Like so many well-meaning Topangans who want to do the right thing to reduce our carbon footprint and be part of the change, you’ve gotten out to marches, switched to a hybrid or electric car, protected the watershed, made your child’s lunch and sent it in a reusable container, and avoided single-use plastic wrapped options.
Every night on the news, we listen to climate deniers, or argue with relatives who believe global warming is a hoax and other things that elevate the frustration with the gap between their and our understanding of the ecological tipping point that we as a species are creating through anthropogenic climate change.
A low-grade anxiety pervaded my life as I tried to deal with it. Of course, I educated my kids about global warming and in 2013, started a dance company in Topanga, “Move the World,” that created an outlet for my kids and their friends to take a stand. They danced on behalf of our planet, cleaner oceans, and raised awareness about youth homelessness, while hauling a metal globe prop to performances throughout LA to make their point.
Still, it just felt like a drop in the ocean against a tsunami that was imminently headed for our California shores.
DRAWDOWN: 100 SOLUTIONS A friend, Terry Krueger, who volunteers with Pachamama Alliance, told me about a book, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, that scientifically calculated and outlined the Top 100 Solutions to Global Warming. It organizes us around the solutions rather than the problem.
Hawken says we need to call it global warming instead of climate change.
“Change is normal in the earth systems,” he says. “What we are talking about is human-made warming due to people putting excess CO2 (and other greenhouse gasses) into our atmosphere. We need to reach the point of ‘drawdown,’ where CO2 levels have peaked and begin to drawdown, back to earth, in other words, carbon sequestration.
“We need to do it fast and, yes, it’s possible,” Hawken says.
About the book, he says, “…We found a blueprint that already exists in the world in the form of humanity’s collective wisdom, made manifest in applied, hands-on practices and technologies…that are expanding around the world.” (https://www.drawdown.org/the-book)
The United Nations warns that we must keep our warming below 2 degrees Ferenheit before 2050, when it really starts to get bad. Between now and 2030, we need to work hard to keep the warming at 1.5% because we are already at 1%. Everything we do between now and then is critical.
Working together, we just need to put them on the fast track!
Drawdown lays out the solutions that create many additional benefits like cleaner air, more equity for women and girls, and it’s just plain cheaper—we’re talking billions saved in the green economy.
As you take in some of the solutions below, many of which you may already be doing, remember we need all the solutions to get to Drawdown, so find the ones you don’t know about and follow your curiosity.
Pachamama has created a short five-session course in which a small group works with the solutions and makes personal change part of the new green economy.
It’s very exciting. My worry has lifted, and I feel that instead of being born at the worst time in history, I’m excited about being here at the most innovative and positive juncture, as Joanna Macy calls it: “The Great Turning.”
BE PART OF THE CHANGE The next free Drawdown Solutions Workshop for adults and youth in Topanga and Santa Monica, to engage and take action, will take place at the Topanga Library, beginning October 27. While the workshop is free, donations are accepted to Move the World, a 501c3 (Movetheworldnow.com), to keep the momentum going.
Some of the Solutions selected by members of the first Drawdown workshop were:
Solution #6. Educating Girls (Women and Girls Sector)
Solution #15. Afforestation (Land Use)
Solution #44. LED Lighting (Buildings & Cities)
Her own solution: One woman who had chosen Afforestation put it on hold when she enrolled at Pierce College and realized there were no recycling receptacles on campus and decided to take action there.
Solution #60– Composting: If you want to compost but need help doing so:
The Topanga Community Compost Hub that officially launched on September 27, at the Topanga Community Center will have workshops presented by a LA Compost representative every two weeks to introduce people to the process. For more information or to receive the Topanga Gold newsletter: (310) 425-3624; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manzanita School has started Community Composts where you can drop off your scraps. (manzanitaschool.org)
Move the World started Full Circle Compost, to provide bins for backyard composting. They are made of reclaimed wood by local artisan, Del Mar Lathers. For information: 310-871-0061; email@example.com; (http://movetheworldnow.com).
The book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken, is available at Amazon.com and other outlets. For the complete list of Project Drawdown’s 100 Solutions: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions
To register: (310) 871-0061; drawdown.org.
What about going vegan? That’s the most impactful way for an individual to help alleviate climate disruption, and it doesn’t involve any organizations, politicians, corporations, laws, tools or technology.