Saturday, June 13, 2009

Feedbacks and Interactions between Global Change...

Feedbacks and Interactions between Global Change, Atmospheric Chemistry, and the Biosphere.

A very thought provoking review paper from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Otto Hahn Institute) Biogeochemistry Department, Germany. The research in by Professor Andreae's et al and is closely tied to the International Biosphere/Geosphere Program, and involves a high amount of international collaboration.

And check out the amazingly detailed diagram: CONCEPTUAL MODEL of Earth System process operating on timescales of decades to centuries. You may discover a lot of existing and potential feedbacks. (negative or positive...)

Here is a simplified, nicely colored overview of that diagram via NASA (1988)

Earth Systems Science: an Overview

Saturday, June 6, 2009

CarbonTwollar redirect to ecoTwollar

The CarbonTwollar experiment has spun a new incarnation.

It has been reshaped as ecoTwollar to reflect better its capacity. It can now accommodate various eco-streams, depending on what resource your eco-Act you think saves -- [carbon,kwh,water,etc,...]

It is NOT and offset, you don't need to estimate the exact amount saved in any of those. The idea is that you let you peer estimate the innovation content instead, and award #ecoTwollars accordingly.

And it works like this:

First, You do something innovative and simple, like you used a solar charger to your batteries, instead of plugging the charger into the mains. You take a picture of the charged betteries before and after and put it online with a link.

Next, you tweet about it @ecoTwollar or anyone else on your network who cares to follow you being so entirely brave. Give it a descriptive #hash in the end, such as in our example would be #solarCharge. One of us will look at the picture and decide it is clever enough. If it is, you will be given #ecoTwollar and asked to delete your Tweet. The information content of it is important, so put it up again with a #ecoSold hash. This way others will learn from your idea, but you will need to do another eco-Act to get paid in #ecoTwollar again. And so on.

If your act does not merit the pay in #ecoTwollar, don't dispair. One of two things will happen. You will get a friendly suggestion from me or someone else how to improve it next time. And so you decide to improve and get #ecoTwollar then. But you might get lucky in the future, if you keep the tweet up as it is, and someone may decide at a later date to give you #ecoTwollars. It is less likely though, since the strength of Twitter is real time reaction.

Oh...and one last thing: Please encourage others to do the same, and if you like what they do, give ecoTwollar, if not give a friendly advice.
That's all really...

Your starting account is 100 ecoTwollars:
The ecoTwollar tweet home:

Have fun ecoTollaring away.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Twollars Friends page growing

It is so good to see that the list is growing:

Friday, May 22, 2009

First wonderfully short mail post to bloGR

In many ways I am a slow adopter.
As this belated email post to blogger illustrates to point amply.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

CarbonTwollar on Twitter...

CarbonTwollar Experiment launches on Twitter. And a Friends to Twollars post

@CarbonTwollar Experiment has been nested at Twitter:

And sent the nice folks over at Twitter folks a Friends-to-Twollars post. I hope they might consider it and see CarbonTwollars as perhaps a worthy category to spread the climate energy gospel:

PS. Would like to give Twollars to Carbon-manna to help spread their act faster on Twitter. (Currently they are not Tweeting...and I think there is great potential in promoting there...)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Peer-to-peer Environmental Energy Exchange

Recently I helped prepare a policy research application for project funding much inspired by the kindhearted and generous inputs to this discussion we have had with community activists, advocates and platform developers:

It is based on the idea that environmental ingenuity might need to enlist grassroots energies and resourcefulness in a more organic way. Our insight was that one way of attempting that is by applying and adjusting available systems developed for a peer-to-peer reward/ act/ evaluation/ information model.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More on Group Accountability

Touched on collective accountability on a blog previous. While on the subject...

Interesting, somewhat studious and didactic but overall thorough white paper I found on Public Accountability becoming both practicable and conscionable in democratic Taiwan --- published to Australian Journal of Public Administration as special edition:

"Accountability is answerability for conduct and responsibility" Source also cites Rethinking Democratic Accountability, Behn (2001:3)

"it is much easier to design and implement systems to track financial or legal accountability...the most difficult area for designing and implementing an accountability mechanism is that of [...] performance-based accountability. However, the truth is that this is at least as important to taxpayers, if not more so. Performance means many things to different stakeholders, ranging from public service quality, efficiency, public service satisfaction, policy outputs, policy outcomes, the perception of fairness, or even the extent of public participation."

Yet partial control and a network of complexity of delivery, outsourcing to private sector and losing a more complete and necessary oversight, or changing perspectives of performance could be an entirely legitimate problem of implementing ways to effectively measure it. And a solution is not always in overcoming a problem entirely, but use the remainder as an opportunity to handle the next. Public implementation is a process, not a race with pit-stops to get squirted with champagne. On reading the piece one cannot help but think the old adage that "polity is the art of the possible" because it seems to relate well to public group accountability too.

Also, there is a continuation of responsibility involved beyond the immediate here-and-now that commercial and market interest is usually for. Hence commercial type performance can be more readily applied to legal issues (insurance, risk minimization) and economic (budgeting, cash flow, accounting) than to social policy performance (success with the process of a publicly mediated environmental macro-infrastructure.)

Considering performance based accountability, in general, also raises the spectre of Quality Assurance in the Public Sector as well as it has been already applied in the Private. And there ARE standards of accountability. I would think that precisely in the social accountability field they are well captured in the ramifications of a continuous development program than in a fixed definition of a methodology of how to get results.

I find this set of standards a quite a a thorough one:

More on Crowdsourcing of Infrastructure

With many chances for effective debt control dwindling and with rising deficits into the foreseeable future, energy infrastructure investments to be more affordable is not going to go away in a hurry. So I have kept thinking about ways of crowd-sourcing the costly part physical infrastructure. A good solution has been devised by David Palella, who takes kindly to our endeavors. But he planned for developing countries and the large costs saved saved are for licensing a preexisting network.

True, crowd-sourcing of large infrastructure would be very desirable on the count of effective public debt control. If only a handful of well-defined sponsors could "own" the project and only through group mediation.

But important issues need to be tackled, issued that are generally successfully solved on a more micro level. Pretty important among them are:

  • co-leadership of management
  • group accountability
Some say this is typically only works when one person (corporate or natural) is at the helm. (And I agree with it with important qualifications, commented on that article.)
But this typically ALSO works well in a well-bonded smaller group, such as balanced familial duties, minority business, sports team, rapid-growth partnerships. On closer examination, what is characteristic in these are:
  • "clicking"and/or forging together, and
  • long period of low risk slow bonding
In fact, some close business partners were also able to become pretty big successes that of course germinated over a long bonding period --- in the case of Walt and Roy, Gates and Allen, and Brin and Page. (Still, the two of them acted like one executive unit, which would be somewhat difficult in a crowd-sourced setting.)

It is also important to note that some leadership information will always remain confidential and vested in a smaller group, especially that of vested in a more macro-scale infrastructure.

Also, group accountability has generally been applied in the form of retribution, not reward. One might think of the ruthlessness of collective punishment, which is usually associated with the practice of victim-blaming. This is either a militant, hostile or "re-educational" concept, and also have been successfully applied by colonists mostly against convicts or the natives. But that is not exactly what most of us would normally have in mind as a good example to follow.

Not to mention the housing privacy issues, and who guarantees it planned and maintained. That always wrought with dangers to corrupt to process, and if not, still throws a major spanner in the works.

That said, I still find projects that have goals focused on inevitability and a bit away from the immediate here-and-now still merit such thinking.

See for more: The Masarang Foundation