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April Collector of the Month: Tina Baumgartner

Tina Baumgartner

Base: Bay Area, California
Profession / Pastimes: Science and tech writer, content producer and strategist.
Discord Handle: @ScienceGirl

Based in the Bay Area, Tina is a writer and strategist for tech companies by day, making “complex science and technology accessible for all audiences.” As an OpenAir member she is putting these same skills to work to great effect as the mission originator of CDReality, a network effort to counter CDR disinformation and elevate factual accounts online and in other fora.

So you are kicking off a really exciting and important new mission with CDReality. What’s the main idea and how did it come to you?

CDReality has two main goals, one is to spread factual information about CDR in all its amazing variety. We all here at OpenAir live in a CDR bubble, but out there in the real world very few people have heard about carbon dioxide removal in general let alone the different approaches that are being developed and deployed. We will change that.

Second, there is already mis- and disinformation out there, often based in a confusion around the terms CDR and CCS. Admittedly, it is confusing and we work to engage opponents and – based on our common passion for climate restoration – to build a broad coalition of support for CDR to help our advocacy efforts.

I don’t think the idea for CDReality occurred to me, the need for communication about CDR was out there. I just picked it up and ran (well, more like walk).

What drew you to the carbon removal space, and OpenAir specifically?

I have known for a long time that I need to focus on combatting climate change, for many reasons important among them that I want my teenage son to grow up and old in a world not devastated by disasters and wars over resources.

The task always seemed so hopeless, so overwhelming. It was so much easier to close my eyes and hope that somebody else will take care of it. That’s not how it works, though. The fact that carbon dioxide can be removed gave me hope that there is something we can actively do. Each and every one of us can learn about CDR, spread the word, support legislation, educate others.

The collective, volunteer nature of OpenAir appeals to me and the fact that this is about CDR in general, not one approach, not one company, not one technology. It has been a very rewarding experience, I have met so many dedicated, passionate, amazing, interesting people in a short period of time.

As an OpenAir collector and mission lead for CDReality, what are your priorities, goals and big hopes for the rest of 2022, and how can community members help you achieve them?

My priorities in the near term are to get the CDReality Gitbook to a point where it can be published. It will contain a lot of resources, from short social media style posts to more detailed analysis and backgrounders, about CDR and suggestions about how to counter common arguments made by opponents. The idea is to make it easy for people to engage and put out positive, fact-based information about CDR.

More long-term the CDReality team is working on developing a strategy to broadly disseminate information, educate the public and debunk mis- and disinformation.

At this point, I’d love to add another science writer/journalist to the team plus a communication expert or two, especially with a background in fighting misinformation. We have a really awesome team of very smart and dedicated people and I promise it will be an interesting and rewarding experience.