Climate change is without question one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced — so enormous that many people believe there is no hope of reversing the damage. Unfortunately, feeling hopeless leads to inaction, even paralysis, which starkly reduces the chances that positive change will happen.
Entrepreneur and environmental activist Paul Hawken wasn’t willing to wait for the inevitable, preferring instead to attack this fatalistic thinking head on. Starting in 2013, he began searching for actionable, scalable solutions to the climate crisis. He’s not looking simply to mitigate global warming or reduce carbon emissions, he’s aiming for “drawdown” — the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reach their peak, reverse course and then begin to drop.
In his quest, Hawken assembled a team of biologists, researchers, economists, policy makers, geologists, and others to “map, measure and model” possible climate-change solutions. The group examined the 100 most substantive strategies that are already being used across the globe. Each solution was evaluated in terms of cost, savings, and reduction of carbon dioxide in gigatons — and then ranked from 1 to 100.