that I should be able to help.

Should I create a company/NGO that creates software for a sector? Or should I try to join something existing and what would that be?

Alternatively, where should I start looking? Is there a publication or podcast that I should subscribe to?

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!




I'd say first of all you could give your employees a few hours off to join the Global Climate Strike on 24.09.21. Also go there yourself along with your family. Repeat with all upcoming strikes.

What we need is immediate action from our policy makers!

About publications I can recommend Bill Gate's book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaste" he talks a lot about what innovation we need. I really liked the audio book.

I can also recommend the "TED Climate" podcast for more inspiration.

About Software: I'd say the world needs Software to support more efficient 100% electrification. Like an energy efficiency based shopping portal. Where e.g. not only showing the 5 air conditioners for the house size, but also rank them by follow up energy cost and device life time. Same for clothing, e g. rank by most efficient production chain and materials. For 3 T Shirts, I would buy the one with least impact. And so on. Please become so sucessfull with it, that producers live in fear of a bad ranking on your shopping plattform for creating an inefficient device or having a fossil fuel powered (coal powered machines, container shipping etc.) supply chain.

I believe such a platform would be a magnet for Friday for the Future grown ups in 5-10 years. And also Parents for the Future like me would buy there I promise. Investors would buy the concept too I think, for me it sounds promising. Especially in the US where customers don't have a reliable, official efficiency label.




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