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May 31, 2018

If Only We Knew What We Know About Climate Change in Oregon

Mark Trexler

When it comes to climate change, Carla Odell’s “if only we knew what we know,” is an apt metaphor, particularly given Woodrow Wilson’s point that “there is not an idea in our heads that has not been worn shiny by someone else’s brains.”

Imagine what we could accomplish on climate change in Oregon if everyone didn’t have to reinvent the same climate change wheels, or come up the same lengthy learning curves. Imagine if we could more easily progress from 101-level conversations about climate policies and climate solutions to 201 and 301-level conversations. What could we accomplish if we could overcome the unfortunate reality as summarized by Margaret Heffernan, that “in climate change, all the forces of willful ignorance come together like synchronized swimmers in a spectacular water ballet.”

Knowledge management tools and processes can go a long way toward making these aspirations a reality. These tools make it easier for individuals interested in climate change in Oregon to access the specific climate knowledge that will help them accomplish their goals — what we call their actionable climate knowledge.

The open-access Climate Web is one such knowledge management tool. The Climate Web makes it possible for anyone to explore “what we know” about hundreds of climate change topics. It allows anyone to benefit from the 20,000 hours the Climatographers have spent exploring, curating, and linking together the climate change ideas “worn shiny by someone else’s brains.”

But simply making so much relevant information available does not necessarily solve the problems users face in making the best use of that information. That is why we’ve created an “Oregon and Climate Change Knowledgebase.” This Knowledgebase goes a step further, using a Q&A format to help users quickly zero in on the information they’re most interested in. The Knowledgebase is limited to Oregon-specific materials, so it doesn’t include the enormous resources available elsewhere in the Climate Web covering topics relevant to Oregon such as carbon pricing, carbon offsets, and climate change forecasts. It does, however, organize Oregon-specific thinking about those topics. Moreover, if you don’t see work that you know about, we can easily add it.

The Oregon and Climate Change Knowledgebase is described in more detail here, or you can jump directly to where you can sign up for a detailed video demonstration of the Knowledgebase.  As you’ll learn in the video demonstration, we’ve created three ways you can access the Knowledgebase:

  • Online
  • Through a read-only downloadable version of the Knowledgebase
  • Through a fully customizable version of the Knowledgebase

Each of these options gives users speedier access and more control over the Knowledgebase. The last option gives users full flexibility in adapting the Knowledgebase to their own purposes. All three options allow users to take advantage of the hundreds of hours of work that have gone into building the Knowledgebase.

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Mark Trexler

Mark has more than 30 years of regulatory and energy policy experience. He has advised clients around the world on climate change risk and risk management. He is widely published on business risk management topics surrounding climate change, including in the design and deployment of carbon markets. Mark has served as a lead author for the IPCC and holds advanced degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

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