Anyone who regularly uses a social network (be it Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or whatever) recognises the potential to solve problems by drawing on collective social intelligence, but could that same approach help us deal with the global warming challenge? In an article for the ABC, futurist Mark Pesce argues that similar collaborations amongst individuals could prove more effective in developing sustainable power sources than waiting for inevitably slow government reactions:
A promising young entrepreneur offers to build a plant, using AUSRA technology, to provide enough electricity to power 5,000 homes, if he can get guaranteed multi-year purchase contracts from 5000 buyers. (Like a mobile contract, but for electricity.) With these contracts in hand, he can secure the financing from a CBA or Macquarie Bank to build the plant, plug into the grid and provide that clean green power. All of this can be managed using nothing more than a website and the goodwill of Australians who want to do something - anything - to slow down global warming.
Would you want to take part in such a scheme? How else might social networks help deal with environmental challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments.
DIY carbon change [ABC Unleashed]