USES+ takes the USES platform as a core to achieve a transformation in all climate related aspects like energy, food, waste in global scale
To achieve the goal of an abundant planet where all threats and injustice
are history it needs lots of changes and bold action.
But looking at Rio and COP 15-19 we can not rely on political action in a global scale. Looking at tipping points (Antarctica, methane, ...) it will not be enough to start an slow evolution that might reduce CO2 and energy by few percents a year (if at all).
We have to replace old systems by new systems that allow revolutions like making a product 10 times better: more energy efficient like passive plus energy houses, circular instead of linear economy, renewables cheaper than coal,...
And to achieve a huge mitigation in climate change we have to look at all areas in a holistic, interconnected way and use ALL available means.
The technology for drastic GHG reduction and environmental regeneration is there in a combination of many large and hundreds of small solutions - but these are not known to many or as a threat to the old systems, many want to suppress them.
The basic USES platform - the Universal Sustainability Education System (-> see youth proposals) - is planned to become a global platform for these many lighthouse projects that prove to be a a part in the system transition and makes these projects popular for all.
USES+ will be the combination of USES and these partner projects and partner actions to achieve a multi system transition in energy/climate, food/health, waste/resources - and even education in general (without well educated children we will not be able to endure lobbyists and rich Business as Usual) - USES is universal.
Category of the Action
Integrated action plan for the world as a whole
What actions do you propose?
To reach the goal of the abundant planet we need to tackle many issues that are all interrelated:
even society and religion and more.
The tasks seem impossible at a first glance but if we - the 7 billion people on this planet - really want to change the system, we can!
It is like a puzzle - while looking at each piece alone it is difficult to see the whole. But while finding the right pieces and putting them together in the right way, the solution gets much closer.
And all necessary pieces are there !
First important key puzzle piece:
The new media have the power to reach 3 billion people directly and in few years about 5 billion (Eric Schmidt (1))
Using the compelling entertaining system of USES the chances are high that most will join (2). Without these high incentives we would not reach the masses in global scale. It is expensive but looking at the value of a planet in peril it's peanuts (3)!
piece 3. Increase pressure on all corporations to make their products better. USES II shopping system allows consumers to "make companies who don't get it dinosaurs in nanoseconds" (4)
The pressure will not only make products more energy efficient - the whole supply chain is affected:
The transport around the globe in heavy oil tankers will be reduced as much as the pollution of rivers in China or the energy efficiency of supermarket freezers and means a strong mandate for the use of renewables leading to a global energy transition (like in Germany/Denmark)
This shift to sustainable products and services will reduce energy demand, reduce pollution of air, soil and water, will reduce the amount of poisonous toxins, increase health and make jobs in developing countries better and safer which can reduce global population (5)
piece 4. Increase pressure on finance systems to act ethically sound:
By informing the small shareholders about their investments and where the dividend comes from a high pressure will rise to divest from Coal, Oil, bad Agro or arm industry. (see divest campaign by 350.org (6)
piece 5. Each product and service has an individual CO2e (GHG) score that will be presented and transferred - as all the other impacts - to the personal account while shopping and so can be used to prepare a carbon trading system - first as a game later in an international agreement as reality.
A carbon price will make all energy waste a burden that has to get removed. Countries that have a C-Tax have no economical problems (7)
piece 6: USES I and USES II are supporting the transition to renewables in different ways. USES I is supporting individuals to install solar and wind and to change to eco-power utilities, USES II is putting pressure on the companies to use renewables and smart grids in a larger scale.
USES I presents best practices and show for example that if solar works in grey Germany it will work anywhere.
piece 7: Buildings and building services and efficiency and effectivity of appliances will be another focus to reduce energy and emissions.
Best practice examples show how to save money and will lead to imitators.
piece 8: one of the largest GHG emitters is the food sector - esp. meat and dairy products. USES will show alternatives that help animals and the climate and the health of the USES participants. A direct connection from individually adjusted and optimized recipes to the personal shopping list and navigation system can be drawn to make sustainable shopping fun.
piece 9: Individual transport is another area USES will reduce emissions:
Links to car pooling and presentation from alternative concepts will transform the transport system - similar as in Denmark.
And the global (industry) transport will be reduced by USES II.
piece 10: USES will show the interconnectedness of all these issues and how they influence poverty, conflicts, illnesses and other threats to humanity and the planet.
Where will these actions be taken?
USES is not for a certain area or country. As WWW is world wide USES is world wide.
USES I has to be adapted to certain country specifications and has to be translated but works everywhere.
Movies that combine thrill, fun, action with environmental aspects open the people to learn about these issues. The combination of movie, game and interaction via IT opens new ways to make the issues compelling enough to get addicted.
Saving money by watching the little tricks of energy saving should be a good start but the offer of a jackpot prize for good participation will convince even the hardest denier to use the USES program.
USES II will also be a global product.
Using several information technologies including crowd sourcing, mobile, location and augmented reality, USES II will provide a holistic shopping navigation platform that will lead you to the best product in town. "Best" is relative - individually adjustable. CO2 emissions, regional/seasonal, water, soil and waste are as relevant as price or health (pesticides...). This will be analyzed independently and parts via crowd (-> Wiki).
USES+ as an open system will use and present all "moonshot" beacons of the world to create a great solution-puzzle.
Who will take these actions?
USES was developed in cooperation with the University of Lübeck and is in a state of a prototype. The next phase of developments into a global working platform, financed by a consortium of sustainable companies and philanthropic foundations will take place until end of 2015.
Then USES+ will become an open system for NGOs and scientists and organisations that want to contribute to a positive future. It is free to use for everyone but will have to be paid by the participating companies.
Basically USES I was designed to meet the expectations of the younger generation, using high tech and games but can easily be expanded to the whole spectrum of citizens. They will learn about climate issues while having fun and adopt the DIY tips to improve their lives and reduce their footprints.
Many NGOs and scientists and organizations have already endorsed the project
but it is too large for them each - we have to build a large "consortium of the willing".
What are key benefits?
- educating the global citizens - esp. the young generation by using their "language" (smartphones and TV, games and prizes as well as peer pressure) to make climate and sustainability and health issues interesting and easy to understand and to turn the information into action.
- teaching them, and the parents, what can be done and what effect it will have on their life and on their purse.
- showing them what can be done and what others already have achieved
- providing USES II will give consumers power to choose the best product
- USES give consumers the power to end business as usual
USES is UNIVERSAL:
- USES I can be used for any issue and any education.
- USES II shopping system will combine sustainability with better shopping (saving money, getting discounts) making it a MUST for everyone to use !
- USES is a win win win system - for planet, people and partners (retailers, sustainable companies and scientists/NGOs)
What are the proposal’s costs?
USES I and II are developed as a first prototype that needs optimization.
Assuming USES I and USES II are already developed (see youth action on climate change - proposals) the main financial part is done.
Now the positive examples have to be found and mixed with entertainment to make it compelling for millions to watch and copy into their lives.
Still this will need about $200.000 / week (for the entetainment development basically) if there is one issue presented each day - but the money will be paid by the system itself.
After the launch of USES I and II probably in 2016 USES+ will need about another year to have most beacons merged with entertainment, translated and ready to present to the global audience.
USES is a universal platform that will educate (young - and also older) people about ways to change the game. This includes great lighthouse-projects like many from Climate Co Lab. - all those that will help the planet or the people and could be using USES as a platform to become a global model for increasing sustainability.
A summary as a DIY video about USES for the next generation (special for The B-Team and other environmentalists) can be found here: (it is not for public broadcasting - only for MIT and jury !)http://ow.ly/zJQMc
Looking at the different categories, here are some projects that could contribute to the global whole a lot:
As more people migrate to cities, reduction of energy use in cities is one crucial area to act:
Shifting building heating systems to carbon neutrality would be a huge leap forward:
reduction of waste and the transition to circular economy could be achieved by:
This would also help the USES II supply chain analysis.
A fundamental shift would happen if a (global) CO2 trading (fee+dividend) system could be established. Not only in respect of climate but even (financial) justice and equality (moving money from the rich who consume much and emit 20t CO2eq/a and more to the poor with 1-2t/a helping the developing world and people to survive and thrive).
To achieve this via USES, help could be welcome by:
A factor 10 can be achieved in building efficiency (Weitzsäcker)
Several proposals are looking at this aspect (without too much news - so no explicit mentioning).
Shifting in transport from fossil fuels to (renewable) electricity or hydrogen or reduce the use is another puzzle piece. Several proposals exist:
The labeling of products and support of sustainable products was found in many proposals like
Alternative renewable energy sources and systems would of course mitigate many problems of today's dirty energy to a large amount. Projects like
...if they really work could contribute to the global plan of a 100% carbon free future.
How do these sub-proposals fit together?
USES+ works as an umbrella to weave the single puzzle pieces of world changing ideas and proposals into a powerful game shifting net.
We have solutions in renewable energy, agriculture, reforestation, buildings, services and cities, waste reduction and political action (carbon taxes).
All these single projects need much more publicity in politics, corporations and especially inside the public.
Some are even similar small parts of USES I+II (e.g. games, labeling, education,...) proving that the demand exists and a holistic approach that works as an umbrella is due.
Explanation of model inputs
Simulations are great - part of my job as energy consultant.
But here are boundaries and obstacles inside the tool that are not correlating to a possible reality scenario.
1. Most values are static over 90 years. This does not work - most will start moderate, gain speed and slow down asymptotic later.
2. Milestones like breakthrough technology is very vague
3. Some values are only adjustable in very rough steps (population)
4. it is very difficult to calculate and display such a complex phenomenon like climate/ the whole system planet with just these few parameters.
For the USES project an "awareness button" would be great
But I will do my best to use this tool and simulate our future:
Of course it is not the primary focus of USES to reduce population.
But looking at the positive effects of USES II to support fair trade and financial equality and health in unprecedented ways population will not rise as much as predicted. In countries with better health care and more reliable income birth rates decrease. So we expect to have 1.5 (what can not be typed in !! - so we use 1)
And 1.8 for GDP. This is lower than predicted because USES and other incentives will reduce the demand for always new products in today's linear economy and over consumption, turning to circular economy and a sharing society.
Here the continuous increase is most unreal.
In buildings and also industry it is very easy to reach 15-20% increase of efficiency in one year but the investment to refurbish old buildings to passive houses takes decades. So by following the easy to do DIY tips of USES a massive increase in the first 5 years will be seen but later a moderate improvement. average: 6%
In transport it is possible to be much faster. Cars last about 20 years.
So in 2 decades the efficiency could easily more than doubled (130Mpg are already available today ! - even 280Mpg for a VW X1 !!) Turning to renewable electricity will make it even better ! - so full 7%
more see next box...
...this explanation area needed definitely more space !!
nuclear is no option as this inert old technology blocks renewables.
Biomass is only good if it is using garbage. Technical CSS does not work yet and comes too late. So basic subsidies should be on renewables:10
They are already nearly net parity with coal so there is no real breakthrough necessary any more !
(does not influence the curves !! - bug ??)
Even more influence would have to stop fossil fuel subsidies - just turn them round to renewables!
USES will lead to carbon trading (fee and dividend) which will create a price on C. This will not be static but increase smoothly starting 2020 from 1$ to 40$ in 2025.
this will also be included in the footprints and so reduced soon: 5%
USES I and II will increase pressure on dirty energy by consumer pressure (and so by the corporations) and also by supporting divestment movements and private energy transition: +10%
USES bill support organic agriculture which is the best way to dump carbon in the soil, building up new fertile humus.
N2O will be reduced by the pressure on agro-companies as well. -20%
a huge source is still in AC equipment which can be reduced by USES I education and tips. -27%
------------------ references ----------------------
(1) Eric Schmidt / Cohen The new digital age:
(2) S.Hidi: Motivating the academically unmotivated
(3) Cost of action vs. inaction
Sir Nicholas Stern: The Economics of Climate Change
(4) Paul Polman, Unilever/B-Team, Johannesburg 2013 - see video in USES - youth proposal
(5) Population, Consumption, Carbon Emissions, and Human Well-Being in the Age of Industrialization
Indur M. Goklany, science and technology policy analyst US Department of the Interior, Ass. Director of Programs, Science and Technology Policy:
(6) divestment: http://gofossilfree.org/
(7) Carbon tax could help fund a better future:
Better Future Fund by the David Suzuki Foundation