Video | January 24, 2023
How to make your job a climate job
Would you like your work to help alleviate the climate crisis, even though “climate” is not part of your current position description?
In this webinar, sponsored by Climate People, presenters offer actionable advice on how you can reduce the threat of climate change, wherever you are and whatever you do for a living.
Aiyana Bodi, senior associate, Drawdown Labs
Adam Braun, co-founder and CEO of Climate Cluib
Ben Lai, senior software developer and employee Green Team lead at LinkedIn
Kristy Drutman, co-founder of Browngirl Green
If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact email@example.com.
News | March 13, 2023
How the gaming industry can tackle the climate crisis
The private sector has a big role to play in implementing climate action. The solutions we need are not the flashy fixes we often see portrayed as panaceas: While things like offsets and carbon removal technologies play a role, they can be scientifically unsound and untimely. Instead, the private sector must focus on real, strategic, and systemic impact that goes beyond reducing their own emissions. The Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework provides valuable guidance for doing just that, bringing to light the political, social, and human capital businesses have to help the world achieve zero emissions. And now a good thing has gotten even better: With the help of business partner Unity, a real-time gaming development platform, and a working group of key industry experts, we’re proud to release Project Drawdown’s first industry-specific resource for climate action: A Drawdown-Aligned Framework for the Gaming Industry.
Profile | February 23, 2023
Drawdown Science profile: James Gerber
This article is the third in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s new science team. James Gerber is a data scientist with expertise in agriculture, impacts of land use on the environment, modeling of crop yields, and ocean wave energy. He uses various analytic techniques to assess the effect of climate mitigation solutions in the land use sector. As a researcher with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, James studied connections among agriculture, ecosystems, climate, and food security. He was a lead author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has consulted on a wide variety of projects for nongovernmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, The Packard Foundation, and The World Bank. Before he started researching land use, James worked on optimizing conversion of wave energy to electricity. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Here, James explains how he got from wave physics to climate change mitigation, trash talks American drivers, avoids sharing his favorite drawdown solution, and nails the answer to the most important question ever asked. Q: When people ask what you do with Project Drawdown, what do you tell them? A: I haven't been here very long, so my answer is based on what I think I’ll be doing and why I was so excited to get this job. Project Drawdown is really focused on making solutions happen. For the last 13 years I’ve been in a somewhat academic world defining what problems are in the land use sector, particularly with agriculture, and showing how big the impact is and looking at what some solutions could look like and what sectors and regions they could be most effective in, but those were not necessarily actionable. What I’m excited about at Project Drawdown is taking the next step and helping to formulate those solutions in a way they can really easily be implemented to achieve climate and other goals at the same time. Q: What do you see as the biggest obstacles to solving climate change? A: In some ways people don’t realize how doable it is. There are so many things out there that are win-wins and will pay for themselves and have all sorts of good co-benefits, and people aren’t aware of that. So a lack of knowledge, and maybe a little bit of pessimism that goes along with that. Also, there are often vested interests in keeping things the way they are. There’s no lobby for industries that don't yet exist, but there are lobbies for things that society might want to sunset. So there’s this knowledge problem and there’s this momentum problem as well. Q: What’s your superpower? A: I feel like I'm a pretty good programmer, in that I think I come up with clever algorithms to solve data analysis issues. Q: What is the best (or worst) experience you’ve had that involved a bicycle? A: I did my junior year in southern France. I was super poor, so I took a bicycle out of the trash and started biking around. I was pulling on the handlebars and peddling, and all of a sudden one handlebar fell off. I turned into traffic next to me and fell over—I thought I was going to be squashed. In America I might have been, but French drivers are really good. This guy slammed on his brakes and did not hit me. Q: What was the subject of your Ph.D. dissertation? A: Acoustic propagation through internal waves in the ocean. Q: And how did you get from there to here? A: I did my postdoctoral work on wave theory in Paris, then we moved for my wife’s job to Princeton. I was offered a postdoctoral position at Princeton in Environmental Science, and I was offered a job at a small startup doing ocean wave energy. I felt the world did not need another postdoc but I could make a difference with wave energy so I took the job in renewable energy. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, I wanted to stay in an environmental field so I took a position at the Institute on the Environment at the intersection of environment and agriculture. Moving to Project Drawdown is a logical next step in the trajectory of my career from siloed technical work to impact-focused and policy-relevant. I really think I can have an impact here. Q: What’s your favorite Drawdown Solution and why? A: It’s hard to choose a favorite. It’s like asking which is my favorite child. Can I get back to you on that one? Q: Speaking of favorite children, any advice for parenting young adults? A: Find a balance between having the current and future versions of your child angry at you. Q: What gives you hope? A: The fact that even though there is pessimism out there, we’re really making progress as a society and I think the word is getting out there. There are all sorts of examples of entities that have decreased their carbon footprint while improving quality of life. There are so many technologies that are coming online right now. Miracles are not needed; we just need to implement what we have. Together, these give me hope. Q: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything? A: 42. Come on.
Feature | February 15, 2023
Unlock your inner climate superhero
Drawdown’s Neighborhood, presented by Project Drawdown, is a series of short documentaries featuring the stories of climate solutions heroes, city by city. We are extremely excited to share with you that following the 2022 release of episodes profiling Pittsburgh and Atlanta, the series’ third edition—“Drawdown’s Neighborhood: Twin Cities”—is now available online! Join host and Project Drawdown director of storytelling and engagement Matt Scott as he passes the mic to nine climate heroes whose stories often go unheard, and elevates climate action—and stories about careers, race, gender, sexuality, mental health, personal and community resilience, family, and more—in the process. The series’ third round of documentary shorts showcases Minnesota’s Twin Cities, located on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Native lands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe People. While Minneapolis and St. Paul are renowned for their vibrant arts scene, rich cultural diversity, and natural beauty, they are also home to a robust ecosystem of people and organizations deeply committed to working on climate solutions. In the targets outlined in its current climate action plan, the City of Minneapolis is aiming by 2025 to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly one-third, generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources, and increase rates of recycling, composting, and bicycle commuting. Meanwhile, St. Paul's current climate action and resilience plan aims to have all city operations be carbon neutral by 2030 with further plans for the entire city to go carbon neutral by 2050 through greater use of natural infrastructure and implementation of a wide range of green-friendly initiatives. “Drawdown’s Neighborhood: Twin Cities” profiles local climate superheroes who are helping fuel progress in pursuit of these goals to help lay the foundation for a healthy, just, and vibrant future for all. Day in and day out, each of the interviewees are doing their part to help the world reach drawdown—the future point when levels of greenhouse gases start to steadily decline. And each story serves as a bridge between climate solutions and people like you looking to tap into their own superpowers to stop climate change. The Drawdown’s Neighborhood short documentaries touch on a range of themes used to inspire action. Themes include pathways to climate careers; collaboration across silos, including geographies, sectors, and ideologies; diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; hope and opportunity; individual action paired with systems change; and personal and community resilience. The nine stories from the Twin Cities center the voices of women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, and others who are often not represented in the climate dialogue and yet are commonly most immediately and severely vulnerable to the impacts of climate catastrophe. You will be inspired to discover your own climate superpower with Bob Blake, a member of Minnesota’s Red Lake Tribal Band of Ojibwe Indians whose vision and leadership is advancing the region’s renewable energy transition while empowering tribal nations to lead the way toward a clean energy future. Put yourself in the driver’s seat on the road to a greener future with Yesenia Robles Pelayo, who manages fleet logistics for a non-profit all-electric community car share program while working directly with community members who might otherwise not have access to affordable, climate-friendly transportation. Turbocharge your pursuit of climate justice with Emily Mauter, whose work with Repowered—one of the most prominent collectors of e-waste in Minnesota—is not only creating new opportunities for electronics through increased recycling, but also providing workforce development and reintegration opportunities for people who have experienced incarceration. The series also includes: Jose Alvillar Hinojosa, Statewide Director of Youth Programs with Unidos MN Whitney Terrill, Former Environmental Justice Program Manager with Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light Alboury Ndiaye, Sustainability Specialist with the Waste Wise Foundation Crispin (Cris) Phillips, Urban Agriculture Manager for Appetite for Change Jan Hagerman, Manager of New Brighton ReStore at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Jothsna Harris, Founder and Principal at Change Narrative Feeling inspired? To unleash your inner climate superhero, visit Drawdown’s Neighborhood to discover solutions and take action today.