A Climate Change Plan that Might Actually Save Us
The much-anticipated book Drawdown by Paul Hawken hits stores today. Two years in the making, this book is based on meticulous research that analyzes if, how and when we can reverse global warming. It is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to address climate change.
We asked Jasmine Scalesciani-Hawken to give us the inside scoop on her husband’s bold undertaking.
How did this book come about?
The genesis of Project Drawdown for Paul was born out of a question: “Do we know what we need to do in order to arrest and reverse global warming? How long will it take and how much will it cost?” The world has never had a list of what to do about global warming and it is 2017. Even climate experts (including Paul) could not name the top ten solutions in terms of impact. Project Drawdown decided do the math on the top 100 solutions that already exist and can address global warming from a collective perspective. Drawdown is based on research that maps, measures and models solutions that are already in place; solutions that are varied in scope such as educating girls, growing ocean forests and modifying the way we grow rice.
What does the term “drawdown” mean?
The term “drawdown” refers to reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. It is that point in time when greenhouse gases peak and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis. It is the most important goal for humanity to undertake.
However, the most important reason why Paul used this term is because he wanted to name the goal. Addressing, slowing or arresting emissions is necessary, but insufficient without causing massive disruption to human life. The only goal that makes sense for humanity is to reverse global warming, and if parents, scientists, young people, leaders and we citizens do just that, we will see drawdown occur.
This research and book is a roadmap for humanity that lays a clear way to address the greatest challenge of our time.
How is this book different than other climate change information?
Scientists have done an extraordinary job calculating the math on what will happen if we don’t act to mitigate climate change. However, the math has not been done on a comprehensive array of the most effective solutions that are currently being implemented. Such an inventory has not been created despite three decades of committed international research on the topic.
Paul believes that reversing global warming requires a change in human perception and behavior. Perception depends on presenting a credible case that reversing climate change is possible. Behavior is contingent upon a clear understanding of what to do. To date, humanity has been more adept at imagining the end of civilization than its transformation.
Paul says, “Drawdown tells a story of possibility, grounded in data and analysis. By cataloging what we already know how to do– and are already doing– we paint a picture of human brilliance, capability, and compassion.”
What has the research revealed?
The list of solutions may challenge conventional wisdom about how to address climate change. The analysis shows that the marquee solutions– renewable energy, energy efficiency and forest preservation– are indeed critical. However, drawdown cannot be achieved with those solutions alone. It requires a systematic approach that is broad and includes approaches often overlooked, such as educating girls in the developing world and 21 distinct land use practices that pull carbon out of the atmosphere, creating vital negative emissions.
The work is extensive, complex and exacting, but its outcome is beautifully simple: a dashboard that anyone can access, understand and engage with, whose underlying data, sources and algorithms are completely transparent. It is the essential tool human beings need in order to address climate disruption broadly and effectively, not only because it points the way forward, but because it paints a picture of what is feasible– feeding the most critical element of addressing climate change: our collective imagination, creativity and conviction.
At its core, Drawdown is a clear and detailed case of what is possible.
*Drawdown is available in bookstores and on Amazon.
**Jasmine Scalesciani-Hawken is the co-founder and creative director at www.myhairprint.com, a line of hair beauty products based on wild botanicals including Dr. John Warner’s scientific breakthrough for restoring gray hair to its original color; the non-toxic hair coloring treatment with a cult following in the wellness industry. Prior to launching her beauty line, Jasmine’s private practice in LA was considered a beacon for those seeking wellness, beauty and longevity. Her sought-after cleanses have been used by A-list celebrities, Fortune 500 entrepreneurs and professional athletes. She is passionate about inspiring women to embrace their singular beauty. Her life’s work integrates the medicinal properties of foods, herbs and flowers so that each woman can discover and grow her true loveliness from within.