Drawdown Book Summary - Drawdown Book explained in key points
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Paul Hawken (ed.)

The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

4.3 (138 ratings)
28 mins

Brief summary

Drawdown edited by Paul Hawken, is a comprehensive plan to reverse global warming. It outlines 100 solutions that can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by the world's leading experts. This book provides a comprehensive perspective on how humanity can combat climate change.

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    Drawdown
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    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.

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    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.

    Drawdown Review

    Drawdown (2017) is a comprehensive guide that explores the top 100 solutions to reverse global warming. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents pragmatic solutions that can be implemented on an individual and global level, empowering readers to take action.
    • Through its real-life examples and comprehensive research, the book provides a thorough understanding of the impact each solution can have.
    • With its optimistic tone and focus on opportunities, the book not only educates but also inspires readers to actively participate in addressing climate change.

    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.

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    Drawdown FAQs 

    What is the main message of Drawdown?

    The main message of Drawdown is that we have the solutions to reverse global warming.

    How long does it take to read Drawdown?

    The estimated reading time for Drawdown is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Drawdown a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Drawdown is definitely worth reading. It provides actionable solutions to combat climate change.

    Who is the author of Drawdown?

    The author of Drawdown is Paul Hawken.

    What to read after Drawdown?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Drawdown, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
    • How Bad Are Bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee
    • The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
    • The Fine Art Of Small Talk by Debra Fine
    • The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres
    • A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford
    • A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough
    • Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono
    • Outlive by Peter Attia
    • The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg