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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' comments

Thank you for participating in the 2015 Climate CoLab United States' Climate Action Plan contest, and for the time you spent in creating your entry.

The Judges have strongly considered your proposal, and have chosen to not advance it as a Finalist for this contest.

We, the Judges and contest Fellows, are truly grateful for your contribution to the Climate CoLab and for your commitment to address climate change.

We encourage you to keep developing your work and to submit it into future contests, which will open in the fall and winter of 2016. In the meantime, you can keep developing your work by transferring it to the Regional Climate Action Plan Workspace (; here you can re-open it, make edits, and add collaborators. You can do so by logging into your account, opening your proposal, selecting the Admin tab, and clicking “Copy proposal”. Once the 2016 contests open, you can use this same feature to move your proposal to an open contest.

We very much hope you will stay involved in the Climate CoLab community. Please support and comment on other proposals on the platform and continue to submit your ideas into our contests.

If you have questions, please contact the Climate CoLab staff at

Keep up the great work. And thank you again for being a part of this mission to harness the world’s collective efforts to develop and share innovative climate change solutions.

All the best,
2015 Climate CoLab Judges

Comments from the Judges:

Comment 1:

This proposal is focused on the 'what' and 'why' actions need to be taken. BUT, includes little in terms of the 'how' it needs to get done.

Comment 2:

The general idea of framing climate solutions in terms of personal freedom is a good one (though not unheard of).

However, the proposal is not clear as to how exactly to accomplish this other than by "adding the word “freedom” to the reasoning for doing projects with beneficial climate effects".

Given the lack of any detail or specificity, even when it comes to how exactly to get audiences to accept the "freedom" framework, I can't score this proposal very high for feasibility or impact or presentation.

Comment 3:

The concept of using strong evocative terms ("freedom") to sway public opinion is powerful; political campaigns have done so successfully in this country for many years. In that sense, this proposal is quite novel and potentially appealing to many.

However, counterbalancing this, it is not clear that the concept will not be countered by other, equally powerful framings: "freedom of choice", "low cost" or "freedom to exploit the nations resources" -- all of which, in some form, are the current mantra.

While the ideas framing in this proposal are attractive, to be successful the author will need to better explain how economic forces that may militate against their preferred outcome would be addressed. For example, huge profits are made in the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels -- and that community has an effective lobbying arm and also provides real benefits at low cost to many. Similarly, while it may be healthier to walk or bike than to drive, current city development and urban sprawl (often low density) is not particularly conducive to public transit. And resistance to paying the costs of full recycling in buildings may be a hard sell in a city that relies on taxing new development to pay for other amenities like schools or transit, and is reluctant to limit development. Problems such as these may be difficult to combat with rhetoric only.

Additional Comments from Climate CoLab Fellow:

This proposal is quite ambitious in incorporating the idea of “freedom” as a force to solve climate change. It presents an interesting perspective to roll back the specter of a warming planet. It affirms that climate change remains a defining challenge of the postmodern era and by including the idea of “freedom” in climate change debate might help to reconstruct the discourse and address the policy imperatives. The modern economic landscape has become increasingly interconnected through the process of globalization in the post-war period. In recent years significant evidence has linked globalization with increased social tensions, and accelerated impacts on the natural environment.

Sustainable development, which is “the ability of present generations to meet their obligations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” is premised on the idea of freedom. It involves the generation and application of science and technology (knowledge) for efficient management of human environmental and resources for the long-term improvement of the social and economic welfare of the populations. Technology and the associated scientific information and knowledge constitute a major source for social change, economic growth, and ecological governance. All these form an important component of efficiency positively correlated with increased social tensions and environmental problems, especially in the developing world.

While the proposal offers good examples such as biogas from waste water and agricultural waste, freedom from the importation of fossil fuels, freedom from waste and waste transports and importation on raw materials through circular economy, and rural resilience, the proposal would benefit from addressing existing challenges of socio-technical innovations and designs rooted in capitalism i.e. concerns over the massive destructive power of some of the established technological activities, the potential depletion of the earth’s resources and the destruction of the environment consequent upon expansive and ill-informed application of industrial technology which has brought public consciousness to the fact that if not properly managed the development and application of technology can cause irreversible negative socio-economic consequences. Indeed, inappropriate application of technology negates sustainable development.

The author might benefit from reviewing the first four chapters of “The Responsible Company: What We've Learned From Patagonia's First 40 Years” by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley to gain insight on how to address barriers to socio-technical innovations. A complete proposal would address these kinds of counter-arguments.

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Jan Kunnas

Aug 13, 2015


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Thanks for the comments, I think I have now been able to better explain the costs and benefits of fulfilling the plan, as well as explain how the selected sub-proposals support this idea. It is, however, very difficult to put a price tag on an idea, as it does not prescribe the use of a particular technology which costs can be quantified. Similarly it will be difficult to estimate possible benefits, as it depends what Americans do with their freedom.