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Climate crisis activities

Over the past couple of months I started to look at Climate Crisis projects, next to my work at First Block Capital and crypto-related investments. While sailing last week I was reading the weekly (Dutch) Future Affairs newsletter by journalist Wouter van Noort, in which he mentioned that he was reading The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells.

That was the book that really opened my eyes to what is happening in the world and especially about the fact that time is running out. So I decided to drop Wouter a line about the book and how it changed the focus of my investments (Wouter has interviewed me in the past). I did not intend him to talk about my activities in his latest newsletter, but he did and I really appreciate it. I want to spread the word about the climate crisis and I hope it will inspire people to become active in the space as well.

Because the newsletter is in Dutch, below a rough translation of the paragraph in which he talks about my activities:

This tech millionaire jumps on the climate change bandwagon

Sometimes reactions from readers are worth a separate item. Marc van der Chijs, who made his money as co-founder of the Chinese videosite Youku Tudou and became even richer with cryptocurrencies, is now focusing on technologies to stop climate change. He emailed me that after reading the (also for me relatively shocking book) Uninhabitable Earth, he decided he had to do something.

He sees a lot of potential in Carbon Engineering to take CO2 out of the air. He is also looking to set up a company that will do large scale farming of a specific kind of seaweed that, when mixed with cow feed, will sharply reduce the methane emissions of cows. When I read about this it looks like both technologies are very early stage and it is very much the question whether these innovations will be able to turn the tide. In Nature researchers called technologies to remove CO2 from the air ‘magical thinking’. But maybe we need some magical thinking especially now, and I think it is excellent that people like Marc use their money and brain power to fight climate change.

Thanks for the shout-out Wouter. If anybody has interesting projects I should look at, feel free to share: marcvanderchijs (at) gmail (dot) com . I don’t do a lot of investments yet, but that may change sooner rather than later. And if you want to sign up for the newsletter you can do so here.

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