While we need the combined efforts of individuals, organizations, local, state and national governments to take on these issues, we are all part of “Team Earth.” We all want a great quality of life for everyone, without compromising the planet. We are going to get there by racing our fellow team/planet mates to zero carbon and cheering on the stragglers. To win at the global level, you have to start at the local level. And if we can make it here in the USA, we can make it anywhere.
We invite states to formally join the race, as we develop and formalize the metrics and parameters of the race, in partnership with other organizations, using best open source data on a robust, user friendly platform. Our key function is to provide protocols and materials to track the race, referee the race, and coach contenders for the win. We will foster carbon free coaches and announcers and recruit sponsors to provide prizes. Someone will win the race first but the real prize is a sustainable future.
Winning a great quality of life for ten billion people without compromising the planet is difficult. We’ve been making strides, yet two out of every five people are still in deep poverty and the climate is headed for a meltdown. We are all responsible, and we are mostly avoiding the problem. The innate complexity of combating a geopolitical problem like climate change is compounded by the psychological reaction most people have when confronted with a problem of seemingly epic proportion. The result is the social and political paralysis that we have come to expect from our leaders, our decision makers and ourselves. The handful of individuals and organizations that work to address issues as big as climate change are typically relegated to small niches of interest or ideology without an ability to broaden the scope of their impact. Progress is piecemeal, actors compete with one another for resources, conversations become polarized, the team falls apart, and nothing changes. A complex problem like this needs a big-picture solution that brings the team together, channeling competition and diversity for greater collaboration and impact.
In order to win this race we need to combine widespread small-scale action with big picture goals in a way that fosters communication, data sharing, and collaboration. We need strong players but we also need better ways for players to share what works and what doesn’t. We need to reward achievement but also motivate players who are coming up short. The “race” taps into the best parts of our collaborative and competitive nature as a species. It will allow a platform for individuals concerned with global issues to learn from and work with individuals who are concerned with what is happening in their own backyards. We systematically reformulate the competition in a way that gets rid of distorted communication and refocuses the contenders on their own preferences and capabilities in context with the whole. This, along with compassion, optimism, and a desire to see every contender achieve their best is how we amplify player’s own passions for the win and for the camaraderie.
This approach builds a culture of winning around sustainability. It creates the space for diverse approaches to flourish, be tested and celebrated. The race will bring about red state, blue state and wild card solutions; build community and state spirit; inform, inspire and most of all accelerate progress to a sustainable world. And it will be fun.
Embedded into the website, but standalone (and embeddable elsewhere), the Race Tracker will be designed (with developers, academic partners and open source data) for the following purposes:
We'll take you step by step through all the plays to get you and your state over the hump and into an awesome, sustainable world.
Footprint to Wings is ad-free and has taken thousands of hours to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, if you want this platform to be the best it can to help you take your state to net zero carbon, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing →