What if doom-and-gloom doesn’t work?

“The IPCC Special Report coverage was all about how screwed we are and not about solutions. That’s what Drawdown offers.” Jonathan Foley  (18 Oct.2018)

When the IPCC published Special Report 15, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, coverage in the press bordered on doom-and-gloom. Yes, the report addresses critical questions on the likely outcomes if we fail to hold Earth to 1.5 degrees. All the analysis is based on aggregating the peer reviewed research of thousands of scholars from all over the globe.

The core message is: We are unanimous that we have NO TIME TO WASTE!

That begs some urgency in our approach to addressing climate disruption. So I thought, hey, we’ll retool our blog and call it, “ClimateFire!” Here is the draft opening:

Radical, immediate, meaningful action to decarbonize our ways of living is so urgent. It is exactly as if our homes were on FIRE.
The Climate Fire blog will report on the whys, hows, whens, wherefores, and what ifs of urgent climate action. In plain English.
Do something today. Do anything you can think of. Do it—as if your house were burning.

And here is the opening short video for Climate Fire.

Before I pulled the trigger to launch ClimateFire, I got an invitation to hear Paul Hawkins and his colleagues speak about Drawdown at the Omega Institute. I went home that evening, pulled Drawdown out of my book stack and started re-reading it.

And I went to Beacon’s Beahive to join a room full of folks from Hudson Valley Green Drinks (thanks Jeff D!) to listen to Hawkins and the Drawdown team present solutions.

Paul Hawken discusses Drawdown at Omega Institute (2018)

As Foley, Drawdown’s incoming Executive Director, put it, “We can choose to leave the world a poorer place or we can choose to drawdown. Hey, we can actually solve this!”

Hell! That more inspiring than scaring myself and my neighbors half to death with the “we’re so screwed” head banging.

End of my ClimateFire approach for the blog! Hello Drawdown!

At the risk of being partisan, let’s draw a parallel. After the 2016 US presidential elections, those who had not supported Trump could have thought, “We’re so screwed” and stayed home for the next two years. Some did, but many did not.

Former Democratic congressional aides published a short pamphlet, Indivisible, that offered very pragmatic and specific steps on how to address your issues with your representatives. Within a few months of Trump’s inauguration, Indivisible chapters has sprung up in every Congressional district in the nation.  They and others began appearing at their representative’s office, demanding that health care be protected.

Spin the clock forward to November 2018. And we now have an unprecedented wave of women and minorities elected to Congress from all over the country. That’s the power of a practical, solutions-based process.

What Indivisible’s manual was to the 2018 midterm elections, Drawdown is to the climate solutions for de-carbonizing our future. Amen. Change for the better is happening already!

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