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Kat Haber

Jun 25, 2014
11:13

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Dave's program for youth can make the fright of climate change into a game worth winning and youth are the players!

Indrani Biswas

Jul 6, 2014
06:42

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You want to deal challenges of Climate Change by giving one day teaching!

Elyse Houghton

Jul 7, 2014
04:22

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Agree with the previous commenter that this is a complex project and likely to need more than one day to get whole schools/school communities involved. I was disappointed to see that the idea of lobbying for curriculum change (making climate mitigation explicit) was not considered to be a parallel option. This is essential (although understandably difficult in the climate-denying culture of the US) and needs to be called for by concerned parents. I am not quite clear on the rebates to be offered for various purchases by parents or how solar and wind are sold at the household level to earn them, but assume this information will be provided in such as way as to make it attractive to potential new investors in renewable energy. Will look forward to seeing how this market solution approach to a renewable energy transition with benefits to schools catches on. It might also be attractive to help interested schools "go solar" by giving them rebates in the form of their own growing renewable energy systems (e.g., points towards their own solar panels earned by credits from participating families). Another model you might like to read about is the solar school project in Toronto - participating in a provincial (state-level) Feed-In Tariff project - to combine school roof repairs with becoming solar energy generators. http://www.tdsb.on.ca/AboutUs/FacilityServices/SolarSchoolsProject.aspx

Claudia Gossow

Jul 7, 2014
06:03

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This is a great proposal idea/concept as the youth are our planet's future. I support you fully and hope that through the valuable feedback and support that your ideas can be set into motion. Good Luck further xxx

Robert Dedomenico

Jul 7, 2014
06:00

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I like to be transparent and honest about my reasons when I support a proposal, so I must say that my confidence in Dave's proposal here stems from his response to my outreach to him. You see... in here it is a competition. We are all seeking to advance our own methods, even though they are all aimed at one goal in common. It is uncommon, actually, for one proposal contributor to support another. Dave supported me. He did not ask for my vote in return. What does that say about the sincerity of his educational outreach? It says a lot. It proves to me that he is addressing the public outreach aspect of implementing solutions with an open mind to what those solutions might be. I applaud his efforts. Dave... see you in Boston (I hope!) Sincerely, Robert DeDomenico

Dave Finnigan

Jul 7, 2014
01:30

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msindranibiswas and elyse - Thanks for your comments. It is amazing, but true, that in one day we can take a school from "Nobody here knows about or talks about Climate Change" to "Everyone in our school including teachers, administration, students and parents agrees that the climate is changing, that people are responsible, that there are things we can do, and that it is time to get to work." This has been proven now in 23 schools in 7 states where we have delivered our one-day families have come together in the evening to fill out their Family sustainability Checklists. Essentially we "open Pandora's Box" for the school and make the formerly taboo topic not only acceptable, but important. We take the cork out of the bottle with our one-day program and from then on teachers can and will talk freely about the issue. Curriculum change in advance of the program would be nice, but this is the US and no curriculum change takes place unless it is endorsed and approved by the religious right, so programs based on science need to come in initially outside the system and become mainstream before they can enter the curriculum. Our system will change glacially (in the old definition of glacially). Here is what I have said about curriculum. "Schools - Curriculum will change rapidly to accommodate the fact that families want their children to learn this information. Parents and educators and the vendors will all put pressure on school systems to make the changes at the district and state level to incorporate Climate Change Education and the steps to achieve lower energy and water use into the State Standards and the Common Core in Science, Economics, and Social Studies."

Robert Mccollister

Jul 7, 2014
05:28

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This seems to be a very innovative way to both educate students on climate change, and to get them to begin to take action. If you engage the faculty and administration and truly embed this into the curriculum then you could really make a difference. My advice would be to target school districts carefully and begin the program in areas that are more supportive of action on climate change and reducing carbon emissions. Once you have established a track record of success it might really take off. My school district would be a difficult one initially given that it is in a very rural, and conservative part of Ohio, and I could imagine a great deal of resistance until you can demonstrate some level of success.

Tony Marcos

Jul 7, 2014
09:37

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This good proposal. I was expecting to see the youth leadership role in the proposal. Frankly speaking, I was unable to see how your proposal can harness youth leadership skills? Please have a look another proposal at here https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300901/planId/1307507 I found under it very innovative because it talks about “Youth campaigning platform targeting the United Nations”; “Climate Change Youth Ambassador Programme”; “Regional Climate Change Journalism Award” "UN Climate Change Education Decade' etc. I don't know why don't you collaborate as you are talking something here which is covered under "UN Climate Change Education Decade' part? Any ways- all the best.

Lee Douglas

Jul 7, 2014
09:02

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This is a great program in order to bring new students into the notion of climate change. I share the notion of climate change while being a museum docent. Kids are shocked to see what it means. Any time we can bring the message to kids it will open more eyes.

Maarten Van Der Heijden

Jul 8, 2014
01:07

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Education on climate change is essential... for children and their parents!

Lauren Wilson

Jul 8, 2014
02:14

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I have personally seen Dave's work in schools, and the combination of his intellect and his ability to engage children and adults is nothing short of miraculous. If Dave Finnigan designs a program, you can bet it's going to be effective and inspiring, which is what we desperately need in the area of climate change.

Gisela Arizabaleta Moreno

Jul 8, 2014
11:43

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Excelente iniciativa, que involucra a los jóvenes a participar activamente en estrategias sencillas de sustentabilidad pero que promueven cambios de hábitos.

Asif Iqbal

Jul 9, 2014
07:30

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Dave has practically proven through his on-going work with schools that he can successfully pilot this project. The proposal is sound and will have multiplying benefits to children, their families and communities through sustained environmental actions. I wish him best of luck!

Susan Strong

Jul 10, 2014
09:07

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This sounds like a terrific program! Full speed ahead!

Bd Harun

Jul 10, 2014
09:09

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'Kids promote the program. Vendors selling green products automatically give discounts to parents and rebates to PTAs for family purchases.' This is how you want to deal Climate Change? !!!!! I am sorry..from my end..thumbs down.. It does not look like youth Action. it is kids action!!

Doug Aus

Jul 10, 2014
10:35

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Just the type of program needed to take on the climate crisis. It presents enough simple facts to the students about what actions they can take to help stop climate change without overloading their still-developing minds or making them think the future is bleak.

Mary Addams

Jul 11, 2014
02:59

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Sounds very exciting from everyone's standpoint--teachers, parents, and students. Thank you Dave!!

Alis Itlatol

Jul 11, 2014
07:49

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Your program sounds great. Did I miss where you are including Indigenous knowledge and sciences from local, regional and International Indigenous Elders, Leaders and Educators into your program and curriculum ? If I did miss where you have included this vital component, please show me where it is, and how this program directly benefits their communities. Thank you.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 11, 2014
08:17

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Liveolakhota - Although it is not overtly mentioned in the description of the program due to space limitations, it is interesting that you should intuit the extensive indigenous component. Our slide show for the kids starts with Chief Seattle and his saying "Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." And our assembly and Family Night both end with the Iroquois warning "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations" and the Cree Prophecy, "Only when the last tree has been cut down, Only when the last river has been poisoned, Only when the last fish has been caught, Only then will the white hand find that he cannot eat money." So yes we do have and stress the fact that we are out of balance and must get back into balance. We also discuss the word Pachamama, which means "Mother Universe" in the Quechan Indian language. Thanks for asking. It would be impossible to present this course without the wisdom of the elders who were here for ten thousand years before Columbus.

Save Theearth

Jul 13, 2014
04:31

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Encourage all to support - together all things are possible, Great job Dave. Keep up the good work! Thank you.

Shelley Weilert

Jul 13, 2014
05:49

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Dave..you have always been such a positive influence on those around you. I remember when you came to my school. The children learned so much. It was a wonderful experience for them as well as we teachers. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our beautiful planet ♥

Sue Blythe

Jul 15, 2014
10:03

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Dave Finnigan's skills and vision are inspirational to me and the FutureFlash! Project. We are building activities based on Climate Change Is Elementary into our online game, FutureFlash! Climate Challenge. Thanks for all you do, Dave. You are a leading us into a new era of climate education, inspiration and action!

Lexi Smith

Jul 16, 2014
05:38

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I'm all for it!

Chris Taylor

Jul 18, 2014
07:25

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Hi Dave, Love your attitude! I already do climate outreach at middle schools, but I could really learn a thing or two from you. Your programs are energetic and engaging, just what’s needed for kids these days. Is there somewhere where I can get hold of your program in detail, so that I could make it part of my outreach? You have my full support. Chris.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 19, 2014
12:42

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Chris Taylor and others- We expect to have a trained professional Presenter in every part of the US and other countries as well. Please review our web site at http://www.climatechangeiselementary.org including all the FAQs. Then if this looks like the job you want, contact me at dave@climatechageiselementary.org and we will work out the details of training. The idea is pretty straightforward. You get us a school in your area, that will agree to pay $1,500 for the program. I come to you and we invite all the potential presenters from your part of the country to join us. We spend two days together. On the first day you job-shadow me from the teachers meeting in the early AM through Family Night in the evening. On the second day we go to a space with a classroom or training room and we go over the details of the program - how to get booked, how to delver and how to get paid. Once you are trained you become an apprentice until you can send me testimonial and video from schools that appreciate your work. Then you become a Presenter. You set up a sub foundation under our parent, http://www.unitedcharitableprograms.org. Then you send your checks to the foundation account and 28% is taken out for administration, banking, bookkeeping, accounting, government reporting and promotional expenses. You schedule your own programs or we send you leads from our nationwide efforts. Training costs $195 including the two days together, supervision and critique during apprenticeship and eventual certification. If this is interesting to you, please get in touch. Dave Finnigan

Dave Finnigan

Jul 19, 2014
02:31

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Friends - Ours is a positive and optimistic program, because we are working with young children and their parents and we want everyone to take action, not to get frozen with fear. It was recently suggested by one reviewer that this subject matter is too scary for children less than 16 years old. It is really important to understand that the way we present the material is anything but scary. We use colorful slides, short film clips, games, music and lots of chances for interaction to make the learning fun and to keep it positive and focused on the clean and green future. Kids leave our sessions fired up and ready to take action to help their animal friends. We are taking the really scary stuff that children hear on TV and in "Terror Movies" and bringing it down to reality and a level that anyone of any age can understand. We don't show drowning polar bears, we show happy polar bears (and penguins and frogs and puffins and coyotes and roadrunners), and we help kids understand what they need to do to to keep these creatures and humans happy. Our premise is not to show kids, teachers and parents "How bad it will be when we do everything wrong." but "How great it will be when we do everything right!" Our approach is not to dwell on what we hear from so many alarmists who are trying to "raise awareness" of the dire straits for humanity, but to bypass the controversy and go straight to solutions. It is true that it may be "too little too late," however you cannot tell that to the kids, teachers and parents. That pessimistic view is for a separate discussion. It is important that everyone be on board the program to get the World to stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible. Leaving young children and their parents out of the discussion is actually more damaging and distressful than including them. Right now they are full of fear because of the negative stories they have heard, because nobody will include them in the conversation. We find that out every day in the schools when we ask the kids what they have heard. Our job is to show them how we can get past the fear and take action for a clean and green future working with their parents and teachers. So if you see this as a negative program, please write to me and lets keep this discussion going so that whatever we end up with maintains this positive, constructive and solution-oriented focus. Dave Finnigan dave@climatechangeislementary.org

Marc Daquila

Jul 27, 2014
02:20

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There is a lot here and I will give it the time it deserves. My first reaction is to agree that the future resides with the next generation and the schools and larger school community is a great place to start. I also like the tangible and practical encouragement for individuals and businesses to do well by doing good. We need to harness our better selves into positive and inspired actions on both an individual basis, despite what we may perceive others to be doing or not doing. We also must recognize our power as a member of this society, the broader human race and our place and dependency on the web of life, which appears to be unraveling at the moment. We must also empower ourselves to influence entities larger than ourselves to do the right thing as well. The best way to accomplish that IMHO is first - lead by example, then to enlighten others as to the benefits to themselves and us all to embrace the coming transition to a more trusting and sustainable system. We are no longer in competition with each other, we either sink or swim - together.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 27, 2014
10:17

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If we can get a grant (or an investor or a Kickstarter campaign) to do the development and testing, we will be looking for references from our colleagues at Climate CoLab to people and firms that can help with the technical components of this effort - strategic planning, overall project management, web technology and architecture, information acquisition and handling, graphic and user interface design, and not only the production but the protection of the site as well. You may have friends who would want to be part of the project, if not yourself. Please stay in touch as this project gets through the pilot phase and moves on to scale all over the US and other countries as well. We need to design and test the cards, run a few sample schools in different markets, bring at least one national vendor aboard and run this in all their outlets for a year or two on an exclusive with the understanding that after that trial period is over it will be available for all the major players in the hardware and retail game. That way the first one in will get an appropriate advantage and a head start, but the eventual result will be that the retail outlets are all competing with one another to win the vast customer base of parents, grandparents and other relatives looking for these products and services. Eventually the tide will turn and everyone will have a GreenActionCard, just as everyone has a Visa card or a Panera Bread Card or a Starbucks card. As the country goes green, there are inevitably trillions of dollars that will be spent to transition dwellings and office buildings toward sustainability, and people will be buying more energy efficient cars and appliances. Our job is to help people decide to make the transition quicker than they normally would with the application of small discounts and rebates. We handle the rebates for the vendors and make certain that at least 80% of the rebate goes to the school. So if the rebate is 10% we can keep up to 2% for handling the transactions. All of that will be done electronically of course without needing to put humans into the mix and schools will get electronic transfers to their designated bank accounts without having to do anything. they don't sell anything. They don't collect any money from the kids and families, and they don't handle product. All they have to do is teach kids about the clean and green future and how we are going to get there, and talk to families and pass out the cards. There are other programs beside Climate Change is Elementary, that can provide families and schools with strong instructional material, like Cool the Earth and Alliance for Climate Education and Green School Alliance, and many schools will rely on the science teachers and classroom teachers who will come aboard when we go to their conferences and tell them about this opportunity, or when they learn about it on line or on TV. The greatest feature of this program is its simplicity. Swipe your card, get a discount, earn a rebate for your school. Keep those comments and ideas coming. We are creating something very important here. I really appreciate the "creative commons" approach to this project and all the supportive comments and ideas. I was concerned when the contest started that there would not be sufficient input or that I would "lose control" of the idea. But now that I see it in all its complexity and know how hard it will be to implement, I know that few would have the stomach for the job ahead. But that is what I love the most, the challenge of the unknown and bringing everyone to the table to share the creation of the project.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 27, 2014
10:29

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This comment is just a side-bar to let folks know how these things play out. I have done big culture change programs before and they are more fun than you can imagine. We cannot expect at the end of the process that anyone will say "thanks job well done." This reminds me of my work in East Asia in Family Planning programs in the 1960s. We helped South Korea and Taiwan go from 6 kids on average per family to 1.6 and from under $1,000 per capita income per year to over $38,000, and in Korea population went from 30 million to 44 million and is falling now. Strange but nobody ever said "thanks" or sent a note or a check. Preventing disaster does not get you any recognition or medals, all you get is the internal satisfaction of a job well done. Our unintentional control country was the Philippines. They still have almost 3 kids per couple and the population has tripled since 1966 from 30 million to almost 100,000,000 and the per capita income is finally approaching $2,000 per year. I worked there for 3 years after Korea and Taiwan and those two roaring successes and that one dismal failure have ruled my life ever since. I'm ready for this next challenge, and I hope you will take it with me.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 28, 2014
02:38

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Particular thanks go to my son, Benjamin Finnigan, and my entrepreneurial mentor Ron Ben-Zeev. They both gave in-depth critiques of an earlier version of this proposal which they agreed was being designed for the 20th Century, because of sole reliance on brick and mortar vendors. Their insights into where marketing and shopping are headed has helped us to incorporate the online functionality of purchases from a designated web site and use of Management Information Systems to catalog and record interactions with schools and to handle the discounts and rebates, and the need to make this program completely functional on tablets and hand-held devices. The on-line version can be particularly simple with fewer "moving parts" and more compatibility with shopping behaviors of young families. By eliminating a trip to the store we also streamline the process by which discounts and rebates are delivered and most importantly we can identify the customer by name, address and e-mail address, creating a potential continuing relationship. This relationship can begin on the night of the program by instructing the participating parents to "take out your smart phone and download our app." The app starts with a short list of questions that helps our online stores and vendors selling high ticket items to begin to segment customers by specific needs. Members of the online system can give us as much information as they feel comfortable sharing. For some this may be their basic e-mail address and a first name. However for those who are more engaged in the project and willing to share, one question might be, "Do you rent or own your home?" Another might be "What are the makes, models and year of manufacture of your automobiles?" and "When do you think you will be buying another vehicle?" Answers to these questions could be very helpful in designing targeted marketing campaigns helping our families get the best possible deal on purchases for themselves and for their school. It has also been suggested that a system of rebates be devised that will encourage our trained presenters to train others to deliver the program, so that each presenter gets a small but significant pay-back when the school pays for the services of their trainees. Using a system that rewards each level for the work of every other level will help the program to spread more rapidly. This can be built in without the stigma of a multi-level marketing system. Please keep those suggestions coming in. It is with both pride and great appreciation that I say that this project is really a cooperative work in the spirit of the Climate CoLab.

Joao Poco

Jul 29, 2014
10:23

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Dear Dave I am supporting your proposal since I believe in changing culture by education in all levels. And I had one similar but yours is no doubt full developed and well done. I would like to suggest you some points that I put in my own. First I am from Brazil and some cultural there are some cultural differences behind my ideas. My children have studied at primary school one book called somewhat as "Living in Ice Age" that I though was related to the animation movie. But after Conference on Climate in COP 15 in 2009 I became concerned of what would happen to people when glaciation comes in the future. Glaciation statistically/phenomenologically occurs in 90 kyear each 100 kyear and we are finishing the last 10 kyear interglacial period, so it is expected to occur in the next up to 1-10 kyear. Preparing next generations (at least 20 generations) for the future is necessary when food production could be a problem.

Dave Finnigan

Jul 29, 2014
04:12

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jgrpoco - Boy I really wish that glaciation was the problem, but it is quite the opposite. Deglaciation is happening faster than ever before since humans walked upright on the Earth, and is not going to stop for tens of thousands of years. The biggest issue is melting glaciers and rising seas. I think the best recent book to read to get the picture of melting glaciers and rising oceans is by John Englander, who is one of our project's supporters, and it is called High Tide on Main Street. Below is the description from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/High-Tide-Main-Street-Coastal/dp/0615637957/ref=sr_1_1 NEW 2nd Edition (10-16-13) of best selling book that described a superstorm hitting Atlantic City and New York City -- exactly one week before Sandy. Just one of dozens of scenarios in this amazing book. Find out the other forecasts. Rave reviews from experts and Amazon readers. Fully updated and revised. New Introduction by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. For 6,000 years sea level has changed little. Now it it has started rising again, moving the shoreline too. In clear, easy-to-understand language, this book explains: * The science behind sea level rise, plus the myths and partial truths used to confuse the issue. * The surprising forces that will cause sea level to rise for 1,000 years, as well as the possibility of catastrophic rise this century. * Why the devastating economic effects will not be limited to the coasts. * Why coastal property values will go “underwater” long before the land does, perhaps as early as this decade. * Five points of “intelligent adaptation” that can help individuals, businesses, and communities protect investments now and in the future. I appreciate your support, and will quote for you the banner we put up in the gym every night for Family Night which we read together in chorus if anyone comes to the school intent on denying that climate change is important. "Whether the climate is changing or not, and whether people are responsible or not, our children deserve a clean and green future. Grownups listen to your children." Thanks - Dave

Deborah Livingston

Jul 29, 2014
09:27

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Climate Change is Elementary give hope for the future. Our children need to see that they can make a difference for good! The founder of the program has ingeniously put everything together into a win-win system!

Dharmik Shah

Jul 30, 2014
09:16

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Greetings Dave !! I appreciate the efforts that you are putting in the program and wish you all the success. I would just want to know your opinion on one thing. I hope that the "Green Vendors" undergo a process of Due Diligence so that the kids and their families do not become victims of Green Washing. Are you doing anything to take care of this. Thanks and Best wishes Dharmik.

Ben Finnigan

Jul 30, 2014
09:09

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Love the program and know that if done right it will be a great success! Just a few questions which I did not feel were answered in your write up... I know that the process of installing solar power, solar water and other clean and green technologies is labor intensive and quite technical. How will families get these items installed in their homes? Do the companies you are partnered with provide this piece of the puzzle? Have you thought about building an online e-commerce platform where parents can order products like light bulbs and other easy to install items and still give credit to the school? My concern is that parents who are already overloaded with things to do may place "climate change" low on the list of priorities and once the presenter leaves the school will promptly forget about it. Do you have plans to keep families engaged after the program is over? Once again great program, wishing you the best of luck!

Dave Finnigan

Jul 30, 2014
01:00

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dharmikshah61 - Our Green Action Plan (formerly Family Sustainability Checklist) delimits the products and services that are eligible for discounts and rebates so vendors can't just say, "buy our green hand soap and save the whales." We have 65 items or categories on the list which can be seen at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxfpvknx63wfnq5/4%20Family%20Sustainability%20Checklist%202014%20.pdf We are certainly willing to rework the list for local conditions. Our Presenters around the US and elsewhere will be responsible for vetting the vendors and products. However as long as the school is getting money from this process to allow it to "go green" and buy PV or to re-insulate or get blinds and shades, or plant a garden, I'm not terribly concerned that some of our vendors sneak in items that are not part of our list. I think the phrase "Trust but Verify" comes to mind here. Dave

Dave Finnigan

Jul 30, 2014
01:01

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Youth Here are answers to your three questions. 1. Installation and maintenance - As you note the process of installing solar power, solar water and other clean and green technologies is labor intensive and quite technical, and you wondered how families will get these items installed in their homes. The companies we will be are partnering with already have on staff or on contract sub-contractors who take care of installation and maintenance. For instance Home Depot recently signed with Solar City to provide their installations, and Lowes has partnered with Sungevity. If I want a new HVAC system or solar hot water I can get those through the big box stores too and they provide labor and the warrantee. 2. Online e-commerce component - A big part of this proposal is to build an online e-commerce platform where parents can order products like light bulbs and other easy to install items and where we will give credit to the school. Families can go either way. They can either make their purchases "old school" by sliding our GreenActionCard at the store, or they can buy "new school" by ordering on line and using our GreenActionApp for the purchase. If they buy one or two lightbulbs they get a smaller discount and rebate. If the school buys in bulk they can earn a bigger discount and rebate. The intention here is to help the Green Team or the PTA at the school to decide to cumulate their orders and make a bulk purchase that is then distributed to the kids to carry home. We save on quantity purchase and on shipping. 3. Keeping families engaged - There are many ways to do that. First, Kids nagging parents - their kids will be looking at that list both in paper form and eventually online as well and they will want to do as well as their friends who have been winning badges and getting a higher score on the closed password protected classroom network by working on their lists; Second, Parents nagging parents - we form a Green Team at the school on Family Night and we charge them with making sure the program is continuing to thrive; Third, Schools nagging families - Because they want the rebates schools will give this program the same sort of attention that they give to selling wrapping paper and pizza dough. The difference is that with our program they do not have to handle products, take orders, collect money or file any sort of report. Fourth, Stores advertising to parents - Over time as this program becomes a bigger part of their business stores will send out 4 page printed or digital flyers to families in their area telling them about the deals on products and services eligible for Climate Action Rebate and discounts; Fifth, Mass media - Because this program involved kids and families it is very mediagenic and we will have numerous TV and print stories on our work, that should keep people moving proudly forward; Sixth, Manufacturers giving it emphasis - The smart manufacturers will be going around the retailers and going straight to the consumer to urge them to go to the store or go on line to buy their products; Seventh, Teachers stressing subject matter - As time passes and the program becomes entrenched, many Science, Technology, Engineering (and Environment) and Math classes will find ways to relate to the program and its details, keeping everyone focused on the clean and green future and sending digital and print notes home on this topic spurring everyone to keep it in their consciousness. Thanks for the questions. Dave

R Kinslow

Jul 31, 2014
05:21

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I've seen Dave in action. He is engaging and has tried his methods and programs out self-funding when others delay their decisions. I only have to say that his programs should be funded on a massive scale across the globe. Dave Finnigan uses art and humor to embed climate change behavior in youth. He has designed an elegant entertaining elocution that is educational and empowering! There, I've used alliteration to illustrate Dave's awesome powerful and winning project. In my view, the MIT center for Collective Intelligence could learn from Dave's program- Climate Change is Elementary.

Lester Mcneely

Jul 31, 2014
06:12

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Great stuff! Work with the kids. They are the future!

Marcia John

Jul 31, 2014
11:53

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This is great !!! I wish Dave and all involved - the best of luck! God bless!

Dave Finnigan

Aug 1, 2014
12:14

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Someone asked me in a personal e-mail about the possibility that this program could be used to pair schools so that a school in a poorer part of town would benefit when families in a more wealthy part of town make purchases. That is a great idea. Families in a poorer part of town are more likely to live in multi-family housing and rentals and have much smaller carbon and water footprints. Also they do not have the wherewithal to make the purchases needed to green their schools. As you know, the rebates will be directed using our GreenActionCard™ and GreenActionApp™ which will be available for every family in every school, simply for the asking. The card and the app will allow anyone like a neighbor (or even a relative who lives in another state) to make contributions to any school simply by "going green" themselves. So geographically immediate families are not saddled with the full responsibility for their neighborhood school. This opens up a potentially huge charitable avenue. Once everyone in our upscale neighborhood has gone green and their purchases have brought our school along, we can assign our credits to a less advantaged school and they can benefit from our continuing good green citizenship. An analogy - Think "Boxtops for Education on steroids" without the need to tear off and collect any boxtops, and with rebates remitted automatically to schools designated by the consumer with no action required on the part of anyone at the school. This can be a fund-raising bonanza for hard pressed schools. This is a private sector solution to the problem of paying for schools to go green.

Michael Arth

Aug 4, 2014
11:42

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I have been impressed with Dave Finnigan's idea ever since he first began explaining it to me in 2010, when I was running for Governor of Florida. We need to move toward evidence-based, pragmatic public policy that is based on bringing the greatest good to greatest number in the most efficient manner. We can best do this through our collective intelligence applied judiciously without the undue influence of the special interests. Dave's "Youth Action on Climate Change" is a great way to leverage incremental, quotidian efforts by individuals into global change. Michael E. Arth Urban Designer & Public Policy Analyst

Dave Finnigan

Aug 7, 2014
04:24

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This is a "win-win-win-win-win-win" project. Here is how each group wins. The concept of our new initiative from the point of view of the consumer, and parent of an elementary or middle school aged child is quite simple - "If I buy products and services that my kid and the 'green team' at my kid's school are bugging me to buy to be a good climate citizen, I get a discount from the store or on-line vendor and my child's school gets a rebate, and I save money on my electric, gas and water bills." From the point of view of a teacher it is "I am nervous about opening the Pandora's Box of climate change because of potential community reaction, but once the Presenter opens the subject for discussion I can follow up on what they said and I won't get in trouble." From the point of view of the child it is "My parents need to know this information and if I just come home and tell them they need to save energy and water they will tell me I'm being sassy, but if they come to school and everyone else is talking about it, then it is OK to discuss it, and I can help them see how we can get to a clean and green future together." From the point of view of the school administrator it is "Because this is an outside program funded by the PTA my hands are clean and I can let any angry parents know that this is not part of the curriculum but that it was brought in by the PTA so that we could learn about the subject and teach the controversy." From the point of view of curriculum development personnel it is "It is too soon to add Climate Change to the curriculum, so this is a way to get it taught without having to go through the highly political process of revising the curriculum. After every school has a visit we can use their experience to create a supportive program." From the point of view of the vendor it is "We spend a large percentage of our expenses on customer acquisition. By giving rebates to schools for purchases by families we are cutting these costs way back and only paying for actual purchases. This is much better than paying for space ads or flyers because we only need to pay out in proportion to actual sales and we can build that into the cost of doing business." From the point of view of the political structure like local governments and Education Departments it is "We don't need to pay for the 'greening' of our schools from the tax base, but can help this private sector initiative by making the process easy by expediting permitting and project review, and by helping families obtain credit to allow them to invest in energy efficiency and water conservation."

Dave Finnigan

Aug 7, 2014
04:20

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Charitable potential - Families in a less advantaged neighborhood may not be capable of taking full responsibility for their neighborhood school. This opens up a potentially huge charitable avenue. Once everyone in our upscale neighborhood has gone green and our purchases for greening our homes have brought our school along and it is approaching LEED Platinum status, we can assign our rebate credits to a less advantaged school and they can benefit from our continuing good green citizenship. This could be a bonanza for positive PR for us and for our partners and the vendors who support the program.

Dave Finnigan

Aug 7, 2014
04:56

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Employment potential of this program. How to Make Money!!! The existing Climate Change is Elementary program is "shovel ready" all over the US and in other countries as well. In the US, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and particularly those schools with Green Teams or that consider themselves to be "Green Schools" are eager for great programs delivering up-to-date and child-centered information in a way that is not scary or unsettling, but shows the kids how to get from where we are today to a clean and green future. Schools love programs that bring in parents in the evening. In schools in less affluent neighborhoods application can be made for Title 1 funds based on the fact that we attract so many families for our evening program. Training for Presenters takes two days. It costs $95 for tuition and takes place wherever I am presenting programs. Trainees are on their own for housing, meals and transportation. On the first day the trainee job shadows me as I spend the day in the school from the Teachers Meeting in the early morning through Family Night in the evening. They then attend an all-day discussion in a separate location where we talk about how you get booked, how you deliver the program, and how you get paid. Then the trainee goes home as an Apprentice, with all the materials they need available through our drop box. They schedule a few schools in their local community with the understanding that these programs are offered at no cost to the school in exchange for evaluation by teachers and administration and parents. Once the Presenter or Presenter team of 2 or 3 has confidence that they can do a great job, and the letters of support to prove it, they are advanced from Apprentice status to Presenter. Once approved the Presenter can use our name and must open an account as a "Project of United Charitable Programs," at http://unitedcharitableprograms.org (UCP). All contributions from schools go into this account. 28% is automatically removed to pay for administration, government reporting, bookkeeping, accounting, and to help with booking and program enhancement, promotion, and advertising. This means that out of the usual fee of $1,500 paid by the PTA, $1,080 is available to pay for the expenses for the Presenter and to give them an appropriate professional compensation of more than $500 for the day, with all expenses paid. By doing 80 schools a year, which is two per week except for summer vacation, the Presenter can make $40,000 per year and have all their business related expenses fully reimbursed. Once our book, "Clean and Green in 2115" is available for sale Presenters can supplement their income with book sales. Presenters can also make money by training others to make presentations and assigning up to 10% of the income of their trainees to their own accounts. These funds will be automatically deducted from the UCP deposits of the "second-generation" trainees, and transferred to the accounts of their trainers, so the deduction from these Presenters will be 38%. They can also train others with the same arrangement, but this is not multi-level because the first trainers do not get any additional income from these third generation trainees. Needless to say, all 25 Presenters trained to date have signed non-compete agreements. Our goal is to have 100 Presenters trained and on the road by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The for-profit program, GreenActionCard™ and GreenActionApp™ is completely separate from the non profit Climate Change is Elementary program, which is self-supporting with contributions from the PTAs and from Title 1 and other education grants. GreenActionCard™ and GreenActionApp™ will be fully supported with a portion of the rebates that are provided from brick and mortar and on-line stores for actual purchases of "green" products and services.

Secretary Uphar

Aug 11, 2014
03:43

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What type of proposal is this??? Just a ridiculous proposal. children to deal climate change.. the funniest thing I have seen in my life..thumbs down..for this proposal..

Dave Finnigan

Aug 11, 2014
04:38

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secretaryuphar I see you are from India so this project may not fit your culture or your society. However, here in the US a program that is based on decision making at the family level by parents and children working together, using the school as a venue, is quite acceptable. This is precisely how we dropped smoking by half in a decade with education among the young. And it is how we got Americans to wear seat belts in their cars. Before our school programs, adult seat belt use was at 18%, once the law was changed to require children to wear seat belts and programs called "Click it or Ticket" and "Buckle up for Safety" came to the schools, seat belt use jumped to 81% for adults and near 100% for children. We have smoking down to 9% for teens today, the lowest ever, thanks in part to our in-school programs which give children information they can share with their families. So we will persist with our program here in the US even if it would not work in India. Please do note that our program is not for the children to solve the problem, it is for the children and parents and school officials and vendors in the community to work together to solve the problem. Please do offer an alternative if you have one. Thanks. Dave Finnigan

Lindsey Parsons

Aug 13, 2014
02:26

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My only comment is that unfortunately most rebate programs give money directly to schools rather than to advocacy organizations like "Climate Change is Elementary" that could bring about change on a much wider level. I would recommend that some portion of the funds be dedicated to advocacy organizations that bring about changes in climate change policies on the local, state or federal level.

Climate Colab

Aug 13, 2014
03:19

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Dear davefinnigan0785, Thank you very much for your proposal on the “Youth action on climate change” contest. Your proposal has progressed to the semi-finals, congratulations! The originality and workability of it were particularly appreciated by the Judges. This seems like a well-functioning scheme that would create win-win situations and could offer potential for replication. However, they also noted that in order to reach its full potential, the proposal would have to ensure that the green products need to be able to compete with existing products to create a strong incentive - some basic economic modelization could help visualize it. The Judges would be interested to know the receptivity of vendors and schools. Moreover, a revised proposal would need to consider if, and how, this scheme could be replicated outside the US, where purchasing habits are different. This could be done by detailing the “replication in other countries” section. Thanks again for your contribution, and best of luck revising your proposal for the Finals! Best, Antoine on behalf of the “Youth action” fellows

Dave Finnigan

Aug 13, 2014
03:32

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rparsons91 - We administer the rebates. They come from the store to GreenActionCard™ for redistribution, so we take out a percentage as our handling charge. That percentage will vary from 20% for a few LED lightbulbs to 10% on the rebate on a solar PV installation. For instance in our test program in Montgomery County Maryland, we have gotten our solar installers to agree to pay 5% as a rebate to the school. That is a rebate of $1,000 on a $20,000 solar installation. This means GreenActionCard™ a DBA of Climate Change is Elementary, gets $100 on that transaction. These funds will be available to grow the program and to visit more schools.

Leslie Downey

Aug 13, 2014
03:22

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I like this program, as long as it remains balanced between "free" things that people can do, like ride a bicycle instead of driving, and buying products. It should not be a disguise for a group of vendors. Metrics for free things are, I think, just as important as metrics for products--even though the latter can produce revenue for the school. I like the opportunity it provides for students to become climate leaders.

Dave Finnigan

Aug 13, 2014
04:43

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Lesliekdowney - Thanks for the comment. The basic Green Action Checklist can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxfpvknx63wfnq5/4%20Family%20Sustainability%20Checklist%202014%20.pdf It can be revised by any school to fit their situation. In a highly impacted school where all the families rent, it can stress free and low cost items. Dave

Dave Finnigan

Aug 18, 2014
05:01

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Judging-Results - This note is in response to the Comment by Staff and these same ideas are now included in the body of the proposal. I hope they are clear enough there, but if not, here is a summary. The comments included the following: 1. "the proposal would have to ensure that the green products need to be able to compete with existing products to create a strong incentive - some basic economic modelization could help visualize it." Fortunately we do not have to compete with existing products, but will solely be promoting existing products through existing channels. So all that is needed is a small rebate from the vendors, around 2% and a matching discount for the customer. The loyalty card concept is quite well-established and routinized with both brick and mortar and online stores. 2. "The Judges would be interested to know the receptivity of vendors and schools." We have presented in 23 schools in MA, NJ, CT, NY, MD, FL and the schools undoubtedly respected what we did,, particularly when we predicted Super Storm Sandy's effects when we visited schools on Long Island. Every school in the US wants to teach this subject, but they are afraid of the topic because of the negative press and the politicization of Climate Change. We provide them with an excuse and someone to blame. We only tried to get vendors on board in suburban Maryland in Fall 2013 but that was an effective campaign and the list of vendors we recruited is at https://www.dropbox.com/s/e9rkaxu2gknoklk/Rebates%20Maryland.pdf 3. "Moreover, a revised proposal would need to consider if, and how, this scheme could be replicated outside the US, where purchasing habits are different." We have expanded the "Replication in Other Countries" section to reflect the interest of colleagues around the World in our program. These educators and vendors have approached us through Facebook, LinkedIn and by e-mail. Many are Al Gore program grads, burned out by simply stressing the negative consequences of climate change ad infinitum. Our program is seen as a positive alternative. They report that they are quite willing to pay for me to go to their countries and train their people to deliver the program. It is important, however, that they modify the program themselves to meet the needs and fulfill the requirements of their own educational and logistical systems. Dave Finnigan

Victor Blanco

Aug 26, 2014
03:48

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I wish you the best! Please, check my proposal in Waste Management Contest, named "REACC: Recycled Debris for Adaptation to Climate Change"; and I would apreciate your support as I supported your proposal.

Climate Colab

Sep 3, 2014
12:27

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The Judges have advanced this proposal to the Finalists round. Good luck during the voting period!

Mark Montealto

Sep 4, 2014
02:43

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Agree with proposal. Schools have big impact in our life. There we learn a lot; serves as our second home . I believe that if we are going to start it in every school, we can make a difference!

Asif Iqbal

Sep 4, 2014
06:41

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I support this proposal by Dave in the finalists round and I wish him and his team best of luck to be successful in achieving the project objective!

Jean-pierre Sancho

Sep 4, 2014
12:47

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I think all proposal in this section are good, didn t have time to read them all. But the card with rebates is a great idea... why not give them a "free" starter kit when they sign up (see Enhancing youth engagement in climate policy for help!) and make and app to collect data and connect people (see Indicators for Sustainability for help!)

Dianne Wiley

Sep 5, 2014
11:04

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Dave's CCIE program uses a previously demonstrated successful program model to take a serious subject and make it accessible to school-aged children in a compact, educational, fun format. It engages the entire school--teachers, students, and importantly, parents and the community in identifying and committing to achievable actions to lessen our daily impact on climate change. You Go, Dave!

Hemant Wagh

Sep 6, 2014
03:01

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Would it be possible to include into your client communications a request to 'save the seeds of fruits eaten by their units (work/family) throughout the year and spread/help spread those seeds onto unused land in the vicinity.' This would help increase the green cover, density and in long run provide fruits free of cost to everyone. Along with marine a land bases CCS program would be beneficial. A proposal outlining such an approach is available. Following is a link to such a proposal. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300103/planId/1310401 This would bolster the efforts directed at finding workable solution to climate change..

Dave Finnigan

Sep 6, 2014
12:28

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waghm - Yes, the list is entirely malleable and is to be generated at the school level by the Green Team, and at the store level by conscious merchandisers who align their products with commonly held values of their customer base. And we do align with your project, thanks for pointing it out. I personally am running for the Soil and Water Conservation Board in Osceola County Florida with the hope of instituting many such projects, including permitting homeowners to tear out their useless St Augustine grass and replace it with edible crops, and composting both as individuals and as a town. We have so much we can do if we just break the "cake of custom" that has ossified our societies. Culture change is the key to survival.

Deborah Livingston

Sep 7, 2014
03:29

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When kids lead the way, we cannot fail! We all win when we support the army of children who are working to make a greener, healthier planet.

Osero Shadrack Tengeya

Sep 17, 2014
05:48

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Hi Dave and friends, kindly consider to vote for my proposal shown in the link below https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300206/planId/1002 Thanks in advance.

Anne-marie Soulsby

Sep 23, 2014
03:30

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Hi Dave, Please consider voting for my proposal, https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300801/planId/1309001 Good luck with your entry! Asante/Thank-you @conserveaction

Hiram Bermudez

Sep 29, 2014
03:45

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IF CLIMATE CHANGE IS ELEIMENTARY THEN I HOPE THE END OF THE WORLD HAS A LITTLE MORE RESPECT WHEN IT ARRIVE'S 30 MINUTE'S ON MY D-DAY.ONLY NERD'S OR RETARD'S THINK THAT LIFE IS A JOKE ? 12/26/82 SOUTHEAST OF PUERTORICO APROX.10:30 AM PLANET SUN CAME CLOSE TO PLANET EARTH AND BURNED THE HOLE ON THE OZONE LAYER ? IN 1991-1992 A DROUGHT AND A SNOWLESS WINTER OCCURED,WHEN I WAS IN N.Y.C.I LEFT AND IN MARCH OF 1993 A PILOT WENT STRAIGHT INTO EAST RIVER IN LA GUARDIA AIRPORT QUEEN'S.BECAUSE ICE WAS IN HIS WING'S AND PREVENTED FROM TAKEOFF ? THIS PAST 2013-2014 A $ 6 BILLION FLIGHT'S CANCELATION'S OCCURED.THIS 2014-2015 WINTER SNOW START'S BEFORE THE END OF SEPTEMBER UNTILL MAY 2015 ? SO GET READY FOR ANOTHER $ 6 BILLION OR MORE IN FLIGHT'S CANCELATION'S.PLUS THIS HURRICANE SEASON HAS BEEN UNNORMAL DO TO HARDLY ANY HURRICANE'S IN THE ATLANTIC.EXCEPT IN THE PACIFIC ?SO GOODLUCK AND GOODBYE FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.FOR THE AFTERMATH.REPLY TO WWW.BERMUDEZ.HIRAM@YAHOO.COM I CALL THE SPANISH BERMUDA TRIANGLE BLACK HOLE WITH OVER 200 MILLION MILE'S ACROSS ?

Deborah Livingston

Sep 30, 2014
10:57

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A family affair--A school affair--A community affair...Maybe the planet has a chance when we harness the power of the children. I think that's a winner!

Hiram Bermudez

Oct 2, 2014
06:36

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TO SCIENTIST'S OR ASTRONOMER'S WORLDWIDE.MAYDAY MAYDAY YOU HAVE ONLY 30 MINUTE'S FROM PLANET SUN'S EXPLOSION ? 12/26/82 SOUTHEAST OF ? APROX.10:30 AM PLANET SUN CAME CLOSE TO PLANET EARTH AND BURNED THE HOLE ON THE OZONE LAYER.THAT'S WHY CLIMATE'S ARE NOT THE SAME WORLDWIDE.ON MY D-DAY YOU HAVE APROX.30 MINUTE'S OF EXISTANCE BEFORE PLANET SUN EXPLODE'S.FOR MORE INFO.ON THE AFTERMATH.REPLY.TO WWW.BERMUDEZ.HIRAM@YAHOO.COM.GOODLUCK AND GOODBYE FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.RET.U.S.NAVY VIETNAM VETEREN.

Victor Blanco

Oct 4, 2014
11:01

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

Hiram Bermudez

Oct 22, 2014
10:22

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THANKSGIVING SNOW IS ON THE WAY.I HOPE YOU HAVE GOOD INSURANCE POLICIE'S FOR CLIMATE CHANGE DANGER THAT LIE'S AHEAD ? SNOW WILL BE PRESENT UNTILL MAY 2015.AND THE END OF THE WORLD IN 30 MINUTE'S ON MY D-DAY ? GOODLUCK AND GOODBYE.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.RET.U.S.NAVY VIETNAM VETEREN.

Katia Vladimirova

Feb 13, 2015
12:01

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отличная идея!

Russell Klein

Aug 27, 2015
06:48

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Every generation needs to personalize ownership and responsibility for the "tragedy of the commons." That is, environmental degradation has a cost and immediacy in which too few companies care to invest resources of their own, and governments don't have the endless funds to chase and repair. Start upstream, teach values, change behavior, change culture. Dave is as dogged and experienced an advocate and instructor as there ever was. I support his efforts to place the urgent national discussion of Climate Change before our children.
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