Five, just five, solutions to roll back greenhouse gas emissions.

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Drawdown sectors
credit: Drawdown

What is Drawdown?

For all those slideshow haters among our readers, I apologize for wearing out your finger. When I teach or lecture I do a slideshow. Thoughts and messages are associated with an image. That is how I present it to an audience in person so that is how I am presenting it here.

I was invited to speak at the Drawdown Buildings and Cities Summit: Building our response to global warming in Toronto recently. Drawdown was founded by author and activist Paul Hawken, and is described by the Toronto group:

Project Drawdown has identified, researched and modeled the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change, grouped into seven sectors. Put together, they reveal a path forward that can roll back global warming by 2050.

Drawdown is broken down into six sectors: Electricity Generation, Food, Buildings and Cities, Land Use, Transport, Materials. The Toronto group narrows down the solutions to those related to buildings and cities and come up with 15:

For buildings, the ten Drawdown solutions identified include building automation, green roofs, heat pumps, insulation, LED lighting (both commercial and household), net-zero buildings, retrofitting, smart glass, smart thermostats, and solar hot water. For cities, solutions modeled include: district heating, landfill methane, and water distribution.

And I thought: This is nuts. Because they are not six sectors, they are one. You can't look at them as discrete sectors. You can't talk about cities without talking about land use or electricity or most importantly, transportation.

I also thought: you can't pick things like smart thermostats and smart glass and green roofs and think they are going to solve our problems, you have to look at the bigger picture. I came up with five, just five items for my ten-minute manifesto:

Radical Efficiency! (Reduce demand!)
Radical Sufficiency! (Appropriate technology!)
Radical Simplicity! (Keep it dumb!)
Electrify Everything!
Decarbonize Construction!

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