Can Red Algae Save The World? - Stab Mag
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Can Red Algae Save The World?

Mick Fanning invests in this surfer-owned carbon capturing seaweed enterprise.

Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Effective altruism.

Hot topic. 

How does one maximize their positive ethical impact? 

Waving a placard in Town Square might give you a gush of endorphins, particularly if you instagram it, as will tossing a few gold coins in the hat of a homeless person, but how effective is it as a means of creating the change you wish to see at scale?

Debatable.

There’s ways of giving well or giving better, rather than just patting ourselves on the back for merely giving.

Classic example of altruism gone wrong – giving small donations of money to many charities often costs them more to pay for the administrative work to process payments than the donation itself. In which case, we are literally costing the causes we are supporting money. 

If you are interested in the EA space, Give Well, The Centre for Effective Altruism, and initiatives such as Give What You Can are great starting points.

Could red algae be a natural EA?

Now, Sea Forest.

Sea Forest is a surfer-owned bio-tech company creating red Asparagopsis kelp at a commercial scale. 

WTF is Asparagopsis you ask?

Asparagopsis is a fast-growing algae that absorbs huge amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and can be supplemented into livestock feed to prevent methane production. As a result, cattle absorb more nutrients and produce less methane, a greenhouse gas that has a 28x more significant effect on global warming than CO2. Animals whose diets contain 0.2% Sea Forest’s supplement will have methane reductions up to 98%. 

Cows, cute but carbon-taxing.

It’s bloody effective, and ultimately you end up with a product that accelerates growth of livestock, requires less feed and reduces resource wastage meaning more food with less impact.

Sam Elsom is at the helm of Sea Forest a born and bred surfer on a mission to create a commercially viable product that can create positive change at scale. MF is an early investor in Sea Forest, and MF knows a thing or do about astute investing. 

You can learn more about Sea Forest’s very cool operation here.