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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Paul Hawken informs Loyola students about global warming solutions


On Tuesday, April 3, Loyola welcomed Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist, to campus to speak about possible solutions for global warming. Hawken discussed his answers to global warming in his book, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming,” a New York Times Bestseller, with the Loyola students and faculty.

Hawken founded Project Drawdown, a non-profit organization that maps, measures, and models solutions to reverse global warming by reducing greenhouse gasses. Aside from his work with Drawdown, Hawken has written seven books—four of which topped The New York Times bestsellers list—, has appeared on television shows like Larry King and the Today Show and has been featured in articles by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Currently, Hawken advocates for solutions to end global warming with his team of college students at Drawdown.

Stepping behind the podium, Hawken asked the audience to turn to their neighbors and describe for the first time that they heard about global warming. The spectators burst into chatter as they recounted their experiences learning about issues like climate change. As the talking subsided, Hawken said, “In your conversations, how many people expressed emotions of fear, anxiety, or worry about global warming?”

Almost everyone raised their hands.

Hawken predicted this result and explained that America is the only country that debates the scientific evidence of climate change.

“Science is evidentiary,” he said. “You can’t make this up.”

He revealed how news headlines feed the population’s anxiety about global warming by using catastrophic and dramatic wording to draw in more readers. “It’s like an attack on your senses,” Hawken said. Although troubling, these titles yield an important question: “Is there anything I can do to stop global warming?”

The Drawdown team has asked themselves the same question, and have made it their life mission to develop proper solutions for the Earth’s biggest problem.

A true promoter of change, Hawken outlined Drawdown’s top 20 out of 100 solutions to reverse global warming, all derived from peer-reviewed science. “We have to name our goals. If we don’t name the goal, fat chance we’re going to achieve it,” he said. To reach drawdown by 2050—the complete reversal of global warming—the world needs all 100 solutions.

The top five solutions consist of refrigerant management, wind turbines (onshore), reduced food waste, plant-rich diet, and tropical forest restoration respectively.

“We waste 40 percent of the food in our own refrigerators. They’re the place where food goes to die,” Hawken said.

He also explained how the empowerment of women positively affects solutions to global warming. Educating women solidifies their lives and reduces emissions by curbing population growth and their education can also contribute to economic development.

Hawken ended by empowering Loyola’s students and faculty to advocate for change. He said, “I want to get you students excited about change. Once you know the problem, you don’t solve it by repeating it. It’s a chain.”

“Drawdown wants to show that humanity is on the case,” he said. “We care.”

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Paul Hawken informs Loyola students about global warming solutions