Climate change. A battle between left and right, rich and poor, the present and the future.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s not possible for there to be only one solution to climate change.
Can we reverse the effects of climate change? If we keep doing what we’re doing, the answer is no. COP27 just ended in Egypt. We need to ask one simple question…when will we stop doing what we’re doing?
Here are the top 8 solutions for reversing climate change, listed in order of Giga tonnes of CO2 reduction by 2050:
- Reduced Food Waste
- Plant-Rich Diets
- Family Planning and Education
- Refrigerant Management
- Tropical Forest Restoration
- Onshore Wind Turbines
- Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaics
- Clean Cooking
This is list is from Project Drawdown. They have identified and quantified 100 solutions for reversing climate change. These are just the top 8.
But…All solutions are not created equal. Some are more effective than others. Some cost more than others. Some take more time than others. We need a combination of all of them. So, what is the optimal combination? Is there one solution that we can all focus on that drives all other solutions? Yes, there is.
This is a simple summary of the climate change story:
- Act 1: Identify the problem
- Act 2: Develop the solutions
- Act 3: Implement the solutions – before climate change impacts 3 billion people
So what stage are we in right now? Act 2 is ending and Act 3 is starting. Act 3 is the part where we have to actually do it.
You’re probably thinking – we’ve identified the problem and we’ve developed the solutions so let’s just do it. What’s the problem? Well, the problem is that these solutions require the participation of multiple governments, millions of businesses and a few billion people. And some of them don’t want to participate.
So what can we do?
- We can beg politicians to commit to lower carbon emissions but they won’t do it because votes trump everything.
- We can beg people to vote for politicians that commit to lower carbon emissions but they won’t do it because ideology trumps everything.
- We can beg corporations to commit to lower carbon emissions but they won’t do it because money trumps everything.
Okay, what can we do that doesn’t involve begging? There is a solution that is totally under our own control and renders politicians and climate deniers irrelevant and forces these corporations to lower carbon emissions.
Politicians that prioritize votes over everything and people that prioritize ideology over everything are a lost cause. But people that prioritize money over everything can be easily manipulated – legally of course.
How? Well, if the most important thing to these corporations is money then…let’s cut off the money supply. So, how are you, the person reading this article, going to cut off the money supply to a large corporation?
Almost all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of selling a product or service.
So, you just need to buy products that have a low carbon footprint and tell the corporations that create products that have a high carbon footprint to go fuck themselves.
There’s no need to beg the government, big corporations or climate deniers to do anything. Ignore them. Pretend they don’t exist. Let them self destruct.
Why does this one solution drive all other climate change solutions? Let’s say that every product had a carbon rating on it and we all decided to buy products that have a low carbon footprint and avoid products that have a high carbon footprint. What would happen? Businesses will create products that have a low carbon footprint – and pretend that they care about the planet. This one shift in global consumer behavior will cause the global supply chain – for everything – to self correct. This self correction will also accelerate the adoption of all of the climate change solutions identified by Project Drawdown – because, in this new scenario, corporations want to increase revenue by producing low carbon footprint products and they need these technologies to do it.
You’re probably thinking, well that makes sense if, hypothetically, we “all” decided to buy products with a low carbon footprint and avoid products with a high carbon footprint – but we won’t “all” decide to do it.
The reality is that we don’t “all” have to to do it for this to work. The average annual growth rate of the corporations in the S&P 500 is 20% so if only 20% of us did this their revenues would start going backwards. That’s all it takes. 20%. This simple mathematics also tells that we can still buy some high carbon footprint products along with the low carbon footprint products. Consumer behavior around climate change is predictable – they will choose the low carbon footprint product if all else is equal.
So, how do you know if a product has a high or a low carbon footprint? You don’t. We need a carbon labelling system. Some carbon labelling systems already exist. But I’m not aware of any that are very good. Some are too technical. Some are self promotional. None of them use standards and accuracy is an issue. But none of this matters. The only thing that matters is the conclusion that you draw.
Possible conclusion 1: In that case, let’s continue polluting the planet.
Possible conclusion 2: Let’s improve carbon labelling and, in the meantime, we’ll use whatever information is available to us to make decisions about what we buy.
So, what can individuals do? Support businesses that do the right thing and avoid bad actors.
What can businesses do? Lower your carbon footprint. And remember that we don’t need you to succeed. You need us.
What can governments do?
- How does get out of the fucking way sound?
- Governments can help by agreeing to standardization in carbon labelling so that we’re all measuring the same thing.
- We can take the power away from politicians and put it in the hands of the people with direct democracy. I created the framework, the software and a platform to actually do it. Checkout onedirectdemocracy.com if you want to learn more.
So, this plan will eventually reverse global warming organically over time by harnessing the power of people. This is the domino that knocks over all of these other dominos.
We, as individuals, have the ability to create a global realignment of priorities that results in most corporations and governments deciding to doing the right thing by acting in their own self interest. We just have to decide to do it. No need to beg any politicians or corporations to do anything.
So, in the end it comes down to this. Every story includes three acts and a heroes journey. Act 1 and 2 of the climate change story are done.
Who will be the hero that shows up in Act 3 to reverse global warming and save you? In the end, the only hero that will ever show up to save you, is you.
Life is a mirror. What do you see?