A LINE IN THE SAND
What does a line in the sand mean? Why does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describe our present Earth situation this way? On the one hand if we cross the line and continue as we are we will face irreversible and dire consequences because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Or, if we don’t cross the line and make addressing climate change and reversing global warming our top priority, we can minimize the already serious consequences of our excessive CO2 emissions.
First let’s look at some terms.
Climate change: This refers to the many changes that will occur with increases in temperature and greenhouse gases. That is why the UN climate agency is called the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, and not the IPGW. It studies the comprehensive impacts of climate change on all living systems. Paul Hawken, Drawdown.org
Drawdown: We hear more and more of this term that refers to that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Project Drawdown is the book and website presenting the 100 solutions to reverse global warming by cutting CO2 emissions. The book, edited by Paul Hawken in collaboration with 70 professionals, researchers and scientists from 22 countries, describes in great but accessible detail 100 solutions to effectively address climate change. These are regenerative and substantive projects and ideas already underway.
Here’s an important question: Do you believe in climate change? This is a complicated question because, as Hawken points out, science is not a belief system. But suppose you disagree with or dispute the science that documents our CO2 levels? It doesn’t really matter because I’m sure we can all agree that we want clean air, clean water, healthy soil and food, a healthy biosphere, and basic needs met for all. We can cooperate to solve problems such as conserving water to mitigate drought or reducing air pollution or reducing food waste whether or not we call it global warming or climate change.
It is difficult to watch the accelerating breakdown of our environmental systems or witness the breakdown of civility into camps, ideologies, and wars. What stands before us, however, is not the choosing of sides but the gift of seeing who we are as stewards of the planet. We will either come together to address global warming or we will likely disappear as a civilization. —Paul Hawken
Global warming and climate change are happening for us, not to us.
If we consider that global warming is happening for us instead of to us—that is, an atmospheric transformation that inspires us to change and reimagine everything we make and do, we begin to live in a different world. We take 100% responsibility and stop blaming others. We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius. This is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is the human agenda. If what we tell ourselves is that we’re screwed, it destroys our imagination, our creativity and innovation for solutions. We’re screwed if we believe there’s nothing we can do. —Paul Hawken
Our task: Because so many of our legislators are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, big agribusiness, and other corporations who are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, getting action from our current government will require massive public outcry and action. As Hawken says, We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future rather than stealing it.
We need to take steps in our personal lives to reduce our impact on the Earth, and we need to demand immediate action from government leaders, banks and corporations to support positive climate action.
The challenge that Hawken puts before us is “Game on or game over?”
RESOURCES AND EXCELLENT ARTICLES
A video presentation of Project Drawdown by Paul Hawken
Pie chart showing how different solutions contribute to reducing CO2 emissions
IPCC Summary Report
The Main Points to Take In
"The UN warns we have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe."
"Military experts say climate change poses significant risk to security."
"There's one key takeaway from the IPCC Report."
The Economy and Climate Change
"Hitting toughest climate target will save the world $30tn in damages."
"World economy can reap $226tn in a decade fighting climate change."
We the People and Climate Change
"What You Can Do About Clmate Change."
"3 Things You Can Do To Help Avoid Climate Disaster."
"How to Get Carbon-Free in 10 Years."
"What We Eat is Crucial to the Climate Change Question."
The Bigger Picture
"100 Companies Who Are Responsible for 71% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions."
A Big Picture of Movements and How They Relate to Clmate Change.
My December Newsletter on Climate Change
Read "What You Can Do" in Inspired Action on this site.
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