Climate Change: Changing Design, Not Minds

Emilio Cogliani

Symptom: Global climate change.

Disease: Design of economy & environment interaction.

Cure: Change the design (and don’t sweat changing all the minds).

The day after the National Climate Assessment came out, so did our national misalignment. On May 7, 2014, on front pages across the U.S., the increasingly severe impacts of climate change were reported on as being here now, not somewhere in the future. Ironically, financial pages of many of those same papers, ran stories about the polar vortex — intensified by climate change — rendering a financial boon of investors in utilities which saw a nearly 23 percent quarterly jump in profits as a result.

In my local here in Portland, Ore., the paper took the irony one step further when it reported that a local solar panel startup — trying to do good things in energy — shuttered its manufacturing operation, unable to get off the…

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