It didn’t make the front page of The New York Times, but the “apple dropped.” When Newton discovered gravity he observed an apple falling. It was not a widely-recognized moment. But in the long eye of time a collaboration between dedicated individuals—biologists, climatologists, economists, engineers, financial analysts—experts from almost every field connected to climate change—changed the question about climate change. And it might be just as significant, or more significant a moment for the life of this planet as Newton observing that apple plop to the ground.
They didn’t ask, How might we limit global warming? Not reduce, slash, cut emissions, as if the best we had to offer future generations is hospice care for the planet. They asked: Do we know what we need to do in order to arrest and reverse global warming? Save the planet? And they published their answers.
I know: Huh? What?
The answers are in the just-released book, Project Drawdown, which presents compelling evidence that reversing global warming is possible. This comes parachuting into our zeitgeist when the alarms wailing about the state of our planet are almost deafening and political will seems flaccid, if not downright pernicious at moments. So why now? For the same reason that people rescue each other, rescue habitats, creatures, ways of life and refuse to give up on the goal of rescuing our planet: because we must.
Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. Founded by author, environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, it identified, researched and modeled the 100 most substantive, existing solutions. Why did they chose the name Drawdown? Because if you don’t have a goal, how do you achieve it? Drawdown is the moment in time when “greenhouse gases peak and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis.” Hawken writes, “The only goal that makes sense for humanity is to reverse global warming, and if parents, scientists, young people, leaders, and we citizens do not name the goal, there is little chance it will be achieved.”
It’s not a message—it’s a truth. We can do this. We have the means. The solutions exist.
So have a look, be inspired! I sure am. I remind myself that it’s in the midst of mind-numbing crises that some of the most stunningly creative and courageous acts happen.