Ukraine’s Vast Wealth of Natural Resources | Russia’s Lone Fossil Fuel Industry

Washington (GGM) Analysis | Mary 10, 2022 by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Ukraine is a vast and beautiful landscape of arable land, rich in soil nutrients. It is home to an abundance of natural resources buried deep beneath the surface. Ukraine is ranked 4th in the world for highest total dollar value of natural resources, and has 25% of the world’s black soil, which is considered the most fertile soil type. Not only does black soil generate high agricultural yields, it sequesters the most carbon. Russia, on the other hand, has one lone major industry. Fossil fuels. 

“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” 
John McCain

Putin’s horrific slaughter of innocent civilians in this unjust and inhumane war against neighboring Ukraine is an apparent attempt to confiscate Ukraine’s wealth of natural resources, while nations across the globe are racing to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.


Ukraine feeds 600 million people each year, most of whom reside in Northern Africa, Southern Asia and China. Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. It is the number one producer of honey in Europe with approximately 700,000 employed in the honey industry. Ukraine is ranked number 2 in the world for the production of barley, and 3rd in the world for the farming of corn. Ukraine made the list for rye production as well, 5th largest producer in the world, 9th for chicken eggs, and 4th in the world for potatoes.

But Ukraine’s threatened wheat production and export is what is causing so much alarm through Tunisia, Yemen, and Lebanon, and a list of other countries, as the price of bread skyrockets, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Food insecurity creates conflicts between nations as hungry people fight to survive. At COP26, Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian and former professor, eviscerated the West, decrying our indifference to the 2.7 billion people across the globe who were already facing daily food insecurity due to climate change. In the US Army’s Climate Strategy (ACS), it acknowledged that armed conflicts will arise when communities have reduced access to basic necessities, and are undermined by economic and social instability.


The US Geological Survey (USGS) has deemed lithium a “critical mineral resource.” It is one of the key components used in the lithium-ion batteries needed to manufacture EVs. The demand for lithium is expected to leap 130% by 2025 from its 2020 level. Ukraine is sitting on a staggering 500,000 tons of untapped lithium reserves, which is considered one of largest stashes in the world.


Ukraine is home to 30 billion tons of commercial grade iron ore, the largest reserves in the world, and one-fifth of the global supply. Iron ore, along with manganese, is used to manufacture steel. Ukraine is ranked number 2 on the list of countries that have explored reserves of manganese ore. Ukraine is the 3rd largest exporter of iron ore and the 11thlargest exporter of steel.

Ukraine’s additional vital resources:

  • Uranium
  • Titanium
  • Mercury
  • Coal
  • Shale gas

The updated IPCC Report was released on February 28, 2022, four days after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The report sounded another dire warning, that we must act immediately to reduce carbon emissions by transitioning to a green global economy. Billions of people around the world are already feeling the pain of a warmer planet. Eliminating fossil fuels from our lives and our culture is a daily call to action. Russia is aware that cities and towns around the world are rushing to cut fossil fuels by transitioning to clean energy. From Russia’s perspective, it seems that every social media post, every news headline, every IPCC Report negatively impacts the strength and stability of Russia’s economic health and wealth.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, appearing in the IPCC Report. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Carbon Capture and Removal Start-up Verdox Launches with $80 Million Commitment

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 3, 2022, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Start-up Verdox has officially launched after being awarded an $80 million commitment for direct carbon capture and removal from three investment firms: Prelude Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital and Bill Gate’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The revolutionary electrochemical technology was pioneered by MIT’s  Professor T. Alan Hatton and Dr. Sahag Voskian.

Electric Carbon removal for a net-zero future. Let us power your climate transformation. Contact us.

Verdox Home Page

Back on April 8, 2020, Verdox was awarded $499,900 under the Special Project Program of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The project was entitled “Electro-swing [Absortion] for High Efficiency Direct Air Capture” to develop a scalable, proof of concept (POC) for direct air capture (DAC) prototype with a deliverable date of April 7, 2022. The POC was for technology that would employ electrochemical cells to capture and release carbon that would generate electro-swing absorption. This breakthrough technology prevents the need for the standard heat and water carbon capture method, creating a new model for the carbon capture industry.

ESG Today noted:

“The high energy efficiency and scalability of Verdox’s technology could enable the company to play a major role in addressing the carbon removal challenge. This innovation has provided a paradigm change for both industrial and air capture – and the Verdox team has made great strides to reduce the concept to economical commercial practice.”

Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Removing CO2 from the air before it’s released through novel electro-swing absorption technology, would be worth every penny it may cost. Picture a mammoth battery sucking up a torrent of gaseous waste as the electric battery is charging up, and then releasing it safely when the battery is discharged so it can be stored underground as rock, or utilized to manufacture products. This advanced technology will require 70% less energy than existing technology-based carbon capture methods. At this time, Verdox’s test bed is only functional in the lab. The $80 million will be used to further develop the proof of concept.

In John Doerr’s book Speed & Scale, An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now, the OKR (objective and key result) of 10 billion tons carbon (GtC) that must be removed from the atmosphere each year, in addition to curbing existing carbon emissions. “As things stand, our net zero objective — 10 GtC of annual carbon removal — is a truly audacious goal.” Doerr goes on to explain that both engineered solutions, (Verdox’s innovative electro-swing absorption DAC falls in this category), and natural carbon drawdown solutions, (reforestation, aforestation, rewilding, biodiversity restoration, increased soil health, etc) are required. “What makes this challenge really difficult, almost implausibly so, is the colossal scale of the job.”

On the nature-based side of the coin, trailblazer Thomas Crowther (Assistant Professor of Global Ecosystem Ecology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader) recently gave a Countdown TED Talk about restoring biodiversity on the .9 billion hectares of ideal land that’s been identified and mapped out. And that doing so would drawdown 30% of the existing legacy load carbon stuck in the atmosphere that’s causing global warming. Crowther announced that he founded Restor, a new open data platform network equipped with a machine learning model powered by Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud, for the purpose of helping “anyone be part of ecological restoration,” even homeowners who convert their high-maintenance, pesticide-covered monoculture turf lawns, to dense biodiverse no mow lawns.

Don’t Look Up launched on Netflix December 24, 2021. The satirical parody, written, produced and directed by Adam McKay, set the record for the most views in one week, and quickly became the #2 most watched Original Netflix film of all times, with 321.52 million hours streamed in the first 28 days. Peter Isherwell, portrayed by Mark Rylance, is the villain in this classic film about Earth’s destruction at the hands of a profit-seeking tech giant. The scientists’ (LeonardoDicaprioRob Morgan and Jennifer Lawrence) alarmed and urgent warnings, and the public’s blind faith in technology, left viewers woke to the perils of betting our lives on technology as our savior. On February 8, 2022, Oscar nominations will be announced and the tech carbon capture industry will have a better idea about what they’re up against in trying to convince the world that they can solve the climate crisis on their own.

We definitely need tech carbon capture and removal solutions for pulling out CO2 before it’s released, as well as direct air capture for fossil fuel companies to drawdown decades of excessive carbon emissions. But the main point in John Doerr’s Speed & Scale, is that we need ALL the many solutions that he earmarked in his climate action plan. And even with all hands on deck, and the diverse solutions up and running, along with the four accelerators, it’s still an audacious goal.

© Copyright 2018 – 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

“This is not about saving our planet, it’s about saving ourselves…The truth is, with or without us, the natural world will rebuild.”
—Sir David Attenborough, A Life On Our Planet
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Big Carbon Emitters Can’t Hide in 2022 | Carbon Tracking from Space

Washington (GGM) Analysis | January 18, 2022, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; image credit NASA 2006/05/07

With so much greenwashing and delusional thinking from big companies about their real CO2 emissions, the need to refine the process of tracking carbon through satellite imagery continues to be enhanced. Accurate measurements will either make or break us on our quest to stay below 1.5ºC within the next eight years. Cutting our national carbon emissions 50% by 2030 is a very tall order to fill.  Knowing who’s continuing to emit high levels of CO2 and methane, and whether carbon cutting initiatives are or aren’t working, is critical to our success as we fight our way up this steep cliff.

John Doerr states in his book, Speed & ScaleAn Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis NowIf we fail to measure what matters, there’s no clear way to get where we need to go. To get to net-zero in time, we must measure precisely how much carbon the planet is emitting, where is it happening, who is responsible, all in real time.” 

NASA is determined to be the eye in the sky that gathers the much needed accurate measurements through it’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) strapped to the International Space Station (ISS). OCO-3 orbits the Earth and collects many dozens of regional images per day in blocks that are 50 miles x 50 miles. Cities, farms, forests, suburbia. The images are taken from sun up to sun down. “This is very important,”  Annmarie Eldering, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s OCO-3 Project Scientist, explains. “Plants respond to sun, so we need to see them behaving across the day.” The OCO-3’s predecessor, OCO-2, could only take images at 1:30 PM, 16 days on, 16 days off. Collecting measurements all day during daylight is a significant advancement. 

“The capability of OCO-3 is to map out some of these areas and see some change over time. That’s how we’re going to advance our understanding and modeling for the future, and understanding of climate.”

Annmarie Eldering, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

An excellent example of what Eldering is talking about is the way the CO2 levels rise and fall in the farm belt depending on the season. During the spring, when farmers plow and release the carbon stored in the soil, the satellite can see and track this. In June, when the plants are busy photosynthesizing, absorbing significant amounts of carbon, and quickly growing, the satellite can see the carbon levels decrease. Regenerative farmers then have the tangible proof they need to educate conventional farmers about why no-till farming practices are best. Seed drilling equipment was invented to support the no-till movement. The documentary Kiss the Ground was able to highlight these game-changing facts and educate the public on why regenerative farming is so vital to saving humanity. Kiss the Ground included the satellite video from NASA’s OCO-2 report to highlight this.

The OCO was originally tested back in 2009, updated in 2014 to OCO-2, and reconfigured again in 2019 to become OCO-3. The majority of kinks have now been worked out. We should feel confident in the readings. We need to believe in their accuracy in order to make the correct decisions that will transform our culture into the sustainable, carbon-neutral culture we need it to be.

The following OCO-3 Quick Facts were taken directly from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology:

  • OCO-3 is a vital part of the continuous global CO2 measurements that provide aerial views of regional carbon sources and sinks.
  • OCO-3 can take measurements at different times of the day, which diminishes uncertainty about the readings and assists in assessing how measurements taken from space can roll back human carbon emissions on Earth. Human CO2 emissions are the greatest question mark in our carbon budget and thus there’s a great desire to monitor and constrain.  
  • OCO-3 measurements can be combined with other measurements such as biomass and evapotranspiration to examine operational details in Earth’s ecosystems.
  • OCO-2 demonstrated that satellite imagery can accurately measure carbon levels better than 1 ppm. OCO-3is expected to have the same heightened accuracy. 

Knowing what we now know about OCO tracking over the farm belt, I hope Eldering and her colleagues can measure the impact that painting roofs white, and parking lots and roads white or light grey, will have on carbon emissions. There’s anecdotal evidence (lower energy bills) that points to high albedo colors such as white and light grey substantially decreasing carbon emissions in buildings, but a satellite image showing the lower carbon reading might be what really wins the hearts and minds of billions of people across the globe, and will inspire them to swiftly take action.

© Copyright 2018 – 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

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