Book cover: Project Drawdown

by Paul Hawken, ed.
Penguin Books, 2017.
256 pgs
Grades 8 and up

Too often, when we seek to learn about problems in the world, we find ourselves inundated with very bad news and very little hope. We might read a 300-page book, and only the last 25 pages offer some ideas for change — few of which are meaningful, feasible plans that address systems in need of transformation.

So it was with great eagerness that we read Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, a book with the audacious subtitle: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

Written collectively by researchers and scientists from 22 countries (40% of whom are women and nearly half of whom have Ph.D.s), Drawdown presents 80 solutions to global warming, ranked and rated according to the solution’s greenhouse gas emissions-reduction potential, which was determined through rigorous research and mathematical modeling.

The solutions enumerated in the book reduce greenhouse gases by avoiding emissions and/or by sequestering carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. The book also rates the total net costs and savings of each solution.

You can see the solutions here.

Reading this book was exhilarating.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by bad news.

Glaciers and ice caps are disappearing faster than predicted; extinctions are occurring even more rapidly than estimates from just a decade ago; and year after year, we hit new record high temperatures.

Meanwhile, solar and wind power is now cheaper than fossil fuel power, and their use is growing faster than ever. New technologies that had seemed like science fiction are on the marketplace.

All over the world people are developing viable, practical, successful solutions.

Drawdown isn’t just a book.

It’s part of Project Drawdown, an ongoing research, advocacy, business, and educational initiative to drawdown greenhouse gases from our atmosphere.

Project Drawdown’s growing collective of scientists, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and others who can implement solutions, is a bright ray of hope.

Use Drawdown as a resource for exploring meaningful solutions to climate change challenges and for inspiring solutionaries to develop their own responses to our global challenges.