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MIT's Climate CoLab "seeks to harness the collective intelligence of contributors from all over the world to address global climate change."  The end of their most recent contest is September 30, 2011.

If you submit a proposal (global or national) by August 31, 2011, an expert panel will review it and offer you suggestions for how to improve it in the last month of the contest. This panel will be composed of representatives from:

>Climate Interactive (, a leading community of scientists and modelers who simulate the impact of environmental interventions,

>Fireside Advisors (, a national network of scientists and engineers that advise on new energy technologies.

Browse, comment, join one of the 16 global teams or 2 national teams. We have an excellent spread of proposals from those on very specific technologies to others on general systemic change. If you have an idea of your own and are keen to gather teammates, post the abstract first and seek help.

We invite all visions of what a green economy should be and how we can achieve it. Whatever your scale of interest, from local change to global policy, we look forward to your contributions.

I like the "Wind Water Sun" ( and "Fix the system not just the symptom" proposals (

"Fix the system not just the symptom" ( is the big picture approach:

The proposed action is to switch the worldwide ‘economic growth model’ (how countries try to get growth) from one that damages prospects for future growth to one that builds those prospects. This is to be done by ‘reshaping the whole economy’ from a linear (extract, make, dump) pattern to a ‘circular economics’ (cradle to cradle with expanding natural capital and declining 'problem stockpiles'). Today’s economies are mostly at the limits of growth with the linear model. Rather than asking them to stop growing or to impose impossible-to-agree limits to their impacts, this proposal offers a positive (anti-destructive) future for all economies.
This is an economy where protecting the climate is not added-on as control but built-in as a design feature... [where] used resources are regenerated by nature or industry into new resources... a regenerative paradigm where for example topsoils, forests and ecosystems actually expand.

I'd add a zero emissions practice and culture based upon ecological design principles (  Zero emissions, here, in the same way that Total Quality Management is built around zero defects on a production line.

James Greyson, the principal author of this proposal, has a web think tank "Fixing systems not symptoms" ( with nearly 500 people participating.  He understands the magnitude of what he is proposing.

Reshaping the whole economy is one of a set of high-leverage 'policy switches' that will need to be implemented in combination so that the self-destructive aspects of global systems can be reversed. You can think of these as settings on a 'paradigm lock' that all need to be in place to release a sustainable secure future paradigm.

Greyson has outlined Seven Policy Switches for Global Security ( that may open those "paradigm locks".

switch 1 Positive Development, a 'turn-around' strategy for growth and civilisation
switch 2 Learning led by curiosity not routines
switch 3 Precycling insurance and the possibility of continuing growth
switch 4 How to give peace a chance with Gross Peaceful Product (GPP)
switch 5 Yes, we can all live in harmony with nature
switch 6 Everyone loses in a 'winner takes all' society
switch 7 Who wants a 'money tree'?

I like the Positive Development Switch.  It is what I mean by Solar IS Civil Defense (  basic electricity can be generated by a few square inches of solar electric cell.  Emergency and disaster levels, refugee camp, survival levels of flashlight, cell phone, radio, an extra set of batteries are all technologically and, almost certainly, economically available now, even for the 1.5 billion people in the world who do not have access to electricity.  Add a hand crank or pedal power generator and you have a reliable source of power, day or night, by sunlight or force of muscle.  Power for everybody, affordably, wherever they are.  Power for the people, once and for all.

"We could design development to increase the size, health and resilience of natural systems, while improving human health and life quality.” This strategy is applicable to every planet crunch issue. For example, international climate talks have pursued a less-bad strategy of lower emissions (flows to atmosphere) when the crucial target (Hansen, 2008) is lower concentrations (stocks in atmosphere), which are potentially achievable by positive development. All global problems must be reversed, not just worsened less fast.

And evidently we are going to have to change fast if the calculations from this ClimateWorks report  ( [pdf]), by Hal Harvey and Sonia Aggarwal, are correct

that stabilizing the gases at a level low enough to avert severe damage to the planet will require that emissions peak by 2020 and then begin falling briskly...

The official national and international panels are not talking about this kind of change  in this kind of timeframe.  Guess it's up to us.  Perhaps the Climate CoLab Contest can become a practical as well as policy brainstorm on climate change (  


More global climate change brainstorming?

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| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 08:00:53 PM PDT

  •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, cotterperson, RunawayRose
    Everyone loses in a 'winner takes all' society

    Thanks, gmoke!!

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 08:24:42 PM PDT

  •  ah mr james greyson fix the symptom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, RunawayRose

    is a member of our group here for the proposal for the ClimateCoLab contest!

    I had told him I would post a diary with his ideas... he does social media for them right now...

    They are looking for team members.

    Folks can also join the MIT Climate CoLab Proposal Group here at Kos James in now a member and an admin and I'm hoping he will be able to push start some action on this.

    Thanks for posting. Everyone interested should definitely check out this incredible project.

    •  My National Level Proposal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Direct action public education campaign using such techniques as demonstrations of energy technology at farmers' markets; weatherization and solar barnraisings; solar as civil defense, disaster response, and development policy; an online, ongoing global brainstorm on local, practical climate adaptations and solutions; and an energy Public Service Announcement campaign throughout all media concentrating on solutions rather than explaining the problem.  Climate change is moot;  energy efficiency is essential.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 09:45:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks Deborah and George! (0+ / 0-)

      Very grateful for this excellent post and the Kos Climate CoLab group. I did a message for the group (Call to action for the MIT Climate CoLab) and will try another in case this didn't work or there are others who would like to take part in the CoLab.   George - very well done making 2 proposals the the CoLab! Great work. Others please add to George's work and/or start new proposals.

      George, zero emissions is one of the concepts that plug into the 'circular economy' approach used in my proposal and teaching. Interesting to consider that zero defects has a limit of zero (unless we start fixing previously broken stuff) but zero emissions can go beyond zero. We can do things that take net carbon out of the air and net regenerate soils etc - eg with biochar. This is the essence of positive development - going beyond zero as a goal. For anyone interested there is more about this in my paper for the zero emissions special issue of journal of cleaner production.

      Thanks again for all this!

  •  Take It to the Owners. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The last people -- the VERY last people anything is up to-- is us.

    Ideas about what needs done are barely a million dollars a dozen. There are a thousand good ones, maybe a million. So what? Nobody who matters cares. The only important question is whom to put them to.

    The answer is "not to democracy."

    Modern democracy has never been more impotent against global ownership and its institutions; therefore issues of urgent and immediate global importance need to be directed to those who have the power to decide and act on them.

    The global rich and their largest global businesses not fundamentally vested in big dirty energy are the ones to petition. If they accept it they, and they alone, can empower governments to act on the issue. If they don't, well now's the time we need to know.

    It's criminal negligence to put such an urgent matter before institutions that would require generations of revolution to empower to barely begin to act on these matters. Democracy is a laudable ideal but we haven't the generations of time needed to establish a democracy that could impose on the generators of climate change as needed tomorrow morning.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 08:41:45 PM PDT

    •  Screw the Owners (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Most of the owners are too dumb to understand what is going on.

      However, if you've got $10,000 I might be able to get you into a dinner and discussion with Warren Buffett at the end of the month.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 09:10:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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