Drawdown Book Summary - Drawdown Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Drawdown summary

Paul Hawken (ed.)

The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

4.3 (129 ratings)
28 mins
Table of Contents

    Summary of 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    Global warming caused by human carbon emissions is real but reversible.

    When Prussian polymath Alexander von Humboldt crossed the Baraba Steppe of Russia in 1829, he was shocked. In his diary, he noted how the intense agriculture of the region had depleted the land, desiccating its beautiful lakes and swamps.

    Humboldt was one of the first scientists to acknowledge the negative effects humans could have on their environment. He prophetically identified deforestation and the “great masses of steam and gas” released during industrial processes as two major environmental threats. 

    One and a half centuries later, in 1975, geochemist Wallace Broecker first used the term “global warming” to describe the continuous rise of the earth’s surface temperature. Today, there’s no doubt this warming is real. Scientists now predict that temperatures will rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The consequences of climate change include wildfires, droughts and sea level rise, which in turn will lead to violent conflicts and mass migration. 

    Much like Humboldt predicted, global warming is essentially caused by the “great masses of steam and gas” produced by human activity such as burning fossil fuels, making cement and farming land. These all release carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the earth’s atmosphere, thereby generating a “greenhouse effect” that leads to the warming of the planet. 

    Despite a clear connection between carbon emissions and global warming, humanity’s carbon footprint is steadily increasing. In 2016, 36 gigatons of CO2 were emitted. Imagine the contents of an Olympic-size pool, and then multiply that by 400,000 – that’s one gigaton. 

    At this rate, simply slowing or cutting carbon emissions will not be enough to stop global warming. We need to reach drawdown – the point in time at which greenhouse gases peak and then start steadily decreasing. 

    If we’re to achieve this, we obviously need to radically reduce our CO2 emissions. But we must also promote processes, such as the natural photosynthesis of plants, that decrease the CO2 already in the atmosphere. 

    Luckily, we already possess the tools we need to reverse global warming. Renewable energy, forest protection and sustainable agriculture are some of these technologies. Newer strategies include e-cars, ocean farming and carbon air capture. Almost all of these technologies have additional benefits: they save money, create jobs, prevent pollution and improve people’s health. 

    In the following blinks, we’ll explore in depth how these “no regrets” solutions can cut carbon emissions and help us achieve drawdown.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Drawdown?

    Key ideas in Drawdown

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Drawdown about?

    There’s no doubt: global warming is real and its main driver is carbon emissions from human activity. Drawdown (2017) argues that despite the depth of the climate crisis humans have manufactured, it’s not too late for us to turn back the clock. From solar power to agroforestry to electric cars, Drawdown compiles countless proven ways that radically reduce human carbon emissions. This essential guide contains all the knowledge and technology that we need to reverse global warming and save the world.

    Who should read Drawdown?

    • Individuals who care about the future of humanity
    • Business owners, policy makers, activists and homeowners who want to make a measurable difference
    • Science nerds, tech enthusiasts and nature lovers

    About the Author

    Project Drawdown is a community of scientists, activists and politicians dedicated to researching and spreading ways to solve global warming. Its champions and advisors include environmentalist Bill McKibben, forester Peter Wohlleben, and activists Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, journalist and entrepreneur, is the co-founder of Project Drawdown and the book’s editor.

    Categories with Drawdown

    Books like Drawdown

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial