We CAN RE­VERSE Global Warm­ing in 30 Years!

Yes, says Paul Hawken, au­thor of ‘ Draw­down - The Most Com­pre­hen­sive Plan Ever Pro­posed to Re­verse Global Warm­ing’ if most of the 100 so­lu­tions sug­gested in the book are im­ple­mented by 2050. The good news is, most of the so­lu­tions al­ready ex­ist

Sustainabilitynext - - Front Page - By Bene­dict Para­manand

The sub­ti­tle of the book, he says, is de­lib­er­ately made to sound brash. “We chose that de­scrip­tion be­cause no de­tailed plan to re­verse warm­ing has been pro­posed. There have been agree­ments and pro­pos­als on how to slow, cap, and arrest emis­sions, and there are in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments to pre­vent global tem­per­a­ture in­creases from ex­ceed­ing two de­grees centi­grade over pre-in­dus­trial lev­els.”

The book is not a hal­lu­ci­na­tion of an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist-en­tre­pre­neur. It is based on metic­u­lous re­search by 70 lead­ing sci­en­tists and pol­i­cy­mak­ers around the world from 22 coun­tries. They came to­gether to of­fer a set of re­al­is­tic and bold so­lu­tions to cli­mate change as part of a three-years pro­ject.

The book’s blurb states: “Draw­down maps, mea­sures, mod­els, and de­scribes the 100 most sub­stan­tive so­lu­tions to global warm­ing. For each so­lu­tion, it de­scribe its history, the car­bon im­pact it pro­vides, the relative cost and sav­ings, the path to adop­tion, and how it works. All so­lu­tions mod­eled are al­ready in place, well un­der­stood, an­a­lyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are ex­pand­ing around the world.”

Blue­print Al­ready Ex­ists

Dur­ing the re­search process the au­thor says: “We found a plan, a blue­print that al­ready ex­ists in the world in the form of hu­man­ity’s col­lec­tive wisdom, made man­i­fest in ap­plied, hands-on prac­tices and tech­nolo­gies. In­di­vid­u­als, com­mu­ni­ties, farm­ers, cities, com­pa­nies, and govern­ments have shown that they care about this planet, its peo­ple, and its places. En­gaged cit­i­zens world over are do­ing some­thing ex­traor­di­nary. This is their story.”

Sur­pris­ingly, the au­thor makes one be­lieve that re­vers­ing global warm­ing doesn’t seem like a mega ef­fort. “The so­lu­tions ex­ist, are eco­nom­i­cally vi­able, and com­mu­ni­ties through­out the world are cur­rently en­act­ing them with skill and de­ter­mi­na­tion. If de­ployed col­lec­tively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they rep­re­sent a cred­i­ble path for­ward, not just to slow the earth’s warm­ing but to reach draw­down, that point in time when green­house gases in the at­mo­sphere peak and be­gin to de­cline. These mea­sures prom­ise cas­cad­ing ben­e­fits to hu­man health, se­cu­rity, pros­per­ity, and well-be­ing—giv­ing us ev­ery rea­son to see this plan­e­tary cri­sis as an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a just and liv­able world.”


• The num­ber one so­lu­tion, in terms of po­ten­tial im­pact? A com­bi­na­tion of ed­u­cat­ing girls and fam­ily plan­ning, which to­gether could re­duce 120 gi­ga­tons of CO - equiv­a­lent by 2 2050 — more than on and off­shore wind power com­bined (99 GT). It is the 1.1 bil­lion fewer peo­ple that are go­ing to do the car­bon work?

• Re­duced food waste and plant-rich di­ets on their own, beat so­lar farms and rooftop so­lar com­bined.

• Farm­land restora­tion: There’s over a bil­lion hectares of aban­doned land all over the world. They can be re­gen­er­ated us­ing an­i­mals, us­ing cover, us­ing no-till. It could be­come the big car­bon sink.

De­spite the 100 work­able so­lu­tions, one thing not in the re­searchers’ hand is as­sess­ing the car­bon ben­e­fit of ab­sence of war or peace in the next 30 years.

What about the Trump ef­fect? Hawken says fed­eral govern­ments in the US have had lit­tle im­pact on cli­mate is­sues.

“States have led; cities have led, but never the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. It’s just that peo­ple in the United States think that they’re the lead­ers on this stuff. They’re not. It’s Ger­many, China, France, Den­mark.”

Draw­down 2

Even be­fore the shock of the au­thor’s brazen op­ti­mism sinks in, Hawken has an­nounced a se­quel. He has started work on Draw­down 2 and ex­pects to add 60 more so­lu­tions – “things that are nascent, on the hori­zon or just be­low the hori­zon. They are game-chang­ers, a lot of them. Some of them will fail. It’s hard to say which will or won’t,” He said.

“It’s un­re­al­is­tic to think that this is our port­fo­lio for the next 30 years. It’s not true. That’s why the next book is im­por­tant — one out of five or six of these [fu­ture so­lu­tions] is re­ally go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.” Paul Hawken told David Roberts of Vox in a re­cent in­ter­view. Paul Hawken is an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, en­tre­pre­neur, au­thor and ac­tivist. He has ded­i­cated his life to en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and chang­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween busi­ness and the en­vi­ron­ment. He is one of the en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment’s lead­ing voices, and a pi­o­neer­ing ar­chi­tect of cor­po­rate re­form with re­spect to eco­log­i­cal prac­tices.

His work in­cludes found­ing suc­cess­ful, eco­log­i­cally con­scious busi­nesses, writ­ing about the im­pacts of com­merce on liv­ing sys­tems, and con­sult­ing with heads of state and CEOs on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in­dus­trial ecol­ogy, and en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy. Paul is Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of Pro­ject Draw­down, a non-profit ded­i­cated to re­search­ing when and how global warm­ing can be re­versed. The or­ga­ni­za­tion maps and mod­els the scal­ing of one hun­dred sub­stan­tive tech­no­log­i­cal, so­cial, and eco­log­i­cal so­lu­tions to global warm­ing.

His new book en­ti­tled Car­bon; The Busi­ness of Life is go­ing to be pub­lished by Pen­guin Ran­dom House in 2018.

In 2014 he was named one of the three Pi­o­neers of Sus­tain­abil­ity along with Pro­fes­sors Peter Senge and Michael Porter.

Paul Hawken

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