Why Drawdown?

Back in December, Pope Francis sent a message to the annual climate summit in Madrid:

Numerous studies tell us it is still possible to limit global warming. To do this we need a clear, far-sighted and strong political will, set on pursuing a new course that aims at refocusing financial and economic investments toward those areas that truly safeguard the conditions of a life worthy of humanity on a healthy planet for today and tomorrow.

Last week, I introduced Project Drawdown and the Drawdown book, edited by Paul Hawken. Drawdown represents a carefully researched and curated list of the top 100 “climate solutions that had the greatest potential to reduce emissions or sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Many feel that in order to avert climate disaster, the big push must be for systemic change at the national and global level and that this means political change at the top. There’s no doubt that true leadership at the top is sorely needed and that many of us, including myself, will lobby, protest, and vote for change. But alas, we can’t sit on our hands while we wait for a favorable set of leaders to be voted in and make the sustained systemic changes that are so desperately needed.

Politics is what it is: warts and all. A lot of sound-bite-driven, short-sighted leadership that moves at a snail’s pace. (That does not mean your vote is not important; by all means vote in every election at all levels of government and always vote your values.)

But the world is burning and we need to act now, and act on all four levels as prescribed by Will Grant (see his excellent video below): 

  1. individual
  2. family and friends
  3. community and local institution 
  4. the economy and policy change and changing laws
Will Grant on the Four Levels of Action

Drawdown is not about waiting for change to happen at the top. Rather, Paul Hawken and his esteemed group of scientists, researchers, and students have done the hard work to research the top 100 solutions for stopping and reversing climate change. This represents a path forward; a recipe for the change that is needed.

Is Drawdown the only path? By all means, no. But it sure looks like a good one and could be the roadmap that world leaders and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) need to put them on the road to saving our planet.

But it’s not just for our leaders and the IPCC. Project Drawdown is also for each of us to get started working on climate change at the first three levels: personal, household, and community. We can drive the change that is needed and drive it all the way to the top, while also pressuring those at the top (or replacing those at the top), to do the right thing, the sane thing, the thing that is needed to save the planet.

The Saint Francis of Assisi ministry is excited to announce that Kathy Dawson will be speaking to the parish about Project Drawdown on Sunday, February 9th, 2020 at 6pm in the Admin building. Please join us to learn more about this exciting initiative.

Additional resources to learn more about drawdown:

Working together, we can help take care of our common home.

Paul Litwin

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