Our partners at the ClimateWorks Foundation have just published an excellent new report: The Costs of Delay.
The message of the report is one we at Climate Interactive emphasize whenever we get the chance:
The momentum and delays in the climate system mean that we can’t afford to wait and see about the impacts of climate change. We must begin to act now.
Given the report’s important message we were very happy to try to help when the report’s co-author, Sonia Aggarwal, asked for some illustrative scenarios generated with C-ROADS.
Go check out this important report, share it with those who can make good use of it, and celebrate the existence of open source climate models like C-ROADS that help those voices calling for climate action to better make their case.
Today we have guest post by Tom Fiddaman of our Climate Interactive team. The original is here.
Models and copyrights
Tom Fiddaman, July 15, 2010
Or, Friends don’t let friends work for hire.
Image Copyright 2004 Lawrence Liang, Piet Zwart Institute, licensed under a Creative Commons License
Photographers and other media workers hate work for hire, because it’s often a bad economic tradeoff, giving up future income potential for work that’s underpaid in the first place. But at least when you give up rights to a photo, that’s the end of it. You can take future photos without worrying about past ones.
For models and software, that’s not the case, and therefore work for hire makes modelers a danger to themselves and to future clients. The problem is that models draw on a constrained space of possible formulations of a concept, and tend to incorporate a lot of prior art. Most of the author’s prior art is probably, in turn, things learned from other modelers. But when a modeler reuses a bit of structure – say, a particular representation of a supply chain or a consumer choice decision – under a work for hire agreement, title to those equations becomes clouded, because the work-for-hire client owns the new work, and it’s hard to distinguish new from old. Continue reading
Since 2006, Sustainability Institute’s climate efforts — Climate Interactive and Our Climate Ourselves – operating along side our work with international policymakers, has achieved significant successes translating simulation-based insights in eleven different forms.
1. Embeddable Widget. The C-ROADS-based Climate Scoreboard spread virally through the climate policy world during the Copenhagen Conference and was embedded in thousands of blogs and webpages, reaching over half a million views.
2. Online Datasets. The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, and Washington Post used the Excel files of model output that we post online, to create graphics for their media to report the Copenhagen Accord. And 350.org used the same data as part of a poster to influence delegates at the meetings.
3. Simulation Exhibits. A consortium of science museum exhibit designers convened by Brown University integrated the C-ROADS simulation into a “touch-table” exhibit that is now touring New England science museums.
4. “Sticky” Metaphors. Dr. John Sterman (a partner in Climate Interactive) developed the “carbon bathtub” as a framework that was published as the “Big New Idea” in National Geographic Magazine in December 2009.
Guest post here by Mike Richards, from his Excellence By Design blog. Mike was one of the visionary founders of our “Open Source” and “Open Innovation” platform for Climate Interactive, back in 2007.
The exhibit below grew out of a partnership with Richard Polonsky of Brown University and Henry Kaufman and team of Tactable. It is installed in the Ecotarium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
There is a new, way cool interactive map of the future of our planet’s climate. Check out the Map of the Future below. This new tool was developed as part of an NSF sponsored traveling museum exhibit. The interface is really great.
The reason I mention it is also because the science for the climate calculations is based on Climate Interactive’s simulation tool — C-ROADS. I was lucky enough to be part of the original team who helped craft the vision for the tool, which was based on absolute adherence to scientific accuracy, speedy execution, and (my main contribution) to do so using an ‘open’ design approach to enable future community based enhancements and innovative uses…like the Map of the Future. Continue reading
The collaboration of the C-ROADS team with Chinese climate analysts at Tsinghua University is growing via a university partnership.
At the recent UN conference in Copenhagen, Drew Jones of Sustainability Institute met with Professor He Jiankun of Tsinghua University (shown in the photo) to discuss extending and customizing the C-ROADS simulation to better match the energy development future in China.
And over the past two weeks, teams from Sustainability Institute, Tsinghua University, MIT, the Society for Organizational Learning, and Ventana Systems are collaborating to include important factors such as GDP, energy intensity, and fuel mix onsite at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Some of the group at MIT in Cambridge are shown in the picture. Dr. John Sterman (MIT), Xiaohu Luo (Tsinghua), Lori Siegel (SI), Drew Jones (SI), Tom Fiddaman (Ventana), Zhou Li (Tsinghua), Peter Senge (MIT/SoL), Rebecca Niles (SI/STC).
The not-for-profit group 350.org used our widely-available C-ROADS output data to create their own poster to influence delegates in Copenhagen at COP15.
Near the end of the conference, the poster you see here was pasted all over the Bella Center and seen by thousands. Continue reading
Click here or on the image to the left to view a slide show detailing our Climate Interactive efforts and how you can partner with us to use interactive, accessible climate simulations to help stabilize the climate.
Provides a good update regarding our recent successes with the Climate Action Initiative in using our lead sim, C-ROADS, and lays out our vision for “open architecture” sharing of simulations.
A watershed meeting for Climate Interactive happened May 15, 2007. Many of us working together to launch the effort to create and share user-friendly climate simulations finally met face-to-face! MIT system dynamics hero John Sterman hosted the event at MIT, where we determined our core mission, principles, and structure.
That’s Jessica Star of SoL, John Sterman of MIT, Mike Richards of Visioneering Partners, Drew Jones of SI, Chris Johnson of IfPeople, Michael Tempel of Schlumberger/SEED, Peter Senge of MIT/SoL, and Chris Landry of SI. Michelle Erickson of Citigroup and Lori Siegel of SI missed the picture. Notice the org chart behind us.
Chris Johnson and I had a particularly classic MIT moment before the meeting — we walked to the “infinite corridor” in the main building at MIT and saw the charter of MIT etched in 18,786 point font in the building and then returned to our meeting to join the group and write our own:
Enable and support a community that
creates, shares, and uses
credible models, accessible simulations,
and simulation-related media
in order to improve understanding of climate dynamics and
accelerate action towards climate stabilization.
Say “amen” somebody!!!
Climate Interactive has many creation stories.
One central one for me was the day in 2006 when, at a workshop for the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows program where I was a trainer and Peter Senge a guest presenter, Peter said, “We need to get more system dynamics models of climate out there in the world, making a difference. What do you think we could do?”
Since then, Peter has been a driving force behind this effort to make climate simulations useful as a vehicle to climate stabilization. Here’s his thinking about this movement.