I’m facing a bit of a challenge here. Nothing crucial, mind you. It’s just a minor difficulty, and I think we can work through this.
Here’s the deal. I’m confined to using the written word to express my excitement, and I’m struggling a bit. You see, if I was fortunate enough to be enjoying your company at this moment, you’d see it in my expression. If I were sharing the news with you by telephone, you’d hear it in my tone. In this case though, I’ll have to settle for you just reading it.
So here it goes, my best effort at expressing to you in literary form my current level of exuberance…….
What’s the occasion, you ask? It’s the release of Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. That’s why I’m so jazzed.
You might have heard about Project Drawdown before, whether in my writings or elsewhere. It’s the remarkable nonprofit that has spent the last several years researching, modeling and writing Drawdown, which was published this week by Penguin. The book measures and profiles the 100 most substantive solutions to climate change, offering a refreshing dose of optimism in the face of an incredibly complex challenge.
I’m honored to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors, and even more honored to count as friends the amazing people who have brought Drawdown to life. In particular, I want to acknowledge Paul Hawken, Advisory Board member for our Foundation and the book’s Project Director and Editor, and Katharine Wilkinson, Senior Writer of the book and my fellow Atlantan. I urge you to get your hands on a copy of the book and enjoy their remarkable talent as authors.
I believe that the essence of the book is captured in a question that Paul asked me years ago, and which he continues to ask people: Is climate change happening to us, or for us?
If climate change is happening to us, then perhaps the logical reaction is fear. With that mindset, climate change is a threat (okay, a massive threat) to the ability for future generations to survive on this planet.
If climate change is happening for us though, then the script suddenly changes. Climate change becomes an opportunity for humanity, the catalyst for us to fundamentally redesign how we live on Earth. Rather than climate change being a question of survival, it would be a question of possibility. This challenge can be our motivation for designing a world of abundant, affordable and clean energy with robust and efficient food, transportation and economic systems that enhance ecological and societal wellbeing for every single person.
How do we do this? By following the plan. Drawdown shows that our task is to scale the technologies that offer the greatest potential for bringing carbon home. These technologies are wide-ranging, from LED lighting to preserving peatlands to educating girls to reducing food waste. Now that we have this book, we know which technologies offer the best carbon-reducing bang for our buck.
Friends, climate change is solvable! We don’t need technology to save us, because it already has. We have the tools that we need, and now we have the blueprint. So let’s get to work!