I had the chance to speak with Mark Fulton, the Global head of climate change research for Deutsche Bank (DB), this afternoon. We discussed DB's new website, Know The Number and how they are trying to bring the actual numbers behind Global Warming - greenhouse gas figures - to the public's attention.
From their website:
"We are seeking to raise public awareness of climate change. As investors, we know the importance of measurement so that we can track progress. Our approach is to start by understanding the quantity, or concentrations, of long-lived greenhouse gases which are building up in the world's atmosphere and are leading to global warming."
The words in bold are exactly why Mapawatt is such a big fan of monitoring. If you don't measure something, you can't tell if you are improving.
Mark described how the idea for Know The Number came from the Times Square Debt Clock and the need for metrics in order to show the public what is happening in our atmosphere. Because the nature of climate change is so opaque (we can't see greenhouse gases in our atmosphere), DB realized there had to be some way to display those values to the public. They enlisted researchers from MIT to help come up with an algorithm that could predict how much greenhouse gas was entering the atmosphere and display those values in "CO2 equivalent" figures.
We also discussed different ways the facts and figures can be displayed to further grab the public's attention and influence change. We both realized how important it is to eventually display any progress that is made or not made, so individuals will actually get motivated to chip in.
Whether it is done on a global, national, or local scale, it is important for measurement to take place so progress can be realized. Deutsche Bank realizes that and is displaying greenhouse gas emissions to help individuals and investors make the right decisions to lower our environmental impact. You can do the same thing in your home, business, church or school.
Set goals, measure your progress, and improve.