How fast is the fastest fastball every thrown? Who threw it? Some of you reading know the answer to that.
There’s an amazing documentary, I would recommend, if you are interested in finding out the answer: Fastball.
Fastball takes us through the time periods of fast pitchers. The interesting thing to me is not in who was pitching the fastest, but how they measured the speed in the last 100 years. It reminds me of how early we really are in tracking data. In the early 1900s, there was no way of actually knowing who the fastest pitchers were. Batters just had to generally say “They pitched hard.”
In the second half of the 20th century, it went from video recording a pitch in relation to a motorcycle. To a large contraption, where the pitchers had to pitch through cables. To a slightly smaller version. To radar guns when the pitcher releases. To radar guns tracking when the pitch goes over the plate.
The precision of tracking the fastball has evolved so quickly over the last 100 years, and now we have a well documented, well understood, way to track it. And that’s just a pitchers pitch.
Climate change on the other hand has a similar problem. Climate change is happening, but the translation of explaining that and documenting it has evolved. People point at extreme events, the ice caps melting, the particles of CO2 per million rising. However one of the largest problems to me, is that we don’t have a metric that everyone points at and says “This is the fastest fast ball.”
This is more of a musing on a substantial education problem in the climate change space. We need to evolve the ways we trace climate change. We have the capabilities now. We have sensors on land, in space, and in the ocean. We can give everyone the tools they need to articulate the climate, but we aren’t speaking the same language.
My issue is that if we don’t know what metric to track, humans won’t innovate towards the goal fast enough. At Boost VC, we see the value in going all in on one metric that matters and tracking that progress. If planet earth finds this scoring system, founders will start projects and businesses and solve it. But if we keep moving the goal posts on what matters, we won’t.
So if anyone is working on creating the standards for climate change, I’d love to speak with them. Or if someone sees this as a massive opportunity, we would love to chat.