Climate Clubs & Climate Year: Two Projects to Prototype in the SF Bay Area


We are circulating these two ideas and looking at others,  seeking comments and collaborators! This is version 1.3, from mid-2015. Please email us!
STARTING POINT: We are at the end of Business-As-Usual — for individuals and their families, friends, colleagues, networks, associations; for companies; for non-governmental organizations; for government.
STRATEGY:Find effective ways people and institutions can translate their understanding of climate dangers into near-term actions — especially ones to enable people to make a difference in 2016.
APPROACH: Building on and reinforce existing efforts, campaigns, organizations. Start with prototypes in the San Francisco Bay Area of new models, then spread them rapidly and broadly.
SPECIFICS: See below for “Climate Clubs” and “Climate Year.” And for examples of other parallel efforts, the new California Climate Breakthrough Initiative is developing the “The National Climate Teach-in Program” and “The Climate Giving Pledge” for individuals and donors.

WE ARE RECRUITING ADVISORS & COLLABORATORS: We can show what’s possible by launching these and other projects this year — all designed as proofs-of-conceptS born in the SFBay Area and heading out everywhere to be replicated and improved.

Just as it’s hard to find a job, but you only need one (hat-tip: Rochelle Lefkowitz), getting each project needs only ONE partner. Let’s talk about your helping!


Citizens connect and discover how to thrive in a climate-challenged world and act together to change our futures.

SUMMARY: Once a month, affiliated people meet and socialize, where they live, study, work, pray, or play, to compare notes, and share what they’re thinking and doing.
ACTIVITIES: Hear a speaker, watch a webcast on solutions, campaigns, policies, awareness, science, technology, media, try out ideas about actions to take.
PRIMARY SPONSOR: (we won’t ask for attention from them until we have a Bay Area proof-of-concept and funding prospects; this will be low-budget).
LOCAL PARTNER: a workplace, school, house of worship, union hall, library.
DOMAIN SPONSORS: Companies: Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Environmental Entrepreneurs; Colleges: divestment groups; High Schools: Alliance for Climate Education.
TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS: Facebook, MeetUp, Evernote, BaseCamp, one or more crowdfunding companies.
BENEFITS: Enable people to incorporate in their everyday lives feelings of connection, empowerment and hope — like those many experienced at the People’s Climate March and other gatherings — and become effective advocates.
POSITIONING: Collaborate and overlap with other networks and events; serve as a way for people to find activities and partners.
WHERE TO BEGIN: Proof-of-concept pilots in SF Bay Area with groups like California Climate Breakthrough Initiative, E2, Bay Area Climate Collaborative, Interfaith Power & Light, Alliance for Climate Education.


Enable tens of thousands of of people to dedicate big chunks of their time to climate activism. As our country needs to end “Business As Usual,” they will do so in their own lives, and move the climate to the center of public concern, focused on projects that will have an impact in 2016.
NOTE: Our initial name for this was “Climate Corps,” but the Environmental Defense Fund has a long-established graduate fellowship program with that name. (We may ask them about a partnership….)

SUMMARY: Support and honor as heroes people who take time off from their everyday lives to engage on climate projects. Some young adults and retirees can already do this. We can find ways to enable others to join — part- or full-time — for a year or more.
ACTIVITIES: Members match their interests, talents, and availability to volunteer or work for an organization or company. For instance: create an awareness campaign; develop a transformative technology; market a promising product;  come up with a new “missing piece” in awareness, policy, and solutions.
PRIMARY SPONSOR: (we won’t ask for attention from them until we have a Bay Area proof-of-concept and funding prospects; this will be low-budget).
OUTREACH TO COMPANIES: U.S. and global groups: CERES, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, manyothers.
PITCH TO COMPANIES: You pay employees for jury duty. You give time off and continue benefits for people on parental leave. You hold jobs open for soldiers while they serve their families and their country. COMPANYNAME acknowledges that the world and your business needs to respond aggressively and ambitiously to the threat of catastrophic climate change. Now how will you support your employees who want to take time off to meet climate challenges? For instance: tell a Climate Hero their job will be waiting for them. If they are going to be volunteering or working for low pay, continue their benefits, and enable them to organize a pledge fund among their fellow employees to sustain them.
BENEFITS: in addition to how they spend their time, Climate Corps members will be beacons of hope. As they mobilize, they will inspire their relatives, colleagues, and friends. People will see their decision as evidence that climate is not an abstract, distant problem — it’s in our lives today.
WHERE TO BEGIN: Pilot in SF Bay Area with groups like E2, Bay Area Climate Collaborative, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Joint Venture Silicon Valley.