tv DW News LINKTV May 12, 2022 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT
freeo create world tt is coucive toife. thank you very, very much. ♪ >> i want to ask you a couple of questions. the first question is, how many of you are freaked out about climate change? raise your hand. did anybody not raise their hands? ok, talk to me afterwards. i want to know what you know because we obviously don't. that would be great. the other is how many don't believe in climate science? just raise your hand? none this time. actually, it is not meant to be a trick question but it is bit
you also raised your hand. because science is not a belief system. and it's evidentiary. and that question or that dynamic was created by frank l untz and karl rove. their intention was to make the people that are literate and understand the threat to climate change -- that p climate change poses into believers. and that they were the rational people who don't believe it. and it's interesting because it's the other way round. they are the true believers. they believe the climatic -- wil l persist into the future. and there is not shred of science to support that view. our languaging and how we talk
to each other and about this is crucial and critical. the origin, i didn't use slides today. if you come to the workshop this afternoon, lots of pretty pictures and things like that. i'm also going to talk about my next book. which i won't this morning and i invite you to come. this is really about drawdown the book and the project. its origin goes back to 2001, the same things bill talked about. 2001 was a strange year. 9/11 happened. when 9/11 happened, we all remember where we were. and, after that, all's i knew the world completely changed and i did not know how a change. i was clueless. but i thought about what i was doing and i realized that what
am i going to do for the rest of my life? i thought i'm going to judge it by one question, is it helpful? i just wanted to be helpful. there's a definition of leadership which i love which is leadership is the capacity and the ability and desire to listen to all the voices. to hear and listen to all the voices. and i don't know if i was or even if i am now in some respects, i hope i am, that that is what i dedicated my life to do. the third assessment of the intergovernmental panel came out. as every assessment has been before and since, each sequential assessment is more dire. and that is because it is based on consensus science. air quotes. there is no such thing as consensus science. science is not a consensus process.
they will not say, let's have a compromise about your disease. you don't compromise science. you may not agree. that's different. the consensus is being tamped out by the saudis, by the russians, by the venezuelans, by the russians, suppressing the size. not at all. and even then, though, it was dire enough, and iread -- i read the summary report and i wanted to don't a simple thing in all this has that question, what to do? i get it. science is fantastic. what to do? at that time, there came out the carbon mitigation initiative out of princeton with the stabilization, the 8 stabilizations that had 15 solutions and everybody was, yeah. good old princeton, signs.
-- science. i thought fantastic, stabilization wedges, whatever those were. my grandmother made great pies. we thought of wedges, too. apple, cherry, africa -- ap ricot was the bes and here were the stabilization pies. and i looked at the solutions that basically infused them. and i couldn't believe what i was seeing. and 11 of the 15 solutions could only be adopted by large multinational corporations. 8 of them being cola, -- goal, gas, and oil companies and the 10th being an appliance company. there was one thing to do -- drive less. this is the solution? and what was left out? what was left out was affordability.
every one of these things was deeply underwater financially, so these corporations would never it. second that was left off was consumption, materialism. that was left out, not even address. population was left out completely. no one talked about how many or why. no discussion of the role of women. none. that has been a hallmark of the movement is to pretend a gender does not exist. and it was no discussion of agency, which is that, ok, this is what corporations can do but what about individuals, what about cities, what about towns, what about farmers, what about community colleges, what about schools? you can go on and on. all levels of agencies that we occupy us human beings. there was no mention of a goal. what is the goal? stabilization at 550 ppm in 2050 is not stabilization.
we already see at 415 ppm how unstable the climate has become. we could stop right there. and in stability will increase in a geometric and not a linear form. finally, there was no mention of indigenous people are people up color, or diversity. it was so exclusive. that i then went around and started to say to ngo's and institions, can we make, understand what it is we need to do? because i don't know what i can do from this thing from princeton. and that is, i said, can we name the goal? because the goal, to the day is - the goal is a verb, mitigate, fight,. those are not goals. those are verbs. you need a noun to have a goal.
i wanted to name it. so that is when i started off using -- let's figure out how we can stop where we are going and go back the other way. how can we reverse global warming, not stabilize it. ok? [applause] paul: so, what i did is ask ngo's, they all said what a great idea. some of them said, what you talking about? some said, we don't do that or why don't you do it? i said, if i knew how to do it i would not be asking up and we do not have funding for that or that is not program. we don't fund those kind of things. and so, i want to just acknowledge bill, because he really started drawdown when he published in 2013 in "rolling
stone," called global warming's terrifying new math. it was based on a financial analyst who came over to our side, so to speak. and he analyzed the balance sheets of every coal, gas and oil company he could get a hold of and basically coined the term un burnable carbon. the oil and gas and coal companies were calling the in the ground assets. their reserve assets. i don't think so. he said. if you burn then, there is no life on this planet. how come these are assets? these are liabilities. what bill did in his article is set a match to them. burned them. [laughter] and it was terrifying. people came to me at that time and independently not talking to
each other and said it was game over. i'm moving up to british columbia and taking my kids, whatever. it's over. this is 2013. although i've never been, i probably should be, a.a. or an alanon program but i know enough about them from friends. there is this thing where you really, you admit, you surrender. you give up. you know you are not in control. very important. and i felt like people were surrendering. it is game over. it is a surrender. to my point of view i think that was an opening as opposed to closure. saying it's game over was an opening and that is when a friend of mine and i decided we will start this thing called project drawdown and map, measure and model the 100 most
solutions to reversing global warming. and the reason i wanted to do that is because it had never been done. so, 40 years in the public sphere, we've known about climate change and the looming climate crisis and nobody had ever done that. that's an and the l-- an anthropological, i can't tell you why. i did go to google and say top 10, top 20. i googled the whole world that try to make a list that made sense. i could not find anyone. " scientific american" said, eat smart, drive less and use cold water in the washing machine. their number one solution was to put a power strip in your home entertainment center. i don't have a home entertainment center. so. [laughter] paul: i have to get that first,
right? and it's just astonishing really that, because itcc is not about solutions. it's studying the impact of climate change. i think because science has done such an extra ordinary job in describing the potential impact on what is happening, i think what has also happened is we passively have expected scientists to have a solution. like, come on. in a way they have. i just don't agree with it. what they have and people have done is talk about energy, energy. my colleague and friend bill did it today. it makes a logical sense. almost 70% of emissions are
coming from the combustion of coal, gas, and oil. it is a crucial solution to replace our energy system, ok? with renewables. even more crucial to stop using so much energy, but it should go together. no question about that. but somehow the idea was if we did solar, winds and recently musk that we would get a hall pass to the 22nd century and that is scientifically not true. we can turn off all of the energy today and we will go right over the cliff. ok? and furthermore, the reason is because we are already at very elevated levels of c02 in the atmosphere and other greenhouse gases as well. as david said in the workshop yesterday and i will show us why this afternoon but we are at 495 ppm, when you count niger's
oxide, methane. we're not at 415. we are at 495. that is from noaa. that is from our own government interns of c02. this is the highest and 25 million years. so, where we are as a people is in terra nova. a place that nobody has occupied. a rate of change has never occurred. in geological history over 3.5 years. since life started here. it's never happened. so, this idea that we should just focus on energy didn't appeal to me. i wanted to know what we could do to reverse global warming, right? and so, drawdown started out with some very clear understandings which is first of all, it could not be hierarchical in the sense of
hierarchies exist and that's very fine. but we needed to be a "we" to talked to the "we." we need to be a collaborative, a collaborative effort. 60 drawdown fellows from all over the world. half women, half phd. post docs. 21 countries, all major religions. you see them on the website. project drawdown.org. and then 128 advisors, poets, governors, activists, teachers, professors, religious scholars, a very diverse. and then outside scientific advisors that tested our bottles and what we did is we only modeled things that had extended peer reviewed signs and extensive economic data. and it was scaling. it was very conservative in that sense. we always chose a low median.
we did not take the highest number, and took the median number and that is how we did it. now, but there was something more to it than that which is the book itself. how do we present this information? and the information needed to be presented to me in a different way. go back to what i said about being an english major is which -- is that i had not been active in the climate movement i had been active in the environmental movement for almost virtually all my life. but climate i felt like i ceded the high ground to al gore, and other scientists and people and i felt like they had this in hand. but the more i looked at the language, and th emore i looked at how we were talking to each other and how the movement -- the media was describing it. i became more aware of the fact
that the language we are using to this day about it is guaranteed to disengage 99% of the people on earth. [applause] paul: and that's a fact. why, how could 99% of the world be disengaged about the most serious crisis civilization has ever faced? how in the heck did we do that? i don't know. i do know. i think it is the length. first of all, mitigation -- i think it is the length. who ways up in the morning and says, god, i can't wait to go and mitigate today? people do not know what it means. and then how about decarbonization, negative emission, climate crusade. yeah, that lights me up, too. the climate crusade, did you fall asleep during your history classes? that was genocide. come on. and then war and sports
metaphors. yeah, that shows you which gender was in charge of creating this movement. right? so, we're going to tackle it, righ -- fight it, combated, slash emissions with carbon machetes? i don't know. if you just do this right now it feels dorky. feel the air. you are feeling the atmosphere. everything you don't see inside outside is the atmosphere. how can you fix it? that's it. and what you don't see, i get this. we're not influencing the atmosphere. we are -- i just exhaled c02. give me a break. it's and externally bound with this planet, with life, n invertebrates and our societies
and everything we do. every single moment and second. so, the idea that we other it, make it other, that is the disease that causes the problem. that is the mindset that causes the problem ,right? we see othering. we've spoken about today and yesterday. we other people, ok? we other religions. racism is othering other people. they are different. other religions. islamophobia. with her uncle in arizona. othered by a white supremacist and killed. we've been othering. when an -- women. why is there a #metoo movement? if we use that language and that
mindset to address the greatest crisis civilization has ever faced, we are right back at square one. do not collect $200. you are right back where you started. it's not helpful. and so, i wanted to change the language. and so, in that book there were certain principles i never posted them on the staff room or them because i was the editor and wrote most of it, i just did it. but the first thing was the title of the book and the book itself problems need to be spoken and understood in the context of solutions. otherwise we just keep hammering people with problems. the problem. good science, where does it
leave us? none. like, whoa, i got it. then you are basically a woman, your husband -- you're single, you have two children doing two jobs. are we going to hammer you about the fate of the earth? what can she do? come on. so, that's why the title and the book and so forth approaches it that way. it is not that the science is not impeccable. that is that the communication is inept. [applause] paul: and the other thing that surprised people but there is no advocacy in the book. it does not say, should, must, need to ever. why? because we want to create the conditions in which people can make up their own minds. when's the last time you
appreciated when someone tried to change your mind? what do you say to the nascar people? like, they pointed like that. like this was at a q&a. whoa. that's rude in every language. to jab somebody with your index finger. at least it was the index. what i said was, well, i would asked them who they want for the championship? what else what i say to them because i do not know who i'm talking to. and it's not my jump to change somebody's mind. my job is to change my mind and that is hard enough. and so, what we need to do and what we trying to do is create the conditions in which people can change their mind. the conditions, not knowing that we're right. so, another thing we did not do is say we are right. in the introduction, we
are not sure this is right. we're hoping this right. we are not sure. that is for you to decide. as soon as you are right, you make somebody wrong and this divisiveness is killing us. another thing we did not do is no fear. no fear at all. fear as frank herbert said in "dune" kills the mind. it shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the weakest part of the brain, the newest part, too. still kind of getting its sea legs. and the mydala is, my god, what is going on here? so, fear is really not the way to do it. science is important to talk about and what i loved about "ice on fire," the latest movie by connors was most of the
scientists were women talking about the from. -- talking about the problem. thank you. that is what we need to do. we need to know the signs. -- the science. we didn't blame anybody. we didn't demonize or finger point. it goes right back to you, relaly. -- really. we have to ask ourselves if this is something happening to us or for us. a blessing or a curse. global warming is the feedback from this extraordinary system we call planet earth in every time you ignore feedback basically you -- it's how life sustains itself and grows and changes. everything had to be on basically science-based for sure. no scientific gotchas. no moon shots, no bs, no silver
bullets. if we reflect back to the world what we know and what we are doing. it wasn't us. telling the world what we think it should do. we didn't do that. very important. there was a woman at the workshop yesterday who said she was trying to get her county commissioners to get a climate action plan for a long time and getting nowhere. and then she decided to give them an drawdown. and within two months they were working on a climate action plan. i heard this again and again about the book. especially, as all women have told me this. and they gave it to those in different and they loved the book because it is about stories and narratives. and this is very important about spaciousness. you want to take spaciousness so that the revolutionary love they were talking about can be engaged so people can come in. so that wean