March 24, 2021

Project Drawdown brings us Climate Solutions 101

Posted by Laura Guertin

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline (About page). AGU members may have read the 2017 book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, or used the publication as a textbook for their courses. The book was updated in 2020 to a free PDF available online as The Drawdown Review to provide solutions to the current challenges.

If you are not familiar with Project Drawdown, please explore the >80 climate solutions grouped broadly into the following sectors: electricity; food, agriculture, and land use; industry; transportation; buildings; land sinks; coastal and ocean sinks; engineered sinks; and health and education.

As Project Drawdown works to continue with their mission to achieve drawdown as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible, the organization is aware of the need for education and communication of accurate and reliable sources. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe famously has told us that the most important we can do to fight climate change is to talk about it (view her TED Talk). Project Drawdown has come through with the educational materials and resources to help us do just this.

Explore the six-unit video series focused solely on solutions, titled Climate Solutions 101. View the video trailer here (link to YouTube if the video does not appear/play below):

Each unit contains a lecture by Project Drawdown’s Executive Director Dr. Jonathan Foley, additional video expert conversations, key graphics available for download, and links to learn more. The video collection is not divided by Drawdown sectors but discusses solutions across the narrative of sources, sinks, and society.

  • Climate Solutions 101 – unit outline
    • Unit 1: Setting the Stage (~13 min), two expert interviews (Marshall Shepherd, Lisa Graumlich)
    • Unit 2: Stopping Climate Change (~16 min), one expert interview (Navin Ramankutty)
    • Unit 3: Reducing Sources (~24 min), two expert interviews (Ryan Allard, Marcos Heil Costa)
    • Unit 4: Supporting Sinks and Improving Society (~14 min), one expert interview (Jessica Hellmann)
    • Unit 5: Putting It All Together (~9 min), two expert interviews (Leah Stokes, Ramez Naam)
    • Unit 6: Making It Happen (~14 min), two expert interviews (Ibrahim AlHusseini, Tracey Holloway)

I attended the live digital launch event for Climate Solutions 101, and there was a great question posted by a viewer – so we have these materials –  now what do we do? Dr. Elizabeth Bagley from Drawdown Learn was part of the launch event, and she challenged us with the following three tasks: talking, learning, and sharing. We can do this in our classrooms, on our campuses, in our community groups – anywhere! I look forward to using the Climate Solutions 101 videos as a supplement to my climate course I’ll be teaching in the upcoming semester. But before that, I’ll be introducing these videos as part of an online series I’ve organized with a local science history institute, where the videos will be on our Drawdown DCIS website and recommended viewing before our monthly panelists discussing climate solutions.

How will you talk/learn/share climate solutions?