I have been working on responses to climate change and climate change decision-making for almost 30 years. I’ve served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but most of my career has been spent working with organizations around the world on everything to do with climate change.
Whether calling it climate change or global warming, almost all climate scientists characterize as dangerous our departure from the “climatic normal” human societies have evolved within over the last 10,000 years. But if it’s that dangerous, why haven’t we done more to prevent it?
One reason is the enormous gap between our collective knowledge about climate change and individual decision-making when it comes to climate change, as reflected in Carla O’Dell’s “[I]f only we knew what we know” quote. Notwithstanding and to some extent because of virtually unlimited collective knowledge regarding the science, risks, and solutions to climate change, individuals rarely spot the “actionable knowledge” that would significantly influence their decisions as concerned citizens, business executives, or policy makers.
Inadequate access to actionable climate knowledge is the biggest barrier we face in tackling climate change, and it is only getting harder every year. Your social media streams do little but confirm your current views. Google almost any climate-relevant search term or question and you’ll get millions of hits. How many do you look at? How much of the information do you remember a month later?
Based on our 20+ years working on climate change, and a longstanding interest in knowledge management, about six years ago my environmental lawyer wife and I started building an “actionable knowledge” solution for climate change. We call it the Climate Web. It uses TheBrain® software to organize information in ways that make it accessible to anyone interested in climate change, from concerned citizens and philanthropists to business executives and policy makers. It starts by linking more than 40,000 books, reports, journal articles, news stories, videos, and websites, with new materials added almost daily. But the Climate Web also does much more, extracting and linking together thousands of individual ideas and powerful graphics that can help deliver knowledge that can influence perceptions and decisions.
In the process of building the Climate Web I suspect we’ve read more climate-related literature, visited more climate-related websites, and watched more climate-related videos than any other two people on the planet. The Climate Web has turned into a massive resource that we’re confident can help make a difference on climate change.
We have gone to great lengths to make the Climate Web an open-access resource that anyone can use. Want to learn about climate science, how to communicate climate change, or what experts are forecasting when it comes to a low-carbon transition? It’s in the Climate Web. Want to find out what experts are saying about carbon pricing and cap-and-trade policy? It’s in the Climate Web. In fact, if there is an answer to climate change it’s probably in the Climate Web! The Climate Web can save you hours, days, or even more of your time. It can point you to great resources you would never otherwise see. It can help you think about climate change or climate change solutions in a completely new way. It can provide you with all kinds of new resources for communicating with or teaching others about climate change.
I’ve only scratched the surface of what you can find in the Climate Web. Its sheer size is the biggest challenge users face in using the Climate Web. After investing 16,000 hours in building the Climate Web, this Patreon project has two goals: 1) to help us keep the Climate Web open access; and 2) to help users more easily access their specific actionable knowledge in the Climate Web.
The solution is Climate Web Doorways:
- Audience Doorways lead to curated collections aimed at the needs of particular user audiences, from “Concerned Individuals” to “Corporate Risk Managers” and “K-12 Teachers.”
- Topic Doorways lead to curated collections that help you understand and track important climate topics, from a “2oC Climate Target” to the “Water-Food-Energy Nexus” and “Extreme Events.”
- Personal Doorways lead to curated collections customized for individual users, and can include an eclectic collection of nodes from all over the Climate Web.
Doorways mean you don’t have to try and keep track of where you saw great resources in the Climate Web, and retrace your steps every time you go in. You can jump there instantly through your URL-based personal doorway!
Watch a video that helps you select the Doorway(s) of most value to you:
All supporters of our Patreon project will receive customized access to Climate Web information. Take a look at the different levels of support, and pick the one that best suits your interests. Choose your preferred Audience, Topic, or Dashboard Doorways, or contents for your Personal Doorway, from this list (which replicates what you just saw on the video)!
We believe that the Climate Web can help thousands of individuals and organizations be more effective in advancing their climate change goals, and advance our collective goal of slowing climate change and accelerating a low-carbon transition. Will you help us continue to use our time and expertise to build and expand the Climate Web as an open access resource, and give anyone who’s interested a 16,000 hour head start on their goals? Thank you!