Make Earth Manifesto

TL;DR: We’re launching a global community for people who want to help build the scientifically proven political, technical and social solutions required to reverse climate change. This is our manifesto and why we’re doing it.

We’ve undoubtedly entered the Anthropocene. The age that describes the period where humans have caused a significant negative impact on Earth’s geology.

We need to radically change humanity’s most core infrastructure: energy, agriculture, construction, transportation, buildings and ourselves as humans. And we have less than 11 years to do it. Remember: There’s no planet B.

But it’s really very simple. All we need to do is:

  1. Stop emissions
  2. Reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas levels

That’s it. This is all we need to do.

There are even comprehensive plans and guides published by researchers that explain loud and clear what we need to do and what works. Most notably:

And many more. These cover everything from political, technical and social solutions required.

So, why haven’t we done it yet? It is being done! But it’s not being done in a nearly large enough scale. There’s massive friction in our existing society that can only be overcome by scale. A few examples:

  • Existing industries resist change because they know that in most cases it will cost them a lot of money, which will hurt shareholders, which is their primary metric.
  • Politicians refuse to act, because they fear for their next election period because the policies they need to introduce will affect jobs and growth in a few large industries (hence shareholders are hurt again). This leads to:
  • Unfair competition because the politicians can’t scale back on the 5 TRILLION USD pr. year in subsidies that the fossil industries – the industry responsible for 80% of all greenhouse gases – gets. This makes it commercially very difficult to introduce any alternatives. [1]
  • Infiltration of green initiatives by the fossil industries is problematic due to lobbyism, sponsorships and bribes which leads to widespread greenwashing. [2]

And such scale needed to overcome this friction can only be overcome by a planet-scale community.

We need three types of solutions:

  • Political: We need politicians to remove the subsidies and other support mechanisms that the fossil and other polluting industries benefit from. This is going to be tough, but Extinction Rebellion is hard at work at this.
  • Technological: We need to create products and services based on new technology that can help stopping existing emissions as well as actively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • Social: We need new (and old and forgotten) social “technology” that can support the development and change needed. We need to rethink what a company is and should consider models such as cooperatives.

In 2001 86% of the total wind energy deployed in Denmark was organised by cooperatives (social technology), i.e private individuals that banded together and invested in locally produced wind farms (technology). This happened in part because favorable political solutions were in place through the 80s to the 00s such as the government guaranteeing that it would purchase all power produced by the national cooperative owned wind farms [7].

Unfortunately since the 90s the political solution for this setup is now impossible to implement. In 2010 Ontario tried a similar programme as the danish one. They offered to buy excess solar power from producers back at a premium but to qualify for that the producers would have to have 40–60% of staff and materials located in Ontario. In 2011 EU, China and bunch of other countries filed a complaint with WTO [13] saying that the policy was in violation of WTO rules. Needless to say, WTO ruled against Canada [2,11,13]. In 2016 it happened again, but this time with India that has 13 of the most polluted cities in the world. WTO took down India’s booming solar industry [12].

Hence a government can’t promise to purchase wind or solar power from national cooperatives or provide many other kinds of national support, because that would be in violation with WTO rules.

Think about this for a sec. Even if the politicians wanted to make the changes and support national green industries, they can’t because that would mean they would be in violation of WTO rules!

But this raises some interesting questions. The primary role of the politicians in this is to distribute taxpayer money. The politicians can choose to spend that on renewable energy or give it to the fossil industries (as they do today). But why exactly do we need politicians?

Why can’t privately run cooperatives support industries via a subsidy-like approach? Why can’t privately run cooperatives fund new industries?

We do still need politicians to remove the damaging legislation and subsidies (let’s start with the 5 trillion USD in fossil subsidies shall we?). Let the politicians remove the barriers and else get out of the way. Only the people can solve the climate crisis, nobody else will.

Several companies are already on the right track by using these new old types of sustainable business models to create novel sustainable solutions. A few notable ones related to agriculture:

  • Andelsgaarde.dk: Aims to make agriculture more sustainable via cooperatives [8]
  • White Oak Pastures: Utilizes farming techniques like silvopasture to produce beef that is carbon negative [9,10]

But we need more and we need to scale the existing projects fast. We also need to build social solutions to enable the new climate change industries to form. Industries like 2nd and 3rd generation biofuel, carbon capture etc cannot start without financial support because the technologies required are still in their infancy and therefore still very expensive – exactly like wind and solar energy used to be.

Our challenge is that the wind energy revolution in Denmark occurred over multiple decades. And we have one decade to do the same and more for multiple core industries of the world – some that don’t even exist yet.

Need we say that the challenge is daunting? It’s almost so big that you feel the hope for a better future is impossible to achieve. But we must act. We must act for the sake of our children and grandchildren. For the near extinct species. For the amazing and unique planet that we live on. Admitting defeat and admitting that we’re heading for extinction is not an option.

The biggest illusion that society has made us all believe is that we as individuals can’t do anything and that we must leave it to the governments and existing industries to fix. This is an illusion. We, the people, are the ones that decide how we spend our money and our time. This is the definition of power in todays capitalistic society.

Introducing: Make Earth

Today we launch Make Earth.

Our mission is to enable citizens worldwide to stand up and participate actively in building the technical, political and social solutions to solve the climate crisis.

We realized that many people today worry about climate change and wants to do something. Maybe you stopped eating beef or take the train on summer vacation. But you want to do more, but are not sure how. This was us a few months ago, then we started looking into the matter and realized that we, the people, are in fact the only ones that can do anything. The existing old industries and politicians are not going to do it.

We’re launching a massive coordination effort that aims to unite Earth Makers around the world in building the technical, political and social solutions needed. In a week or so we’re launching a giant todo list based on research such as Project Drawdown, The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving the World, GESRE and Beautiful Solutions. If we build and implement the solutions in these reports we will get there. Some solutions are so easy it is really just the world being lazy and complacent that is the reason why they haven’t been implemented yet. But many solutions require us to be creative and utilise new/old business models (such as circular economy), technology (such as carbon capture) and new social technology (such as cooperatives) to achieve our aim. Some even require us to create entirely new industries (e.g. renewable fuels).

The goal is to get all Earth Makers working on a specific todo such that we will start reversing climate change. With scale – change will come.

Consequently, Make Earth is a community for doers and makers. Make Earth is a community for people that want to help bring about change.

In general we need 3 types of people and mixes of these:

  • Type I: Frontrunners: People who already run a startup, company or other initiative that helps solve the climate crisis.
  • Type II: Entrepreneurs: People who want to launch a new company or initiative that helps solve the climate crisis.
  • Type III: Maker / doers: People who can devote time, skills and effort, but does not want to lead an initiative.

Type I and type II’s are expected to devote a large portion of their time to solving the climate crisis. We hope many type III’s want to help as well but many type III’s should be able to keep their day job while helping to solve the climate crisis. Roughly, we need 5% type I (few, because these people are already doing it), 20% type II and 75% type III.

If you made it this far in the blog post, you’re hereby invited to our prelaunch event on May 27 from 18–21 in Copenhagen. At the event we will present our ideas and plans for the community as well as enable participants to get to work on climate solutions. But there’s an important caveat: We only want you to come if you’re truly committed about wanting to help fix climate change. Serious meaning that you fit into some version of type I-III above and have time to commit a serious effort in to helping solve the climate crisis. We’re not letting you out of the building before you have a project to work on. Join our prelaunch event on meetup or eventbrite.

If you have any questions about the event or Make Earth feel free to reach out on hello@make.earth.

See you there and let’s get to work!


P.S. We want to spread Make Earth to the rest of the world ASAP, so we’re looking for international Make Earth chapter leads to help coordinate efforts in other cities worldwide. Please contact us on hello@make.earth if you or you know somebody that would be interested in helping out running an international chapter of Make Earth.

P.P.S. And keep an eye on our blog! In the coming weeks we will elaborate on some of the major points and arguments of this post.


[1] Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/aug/07/fossil-fuel-subsidies-are-a-staggering-5-tn-per-year

[2] This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein, https://thischangeseverything.org/book/

[3] Project Drawdown, https://www.drawdown.org/

[4] The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving the World, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/takeaction/

[5] http://energywatchgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/EWG_LUT_100RE_All_Sectors_Global_Report_2019.pdf

[6] This Changes Everything, Beautiful Solutions, https://solutions.thischangeseverything.org/

[7] 30 years of policies for wind energy: Lessons from Denmark, https://www.irena.org/documentdownloads/publications/gwec_denmark.pdf

[8] Andelsgårde, https://andelsgaarde.dk/

[9] Georgia Farm’s Beef Reduces Atmospheric Carbon, https://www.drovers.com/article/georgia-farms-beef-reduces-atmospheric-carbon

[10] White Oak Pastures, https://www.whiteoakpastures.com/

[11] WTO rules against Ontario in green energy dispute, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/wto-rules-against-ontario-in-green-energy-dispute/article5461941/

[12] The WTO ruled against India’s Booming Solar Program, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-wto-just-ruled-agains_b_9307884

[13] DS426: Canada – Measures Relating to the Feed-in Tariff Program, https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds426_e.htm

Make Earth

The Make Earth publication

Michael Reibel Boesen

Written by

Entrepreneur (corti.ai, #cphftw,…) and engineer (space-tech, self-repairing hardware). Currently thinking about how we can save our planet with/from technology.

Make Earth

The Make Earth publication