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Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Micro-documentaries on climatetech, the Electrify Everything online community and more

We round up fun climate and energy tidbits from across the internet.
By Mike Munsell

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Canary Media’s Friday Social column explores the intersection of energy, climate and social media. Canary thanks Silverline Communications for its support of the column.

When we were brainstorming the name for this column, Canary General Manager Nicholas Rinaldi suggested Mike’s Likes.” While we chose the much better Friday Social” instead, today’s edition pays homage to that suggested name: It’s a roundup of a few things I’ve liked (insert thumbs-up emoji) online recently.

Climate nonprofits

Earlier this fall, Ben Wolkon of MUUS Sustainable Investments asked the Twittersphere for recommendations of climate nonprofits worthy of donations. More than 40 Twitter users weighed in with their favorite climate-focused groups. If you’re looking for a new nonprofit to donate to, check out the replies to his tweet.

Speaking of…did you know that Canary Media is a nonprofit? Here’s my hat.

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Pique Action

In October, a company that touts micro-documentaries on climate solutions” popped up on my radar. It’s called Pique Action. I unoriginally tweeted that my interest was piqued.

I then called up Kip Pastor, CEO and founder of Pique Action, to chat. He’s been in the film industry for a decade. He directed the 2012 documentary In Organic We Trust and produced the first-ever feature film created entirely on Snapchat, Sickhouse, released in 2016.

More recently he helped create 60 Second Docs, which is just what it sounds like. Its short documentary films have amassed billions of views.

Short-form social is a way to reach a massive audience,” says Pastor. His experience with 60 Second Docs led him to launch Pique Action.

We want to change the conversation around climate to what we can do to mitigate it in the macro and micro sense and really focus on solutions,” says Pastor about Pique’s videos.

We’re the opposite of doomscrolling,” he added. That’s a term I also heard from The Garbage Queen, who interestingly enough is a partner of Pique Action.

Pique Action’s micro-documentaries to date highlight climatetech companies including ReJoule, CarbonCure, Nitricity and 75F.

Electrify Everything

If you’re on #energytwitter, you are likely familiar with Nate The House Whisperer” Adams.

Adams is the CEO of HVAC 2.0, an energy consultancy focused on home electrification. He’s been profiled by Cleantechnica and been a guest on The Energy Gang at least twice. (Speaking of podcasts, are you listening to our new shows with Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann yet?)

I came across a very active Facebook community that Adams runs called Electrify Everything. In a phone interview, he told me the name was inspired by 2017 Vox article by David Roberts, who is now Canary’s editor-at-large.

The Facebook group description states, This group is about Electrifying Everything — but it’s about action, not theory.” It continues: The goal here is to show people actually doing things so others can learn, we can find best practices, and we can scale.”

The community is abuzz with both homeowners and HVAC professionals helping one another electrify everything in their homes. Adams sees home electrification as a necessary step toward quickly decarbonizing and believes we have all of the tools we need to tackle the challenge today. The Facebook group is just one way he’s trying to accelerate that goal.

The House Whisperer has also put together a free online program, The Electrify Everything Course, which he recommends that people take before posting on the Facebook group. This course is meant to be soup to nuts for single-family home concepts,” he writes in the course description. You’ll understand what size electric panel you need, which appliances to buy, how HVAC sizing works, the different types of heat pumps, and how to help scale the electrification movement.”

Adams recently tweeted, HVAC contractors can largely change the tide [on heat pumps]. But first they have to believe. Most don’t.” In our conversation, he said the less efficient heat pumps of previous decades may have soured contractors’ appetites, even though today’s models are vastly improved.

I asked Adams if he had a message for Canary’s audience of energy and climatetech professionals. While the focus of this column is typically online content, he had a very offline answer.

Get out of your office and see what [an HVAC] job looks like, boots on the ground, and understand how complicated the job is and how complicated the job is to sell.” He went on to say, If you can try to understand what’s going on in the lives of HVAC contractors, it will be very helpful, and you’ll get to expand the boundary between blue and white collar.”

Nate believes educating both homeowners and HVAC contractors is paramount to quickly moving the needle forward on residential decarbonization.

Silverline Communications, the supporter of this column, is a climatetech and ESG communications firm with deep experience in all facets of the clean economy. Learn more about how Silverline connects clients with stakeholders on social channels and beyond.

Mike Munsell is director of growth at Canary Media.