What works better than doom-and-gloom?

“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 its Special Report 15, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, in mid-fall 2018, the press coverage of it bordered on doom-and-gloom messages. The report addresses critical questions on the likely outcomes if we fail to hold Earth to 1.5 degrees of warming. All the analysis, based on aggregating the peer reviewed research of thousands of scholars from all over the globe, shows we are on target to greatly exceed that 1.5 degree threshold, with very dire implication for humans everywhere.

The urgent message is: We are unanimous that we have NO TIME TO WASTE to address climate disruption!

So I thought, we can call our new blog, “ClimateFire!” Here is the opening short video for Climate Fire that we were going to use to kick it off:

Before we 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!”

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

That ended the ClimateFire approach for the blog! We’re calling this Leo’s Drawdown blog instead. Let’s focus on practical solutions!

At the risk of being partisan, let me 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 a great 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. We now have an unprecedented wave of women, ex-service members, progressives 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 in 2019 and beyond. Amen. Change for the better is happening already!

We’ll explore that change in this blog. I will report on the whys, hows, whens, wherefores, and what ifs of urgent climate action. In plain English, with solutions in mind. Let’s go explore what Drawdown means for us, here in New York’s Hudson Valley.

-Leo Wiegman

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