It is Earth Day and this year’s campaign is based around #RestoreOurEarth. The focus of my post today – climate change and climate action. Any hope of restoring our Earth has to include serious work to address climate change.
Thankfully much of the work on solutions has been done. Now is the time for individuals, communities, business and government to implement changes to social and economic systems to “stitch a new garment” as Sonya Renee Taylor so beautifully says.
The indomitable Bill Gates’ current focus on climate action is awe-inspiring. He is so practical in his approach offering clear scalable goals for individuals, communities, business and governments to tap in to. If you are looking for motivation to get involved in climate action in some way, I suggest starting with him.
Before Bill Gates there was Project Drawdown. I have talked about Project Drawdown on my website already.
I came across the book first – pictured above.
Upon opening the first few pages, I came across words from editor Paul Hawken that sum up the situation perfectly.
As I worked through this insightful book, hope began to dawn for me in a way it hadn’t for so many years. I admit to struggling with the sheer magnitude of global warming and climate change since my first year Uni lectures on the subject. How would we ever be able to fix this? And this was 20 years ago now. Even some of my professors were adamant there was no cause for alarm and the increase in carbon dioxide levels we were seeing was due to natural cycling. In my fear I often parroted their denial.
But here is a book focused not on the catastrophe at hand, rather on the solutions we could implement here and now. 80 of them. Accessible, achievable at all scales! Wow!
Here’s the Drawdown Top 10 Solutions to reduce total atmospheric CO₂:
1/ Refrigeration – HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) chemical refrigerants used in refrigerators and air conditioning units 1000 times greater greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide
2/ Wind turbines (onshore)
3/ Reduced food waste
4/ Plant rich diet/reducing meat consumption
5/ Tropical forests – restoring degraded land back to forest in the tropics
6/ Educating girls – goes hand in hand with 7/
7/ Family planning – difference in energy, building space, food, waste and transportation
8/ Solar farms
9/ Silvopasture – forest grazing, integration of trees and pasture or forage for raising livestock
10/ Rooftop solar
What do I get from this list? That I can personally contribute in a small way to all of the top ten both by lifestyle choices and by being an activist and advocate for the bigger causes. Using the political efficacy I have in my position of privilege. A no brainer!
Can you find yourself a place on this list? An entry point, a microstep towards a better outcome for people and the planet?
Let’s educate ourselves. Let’s open a dialogue amongst our individual and community networks. Let’s support each other in making the changes that are so desperately needed. Let’s use our vote for better government. Let’s hold our leaders accountable. Let’s hold big business up to social and environmental standards, and change the paradigm from purely economic which we now have daily proof is a seriously flawed system. Let’s drawdown with hope!
If you’re still not sure about this climate change business, please check out the latest offering from Project Drawdown…. Climate Solutions 101…. and for Earth Day they are launching this course as a podcast series.