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 (http://climateinteractive.org/), a leading community of scientists and modelers who simulate the impact of environmental interventions,
>Fireside Advisors (http://firesideadvisors.com/), 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.
"Fix the system not just the symptom" (http://climatecolab.org/...) 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 (http://www.dailykos.com/...). 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" (http://www.wiserearth.org/...) 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 (http://www.wiserearth.org/...) 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 (http://solarray.blogspot.com/...): 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 (http://www.climateworks.org/... [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 (http://www.dailykos.com/...).