Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

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Last year, Paul Hawken, environmentalist and writer, put together one of the most comprehensive plans to date proposing ways to reverse climate change. Over two hundred scientists and researchers contributed to the modeling of the top one hundred ways to make this possible.

You won’t find the typical gloom and doom of global warming information. Instead, it’s an inspirational compilation of many things we can all do to reduce our carbon emissions. The proposed solutions are widespread- from food and energy, to land use and transportation. Our guess is that many topics and solutions will resonate for each of us.

Each solution is ranked from 1 to 100. They are judged on cost effectiveness, how quickly they can be implemented, how beneficial they are to society and the total amount of carbon that can potentially be removed from the atmosphere.

The amount carbon released into the atmosphere is measured in gigatons. To get a sense of the scale of a gigaton- it’s the equivalent of a billion metric tons of water, or 400,000 Olympic sized pools. In 2016 alone, 36 billion gigatons of carbon dioxide was emitted into the atmosphere.

The solutions fall into two categories – technological and ecological. We looked at the impact of our company’s work as the first place we could be part of the solution. The type of construction (i.e. net zero homes, energy retrofits) was on the list, but at numbers 79 and 80.

The solution that really inspired us was the education of girls and women globally, which was number six. Women with twelve years of education have four to five less children, greater economic mobility, lower mortality rates for themselves and their children, and lower rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria. Vulnerability to natural disasters is much lower in women with education, and this is true for their extended families as well. Increased resiliency through education breaks the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

62 million girls around the world aren’t able to attend school due to myriad barriers. One exception to this is South Korea, which has been really effective in educating the majority of their population through secondary school. If all countries did what South Korea has done, there would be 843 million less people using the planet’s resources in 2050.

This has had a huge impact on where we distribute our charitable giving. We are committed to doing what we can as a company in the everyday choices we make- the literal nuts, bolts, and materials we choose to build homes, as well as the big picture.