Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet

  My Profile  Log In   Register Free Now   
Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet Planet Thoughts Advanced       Click to see one of our videos, chosen at random from the database, along with its PlanetThought
 Try a video
Home   About   Books&Media   Resources   Contact  
   News   Quote   Review   Story   Tip   All   Blogs   News   Quotes   Reviews   Stories   Tips
Get Email or Web Quotes
or use our RSS feeds:
New Feed:  Fossil Fuel
 Full  Blog  News
Read & Comment:
A Solar Community In Isr...
'Let's You And Him Fight...
Paul Krugman's Errors An...
Why Climate Change Is An...




Most recent comments:
From Farm To Fork
A Simple List: Things We...
Can the affluent rest at...

Actions:
Bookmark the site
Contribute $
Easy link from your site
Visit Second Life
Visit SU Blog





Story: Climate Interactive: The Bridge to Copenhagen

    Email a Friend     See Related

2 comments, last: Nov-21-2009   Add a comment   Contributor: GuestWriter (Nov-13-2009)
Categories: Economic/Financial, Global Warming, Sustainable Living

C-ROADS allows complex climate simulations; this one shows the results of keeping certain GHG reduction pledgesBy Scott Badenoc

Why it matters:

Policymakers are not scientists and have never been able to see the impact of their policy decisions on climate change, until now.

Recap:

ClimateInteractive.org is the web-based version of one of the most important pieces of software in human history known as C-ROADS.  Climate Interactive is a tool "to improve the way leaders and citizens around the world think about the climate" by allowing them to see the impacts of changing governmental policy via simulations "that provide immediate feedback, so users can see the results of different scenarios on atmospheric carbon levels and temperature."

They go on to describe the real purpose of the tool:

C-ROADS is being used within international climate negotiations.  The United States Department of State has used the C-ROADS simulator to understand the climate impacts of various country-level proposals and to share that understanding with other parties to the UNFCCC (for example, Deputy Special Envoy Jonathan Pershing presented C-ROADS analysis at the April '09 UNFCCC meeting in Bonn).

Don't simulations like this already exist?  Not really.  Most existing energy and climate models are extremely complex, take days to run, and can't be used by untrained people.

We're working to change that.

Could this be the vital bridge to Copenhagen where policy makers can finally best the difficult learning curve with an easy-to-use software tool, leading to international consensus on how to stabilize climate change?

Commentary:

So much of the what we read in the media from major outlets is based on a couple isolated facts and a great deal of opinion, non-scientific opinion at that.  Will 50% reductions world wide by 2050 be enough to halt non-linear climate change?  What about 80% by 2020?  Well, until now, we'd never really know until we saw it work…or not, at which point it would be too late.

Climate Interactive empowers the public at large, but more particularly, international policy makers to go to Copenhagen with a concrete understanding of the ramifications of their collective actions.  The tool also helps them do something they're not used to doing: thinking in cycles.  Ecosystems are not linear, they are…ahem, systems.  When CO2 is released, temperature rises which causes ice to melt which releases CO2 which causes temperature rises which causes ice to melt which releases CO2 and so on….

Currently the US State Department is using the tool very actively to determine what the best course of action is for them and the rest of the world.  China, the EU and several other key countries are apparently spending serious time with this tool to play out all the scenarios in advance of the big game: Copenhagen.

Four Creative Citizens (me, Argam DerHartunian, Sarah Backhouse and Tim Donovan), were invited to a private presentation at CAA in Los Angeles to see Dr. John Sterman, head of MIT's System Dynamics Group, walk us through the reasoning behind the C-ROADS tool and the power of the simulator.  One of the major revelations for all of us: just how stark the results would be for our planet if we take a path they call BAU or Business As Usual.  In other words, without serious international action beginning immediately, life as we know it on this planet is going to take an incredibly unpredictable and dangerous path.

The reality is that the current proposals given by the vaunted nations of our globe would not amount to the change we need, in fact far from it.  Dr. Sterman made the very clear case that the US et al must take their proposed policy changes to the next level…or else.

Despite the stark nature of the presentation, Sterman says there is much to be hopeful for.  He declares (as we here at Creative Citizen have many times) that this is the "greatest business opportunity of all time" and "to never underestimate the power of human ingenuity."

He went on to correct what he considers to be a common "false mental model" in the minds of our leadership, the concept of a modern Manhattan Project, where the world's greatest scientists converge in the name of security to take a massive leap forward in technology.   Why won't it work that way this time?  The green economy must be done in public; where the Manhattan Project was totally clandestine, this must be a public movement.

Dr. Sterman went on to discuss the current evolutionary trend away from the idea and term of a "green" or "sustainable" economy to a "restorative" or "regenerative" economy, where we don't save 20, 50, 80% on emissions, we go carbon negative.  Imagine cars that clean the air, yards that sequester carbon, factories that leave every element they come in contact with better off than before.

This is the future.  Climate Interactive and the guys at MIT are working with the world to ensure we have one.  If the policymakers get comfortable with this tool in time, the world may see a miracle in Copenhagen.

Creative Solutions:

Related PlanetThoughts.org reading:
  Solar Funnel (Sep-23-2010)
  Stabilizing Climate: Beyond International Agreem... (Jan-15-2010)
  A Quiet But HUGE No Nukes Triumph (Dec-27-2009)
  Climate Conference: Nations To Evaluate Progress... (Dec-23-2009)
  The Copenhagen Communique: An Entrepreneur's Per... (Dec-20-2009)
  Weak Results In Copenhagen: Open Letter From 350... (Dec-20-2009)
  Copenhagen? More Like Hopenhagen (Dec-14-2009)
  Government, Industry … And Us. (Dec-9-2009)
  Not In Our Interest (Dec-8-2009)
  Hacked Emails And Accusations Of Climate Change ... (Dec-6-2009)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
  
^ top
Add a comment    
  Follow the comments made here? 
  (Please log in or register free to follow comments)
Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Nov-21-2009)   Web site
Showing reality more clearly is always a good thing. Hopefully this software, and the knowledge that it encodes, will have enough impact to cause real policy changes. This is one piece of the world trying to heal itself.
  
Comment by:  Wavehunter (William Coffin) (Nov-17-2009)   Web site

This seems to be a very useful tool - both for policymakers and the general public who may be able to hold them to account. Hopefully you will be able to tweak it as the science changes and the models change. Anyway, thanks for working on it and sharing it with us.

The fact that the US State Department is using your tool, however, does not give me great hope: the United States seems to be the country doing most to block a deal at Copenhagen. Those who quibble may say it's the US Senate, not the US, that is blocking the deal. Maybe. But I would reply that the US Senate is the responsibility of the US and nobody else.

  
^ top 
About contributor GuestWriter

PlanetThoughts.org welcomes occasional articles and opinion pieces from writers who are not regular contributors. Their contributions will be listed under the "GuestWriter" name, and additional attribution will be shown in accordance with the agreement with the original writer and source of the PlanetThought.

Visit Green Wave Email Marketing
Email Marketing for You and Your Planet


We won a Gotham Green Award for 2010, on Earth Day! Thank you Gotham Networking for this award.

See the attractive event brochure.

Recommended Sites

  Member of:
GOtham Green networking
Green Collar Economy
New York Academy of Sciences
Shades of Green Network

  PlanetThoughts
     Members/Affiliates *

Approaching the Limits
    to Growth
EcoEarth.Info
Environmental News Network
EESI.org
GreenBiz.com
GreenHomeBuilding.com
Heroin and Cornflakes
NewScientist
ScienceDaily


* Members of PlanetThoughts      
  communities on SU or MBL,      
  and blog article affiliates      

  Other Favorite Blogs
21st Century Citizen
Center for Bio. Diversity
Easy Ways to Go Green
EcoGeek
Good Bags
Opposing Views


Valid my RSS feeds


We Do Follow

ClickBlog.org



  Volunteer      Terms of Use      Privacy Policy  

Copyright © 2021 PlanetThoughts.org. All Rights Reserved.
Except for blog items by David Alexander: Some Rights Reserved.