Say hello to EarthOS: Why Edgeryders is partnering with Europe's largest Public-Private partnership for Climate Action

Despite public policy and supranational policy being part of Edgeryder’s origin story, we have kept policy makers at arm’s length, cherry-picking with who (and on what) we would work. We did not plan to get into any long-term alliances in this space.

And yet, we have decided to make an exception, and sign a partnership agreement with Climate-KIC (some formal checks are still pending). Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership, tasked with addressing climate change through innovation by achieving deep decarbonization across cities, while tackling land use, agriculture and industrial manufacturing, and securing finance. It works with 280 partners across academia, business, the public sector and NGOs, and has supported more than 2,000 startups to date, leveraging more than €2.5bn in funding.

Here is why.

1. Climate change needs all hands on deck

We believe climate change is the defining challenge of our time. It trumps other challenges, because we can’t fix anything if we don’t survive first. Back when we started, we used to talk about “resilience” a lot. Since then, climate science has hardened. We now have a better idea of what we are looking at: a toxic mix of heavy weather, rising sea levels, habitat destruction, new fancy diseases and desertification. This mix, in turn, causes social turmoil, including poverty, displacement, forced migration. And what do we have to fight all that? Goodwill, and makeshift toolboxes of solar panels and dry toilets. We are not even making a dent.

This is not good enough. We need to reallocate our best resources to climate-proofing humanity. We have not done it before, because the conditions to leverage that kind of work were not in place.

Back in 2012, as the Edgeryders community was coming together, Vinay Gupta wrote this:

Those conditions, it seems, are finally about to change.

2. Climate-KIC is moving with the determination we want to see…

Under new management, Climate-KIC seems to have embraced the urgency like few other human institutions, at least in Europe. In their space, this means being grim and hopeful at the same time; starting new and bold programs that they are not sure yet how to deliver. They understand that any delay is self-harming at best, and predatory at worst - and that done is way better than perfect. Their senior management – and their overachieving, intimidating CEO – appear to support their staff in “going out and breaking things”, if that brings results.

And that gives us the chance to break the “strange melancholy” that Vinay noticed back in 2012.

3. … but they need help

In these situations, we expect a certain amount of shooting from the hip. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because you can almost always adjust your aim as you go. Climate change won’t wait for us to perfect our strategies, so it’s absolutely critical to get things started. Climate-KIC have proven to be good at starting things, setting ambitious targets, mobilizing financial support, convening lots of public sector institutions, private companies, and universities.

But good is not enough: the task at hand is so enormous they would have to be superhuman. Superpowers are not on the menu, but they could get the next best thing: your help. The help of us all, in fact. Together, we have accumulated a capital of domain- and local expertise; relationships with underutilized “unusual suspect” actors at the edge of society; little-known solutions that are already working at the local scale and only need a push to multiply their impact. This capital must now become a trellis for the climate effort to build on.

4. What we will do in all this

In a way, this is the perfect storm that the Edgeryders community has been preparing for. The sane, sensible solutions have failed to deliver. All that’s left are trying the weird, scary ones. Desperate times call for radical measures, and rational, unflinching radicalism is what we grew out of, and where we belong. The need is so great that the people on the edge might find themselves at the center of the action: in a sense, the climate crisis might turn out to be a great equalizer.

Here is how we plan to help:

  1. Develop a new Edgeryders team. There’s plenty of expertise in the other 5,000 people who have created Edgeryders accounts, and plenty more out there: but we need a lens to focus it all, advocate for a radical, solarpunk approach to climate change, and find the resources needed for that approach to make a difference. We are calling the new team EarthOS. This name was invented a decade ago by our co-founder @matthias, as he was working on an open source “operating system for the planet” that would allow everyone to live in personal freedom, community autonomy, and reasonable prosperity. We are claiming this tradition as a central part of Edgeryders. We hired @ilaria to coordinate the team.
  2. Contribute to building a culture of rational radicalism in Climate-KIC and the European climate policy space in general. The emphasis being on the word “culture”. We need a much better intellectual arsenal. Not just “solutions”, but a solid, transmissible, system-level understandings of the sort of transformation we, as a civilization, are trying to achieve. A perfect example is how climate activism is being held in check by economic insecurity: as all past prosperity has been built on the destruction of nature, too many people are unable to see a future for themselves in a post-carbon world, and stall the necessary change. We need to respond by controlling the narrative. But, a winning narrative requires solid cultural underpinning. That is why we are engineering a collaboration between science fiction authots and economists to imagine completely different economic systems.
  3. Connect the Climate-KIC funding streams with radical ideas and delivery capacity. Climate-KIC is, at the end of the day, a financial pipeline with advanced strategic capacity. Their core business is shifting (EU) money where it can make the most difference towards climate change mitigation and adaptation. Their impact depends on the right kind of people and organizations stepping forward with good projects, and delivering them on time and on specs. We are going to work with them, to advocate for investing in small-and-nimble organizations, informal networks of citizens, hackers, solarpunks, and more.

5. How and when we start

We start immediately with two projects. One is an effort to bring solarpunk tech and ethics to Europe’s ports. Another one is a prototype for deep green, social, affordable urban living. More are coming, and we will use this space to share information about what we do and recruit collaborators.

So, if you are already working on climate (in the broadest possible sense), or want to get involved, tell us about yourself and your work here.

Photo credit: John

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13 posts were split to a new topic: Editing the topic announcing our Climate-KIC collaboration

Just an FYI for more context on what we talked about over the last months with different community members.
@yannick @Emmanuel @trythis @julyandavey @manuelpueyo @Piska.

@felix.wolfsteller @johncoate @emsone this might also interest you.

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Thank you. I can’t think of any work that is more important or pressing.

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Hi,

How is the Earth OS concept developing?
Maybe it ties to some ideas we are thinking in the Let’s Do It World - would be glad to help or join forces if it serves the nature’s restoration mission …

Regards,
Henri

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Hello @henri372, lovely to hear from you. Collaborating with Let’s Do It World sounds like a great idea, though we need to “zoom in” onto something concrete.

I suggest you have an exchange with @ilaria. She is currently on holiday and should be back on the 20th.

Hi,

The more concrete the better. I just try to understand what have you already started under the Earth OS banner.

Btw. I have founded an organization named Citizen OS - https://citizenos.com/ for voting & group decision making and been adviser in Planet OS that gathers data on planet-wide sensor network.
www.planetos.com

Regards,
Henri

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Sorry but climate change is a big bullshit. So much spewage about humans impact on climate is not true. There is an intertwining confusion which is called the climate change narrative. “Climate change is a toxic mix of heavy weather” What exactly is “heavy weather”? is it a massive storm conjured from HAARP? Seriously, its time to accept that climate change is a natural occurrence and human activity contribution is very minimal.

It sounds like you didn’t hear anyone explain the science properly, so far :slight_smile: Admittedly the people who can do that are rare. Most people, including the journalists, don’t understand much science anyway, and don’t make an effort.

For that same reason I was always wondering how 0.02% of CO2 in the atmosphere (that’s the step from 200 ppm to 400 ppm) would be able to make such a difference? It did not sound reasonable to me, and nobody explained it. Then some day I realized that greenhouse gases must be behind the lapse rate of temperature – the effect that it becomes colder the higher up a mountain you go. Because without the greenhouse effect, we’d expect the warm air to collect at the top due to convection.

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Hmm… based on what? In general, humanity does best when it trusts the science. Scientific hypotheses can always be disproven, by definition, but that of anthropogenic climate change has resisted a lot of attempts to disprove it. Up-to-date evidence is collected in the reports of Working Group I of the IPCC.

What I really want to emphasise is how this project (s) is introduced and described. There are messages that do not make logical sense and a narrative that is constantly perpetuated about “climate change”. There are a few terminologies that are interchangeably used, yet need to be clear about their meaning. Climate change, is the seasons and weather patterns. Weather is temperature, rain, wind. Global warming, is referred to as a result from the Greehouse Effect.

So overall, the on-going mainstream narrative is “human activity of CO2 emissions causes increased heating from the greenhouse effect”. This is the major negative phenomenon narrative. That by the global warming is increasing by 2C, or 3C, that the climate will change, in other words, weather patters will change. (Really, humans are God like, that Co2 emissions cause weather patterns to change?)

For readers who need to refresh their understanding about how the Greenhouse Effect works than here is the information>

Back to the point of my post, how certain sentences are worded, and which perpetuate the narrative about climate change, in sentences such as

"We need to reallocate our best resources to climate-proofing humanity.’

Logically, this is not possible, without climate there is no humanity, so what is this nonsense message?

To then “addressing climate change through innovation by achieving deep decarbonization across cities”.

Keep in mind that CO2 is also a natural gas, and without it we cannot live, because we are dependent on plants photosynthesis of C02.

Further to address this paragraph,

“all past prosperity has been built on the destruction of nature, too many people are unable to see a future for themselves in a post-carbon world, and stall the necessary change. We need to respond by controlling the narrative. But, a winning narrative requires solid cultural underpinning. That is why we are engineering a collaboration between science fiction authots and economists to imagine completely different economic systems”.

Do not wrap the wool over people’s eyes here, the hole has been dug deep enough. So, to address this paragraph, the aim is to live in a non-carbon world (?), which is impossible. Or to stall carbon output (?), which is also nonsense as carbon is always being produced and required for human, animal and plant life. So, yes, people cannot see a future in a post-carbon world because it’s absolute nonsense.

Further, to design new economic systems with the collaboration of science fiction authors and economists. There are already a lot of alternative economic based system that have been trialed, and are in use in small communities around the world. If the aim of the project/s is to actually invent an economic system with the collaboration of science fiction authors and economists and put this into physical, practical actions than it’ll be quite something. How about involving children, as their imaginations are ripe and fruitful? Main point is, their minds are not brainwashed with CO2 global warming narratives, so they can actually brainstorm ideas about new economic systems.

I am all for innovation, as it is crucial for humanity to seek innovative theories and put them into action, yet it doesn’t need to be equated with “controlling CO2 emissions”. The narrative can simply be to engage independent/like-minded group thought for humanity to positively increase quality of life. The Earth has a way of dealing with access gases, thus it’s very important to portray a narrative which communicates green-innovation, clearly and well.

So, how about to promote innovation in green-energy engineering, innovation in green infrastructure/architecture? Which has been done and is being done. To promote independent thought outside the box to mainstream narratives. As with a lot of mainstream narratives, not only in earth sciences, trends are sensationalised, which requires research funding - and guess what “global warming” requires research funding. Hence, IPCC and it’s whole existence. The narrative is over-sensationalised and dramatised to some dooms-day scenario. Plus, confusion with what and how weather, climate, and sphere/s processes work on Earth. How the sun, and oceans play a massive role in maintaining stable temperatures on Earth.

So, to truly utilise ones energy in projects and create tangible change for quality of life on Earth, I suggest expanding it in an area where one’s actions will be utilised for a worth while and well-intended cause. Where one understands the basis of the project. Climate cannot be precisely predicted, it’s a fact, scientific results will always be uncertain in relation to climate, because climate/ weather is an uncertain phenomenon. There can only be estimates, which are not certain. Further, I can see that the responses to my post/s will only be bias and I can already see that the intention is to control the “global warming” mainstream narrative. For those that are interested I found two interesting academic articles to challenge the global warming mainstream narrative.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/99EO00132