The Experts have no clothes!

Congratulations to Planet Village for winning $1M milestone.

According to their website, the do a) Monitoring and b) teach villagers to pile their organic waste in heaps and turn it every few days (we simple folk call that hot composting )

Remember this when you keep reading:
“CO2 equivalent units will not be considered, only direct removal of CO2.”

So the most a pile of organic waste can remove is 1.56 times the weight of the plant matter, less the water, and anything that converts to methane.

Now how much energy is used in turning the pile or distributing the pile - none. It is all manual labour. On that basis the pyramids were built using no energy either.

OK, but using organic waste reduces the use of fertilizer so that reduces emissions. True, but that is not direct capture.

That was what the Mass Energy Balance spreadsheets were for - for the average idiot to see more mass come out than went in and / or more energy come out than went in.

But I am not an expert. Maybe perpetual motion machines exist - or were the spreadsheets a waste of time to make it look challenging.

But the experts decisions are final… And you can win $1M for teaching people to turn … organic waste.

BTW, if they don’t have the internet to google ‘hot compost’ then they done have access to the great AI system for farming.

Just a tip Elon - ask for your money back…
Bamboo houses and hot compost will save the planet

I really appreciate some constructive criticism.

Bearn in mind that materials submitted for milestone reward are not the same as the content on the website.

On a pure housekeeping level - please use threads. You posted multiple messages, I think it will be more readable if we keep the conversation threaded.

(minor issue, technicality, not fussy about it, easy peasy)

Threading no problem, actually I was taking the information from their website… I guess they just forgot to mention the idea that won them $1M.

Maybe they didn’t update the website yet?

Maybe they operate “under the radar”, stealth mode?

Maybe they submitted great milestone materials but want to protect their IP?

Any number of reasons, don’t assume malice:

"never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by … "

May I ask, what is your line of work?

Have you found an environment where being critical to everything is an advantage, regardless of the social conditioning?

Like an audit / accountancy / bookkeeping, hedge fund, or a place where in-depth due diligence is an asset?


I am an IT contractor by day - because that pays the bills. Particularly Business Intelligence.

Their was no malice in my previous statement, sarcasm maybe (definitely).
Rarely does malice come into a picture. Errors persist through either ignorance, and / or a blind belief that the experts know what they are doing.

The earth is flat, the earth is the centre of the universe, heavier that air flight is not possible, bumblebees cant fly, all four of a horses hooves at gallop don’t leave the ground.

The curious thing is that no-one has explicitly said that I am mistaken. Not you, not XPRIZE, not PlanetVillage. All you have said is that I may be mistaken… and without malice I am asking ‘am I?’

If it was just one case, I would probably agree with you. But we actually have 3 in the top 60, that, by your suggestion, all have submitted ideas other than their descriptions or website. What is the capture CO2e density of a bamboo house vs bamboo biochar? I can see a case for bamboo biochar, but the CO2 capture density for a house does not produce a scalable solution. (unless you are counting concrete offsets).

The pattern that would resolve all 3, is that carbon credits / offsets were counted (inadvertently - no malice) by the applicant. It would also explain Takachar over ARTI (same tech - different scale), Takachar produces a product to sell to farmers to convert organic material to biochar. Verification at scale is lost or prohibitively expensive. Also the economies of scale are such that many small Takachar units will need more steel and transport that one container. ARTI even sells biochar - Takachar does not.

To explain 4 anomalies would either require 3 secret, special ideas for carbon removal, that the other 1130 felt happy to disclose.

Or a counting of carbon credits in their submissions that was not caught or not ruled out.

By Occam’s Razor, the latter option is the simpler explanation…

The simplest explanation - who the heck knows what is going on?

I was to COP23 24 26 recently in Glasgow and my observation:

  • negotiators are good at negotiation
  • politicians are good at politicizing
  • lobbyists are good at lobbying
  • scientists are good at science (and IPCC calibrated language)

But how do we actually measure CO2? - very few people at COP were able to answer this question.

XPRIZE hiring

XPRIZE is hiring for Technical Associate role to help with the judging:

  • Review team submission data and develop materials and analysis
  • Support the design and execution of the judging process
  • Consolidate judge feedback and provide to teams

Soil measurements

Multiple standards for carbon in soil:

Developing a new standard?


Page 15 from the rulebook:

Any factors which may offset the cost of Carbon Removal can
be specified, including the sale of valuable goods (ie CO2
derived products or valuable co-products, provided the
resulting end-use does not re-emit the captured carbon) and
any tangible & measurable environmental co-benefits (eg
improved biodiversity, improved crop yields, improved
fisheries, ecosystem services, removal of other greenhouse
gasses, etc.). Teams may not count the value of social benefits
derived from slowing climate change for this exercise. Teams
may not count government or philanthropic subsidies as
The judges will consider claims of revenue and value creation
at their discretion.

My feeling that is being developed through AirMiners Bootup and Climate Change Academy is the combination:

  • regenerative agriculture
  • enriching the soil
  • agroforestry
  • biochar
  • revamping of the food system - we don’t need that much land (human food vs animal feed)

Tangental: fertilizer subsidies

@joseft care to fact-check my Twitter thread?

Fertilizers are responsible for 1-2% global CO2 emissions, agricultural runoff, dead zones, algae bloom, acidification, coral bleaching…

Elon puts $100m but Polish government alone does 10x the other way… I subscribe to the data-driven optimism, abundance mindset, biggest problems are biggest opportunities but it is clear to me that climate change is not a technical problem - it’s a human coordination problem.

XPRIZE had an accounting standard. That was on the mass energy balance spreadsheets. The reviewers should have started by looking at the two numbers at the end. If you were generating mass or energy the application should have gone in the bin. If they missed that, then the experts should have caught it.

So I burn my tree to biochar and put it in a safe so the local villagers wont use it for cooking. How much carbon do I have? If I answer ‘more carbon than I started with because I put it on some ground in my safe and grew mushrooms and the carbon improved the sand so it could save more carbon’ then I am an idiot and my safe is full of organic waste.

If I burnt my tree and say that I was able to power London for a week on it, I am still an idiot. Unless my name is John Galt and I used the tree to jumpstart my perpetual motion machine. (Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged)

(OK, if I have a perpetual motion machine, why does it need a jumpstart)

One more thing, the page 15 reference only refers to the cost of capture. “Teams who meet or exceed the ambitious Operational and Sustainability requirements will be ranked by their “Fully Considered
Cost” of CO2 removal.”

The terms and conditions are likely to evolve. Actually I will make a bold statement (no insider knowledge) hell yeah they will evolve.

We have almost THREE YEARS before the final judging.

It will change.

It will evolve.

I mentioned about and my bets are around REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE combined with some accounting / measurement / new standards / new methodology.


Solutions that result in avoided CO2 emissions, but that do not demonstrate net negative carbon removal.


Avoidance credits are defined as certified emissions reductions from projects that reduce emissions compared with the most likely course of action – the baseline scenario.


Accounting shenanigans

Avoided emissions do not count as CO2 removed.


Avoided emissions do count as $$$ in terms of carbon credits and profit and cost and money.

In other words - removing some CO2 while avoiding loads of CO2 might be the way to go, depending on accounting and judging standards.

Is it cheating or just reading the rules? I’m acting in the spirit of the law :innocent: