Climate CoLab represents a new format for the distribution of ideas and for academic debate, a kind of crowd-sourcing. There's also a prize, and the promise of promotion for the winning ideas. You get comments and feedback as you work up your proposals, and this strengthens your work. Later in the process you'll get feedback from a team of "blue ribbon" judges.
All of this sounded pretty good to me, my idea of "fun", but I also entered the competition because my ideas to combat climate change don't really fit any particular traditional academic format. I could perhaps have published them in one of the more radical economics journals such as Ecological Economics, or have written a book, which would necessarily have been a polemic, and I may yet do one or both of these, but in this summer when Aimee and I are expecting a baby, and after a particularly busy academic year, with an even busier one looming, this was what I had time for. I wouldn't have had time for either of the two alternatives, at least not enough time to do them well.
Originally my proposal was filed under a section titled "Shifting perceptions", intended to be a receptacle and forum for proposals about how to influence and educate folk about climate change. Since my particular proposal was fairly global in reach, it sat somewhat uneasily in this section.
The competition organizers have come up with a whole new section to accommodate more global proposals, and invited me to shift my proposal over there, so I did so.
The new section is called "Global Plan"
Here's the lede:
"This contest invites Climate CoLab members to create an integrated vision for what actions the world as a whole can take.
Under the current state of the world’s governance system, there isn’t any one organization or even a defined group of organizations that could take such a vision and readily enact it. Instead, successful action will require work by many people across multiple organizations around the globe.
Articulating a vision for the world as a whole has great potential value, since it can demonstrate that there is a plausible path forward. And such a vision can serve as a roadmap for the many disparate organizations and actors whose efforts must be enlisted."
Here's my particular proposal. Please feel free to read and, if you feel it warranted, to support it.
These ideas grew out of a couple of articles I published on Andrew Revkin's New York Times blog. You can read the originals here.