Thursday, December 3, 2009

Virtual vote gives you a voice at Copenhagen

By Environment reporter Sarah Clarke
ABC News Online, 4 December 2009
To Show your vote go to -
With three days until the United Nations climate summit kicks off in Copenhagen, internet giant Google has helped launch a new tool to give people a vote on the outcome of the crucial meeting.
The online virtual ballot box is able to collate global statistics on who wants what, and it is an innovation by a man who has made it his personal mission to act on climate change.
Every day Google innovationist Justin Baird pedals to work at the internet giant, where he is thinking big in his global campaign to act on climate change.
"My personal mission is to drive positive change through technology," he said.
"I am in a position where I can understand the issues surrounding climate change. And understanding the technology solution that can empower us to communicate collectively."
His brainchild is called "Show Your Vote". It allows people to register in a virtual ballot box that can be embedded into any website.
The focus of the campaign is to show world leaders in Copenhagen what the people want.
"From your local postcode it aggregates it together to a state level, then country level, then across the world, so what we're doing is generating a global statistic. Over time it starts to generate and show the strength of public support of what's happening," Mr Baird said.
Google has backed it and so has the United Nations.
Earth Hour is also hoping it will deliver a more accurate idea of public support for climate change action.
"It just gives individuals a chance to say 'Yes, I have registered my point of view'," Earth Hour's Andy Ridley said.
Alongside the ballot box are virtual maps showing which country is doing what and which people want change.
Languages are also translated, so international barriers are removed.
Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Tim Flannery, says the Google tool is an interesting invention.
"I can imagine a day not so long from now where the UN secretary-general is elected through Show Your Vote. It's a very interesting world that we're entering into," he said.
And a world where Mr Baird wants more people to have their say.

No comments: