If you’ve come to this website in search of support for an idea or innovation with the potential to disrupt the causes and consequences of a rapidly changing climate, we want to begin by acknowledging the challenge that you have taken on. Your commitment to this work gives us optimism for the future.
Thank you. We know how hard this work is, and we deeply appreciate what you are trying to achieve.
As emeritus professors at the University of Washington in Seattle’s School of Medicine (Bill) and Department of Biology (Katherine), we are firm believers in the power of creative experimentation. That’s why we’re trying to help bold thinkers put their ideas into action and either gain evidence in support of further research or fail rapidly and rethink assumptions.
This kind of ever-evolving curiosity has shaped both of our careers, while ensuring that we’ve never run out of things to talk about in our over 55+ years together.
For Bill, that journey has meant connecting the dots across disciplines and learning to communicate complex science to policymakers and members of the broader public. He began graduate school in physics, got a Ph.D. in physiology & biophysics, but evolved into a neuroscientist and medical school professor. His sabbatical at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as Visiting Professor of Neurobiology, had the incidental effect of promoting an earlier interest in archaeology and human evolution. His interest in climate shifts began when he first realized that the tripling of brain size began 2.4 million years ago, which is about when the ice ages converted the forested African Rift Valley into savannah, feeding millions of grazing animals. He has been focused on the evolutionary implications of climate change ever since.
In more recent years, he has shifted his focus to the human-caused climate changes currently in progress. Drawing on his medical-school familiarity with acting effectively before problems become irretrievable, he is interested in finding ways to simultaneously address the root causes of climate change and to prevent it from inflicting irreparable harm.
Katherine’s path started in math and physics, then a Ph.D. in physiology & biophysics and postdoctoral training at UC San Diego and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She spent her neurobiology career as research faculty in biology at the University of Washington, supporting “Crab Lab” with research grants from NSF and NIH. Katherine is acutely aware of the work that goes into securing funding for scientific research. She hopes that the experience of seeking funding from the CO2 Foundation will be less onerous than is standard.
In founding the CO2 Foundation, we hope to help truly innovative thinkers get the support they need to explore potentially transformative ideas, resulting in the kind of proof-of-concept that will leave you better positioned to secure the funding for the next stage of your research. The way we see it, this Foundation is our way of promoting the power of innovation to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems.
There are many groups focused on slowing down the climate crisis via emissions reduction; we focus on how the 21st-century surges in extreme weather create an additional need, to quickly cool off via a cleanup of the excess CO2 and by creating shade. Backing out of climate’s danger zone is essential to stabilize threatened societies, including ours.
Katherine and Bill
Katherine Graubard, Ph.D., and William H. Calvin, Ph.D.
Vice-president and President, CO2 Foundation
“The climate crisis has been a lot to wrap our hearts, heads, and strategic policy around. However, climate urgency took a big step up a decade ago as extreme weather surged and stayed.
We have been 'betting the farm' on emission reductions, which will no longer do the job in time. We now need a big CO2 cleanup before we miss even more exits on the Freeway to Hell.” --WHC
Water vapor map of 2019 "Bomb Cyclone."
Add some rotation and these structured wall clouds would become a tornado.
About 2008, the annual count of big windstorms surged. And stayed.
In 2020, it was ten times the pre-2008 baseline.