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John Reed

May 23, 2014
10:18

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1 |
It's absolutely brilliant. I'm impressed when people stand back far enough to see the whole picture; this proposal addresses so many issues in one, lovely, "social-capitalist" move that I'm still flabberghasted. Unlikely? Yes. Difficult? Not so difficult to actually do, but to "get it done", very. But visionary, and revolutionary. I am, of course, wary of any idea that tries to combine 100% transparency with 100% security, and I see many entanglements (many of which the author notes). But more importantly, it's a better solution with fewer entanglements and a vague possibility of working... which is a hell of a lot better than what we have now (we've just crossed the 400ppm CO2 line).

Chris Taylor

May 31, 2014
02:02

Member


2 |
This idea is truly novel and fresh, and the contributors have been very forthright and realistic about overcoming many of the obstacles. However, just for the sake of playing devil's advocate though: 1. Why would companies want to get involved when dealing with climate is at the bottom of their priorities list? If it's not legislated, it's still normally the government who press companies into action. Sure, they'll be some support, but can you imagine the fossil fuel energy sector getting involved. 2. How would companies plan for future expenditure if they don't know what the price on carbon is going to be. Planning costs is just a normal healthy part of management today, and if they are unable to plan for it, they'd surely prefer to leave it out. 3. Companies which sign up to this idea would eventually be at a financial disadvantage to their competitors. That's why Climate CoLab have asked the question " How could the U.S. Congress put a price on carbon emissions? " If everyone pays a price on carbon, they are all on a level playing field. Have you actually spoken to any big emitter about such a proposal? Hopefully my comments will lead to a strengthening of your proposal. In the meantime, I'd really appreciate it if you could look at my proposal and give some positive criticism. http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300404/planId/1305907

Mark Dietrich

Jun 1, 2014
09:16

Member


3 |
This could be genius (only time will tell), but I have some inside scoop on this matter. I was close to proposing a similar idea, but I gave up. I couldn't get solve the market manipulation problem (and long term incentives for users). But the leasing (via ethereum or smart contracts) changes the game. That's your coup-de-grace. It keeps everyone with skin in the game for life. Now, I'll admit, this may never work. The world of Metcalfe's law is a long upward slope that could fail at any time. But this idea really stands a chance. I'll post more as I think about it this week. BTW James, I heard about this proposal through a contact at the Boston Ethereum Meetup group. I had no idea you were working on this. Your Bitcoin vids are the reason I am so well informed today. Congrats.

Dennis Peterson

Jun 1, 2014
11:43

Member


4 |
You could actually implement this as a currency within Ethereum. Scaling to the global level is an unsolved problem so far. They're working on it and have some ideas, but it's complicated. The incentive for companies to lease the credits is unclear. Public pressure?

James D'angelo

Jun 1, 2014
12:07

Member


5 |
Proposal
creator
@ dennis. Bingo. That's exactly what we suggest in the proposal, working in an Ethereum type system. And we do address your other concerns as well, but they are still concerns. Scaling to the global level is a dark abyss indeed. But we are warmed by a couple recent developments. Circle is attempting the same thing, and they will lead the way. Bitcoin itself provides a less perfect solution. And even starting with something like Facebook (now over a billion users), could be great to get the excitement and ball rolling. Finally, we do address incentives for companies. But surely, today, it would be a hustle just to get a local coffee shop to sign on (no one has heard of us). But with a little press/feedback, it would be a snap for companies to get on at the beginning simply because, like the early days of Bitcoin, the price will be ridiculously low. So a company could get involved for next to nothing, and if the price goes up by a few cents a month, probably be happy to be a part of something they can advertise around. THANKS for the support and for reaching out. PLEASE send more comments or concerns.

James D'angelo

Jun 1, 2014
01:47

Member


6 |
Proposal
creator
@Christaylor. First of all thank you for the great response and kind words. "Novel, fresh and realistic about obstacles" are huge compliments to us. And we whole-heartedly agree that climate change might need some real fresh persepective. And, more importantly, Chris, thanks for reaching out. In the case of global climate change, we are literally all in this together, so its nice to collaborate. I have read through your proposal and browsed through your videos, really nice stuff, and it is clear this is a topic that has been of major importance in your life. You bring a strong technical background and engaging attitude to your work. As you are far from a devil’s advocate, I am hoping that some day we can get together and chat about all of this at length. Now to respond to your insightful questions. I’ll insert your queries in my response and respond to them directly. >>YOU WROTE: “1. Why would companies want to get involved when dealing with climate is at the bottom of their priorities list? If it's not legislated, it's still normally the government who press companies into action. Sure, they'll be some support, but can you imagine the fossil fuel energy sector getting involved.” >>OUR RESPONSE: While the sentiment of your question is good, the assumption is not spot on. Climate change is not at the bottom of every company’s list. That said, many corporations won’t be willing to take action until they see a cohesive, transparent, and perhaps even rewarding system. No one likes to be singled out or mandated. And this is the problem. For 99% of the companies on earth, there is no cap-and-trade system available for them to participate in to even show their support. And I agree with you, certain companies will not want to join, ever. But the congressional ‘stick’ is not the only incentive or screw we can apply to these ‘bad apples.’ We can create free market pressures, social pressures, stigmatizing pressures, etc. This is the way many campaigns start. And sometimes these pressures work gangbusters. Further, successful grass roots campaigns lead to MUCH stronger legislation. Finally, as you know, top-down government mandates (i.e. a mandatory cap-and-trade, carbon tax, or any other proposal I have seen) begin to smell like communism (which isn’t bad in and of itself), and as such, suffer from many of the confining, restrictive problems of that we see in the literature. The most significant one is called ‘the socialist calculation debate’, and it suggests that only free markets are capable of handling the planning for masses of people. This is why most climate change solutions, proposed by governments, end up getting longer, lengthier, more complicated, and eventually even impossible to implement. We offer maximum simplicity. You have your shares, you trade them. Done deal. >>YOU WROTE: “2. How would companies plan for future expenditure if they don't know what the price on carbon is going to be. Planning costs is just a normal healthy part of management today, and if they are unable to plan for it, they'd surely prefer to leave it out.” >>OUR RESPONSE: In theory, planning ahead always seems like such a good idea. But, not much in human history suggests that long-term future planning works. I am continually amazed by the proposals that set the price of carbon 20 years down the road, when trying to understand geopolitics even a couple years in advance years seems iffy. Worse, as we have already seen with Europe’s climate policies, government’s revoke, revise, and ignore mandates they themselves set just a few years before. That said, I do see your point, and companies like to plan. But ours won’t be the only fluctuating free-market price they might have to plan around. All commodities work the same way. Even labor. All things they have to deal with. So its just a reality. The good news is, our system offers a price that will ramp up from zero, and outside of an absurd mass adoption, it is unlikely to be prohibitively priced in the near future. >>YOU WROTE “3. Companies which sign up to this idea would eventually be at a financial disadvantage to their competitors. That's why Climate CoLab have asked the question ' How could the U.S. Congress put a price on carbon emissions? ' If everyone pays a price on carbon, they are all on a level playing field.” >>OUR RESPONSE: It might be a financial disadvantage, that is not as clear as you suggest. Companies pay for advertising, sometimes having their name associated with say a sports team or a movement has financial advantages, even if they pay for them. Indeed, a global public ledger, showing levels of commitment could be one of the most powerful advertising tools ever. So companies who seek to have a strong presence in leading the world in climate change awareness could have a strong incentive to join in. And that relationship could be financially rewarding. And yes, you are correct – CoLab asks how to mobilize congress to pass legislation. Indeed our proposal might appear like we are avoiding the question altogether. But that’s not true. We don’t take the question lightly. While most proposals appeal straight to congress, we do things the old fashioned way through the electorate. Sure its great to just dictate top-down solutions and hope congress and the world follow in lock step. But things rarely work that way. Martin Luther King Jr, knew the best way to mobilize congress was through the people. We think its time to try his solution once again. Further, grass roots campaigns build deeper roots and result in stronger legislation. It sounds slow, letting the consensus build. But is it really? We’ve been waiting for congress to lead on climate change for almost 50 years now. Perhaps its time to try another approach. Once again, Chris, thanks for your interest and great feedback.

Felipe De Leon

Jun 17, 2014
10:55

Member


7 |
Hello, and congratulations on a truly innovative proposal. I originally heard about the potential to use cryptocurrencies as part of a more democratic emissions trading mechanism from Andreas Antonopoulos in one of his interviews (can’t find it right now) and have been hoping to see development along those lines. There are quite a few aspects of this proposal that would make for interesting discussion, and many have been addressed in the previous comments. A key element, which I would like to understand further is how this system actually encourages emission reductions. The number of allowances is arbitrarily established (one per head) at a level that “approximates the amount of carbon humans are releasing into the atmosphere each year” and therefore much more than what we can afford to be emitting. There seems to be no mechanism to reduce the amount of allowances available so, how do the reductions take place? It seems it might be interesting to look into setting the number of allowances in the system based on a “carbon budget” that limits us to safe levels of emissions, or to have a mechanism that starts with the current amount of allowances, ratchets down to a sustainable level within a specific time frame. Have you considered either of these options? This is undoubtedly an avenue of analysis that warrants more work. Well done!

Jamie Robinson

Jul 7, 2014
11:31

Member


8 |
Hi James, Very interesting way to bring balance to our Economy vs Environment tradeoff. Obviously lots to cover still but I have a few initial thoughts (questions but really just things to think about) after the video: 1) Multiple units per person - How can you stop someone from owning 5 or 10 units? Biometrics perhaps? Central issuer per country? I understand one person can't buy them all but what if you wanted as many as you could get? 2) Measuring "environmental usage" - How can you measure what a participating company is using? And who determines what stages in product lifecycle are counted against the company? Eg. A battery manufacturer; are they "paying carbon" for production of raw materials, final disposal, or just their own assembly line? I understand the unit of measurement is carbon, but do we really have accurate measurement tools? I feel lots are under-reporting. Similar problem to "is green-er the same as green?". Please continue to work on this idea - I'm going to follow it closely and help when I can. Jamie

Tony Schulte

Jul 8, 2014
12:36

Member


9 |
The idea of using the blockchain to fight the tragedy of the commons is what I have considered Bitcoin's "Killer App", and I am glad to see some proposals for concrete systems being published! This being said, I think there are issues with, primarily the pre-mined-coin-per-person distribution scheme this system relies on... While appealing because of its egalitarian resonance, the task of assigning one coin per person is surely non-trivial as you rightly note. Moreover, as others have commented, the task of enforcement will also be a significant challenge... I feel a correct system will integrate these aspects into the core of the protocol and transform them from challenges to strengths-- much like bitcoin has hypothetically incorporated the meta-economics of mining into the very fabric of its functionality-- Bitcoin does not rely on governments and corrupt cartels to enforce the fairness of the blockchain: the blockchain is, in its essence, the fairness mechanism rather than an administrative tool. I would also suggest that you do not lose sight of the bigger picture: this is a tool to fight the tragedy of the commons at large, and not specifically for the address of climate change-- You clearly understand this, but I claim that in order for a project like this to be successful, you will need to address the full scope of the challenge to build a system with enough intrinsic internal cohesion to actually affect the change it aspires to. "Whitelist address" is a dirty word in Bitcoin for good reason: the concepts of reducing the fungability of bitcoin and allowing the persecution of individual addresses are clearly contrary to Bitcoin's goal of being an efficient, manipulable, and fair means of establishing a distributed ledger with sound mathematical properties-- however, I feel using a sort of reputation system to deal with selfish players may be possible and effective for your uses. If CO2 emissions are to be addressed, one simply needs to create a reputation channel for CO2 emissions, establish an opt-in audit service, and allow people to have means of proving they have passed an audit (or posted results or whatever...) If consumers (people who are ultimately deciding where the bitcoins go via their spending decisions) decide they will only do business with those who opt-in to the CO2 cap, they should have an automated means of determining whether their potential spend address is whitelisted on the CO2 cap channel. Obviously, this could be done directly for bitcoin transactions and ethereum-like scripting to perform taint analysis. The bitcoins can be tracked as they pass through known "gateway" addresses which may correspond to whitelist rows. Customers themselves, should they chose to opt-in to gateway addresses, will subsequently inherit the social onus of their downstream transactions. This system relies on solely social forces and does not require premined-coin distribution (which is known to be problematic) or any sort of government enforcement of the will of the goodchain. Since bitcoins will be the primary transfer mechanism of value, and purveyor of the ability to allocate value to produce ends in the world-- If a system is to be expected to enact an end, it may as well be connected directly to the blockchain.

Tony Schulte

Jul 8, 2014
12:34

Member


10 |
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Earth_Catalog

Mark Zaritsky

Jul 8, 2014
02:53

Member


11 |
This is a truly incredible concept. It's bigger than this contest and it's even bigger than just carbon emissions. Deforestation, river pollution, ocean acidification, overgrazing of communal pasture, ... OMG the applications are endless in so many challenging problems! There is obviously the problem of ensuring that each individual has exactly the same slice of ownership in a system such as the one proposed. This is the double voting problem as I like to call it, analogous to the double spending problem. I can see how the incentive scheme would work: -People that have these shares would encourage companies to lease the shares from them in exchange for business -Driving more people to enter the system and receive their own shares so that they can have the ability to lease them -These new people would create more encouragement for companies Due to the network effect this growth would be exponential to the point where no company would be able to emit carbon without having these shares. Regardless of this contest's result, this approach should definitely be attempted just because the cost of doing so is relatively small.

Austin Williams

Jul 8, 2014
03:27

Member


12 |
I love this idea. This actually has a chance.

Maximilian Weiss

Jul 8, 2014
03:26

Member


13 |
Fucking awesome idea

Gasso Desec

Jul 8, 2014
05:01

Member


14 |
Let's get this going!

Michael Hayes

Jul 8, 2014
08:27

Member


15 |
Using your type of concept, in conjunction with, the full spectrum of an Intergovernmentally sactioned Marine based Bioenergy/Carbon Sequestration (IMBECS) related commodities would be trans-formative on multiple levels. In short, we need to meet multiple environmental challenges, not just the carbon issue. However, there is the important issue of intergovernmental governance of the fuel/commodity production means and methods. The IMBECS approach to the environmental STEM factors is potentially an extremely robust global warming mitigation method and will need global standards to prevent abuse. Any ideas your team has on expanding your concept to accommodate a basket of IMBECS products/services would be highly interesting to read. Best regards, Michael

Jestin Stoffel

Jul 9, 2014
02:28

Member


16 |
It's very refreshing to hear a market based climate solution that is not politically motivated or steeped in ideology. This proposal makes sense, recognizes all the pitfalls, and is realistic about its prospects. This is the type of thinking that will solve our world's problems rather than polarizing the existing interests.

4of20 Unimatrix952

Jul 9, 2014
10:57

Member


17 |
Ok, as I understand it this is not interfacing with any kind of regulatory system at all, it's just a targeted mass boycott of corporations who choose not to have shares, correct? So, everybody with an ID gets a share. The shares don't cost money or anything. Any corporation can sign up for free, prove that they are lowering emissions, and have people lease them their shares? Then everybody who cares about climate change can make purchasing decisions accordingly, essentially embarrassing/threatening with a boycott any corporations who don't cooperate? That's a strikingly free-market way to go about things. The problem, is do you really have enough die-hard climate people who are going to a) bother signing up in the first place and tracking all of their purchases, and b) actually going to choose to pay higher prices if their normal corporation of choice does not cooperate? For example, let's say you are a college kid who has heard of climate change and is gung ho for the caps. But then your local wal-mart is not participating. When push comes to shove, are you really going to turn your car around and go someplace else that's going to charge more than Wal-Mart? Are you going to vote with your wallet if it costs more to do so? If Target shows up for carbon stuff and does the caps, but you know it will cost you an extra $20 there, are you going to do it? Let's say Apple has a ton of shares because they are doing tons of climate stuff but Samsung does not. If you like the newest Galaxy phone better than the iPhone, are you really going to choose a phone you like less because of Apple's green reputation? Sure the die-hards will. But will the average person? I have a Firefox phone because I believe that a) global Internet access is a human right and b) open source is an end in itself. I want Mozilla's $25 open source phones to succeed and that's why I use one myself. But I'm the only one... I've never met someone else who used a Firefox phone outside of a curiosity. Firefox phones are taking off in the emerging markets they were targeted at from the beginning, but nobody here sells them, and the future is still uncertain. You can't get a market out of die-hards alone. If this sno-caps takes off in the college-educated markets where it is aimed, but nowhere else...will it be enough to make corporations take notice? How do you make regular people who don't care, who are not educated, stand up and take the time to do this? Offer them some chump change to participate (get a FREE $5 to sign up to sno-caps and choose a corporate sponsor)? Make a media event out of it? Do a rally? Aim it at students? Do school fund-raisers where you prove you shopped at X corporation and get some brownie points for your kid? The masses don't care about climate change, at least not enough to actually change spending patterns. You need an awful lot of coercion to get the coupon-clippers to stop shopping at Wal-Mart if Wal-Mart blows it off. Climate change is too nebulous to be classified as a threat by most non-educated adults. So, how do you encourage enrollment? "The ice caps are melting...yeah, that's great, next 30 second news slot." That's the attitude you have to deal with. You won't find it among younger people generally, but younger people don't pay bills and thus can't boycott anybody. On the other hand, it doesn't take everybody to change a corporation's mind on doing it. Just enough lost revenue (or revenue gained by competitors) that the ad agency says it's worth it to do whatever it needs to do get the shares. (Parenthetically, a orbital solar reflector would be a lot better way to stop global warming, just dim the Sun a bit until we get things under control with emissions. But that's a different topic.) How do you sign up for alerts when the project goes live? I'm personally a fan of space-based solutions to global warming, but why not? I'll take my "share". :)

Luke Parker

Jul 9, 2014
11:02

Member


18 |
Brilliant. Having seen such a global reputation system work on amazon.com and having seen such a global ledger work in Bitcoin, I see no reason this can't work as advertised... Surely the masses wouldn't want to turn down "free money" so unless the corporations use government to make this plan illegal before it starts, I don't see what can stop it. Then humanity would not only have a cleaner/cooler planet; but it would also have a default paycheck that cannot be taken away from any humans at all! What a egaltarian thing to bring about!

Brent Ranalli

Jul 12, 2014
12:36

Member


19 |
Very interesting proposal. One of the selling points, as presented, is that the system doesn’t require administration, it works “autonomously” (assuming there is buy-in). I’d like to press on that point, and ask whether that is really true. In traditional cap and trade, there is a regulator who (1) in the short term, adjusts the supply of permits to ensure that prices don’t go too high (which would bankrupt participants or scare them out of the market) or too low (which would fail to provide a market signal to find ways to reduce emissions), and (2) in the long term, gradually reduces the number of permits in circulation to reduce total emissions. Figuring out what is the right number of permits to have in circulation at any moment is a difficult question that requires gathering data, making projections, and using some expert judgment--like central banking. The history of EU’s emissions trading is instructive in this regard. As your system is described, one share would be assigned to each person on the planet, and one share would (for the sake of argument) be considered equivalent to one ton of CO2-equivalent. Since the number of shares would not vary (or would vary naturally--i.e., expand with population growth), the way this trading program would incentivize emissions reductions would presumably be to reduce, over time, the quantity of CO2-equivalent that corresponds to each share. So it’s a little different than standard cap and trade, but still someone has to be responsible for deciding when and by how much the amount of CO2-equivalent per share should be decreased to reduce aggregate emissions (and also when and by how much it should be adjusted up or down to keep prices under control in the short term). @Jaimito: Have I understood the proposal correctly, and do you agree with this logic? If yes, the question is: who will be responsible for setting and adjusting the amount of CO2-equivalent per share? Even after governments get in on the action by requiring greenhouse gas emitters within their borders to participate in this marketplace, no one government would have the authority to dictate changes in the amount of CO2-equivalent per share. That would be a matter of global policy. Someone will need to set that policy--big responsibility, to reduce emissions per share at a pace that effectively reduces total emissions without wrecking the world economy, all while retaining the confidence of the world’s governments.

Brent Ranalli

Jul 12, 2014
02:33

Member


20 |
And if we’ve opened the Pandora’s Box of setting policy: Would you consider setting a floor price at the launch? People are more likely to register and take interest as permit-owners if they are receiving some income right from the beginning, and potential permit-leasing businesses might be more likely to take the program seriously.

James D'angelo

Jul 12, 2014
09:52

Member


21 |
Proposal
creator
@ Branalli Excellent questions! And I hope I never appear to have perfect answers because these systems can be complex and more coffee is always required. But, you have correctly noted that in the EU cap and trade there has been a lot of needed adjustments. But be careful of assumptions here. The EU is not the world. And it is ironic to think that dealing with the whole world actually makes this problem easier by an order of magnitude (demographics change, factories leave, companies lose out to others in asia, etc). Simply put, the EU cap-and-trade could drive business to leave the EU. Our system clearly will not drive companies to setup shop on the moon. As a result, the EUs cap and trade, though doing better of late, is mired in politics and concerns with how it will effect competitiveness. That is not an issue for us. We want to cap carbon and then trade. That's it. So how might we proceed. Well, again, global numbers are readily available (where measuring a group of countries is impossible). So lets take that number – currently all of humanity is producing 8GT a year. We could simply program 8GT in as the cap and let the system run. But fortunately there are many ways to provide algorithmic adjustments based on numbers of trades, users in the system, etc. This is important because I abhor the idea that some central organization would have the keys to adjust the system. So, are algorithmic adjustments possible...well...yes...kind of...For example, Bitcoin is providing an exponential decay of the amount of new coins in the system, but the speed of the introduction of the new coins is actually controlled by an algorithmic response to current mining power. Very cool. Still, I'm not hoping for our system to be intractably complex. I want the average user to understand it perfectly. As a result, I think the problem needs simple clear targets for people to jump onboard. Current schemes don't offer this, there is too much fiddling, and I think that is bad and off-putting. As per your second question. I'm not a fan of any price-setting. And I am very comfortable with starting this grass-roots system at the only price any market should start at...zero. I think you'll find enough literature on how markets can be destroyed by 'non-invisible' hands. And you are correct, the EU has had a lot of problems with the price and the number of units, that is for sure. They introduced way too many at the beginning. Their concerns, however, are not lost on me, and the question you ask can be re-interpreted in a way that does concern me. I still haven't wrapped my head around the problem of say, the system launches and there are 2 companies on board and 5 active users leasing the shares. Does price discovery begin to happen with such poor liquidity? I think so, but it won't be as pretty as following NASDAQ. Like the early days of Bitcoin there will be volatility, heightened concerns, pundits claiming the system is dead before it has died, etc. But people really do love and trust free markets. The more free, the more trust. And with more trust, more adopters. That would be good. Thanks...AND please keep asking questions especially if nothing I wrote above makes sense....Your questions are great, James

James D'angelo

Jul 12, 2014
11:33

Member


22 |
Proposal
creator
@GratefulTony Wow. Great comments super insightful. And there’s no question you really get the idea. So thanks for digging in. Likewise, it took my slow mind a few days to digest the contents of your powerful write-up, but I feel I’m ready to respond. Firstly, and most importantly, I agree, if we can build as system that relies entirely on market and social forces we can win. Any centralized auditing, oversight or control leads to failure and lack of trust, efficiency and transparency. Not good. Your concept of auditing is actually something I have thought a lot about, and like a lot - a whole lot. We think it would be imperative with our system to have such a system in the form of a forum. And this forum would provide a public discussion (a back and forth) on how many shares companies are actually purchasing and what other users think they should be purchasing. While these numbers may never align exactly, we are lucky in the sense that carbon is actually very countable, even on an individual basis, so we do stand a chance of success here, in particular because third parties can enter into play here. Companies who measure carbon could do the auditing and provide their stamp of approval. Then as these companies build trust, they might provide technical expertise to these decisions. Again, because counting carbon is possible we stand a chance. I would hate to try and count trust or human rights abuses etc. Very difficult things to quantify and essentially why our system does not apply to every tragedy of the commons. Finally one query. To me the term “pre-mined” has bad connotations. And what it really implies is that some users have far greater shares than others, especially because they were an early adopter. So in regular financial terms it is akin to insider trading or market manipulation or even monopoly. While (as you note) giving each person an equal share is a very very difficult challenge, the key difference here is that their ownership is for life. All shares will be lease only. So no one entity can manipulate the market or run a 51% attack or monopoly. So yes, our system is akin to pre-mining, but without all the bad stuff. And, though you make no reference to it, it should be clear that we do not intend to make an alt-coin of our own. We will have no coins in the system. Just contracts (so yes, perhaps premined contracts, if you will, but without all the premined downside crap). Please write back for any reason (especially if my poor writing still leaves you with questions, or if you don’t like something I wrote) James D’Angelo

Mark Zaritsky

Jul 12, 2014
03:07

Member


23 |
@Branalli It's not good to have any central authority dictating any price. Instead this system will can grow from the individual level. The system will probably not have even a single company right off the bat (possible not even in the first few years) but can instead be supported by people wanting to be carbon neutral. At first these people would simply need to enter the system and get their share. Just by having a share these people would be more than covered for their personal emissions because at first, when the system has few participants, each share would represent LOTS of carbon emissions. As the system grows and more shares are created people can begin to lease from others, in order to stay carbon neutral, and that's when a price can be established. This can all happen in a totally free market way. Note that I may be totally wrong because I am completely basing this process on how I imagine the system will work.

James D'angelo

Jul 12, 2014
03:56

Member


24 |
Proposal
creator
@ Mammut. Very well said. And I'd say you got it 100%. Thanks!! PS. I do address the same question above, but not half as good as you.

Sean Fontenot

Jul 12, 2014
08:46

Member


25 |
Just wanted to chime in and say I really love the proposal!!! The world thanks you for your solid think-tanking!

Brent Ranalli

Jul 12, 2014
09:29

Member


26 |
James, thanks for the response. I agree that in important ways a global scheme is easier to do well than a regional one. As to whether the system can "run itself," you may be right that some complex algorithm (or even some simple, transparent algorithm) can be devised to automatically send the right price signals & reduce emissions at an optimal pace, but I'm doubtful. Again, I'd compare it to central banking. Despite years of research by really smart people, there's no agreed-upon foolproof formula for setting interest rates that will steer an optimal course to maximize growth and minimize inflation--there are rules of thumb, but ultimately we rely on best professional judgement. I think the proposal has merit. I just think that successful implementation will probably end up being more complicated and messy and "political" than many in a Bitcoin frame of mind would like or want. Good luck!

James D'angelo

Jul 12, 2014
09:02

Member


27 |
Proposal
creator
@branalli Its funny though, I was just reading Krugman, Rogoff and others about the new push to raise interest rates to 4% from the current 2%. Krugman writes that no one even knew why they were 2% in the first place. It was just a number central banks settled on, and no one wanted to deviate from the others partly because they couldn't really justify why they deviated. And if they deviated and their country fell into a funk, well they'd get the blame for breaking ranks. The current push to 4% is hotly debated that's for sure. But there's no real proof that 4 is better than 3 or 5 or 1 for that matter. Weird stuff to be sure. But yes, there is a chance we could set a target and miss badly, spiraling the system out of control and render it worthless. You have good reason to critique that aspect. Still, I think there's something to be said for utter and ridiculous simplicity. Something everyone can understand and see. Full transparency and fully trusted. And personally, I'd like the carbon cap to be aggressive and strict. But we'll see. The conversation on that is going to be going on for months for sure. Thanks again Brent. Great to have your support!

Edgar Godoy

Jul 12, 2014
10:57

Member


28 |
I love huge problems and bitcoin is absolutely the right tool to help reduce the horrible climate change effects and create an entirely new global economy of individual ownership of Earth. Please bubble this proposal to the top. The vision and ambition of it is well above anything else I've seen ever!

Ryan W

Jul 13, 2014
09:56

Member


29 |
Excellent use for blockchain technology. Satoshi him/herself must be smiling. I love the concept, and can picture how it could be coded out. Wonderful idea, looking forward to seeing it come to life.

Cédric Lenomade

Jul 14, 2014
10:19

Member


30 |
Internalizing externalities in a brilliant, incentivizing and voluntary way. The only other way to do it would be to privatize everything (no tragedy of the commons if there are no commons) and since that's not going to happen anytime soon, this is genius. And it's incredibly cheap to set up. Best of luck

Marco Tulane

Jul 15, 2014
09:49

Member


31 |
I agree with the other comments above. Sno-caps is absolutely brilliant. It is an astutely clever combination of ideas. Best of all, it is the only proposal I have seen here that doesn't require a decade of political wrangling/compromise to pull off. This is the key. And the more I think about this idea, the more impressed I am. In fact, what strikes me most is how well Sno-caps addresses an enormous problem not previously mentioned. This proposal is a solution for climate change that leaves nothing for libertarians and the far right to sneer at. Indeed it could be called the libertarian solution to climate change – it is market-based, ultra-low-cost and most importantly, it that actually stands a chance of working. This is important because we are dealing with a Vox Populi and government that doesn't appear ready to even admit that climate change is happening. For this reason alone, I have gravitated here. Further, and what makes me happy, is that it also has no room inside the protocol for myriad compromises which lead to user confusion and disenchantment. I am very impressed and very excited to see something like this implemented. I hope that it receives the funding and attention it deserves. Stellar work.

James D'angelo

Jul 16, 2014
12:39

Member


32 |
Proposal
creator
Thank you, Marco. And yes, your idea of a 'libertarian' solution is a big deal to us. Most other proposals require approval from congress. But the current political climate is terrible, so no matter how juicy the schemes may sound, they are unlikely to work. Ours requires no congressional approval. That is key. Thanks again for your insightful comment & your support.

Marco Tulane

Jul 16, 2014
12:06

Member


33 |
No no. I thank your for your great work on this. And I'll add one more comment. Yours is the only proposal on this site that is truly original. Everything else, I have seen in some other fashion reworked and presented as fresh and new for the last fifteen years. And best of all, your idea really has a chance of working.

Delton Chen

Jul 17, 2014
10:28

Member


34 |
Hello I just want to bring to your attention that Coca Cola and the Carbon Trust have put out a WHITE PAPER on Personal Carbon Allowances. I have not read the full report, it looks relevant. Link is here: http://www.carbontrust.com/resources/reports/footprinting/personal-carbon-allowances-white-paper Limiting personal emissions (voluntary reductions in demand for polluting goods and services) is a great idea. The Global 4C would help by providing financial rewards for families and individuals to reduce their direct emissions. Cultural change, rewards and taxes can all help to limit emissions. Best wishes, Delton

James D'angelo

Jul 18, 2014
07:56

Member


35 |
Proposal
creator
Hi Delton, This is great. I hadn't heard of this before, but it is so good to know there is an initiative like this going on. Indeed, our system relies on some form of individual carbon usage awareness, and this system could provide that in spades. Above, in our comments we talk about trying to bootstrap something like this in the form of a forum, but this carbon allowances stands a chance of providing that functionality and could prove to be an important asset as we launch our system. Great link. James

Eric Dargy

Jul 18, 2014
02:04

Member


36 |
I'm a bit of a cynic and not well versed in cryptocurrencies (i.e. Bitcoin, Litecoin etc). But your support network here is so good, that I've been trying to understand the concept better. Basically you have no intention of using bitcoin as a currency, instead you look to use bitcoin to provide accounting for carbon equivalent shares. Okay, that part I get. Then you will create a website/forum/what that will track these shares? Companies who buy in can 'prove' that they bought them and hence use this information in their advertising or perhaps even someday in the form of tax credits? Customers will lash back against those companies who don't participate? Still confused, but trying to get there.

Raja Felix Kägi

Jul 18, 2014
09:56

Member


37 |
Great idea.

Jeremy Ellingham

Jul 18, 2014
11:20

Member


38 |
This looks great. Bitcoin based solutions to the worlds problem are only just unfolding, absolutely support this stuff.

James D'angelo

Jul 19, 2014
11:30

Member


39 |
Proposal
creator
@lastchance Thanks for your great comment. And actually you get the idea very well. While most folks think of Bitcoin as money, few realize how great Bitcoin's public ledgers can be at asset tracking (shares, commodities etc). And it is this aspect of Bitcoin that we are incorporating. We are leveraging this power to provide full transparency and trust (in a world that has had little of either). Amazingly, each user will be able to buy, sell, lease or rent shares from a simple web app or even their iPhone. Immediately each transaction will get registered on a public ledger for all time (it is better than printing all transactions in a major newspaper). What is great about this is that any user (from their phone or web connection) can immediately follow all these transactions in real time. This transparency and public data can be very useful for corporations looking to advertise their commitment and for consumers looking to track corporate behavior. But even better it can also provide a feedback loop, where bad companies can improve and get rewarded and good companies can be punished for bad actions. Real regulation, without congress. Which is great because it is immediate, cheap and requires no legal work. James

James D'angelo

Jul 19, 2014
11:43

Member


40 |
Proposal
creator
@ccoban, jemtrash, rajafelix, balibule, arorts, marktulane, lastchance and all the above commenters. Thanks so much for the wildly enthusiastic responses.

Mark Dietrich

Jul 19, 2014
01:57

Member


41 |
Truly original. The idea is even better now that when you first posted. I can't wait to see this developed.

Love Romert

Jul 20, 2014
07:43

Member


42 |
This is a great idea. Its Amazes me how many great ideas Bitcoin has spurred. This one is brilliant and could really work. The beauty is, that even if the cynics among us realizes that governments imposes taxes on emissions at best PARTLY because of concern for global warming, they will have a hard time selling their own cap system for limiting emissions once a system like this is in place. They can hardly claim it's not enough since this will be regulated by the citizen of the WORLD through market forces. The more I think about it, the more I realize how brilliant it is.

Martin Jones

Jul 23, 2014
03:45

Member


43 |
If you don't know what this is all about have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCtf9eumuhU&feature=em-subs_digest 40 mins of why what we are doing about Global warming etc is not working & will not work plus a workable solution that will possibly solve a lot of the world other problems.

Eric Dargy

Jul 30, 2014
07:57

Member


44 |
After two weeks of thinking about your proposal, I must say it is very very clever. There are some big stumbling blocks to be sure, but you address those well in the proposal. And while your idea may not work, I'd have to say it has the best chance of succeeding of anything I've seen. And I'm a pretty cynical type. Congrats, wish you luck with this, and perhaps some day I can figure out how I can participate or help in some way.

Climate Colab

Aug 5, 2014
08:21

Staff


45 |
The judges have decided to advance this proposal because of its careful technical discussion of public ledgers. However, the judges strongly felt that the carbon price aspect of this proposal needed considerable elaboration. Its not clear the mechanism through which the proposed public ledger will drive meaningful emissions reductions. Further, the proposal will need a much more detailed discussion about the politics of addressing climate change in this way, particularly in the United States. How can this policy response be made politically feasible? The judges recommend you reach out to a few of the other crypto-currency proposals - including the authors of the 4C proposal - to consider how the relative strengths of each could be merged into a more complete package, possibly partnering with these other teams. Other comments: 1. This is a creative proposal with an outside the box idea. Its feasibility is difficult to judge, though the authors do make an argument for the technological viability of their plan. They pay less attention to the political viability of the plan, and the social access of the world's poor to the carbon rights proposed. Still, the largest issue is that the authors don't elaborate how the cap will be reduced over time to create a carbon price, or other incentives geared towards decarbonization. Individuals are given a lifetime lease on a tonne of carbon at birth. Presumably as global population increases, so too would the cap? What if any mechanisms would drive climate mitigation? 2. My only concern with a software/mathematical approach to the problem is that generally speaking the "masses" won't have the background to truly understand how the system works. The (growing?) "digital divide" between people who know and don't know how to manipulate things with computers could make this solution even more problematic. What assurance is there that the system won't be gamed by savvy users? Can we trust that regulators in the government will possess the highest level of software/mathematical proficiency to prevent gaming/abuse from the outside? 3. Anything times 7 billion is impractical; what global governance structure/treaty/organization will realistically ensure that this system works correctly?

Joe Nyangon

Aug 12, 2014
02:55

Fellow


46 |
Great idea and very strong on technical considerations. I can't wait to see this actualized.

Marco Tulane

Aug 15, 2014
08:56

Member


47 |
Fantastic job on the rewrite. You've pushed your strengths forward focusing on the regulation by reputation. The Q&A bit helps as well.

Matthew Anthony

Aug 19, 2014
12:04

Member


48 |
An apropos solution to an incredibly complex global problem. The blockchain was meant for this. Incentivizing the masses is the way to solve the great problems of our times and there is no greater problem that humanity faces than Climate Change. Well done, can't wait to see this move forward!

Michael Strong

Aug 29, 2014
08:10

Member


49 |
Brilliant. This is a 1.0 strategy that could ultimately be deployed to solve a wide range of large scale tragedy of the commons problems. Many challenges in implementation, but the fundamental thinking behind this is so much better than anything else out there that we should create a large community of motivated people to work out the various challenges associated with solving those challenges.

Michael Trout

Aug 31, 2014
12:02

Member


50 |
It was be great to add to our app ethereum PLAY FOUNDUPS app via api. Love it If you love it you love http://foundups.com

Climate Colab

Sep 3, 2014
12:21

Staff


51 |
Overall, very novel and intriguing, but still needs more to development on mechanisms through which public perception would influence commercial performance. Will this proposal have an effect or will it simply create a social phenomenon that doesn't shift carbon pollution levels? Workability could also be thought through more. Can you practically implement a proposal of this sort? However, its outside-the-box thinking that deserves to be explored and developed much more thoroughly.

Mark Dietrich

Sep 4, 2014
07:57

Member


52 |
This proposal is in a league by itself. It is the only one that doesn't need Congress to implement. It is ridiculously inexpensive. And it is modern and empowering. One note. As a software developer I am a bit surprised that judges at MIT would question whether or not a system like this can be implemented. As the proposal suggests this could be implemented and launched by one person working alone for a few months. Most undergraduate full stack developers could build this in a semester. All the building blocks are there as open source code already. Its a shame the judges aren't aware of this at the leading school for technology.

Ronah Nansubuga

Sep 4, 2014
04:08

Member


53 |
Great!

Marco Tulane

Sep 4, 2014
04:03

Member


54 |
Thanks for reminding me to vote. I wouldn't want to miss this. Sno-caps is great. Hope it wins.

Bryan Hilderbrand

Sep 7, 2014
02:14

Member


55 |
Great concept! I really like the changes to the description since last I read. This is one of those ideas that is ahead of its time, not just a small tweak to ideas that still haven't worked but a truly novel idea. Love to know how I could help.

Osero Shadrack Tengeya

Sep 17, 2014
05:28

Fellow


56 |
Hi Sno-Caps Team and friends, kindly consider to vote for my proposal shown in the link below http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300206/planId/1002 Thanks in advance.

Anne-marie Soulsby

Sep 23, 2014
01:04

Member


57 |
Hi Sno-Caps Team, Please consider voting for my proposal, http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300801/planId/1309001 Good luck with your entry! Asante/Thank-you @conserveaction

Victor Blanco

Oct 4, 2014
11:34

Member


58 |
Congratulations!!! Please check the "Discusion Section" in the "Community" label... Proposal of activity during the Conference Session of 2014 Winners... http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/discussion#discussion%3DpageType%3ATHREAD%2CthreadId%3A1337218

Bill Bishop

Oct 5, 2014
01:28

Member


59 |
It is not at all clear how this proposal would reduce carbon emissions. I have read what I can find on this proposal, and even watched the 40 minute video, and this crucial detail is lacking. Individuals sign up, but have no obligation to reduce their personal emissions? Companies purchase (lease) what, the right to pollute? I do not see why any but a few select companies would want to participate in this system. I also do not see why it would be worth my time to understand the system and participate as an individual. Leasing fees are not likely to be high enough for me to invest the effort. Assuming this proposal requires some entity (companies or individuals) to reduce their emissions based on a cap, what is the enforcement mechanism? Companies already greenwash their products - how are we supposed to know they are doing anything differently? This Bitcoin ledger tracks trades, not emissions. It seems like you've devised a fair, ingenious system that accomplishes absolutely nothing except for providing a new way to allow companies to delay actual emissions reductions.

Евгений Еремеев

Nov 30, 2014
02:53

Member


60 |
Worth trying!

Jf Whiting

Mar 4, 2015
07:29

Member


61 |
This is the first proposal that fully makes sense to me. It covers all my concerns, several of which remain unaddressed, in the other proposals. I believe this approach can be made to work. And at this point, that's the primary factor I care about.

Clare Atkins

May 18, 2015
05:53

Member


62 |
Yes! I find this a compelling idea. It may not work but of everything I have come across so far this holds the most hope. Blockchain tech will change everything I believe - this could well be the beginning. Let's hope so!

Robert Francis Jr

Jul 15, 2015
10:02

Member


63 |
I don't think it would bring about utopia but I think all the natural resources of the planet should be distributed equally between all human beings. A sort-of example of this already occurs in Alaska. All Alaskans receive a check from the government for the oil that is mined each year. I think this needs to be taken farther to encompass all natural resources, not just oil. Let the mining companies get paid razor thin margins and be replaced when automation technology and robotics can do so. It would be our natural resource inheritance and with the help of evolving technology the common man would finally get his fair share rather than the elites getting all the raw materials and as a result, the money. No more sweetheart deals from government to corporations for the resources, resources to the people!
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