Sustainable energy and climate change from Leonidas Nzigamasabo (President World Merit Burundi)

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“We take 100% responsibility and stop blaming others. We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius. This is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is the human agenda” – Paul Hawken

Our oceans are heating up at the same pace as if you were running 100 microwaves at the same time, all day and all night. But not just you, but 7.8 billion of us simultaneously. Or five atomic bomb explosion every second for the past 150 years.

Those are just scientific models, showing that the past 5 years have been the warmest on record, that in Bangladesh one in seven people will be displaced and lose 11% of its land in 30 years. But these are backed up with actual events, extreme fires in Australia & the Amazon, floods in India and Indonesia, polar bears walking in densely populated areas in search for food, 50 billion bees wiped out in 1 winter etc. etc. The health, safety and security of every person alive and generations to come are at extreme risk. We know exactly why this is happening. We have known for over a hundred years.

Giving up hope, fear and feeling helpless are the easiest thoughts and emotions that we can allow when we are bombarded with apocalyptic images from the news. This time it is not just the average sensation-seeking media that is trying to get your attention, this time we are actually in a crisis. In the beginning of the sixth mass extinction on this planet. Especially now, we need to transform this helplessness into powerful solutions that feed our hope, reduce and reverse global warming and create a climate-safe world.

In order to do so, we need to understand exactly what caused global warming, and what we can do about it. Global warming is caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases caused by human activity. Inspired by a leading researcher at the LJMU University during the launch of the Sustainability Initiative Liverpool (SIL), I got my hands on the book ‘Drawdown’.
Drawdown is a comprehensive plan to drastically reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases up into the air and to pull down the greenhouse gases that are already there. A 4-year project that has combined all available research and existing projects that can be the solution, including over 5,000 references, citations and sources. 80% are projects already existing, 20% are still in the pipeline. All projects are viable, financially interesting (conservative estimations of costs and savings are included) and prioritized based on impact over the coming 30 years.
It is for me not surprising that solutions related to our food are the biggest mountain to climb. 8 of the top 20 solutions compasses over 33% of the impact, including reducing our food waste and adopting a plant-based diet. Secondly, it is the energy sector with 23%, especially wind, solar and nuclear energy. One that you would not directly think of is at the 4th place with 15%, the education of girls and improved family planning.

Below you can read part of the introduction of the book, written by Dr. Jonathan Foley:
“When we burn fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), manufacture cement, plough rich soils, and destroy forests, we release heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air. Our cattle, rice fields, landfills, and natural gas operations release methane, warming the planet even more. Other greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases, are seeping out of our agricultural lands, industrial sites, refrigeration systems, and urban areas, compounding the greenhouse effect. Climate change stems from many sources such as energy production, agriculture, forestry, cement, and chemical manufacturing; thus, the solutions must arise from those same many sources.”

Drawdown, the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming illuminates’ ways we can overcome the fear, confusion, and apathy surrounding climate change and take action as individuals, neighbourhoods, towns and cities, states, provinces, businesses, investment firms and non-profits. A blueprint for building a climate-safe world. Drawdown goes beyond solar panels and energy-efficient light bulbs to show that the needed solutions are far more diverse than just those associated with clean energy. It illustrates how we can make dramatic strides by reducing the emissions of more exotic greenhouse gases, lowering nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture, cutting methane emissions from cattle production, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. Drawdown demonstrates the potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through innovative land-use practices, regenerative agriculture, and agroforestry.
Drawdown shows us what we can do. Because of that, I think this is the single most important book ever written about climate change. Drawdown has helped restore my faith in the future, and in the capacity of human beings to solve incredible challenges.
Now let’s get to work and do it”

Have a look at their TEDx talk or website for more information:

Top 20 actions against climate change