Project Drawdown: Working at the Intersection of Libraries & Sustainability Efforts

Researchers join a climate and gender consultant to weigh the potential for specific climate change solutions

by Rebecca Joy NorlanderRupu GuptaMil Niepold
Sep 4, 2019

The term Drawdown refers to the point when greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start to decline. Project Drawdownaims to help the world stop global warming by achieving Drawdown — as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible. Billed as “the leading resource for climate solutions,” the folks behind Drawdown share Knology’s commitment to shift the conversation away from “doom and gloom” and instead empower communities to advocate for and participate in systems change.

But what does community engagement actually look like? What do we know about who is included/excluded in such “engagement”? How do communities become more resilient? Would increasing engagement with different groups lead to different resiliency outcomes? Given our long-term partnership with the American Library Association, we know libraries are places where people come for dialogue and deliberation about how to improve their communities. We have been encouraged to see Project Drawdown working with libraries at they take up the challenge of tackling climate-related issues. For example, earlier this year the New York Library Association created a Drawdown toolkit for library groups to use. At Knology, we are interested in the unique ways different groups apply the solutions relevant to their specific contexts, and create meaningful change through various types of community-based partnerships.

An additional question comes to mind about the observable changes anticipated in the social and ecological systems where these solutions will be implemented – how do people experience and benefit from the environmental changes that are expected from the Drawdown solutions? And are these changes more acute for some populations? We recognize that the changes foreseen typically have a time lag from when solutions are implemented. However, we underscore that it will be imperative to learn how the people -- and which people -- driving them are building their own capacity in the process and creating incremental change.

Drawdown’s focus on solutions, forward thinking, and optimism for the future is especially heartening to reshape our relationship with a changing environment. The big questions that come up for us aim to shed light on how Project Drawdown empowers individuals, organizations, and communities in their efforts to take climate action -- and prioritize those solutions that may have been overlooked and that have some of the greatest impacts.

This work is so important! Thanks for pushing the conversation.
By Joey Crenshaw
On Monday, September 16, 2019
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