Project Drawdown’s latest update adds 11 new ways to stop global warming
It was 2017 when Project Drawdown first published its comprehensive guide to reducing greenhouse gas emissions so that average global temperatures don’t rise enough to make our beautiful planet uninhabitable for humans. 3 years later, Project drawupdated its initial plan to incorporate lessons learned since the publication of its first report. The Last update from Project draw group adds 11 new ways to responsibly address the global climate crisis.
The power of planning
A popular expression goes, “If you don’t plan, you have a plan to fail.” In other words, if you want to get somewhere, you need a guide to help you get where you want to go. It all starts with setting a goal. When we go on vacation, we don’t just get in the car and drive around aimlessly. We first choose a destination, such as Poughkeepsie, Peoria or Pocatello. That’s the point. Then we come up with a plan to achieve the goal – what route to take, what to pack and where to stay along the way. That’s the plan. With a goal and a plan, anything is possible.
Project draw has one goal: to prevent the Earth from getting so hot that humans can no longer survive. He has also developed detailed plans to achieve this goal in a practical and affordable way. He defines “drawdown” as the future time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop rising and begin to steadily decline, thereby halting catastrophic climate change. Its mission is to provide humanity with the solutions needed to achieve drawdown quickly, safely, efficiently and equitably.
“All solutions are based on a thorough analysis of the scientific literature and sophisticated modeling and share six key characteristics that set them apart from other sets of climate change mitigation strategies,” says Project Drawdown. “They 1) are currently available, 2) are gaining momentum, 3) are financially viable, 4) are capable of reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere, 5) have a net positive impact, and 6) are quantifiable under different scenarios.”
11 new solutions
Here are the 11 new solutions proposed by the Project draw crew.
- Algae cultivation — Seaweed farming is one of the most sustainable types of aquaculture. The expansion of algae cultivation improves carbon sequestration and stimulates the production of biomass that can be used for biofuels, bioplastics, livestock feed and human consumption.
- Protection and restoration of macroalgae — Macroalgal forests are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Protecting and restoring these habitats improves carbon sequestration in the deep sea.
- Improved fisheries — Improving fisheries involves reforming and improving the management of wild fisheries to reduce excessive effort, overcapitalization and overfishing. This can reduce fuel consumption and replenish fish populations.
- Improved aquaculture — Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing animal feed sectors. Since some aquaculture systems are very energy intensive, ensuring that some on-site energy consumption is based on renewable resources would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Seabed protection — Large amounts of carbon stored in seabed sediments may be released by bottom trawling. Banning bottom trawling and creating marine protected areas can protect this important carbon sink.
- Improving livestock feed — Optimizing livestock feeding strategies can reduce methane emissions produced in the digestive system of ruminants. Nutrient-enriched diets of high-quality forages, additives and supplements aim to improve animal health and productivity.
- Improved manure management — Livestock manure produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Advanced manure management technologies and practices can reduce the negative climate impact of livestock production.
- Management of methane leaks — Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted during the production and transportation of oil and natural gas. Managing methane emissions can reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Recycled metals — Metals are extracted from non-renewable ores. Recycled metals capitalize on materials already mined, allowing goods to be produced more efficiently, reducing the need to extract new resources, and reducing energy and water consumption.
- Recycled plastics — Recycling plastics requires less energy than producing new materials, saves landfill space, reduces environmental pollution and decreases demand for fossil fuel-based raw materials.
- Reduced plastics — The production of plastic has increased enormously over the past century, mainly for short-term use. Reducing the amount of plastic used in non-durable goods can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste.
Expense Vs. Investment
Keeping the Earth habitable will cost a lot of money. But every dollar spent is not wasted, as a former orange-skinned president liked to claim. What if a dollar spent today earned $3 tomorrow? It’s called an investment – a concept foreign to Republicans. In their world, the billions spent building the interstate highway systems was a classic example of Big Government wasting taxpayers’ money. In fact, these highways have led to a burst of economic activity that has helped make America’s economy the envy of the world.
Building factories costs a lot of money, but they create jobs and wealth far beyond their initial investment. What if spending money today could not only slow global warming, but also create more economic opportunity for millions of people? What if expenses incurred to save our planet could be recouped many times over? The Project draw the team says it’s not only possible, but virtually guaranteed.
His analysis is divided into two scenarios. The first outlines plans to prevent average global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The second focuses on the more difficult goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C. Here are the conclusions of the last report.
- An initial investment of $15.6 trillion (Scenario 1) would avoid or sequester more than 1,000 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases equivalent carbon dioxide between 2020 and 2050 and save nearly $98 trillion in total operating costs over the lifetime of the solution.
- Scaling up investment to $23.6 trillion (Scenario 2) would avoid or sequester over 1,600 gigatons of gas and save over $140 trillion in lifetime costs.
Economists like to talk about “multiplier effects”. If a dollar invested creates 3 dollars in return, the multiplier effect is 3. If that same dollar brings in 10 dollars, the multiplier effect is 10. In the first scenario proposed by Project Drawdown, the multiplier effect is greater than 6. In the second scenario, it’s just under 6. If someone offered you a chance to increase your net worth by a factor of 6, most people would be thrilled. Couple that rate of return with the ability to keep Earth habitable for future humans and we’ve structured a win-win situation.
“In summary, we have confirmed that practices and technologies implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will more than pay off in lifetime savings,” says Project Drawdown’s latest report. “In addition, many solutions have additional benefits for reducing poverty, increasing equity, and protecting endangered animals and ecosystems. Solving the climate crisis is therefore both a measure that saves lives and saves money for future generations.
It is the power to set a goal and make realistic plans to achieve that goal. We desperately need leaders who embrace such thoughtful and practical solutions. Wherever you are and whatever you do, make it a point to vote your conscience this year and every year. Remember that if the people lead, their leaders will follow.
Be sure to check near 100 proposals The Drawdown project aims to tame the rise in global average temperatures. There’s something for everyone, and every solution is backed by detailed, in-depth research. This is the information you need to make rational and informed decisions when choosing your political leaders.
Do you appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a member, supporter, technician or ambassador of CleanTechnica – or a patron on Patreon.