What’s Missing from this Picture?

We’ve covered a lot of “individuals and climate change” ground in this micro-site. The problem with most individual actions intended to help tackle climate change is that they will not scale sufficiently to influence climate change. Only a few percent of the population is likely to voluntarily pursue any particular type of individual action, and that's just not enough.

The other problem is that individuals don't have a big picture view of what the most important climate change mitigation opportunities are at any given time and place. Everyone agrees that there is no "silver bullet" solution to climate change, but when you get into the idea of "silver buckshot" we're talking about hundreds of policies and measures that would help move us towards the needed systems change. The idea of "silver buckshot," however, suggests a much more random approach to tackling climate change than makes sense.

As an alternative frame we would suggest thinking of those hundreds of policies and measures as Chess Pieces on a giant Climate Chess gameboard, pieces that can be moved strategically and tactically to advance towards the ultimate goal of climate change mitigation.

The challenge is that moving those Chess Pieces on the board is hard, and can benefit from or even require the kinds of help that individuals can provide. Whether time, resources, or expertise, individuals have a lot to contribute to winning the game of Climate Chess. And in fact the actions of those individuals can be far more effectively leveraged through playing Climate Chess, than is the case for individuals simply acting individually.

Unfortunately, there is no coordinated effort to play Climate Chess today. It’s the key “missing piece” of climate change mitigation efforts.

To further explore this topic check out our Climate Chess micro-site.