DECIDE: To win the climate intelligence race

One critical insight above all others is necessary to understand how climate intelligence will alter the terrain of human activity in coming years and decades:

The climate crisis is NOT a “niche issue” or “single-issue” challenge; it touches everything we do, in every area of our lives. The climate is a planetary system that influences the conditions lived by living organisms in every ecosystem, at all times.

Historically, we have engaged with Earth’s climate system through weather, asking questions about rainfall, drought, farming and floods:

  • Will we be able to grow enough food during the growing season?
  • Will the design of this roof hold the snow that is coming in winter?
  • Is the thickness of walls and/or size of windows optimal to maintaining indoor temperatures?
  • Do we have good clothing to get us through this storm?
  • Do we need boats, and do we know where high ground is?

It turns out, these are also climate resilience questions. As climate system stability is disrupted by global heating, we are learning that everything we do naturally ties into or is affected by climate considerations. Understanding those connections is climate intelligence. Understanding the viability and competitive advantage of a given enterprise requires understanding its embedded climate intelligence (ECI).

Sound decision-making in the age of embedded climate intelligence — as a personal and national security imperative — requires extraneous core insights (also, incidentally, ECI) that attach market value to a wider landscape of critical resilience value.

  • Extraneous core insights are insights that directly affect the core value and activities of an enterprise or institution, but which come from factors outside the scope of that entity’s operations.
  • Understanding embedded climate intelligence, which is necessary to limit climate-related risk and vulnerability, means detailing extraneous core insights that will impact the health and resilience of your operations.

DECIDE (the Detailed Embedded Climate Intelligence Data Engine) is a Liberate Enterprise effort to establish standards for leaders, institutions and individuals to routinely and reliably expand the climate intelligence of their way of working in the world. A number of technical challenges are key to establishing an operational DECIDE service:

  • Science translation — An Earth-science decision-support system, integrating data from diverse fields of inquiry, and in particular outside of a given geographical or ecological region.
  • Upstream-downstream interactions — The climate system, and the water cycle, deliver feedbacks from far beyond the boundaries of a given local territory, that nevertheless impact the likely state of health and resilience of the more local natural systems.
  • Data efficiencies — A key question in the building of a DECIDE system would be how to achieve the high-efficiency of data production, processing, tracking, and cross-referencing necessary to ensure general fairness to all parties.
  • Right-scaling — To what extent can we combine in-house and locally relevant data with global data systems across sectors, to achieve meaningful DECIDE insight for all actors?

The DECIDE system will integrate locally generated data and decision parameters, with regional, national, and planetary-scale Earth systems data, Resilience Intel climate-smart finance information, and client-specific real-time inquiries. It will use AI-enabled synaptic distributed ledger technologies to translate raw insights from the variety of data sources into localized end-user-relevant information.

The WEAVE knowledge network synaptic graph shows how many known climate resilience connections a given institution has; more information is available at ResilienceIntel.org/GKG

An analogy might be how we count on weather apps, and also GPS and mapping apps, to provide us with information we can deploy in our personal planning, in the moment, as needed. Do I need an umbrella today? How can I best avoid climate-related market risk, while fulfilling this everyday operational need?

To achieve maximum efficiency for end users, the DECIDE system will integrate with the Resilience Intel Consortium of technical and strategic partners, facilitate, support and draw from Resilience Intel ‘situation rooms’, and provide advanced subjective analysis about emerging paradigm shifts in:

Every decision is a choice to favor one possible world and negate another. The nature of personal freedom is that our choices are personal, but our freedom is degraded if the choices of others reach beyond the personal and generate unmanageable harm and cost to the wider world. At industrial scale, these excesses eat away at all of the possible health and freedom we hope to shape and enjoy.

NASA’s ECOSTRESS service is combining space-based observations with experience on the ground to provide detailed maps of functional stress to ecosystems, which can affect water and food supplies, and also biodiversity and nature’s life supporting safety net. Image credit: NASA-JPL.

These are not philosophical considerations; they are becoming a national security priority, a leading driver of innovation, and a structural market imperative.

As more businesses commit to science-based targets for decarbonization and the building of resilience value, and nations develop economy-wide national climate action plans, operating at all levels of authority and market influence, negative externalities will be greatly reduced, and business models that depend on them to generate return on investment will fail.


The featured image at the top of this article is ‘Ice Watch’ by David Thoreson, shot during a journey through the climate altered Arctic. © David Thoreson.

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