Climate change is not the problem. Climate change is the expression of the problem. It is the feedback of the system of the planet telling us what’s going on. The problem is global warming, provoked by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases caused by human activity. So how do we solve the problem? How do we begin the process of reversing global warming? The only way we know how is to draw down, to avoid putting greenhouse gases up and to pull down what's already there.
Chad Frischman, Vice President & Research Director,
Project Drawdown TED Talk
At the start of the new year MAA committed to making 2020 the year of solutions...that means, in addition to implementing tangible solutions we have right now, it is also the time for developing a solution mentality that will move forward with us into the future. We are past the time for talking or thinking about change. It is a time for thoughtful, focused, energetic action to change our path and protect the future. Project Drawdown, a global research organization that identifies, reviews, and analyzes the most viable solutions to climate change, and shares these findings with the world, has created a clear path for us all. They have made it possible for each and every one of us to start now.
In their detailed and fully explained Summary of Solutions, Project Drawdown provides a list of 100 ways that the world can draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Some of this list might be familiar but most items on the list - and the reasons behind them being on the list - might be real eye-openers.
For example, ranking #3 on the list is Reducing Food Waste:
A third of the food raised or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. Producing uneaten food squanders a whole host of resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital—and generates greenhouse gases at every stage—including methane when organic matter lands in the global rubbish bin. The food we waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions.
Number 6 on the list (and these are ranked by the potential for total atmospheric CO2-EQ reduction) is Educating Girls:
Education lays a foundation for vibrant lives for girls and women, their families, and their communities. It also is one of the most powerful levers available for avoiding emissions by curbing population growth. Women with more years of education have fewer and healthier children, and actively manage their reproductive health.
Number 54 is the creation of Walkable Cities:
Walkable cities prioritize two feet over four wheels through careful planning and design. They minimize the need to use a car and make the choice to forego driving appealing, which can reduce greenhouse gases emissions. According to the Urban Land Institute, in more compact developments ripe for walking, people drive 20 to 40 percent less.
Perhaps less surprising is #55, increasing Household Recycling:
Waste production multiplied tenfold over the last century and will likely double again by 2025. Half or less of that waste is generated at the household level. Though the mix varies widely from place to place, in high-income countries paper, plastic, glass, and metal comprise more than 50 percent of the waste stream—all prime candidates for recycling.
Recycling can reduce emissions because producing new products from recovered materials often saves energy. Forging recycled aluminum products, for example, uses 95 percent less energy than creating them from virgin materials.
Several of these solutions we can each begin to implement in our own families today, while many of the 100 Solutions require the action of governments or businesses. Getting these entities to take action may require action on our part. They might require our speaking up, demanding change, voting with our wallets, writing letters, marching, or sharing information. It’s wonderful that Project Drawdown has made this information so accessible. The next step is up to us. What solutions are you implementing to secure the future.
We understand that many believe that the Climate Change initiatives are funded by entities which are looking to charge carbon taxes to corporations and will in turn profit from these taxes. We understand this, if true, is unacceptable and immoral. We wish to distinguish between the issue of actual climate change which is happening and the issue of people benefiting financially off these tragedies. Please consider that just because some entities may find a way to immorally profit from climate chaos, this does not mean that climate chaos is not real and that there is nothing we can do about it. Just because other people are behaving badly does not mean we should too....we still have an opportunity to be responsible for our own actions.
We choose to believe that humans can do something about the predicted catastrophic changes we face in the next 6-10 years. We believe this perspective is more empowering, has merit, and will make the most potential difference for the future of our children. We chose to believe that if we set aside criticism and focus on our daily choices, and insist that our elected officials make policy changes that benefit human health rather than corporate profits, support regenerative farming, and stop the clearing of forests, that we can change the output and sequestration of fossil fuel carbon which can impact our future positively.
Please note that flooding in the Midwest last year did tragically affect millions of acres of food and feed crops. Fires in Australia, California, Canada, Europe and more, extreme hurricanes, heat and drought also affected millions of acres last year and is predicted to increase. Those catastrophic changes are real. The financial, human and animal life losses are real.
We disagree with anyone profiting off of these tragedies. Our calls to action have been and will always be to prevent harm to our families and create healthy communities. We do not endorse carbon taxes; we endorse preventing the release of carbon in the first place with regulatory and corporate policy changes and consumer behavior shifts. We beseech every citizen to stop blaming others for the things that are happening that you don't like and start looking for what you can do, right now, today, to have the world be a place that you love.
- Contact your elected representatives that work for you and tell them to support the Green New Deal.
- Tell your Roth IRA, 529 College plan, or investment companies and universities to divest from fossil fuel.
- Make choices daily to use less fossil fuel derivatives like gas and plastic and buy organic.
Even if you do not believe that fossil fuels are a part of climate change, we ask you to do these things to reduce the pollution on our planet and protect our precious babes and wildlife.
Zen Honeycutt and the MAA Team