It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the global climate crisis. I made this as a response to the problem, ”I don’t know what I can do to help”.
https://collective.energy is a community for crowdsourcing climate solutions & actions. The platform empowers individuals by providing inspiration, feedback, and an audience. Turn climate ideas into plans into reality - all in one place.
Feel free to make an account and post. It's far from perfect but let me know what you think. I'd love helpful feedback.
Thanks, Eric (Collective.Energy maker)
They run annual contests for climate solutions. For several years they had a conference at MIT for all the winning proposals, with VCs attending. In the first couple years the winners presented their ideas to small groups at Congress and the U.N.
But neither of those entities was interested in the ideas anyone presented. Now they've scaled down to a few tightly focused contests sponsored by people who actually want to implement something.
Co-op and mutual solutions have interesting potential, although this one does rather rely on government subsidies.
* Nuclear for base load generation
* Wind/Solar for peak times during the day
* Pumped hydroelectric storage to help offset excess capacity
* Maintain existing hydroelectric dams
It's pretty much that simple, but the politic blocks against using nuclear are massively damaging to our ability to put in place any real solutions.
Do we!? What happens otherwise? Because it's a cast iron certainty that global emissions won't be anywhere near 50% less in ten years time.
Also dams kill fish, to the point of driving salmon nearly to extinction in the pacific northwest:
Aside from that, I think that your sentiment is correct that we have the technology today to get off fossil fuels.
The trend is that electricity will soon become too cheap to meter (literally, at peak production more energy will flow into the grid than what's used). So the new frontier in renewable energy is storage.
If I had a million dollars, I'd invest in displacement tech like this one:
There's also great promise in storing excess grid energy in electric car batteries, and in big dumb sodium-sulfur or nickel-iron batteries.
So I think we should put our R&D efforts into energy storage, not nuclear. Not to mention that nuclear is now the most expensive technology. It goes nuclear, coal, natural gas, solar, then wind in descending order:
I'm already dreading asking the question to myself, but a part of me really believes this should be done.
edit: Never mind, it would make a lot more sense for me to post that on this collective.energy. I will do that instead.
They have done some smaller scale solar projects and bought a 51% stake in an existing wind turbine— I believe there was a government benefit for "local ownership" or something that was the impetus for this particular move.
It would be very attractive to drive the oil companies out of business with a frontal assault.
Of course it would depend on having enough consumers prepared to pay more for their fuel.
Basically, you don't actually buy power from Bullfrog— you continue to pay your existing utility bill, and then pay a surcharge to Bullfrog, who invest it in green energy projects on your behalf. They're periodically audited to demonstrate that the money is doing what they say it is, but at its core it's a marketing company selling feelings, not an energy company selling energy:
But the point is, they have loads of customers, so there's definitely an appetite out there for paying more to get reduced-guilt energy.
If you're serious about this, I'd recommend reading Max Gergel's book "Excuse me sir, would you like to buy a kilo of isopropyl bromide", and then imagine what you would need to go through in order to start an operation 10x to 100x bigger than Gergel's in todays regulatory regime.
The way I see it, you're somewhat in a different ballgame since you're not buying explosive/toxic gases from anyone else. You're producing an explosive gas from seawater. Still, I imagine you need some pretty big safety zones if you're operating at scale, no?
I'd like to see environmentally aware consumers voluntarily subsidising a synthetic fuel company that would compete with the fossil fuel companies.
If enough people would chip in, perhaps it could be possible to put pressure on the margins of the fossil fuel companies and drive them out of business.
What copyright is assigned to the posts from contributors? Creative Commons?
Could there be a way to allow users to accumulate a local copy of the discussion threads? This is something I appreciate about mailing lists and Usenet -- being widely distributed & redundant minimizes the chance of important content getting lost to the sands of time. Also allows for reading offline in situations where internet access might not always be available.
I see there are RSS feeds for individual discussions, but on a quick look through a few of those it wasn't clear to me how well this would capture threaded conversations, if it would require continually adding additional feeds for newly spawning discussions, etc. Maybe db dumps could be utilized similar to how Kiwix creates an offline Wikipedia?
Anyhow, great idea, I hope to be able to contribute.
If anyone lives in New York and would like a real-life community extension of this idea, you're welcome to join us in getting this meetup group off the ground.
Something that you may find useful that I came across recently is Climateaction.tech , which may have some overlap that you could take advantage of.
It looks like that initiative is working together through a Google doc for now? Perhaps they might be interested in also leveraging a forum-type environment to foster ongoing discussion in addition to their document! Love what they're doing though. If you're involved with that, get in touch!
The name seems odd to me however, as I read it from the perspective of electrical energy. Most countries already have extensive electrical infrastructure (i.e. collective energy) so the name evoked in me the horrible idea of taking communities off grid to run on their own micro-grid.
This is fine in a few edge cases, but is generally suboptimal from a socio-economic perspective.
Also it seems like you have great knowledge about electrical infrastructure. Maybe you could contribute that knowledge on the platform. We've discussed ideas like local micro-grids and many would love to learn more about why you think they are a bad idea. We'd be happy to have you bolstering our ranks!
What do you think? I'm open to suggestion but I feel like suppressing free speech goes against the ideals of the community
I would suggest having a repository of clear arguments and counter arguments with links to reputable scientific sources, that we can refer any climate deniers to. For example: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/06/will-c...
edit: If you are serious about solving climate crisis, there is no time for counter arguments. Arguing with deniers and "sceptics" is a distraction and a waist of time. They are already a minority anyway. The majority of the population, both in US and EU, supports climate policies. The task is not to convert sceptics, the task now is to get the pro climate majority off their butts, away from their keyboards, and to "the streets".