Help Create the Blueprint for Carbon Zero Cities of the Future

Most of the world will soon live in urban areas. Cities and mega-cities are growing around the world, especially in developing nations. So it makes sense that cities should become the front lines in the fight against global warming — most of the world’s energy users and resource consumers will be living in veritable ground zeroes for climate action. And as you’re probably aware, bold climate action is needed, and fast: we’ve long since passed having the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that scientists say is safe (350 parts per million), and continue to burn fossil fuels at a breakneck pace.

So what can be done? We can rebuild our cities (and our way of life) to be carbon neutral. And Alex Steffen, the brains behind Worldchanging, has some ideas on just how to do this. But he needs your help. He’s creating a book called Carbon Zero: A Short Tour of Your City’s Future, which explains thusly:

The climate crisis demands that we start rebuilding our cities to become carbon neutral. But what does carbon neutrality mean? What does it look like? How do we measure it? My goal here is to explain carbon neutrality in a short, amusing book that can be read in an afternoon.

It’s time to demystify bold climate action, fast. By being the first to show support, you’ll help make this book a reality by Earth Day this April.

Which is where you come in — he’s looking for funding on Kickstarter (another Utopianist-approved institution), and offers some cool goodies in return.

The best part of Steffen’s work is that it’s not pie-in-the-sky. He has a knack for helping people visualize the problems we face in the climate domain, and then offering tangible solutions. As Steffen notes, “Bucky Fuller once said that people never leave a sinking ship until they see the lights of another ship approaching. One of the reasons it is so hard to act on climate change is that most of us are afraid of what we’ll lose, but uncertain at best about what we’ll gain.”

Which is why people need to see such a blueprint. They need to see that cities can be built sustainably and comfortably, and that we really have nothing to lose in terms of quality of life by addressing climate — yet we have everything to gain. Check out the project for yourself on Kickstarter.

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Image: Kickstarter

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant is a founding editor of the Utopianist.. When he's not helming the Utopianist, he is TreeHugger's politics writer, contributes the Getting Samy Out of Burma column to, and freelances for the likes of Salon and Paste. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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