I was reached out to by a young Indigenous leader who wanted to meet with me. We did so, and we had a deep and substantive talk for several hours.
The one thing that has stayed with me about that conversation was when we discussed what could be coming down the road as the climate becomes increasingly unstable. This very grounded and very intelligent young man spoke about how he had considered that in some Indigenous communities it might be necessary for people to decide, literally, who should live and who should die, who, by continuing to live, was best able to help as many as possible to survive until things changed for the better.Ted Glick and @jtglick
Enter “the perfect antidote for fear and despair” — Project Drawdown, which details 100 solutions already being applied today, setting forth a path towards reversing global warming within thirty years.
“A primary goal of Drawdown is to help people who feel overwhelmed by gloom-and-doom messages see that reversing global warming is bursting with possibility,” says environmentalist and Project Drawdown Executive Director Paul Hawken: “walkable cities, afforestation, bamboo, high-rises built of wood, marine permaculture, multistrata agroforestry, clean cookstoves, plant-rich diet, assisting women smallholders, regenerative agriculture, supporting girls’ ongoing education, smart glass, in-stream hydro, on and on.”
Drawdown is defined as the period when the concentration of atmospheric green house gases begins to steadily decline each year. Hawken assembled an international team of scientists, environmentalists, economists and experts in the field of global warming to chart a path forward by identifying solutions and actions already underway which could be accelerated and expanded in scope to employ a remedy to climate change.
There’s a reason you were taught to eat everything on your plate as a kid. From an environmental perspective, by throwing away food, you’re essentially tossing the water, land, and emissions that went into it too. If ranked as a country, food would be the third-largest producer of greenhouse gases globally, just behind the United States and China, and nearly 1,000 gallons of water goes into the average person’s daily diet. And yet, we don’t eat a third of the food we grow. Why This Legendary Environmentalist Wants You To Eat Every Damn Thing On Your Plate
Reducing food waste pulls rank at number 3 in the 100 solutions. Food categories account for 3 of the top ten Drawdown solutions
“Food is the most basic, fundamental way to interact with your environment,” Hawken goes on to explain. In the developing world, food is often wasted before the consumer can get to it, left to rot on farms or go bad in transit. In the United States and the rest of the developed world, however, it’s the consumers who usually send it off to landfill. We’re wary of bumps, bruises, and imperfections, scared off by “sell-by” dates, and simply not hungry enough to finish off our plates. “Most of the waste is by individuals—they don’t finish their food at home or when they’re eating out. Or they put it in the refrigerator: where food goes to die, basically.”
The Top Ten solutions by rank:
- Refrigerant Management (Materials) 89.74*
- Wind Turbines (onshore) (Electricity Generation) 84.60*
- Reduced Food Waste (Food) 70.53*
- Plant-rich diet (Food) 66.11
- Tropical Forests (Land Use) 61.23*
- Educating Girls (Women and Girls) 59.60*
- Family Planning (Women and Girls) 59.60*
- Solar Farms (Electricity Generation) 36.90*
- Silvopasture (Food)31.19*
- Roofstop Solar (Electricity Generation) 24.60*
*Total Atmospheric CO2-GT Reduction (Gigatons)
“Ninety-eight percent of all climate communication is about the probability of what’s going to go wrong and when,” says Hawken. “Those probabilities are based on impeccable science, for which we have profound respect, but constant repetition of a problem does not solve the problem. It shuts people down… we don’t blame, shame or demonize. We don’t use fear as a motivating theme. We explore possibility because virtually all human beings move toward the possibility of a better life.”