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Inclou aquests noms: Paul Hawken, Paul Hawken (Author)

Obres de Paul Hawken

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Lo pequeño es hermoso (1973) — Introducció — 2,835 exemplars
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Col·laborador — 417 exemplars


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This is really a review of the Blinkist summary of the original book. So not entirely fair to the original authors. However life is short and I'm reading a few summaries to allow me to absorb ideas a bit faster.
Here are some snippets that I highlighted as interesting. In other words it is a summary of a summary. I've added some comments of my own.

Project Drawdown is a coalition of scientists and researchers dedicated to changing this equation. Using peer-reviewed science and mathematical models, their goal is to illuminate simple and economically viable solutions that drastically reduce, and even reverse, humanity’s CO2 emissions.
These snippets list some of the most promising solutions to global warming, encouraging individuals, communities, businesses and governments to overcome apathy and take action. From tried-and-tested technologies like renewable energy to less intuitive approaches such as strengthening the rights of indigenous people,
Humboldt was one of the first scientists to acknowledge the negative effects humans could have on their environment. He prophetically identified deforestation and the “great masses of steam and gas” released during industrial processes as two major environmental threats.
Despite a clear connection between carbon emissions and global warming, humanity’s carbon footprint is steadily increasing.
At this rate, simply slowing or cutting carbon emissions will not be enough to stop global warming. We need to reach drawdown. [That is, the point where green house gases peak and then decline]
The technology to harvest these renewable energies is becoming increasingly efficient, making them competitive with fossil fuels.
Denmark, meanwhile, already supplies 40 percent of its electricity through wind power. [but assuming every country can do what Denmark has done, is probably wishful thinking....I think it's pretty windy in Denmark ...from the North Sea].
Solar energy is another important renewable that’s already saving 330 million tons of CO2 annually.
In 2015, the global fossil fuel industry received more than $5.3 trillion in direct and indirect subsidies. If that money were put into renewable energies instead, we would be well on our way to saving the planet.
We need to eat less meat, make farming more diverse and reduce our food waste. The meat industry accounts for 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which come from both the animals themselves and the agriculture needed to feed them.
Modern industrial agriculture is based on cultivating a single crop every year, until the soil becomes saline and unworkable. [This is total oversimplification.....and anyway, soils don't necessarily become saline though exhaustion...but mostly from water tables reaching close to the surface and carrying dissolved salts into the phreatric surface]. Sustainable techniques such as agroforestry embrace complex plant communities that enrich the soil rather than deplete it–and release much less CO2. These techniques treat nature as an interconnected system in which each plant and animal benefits from the existence of all others.
Instead of grazing on deforested land, silvopasture cows are allowed to graze in the forest. Not only do the trees provide shade for the animals, but they also sequester carbon that counterbalances the cow’s methane emissions. [Again, this is fairy-tale science. I've been in these silvopastures in Spain and the carrying capacity for cows is about five percent of an equivalent pasture. The reason is obvious...the trees shade the grass so there is not much grass to graze, Yes you can combine forestry and grazing but don't expect much food.]
Of course, producing food that no one eats doesn’t only squander resources–it also creates unnecessary greenhouse gases. In fact, if we reduced food waste by 50 percent by 2050, we could avoid 26.2 gigatons of carbon emissions. Probably a good idea but not so easy to entirely eliminate food waste....lots of the waste is small scale so hard to capture and do something with the waste or eliminate it].
Cities need to improve their building standards, infrastructure and power supply to save energy. Smog, traffic congestion and a lack of greenery can make
But how can we implement these technologies in our urban environments? One way is for cities to start making them mandatory for new buildings.
If cities worldwide increased localized heating from its current 0.1 percent usage to 10 percent, we could avoid 9.38 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050.
Traditional modes of transportation must become more fuel-efficient, and should be supplanted by climate-friendly alternatives.
Global trade transport by ship makes up a significant 3 percent of carbon emissions. One technique proven to cut fuel consumption is “slow steaming,” a simple reduction in operating speed. [Seems like a good idea but shipping companies also need to make a profit]
Hybrid cars integrate an electric motor with a classic combustion engine, and are about 30 percent more fuel-efficient than regular cars.
Another mobility alternative that should be subsidized and developed is mass transportation such as public buses, metros and high-speed rail services.
We need to protect forests, peats and wetlands, and restore degraded land. When forests are destroyed, soil health plummets, and the degraded land releases its carbon content into the air. More than 10 percent of annual carbon emissions are caused this way.
Conventional materials need to be recycled after use and replaced by sustainable alternatives.
The dominant chemical used for refrigeration nowadays is called hydrofluorocarbon, or HFC. [It used to be CFC but this was phased put during th'90s
One way to encourage recycling over conventional disposal is via governmental policy. San Francisco, for example, charges households for carrying away garbage for landfill, but takes away recycling material for free.
Targeted education programs can empower individuals around the world to lower their carbon footprints.
Public campaigns, peer-to-peer training and grassroots information sharing will be essential tools in effecting such change.
Prioritizing the education of girls in general would help reduce the world’s carbon emissions, in part because educated women tend to have fewer children. Population size is a controversial talking point in the climate discourse, but better access to reproductive health services simply reflects the wishes of women worldwide;
Technologies such as self-driving cars, ocean farming and carbon capture hold further potential to reverse emissions.
So, how can we reforest the ocean? With the help of kelp and phytoplankton, miniature plant organisms that can provide food, fertilizer and biofuel to other plants, animals and humans. Establishing farms of these microorganisms in the middle of the ocean, a technique known as marine permaculture, could recreate entire ecosystems of algae, fish, seals and sharks.
All in all, the technologies illuminated in this blink might provide hope to the pessimists among us who believe that humanity has, in balance, made our planet worse.
Final summary
It’s not too late! If communities, governments, businesses and organizations come together to act now, we can reverse global warming. The key technologies to reduce carbon emissions and promote their reuptake by the earth are already in place. They include renewable energy, sustainable farming, reforestation and recycling, widespread education programs and innovative future technologies such as self-driving e-cars and ocean farming. If widely implemented, continuously developed and subsidized when necessary, these technologies can save the planet.
Actionable advice: Do something.
Well, there are a lot of good ideas here and humankind will need to implement a lot of them though that will not be easy. It seems to me that the biggest "elephant in the room" that was not tackled at all (presumably because of religious or political sensitivities) is increasing populations. If we cut the world's population by twenty percent then we would get something like a proportionate cut in greenhouse emissions. .......especially if this happened in the industrialised countries. And it actually seems to be happening as women become better educated and families become wealthier.
I'm grateful to Blinkist because it's given me a pretty good idea of what's in the original book but I won't be rushing to read the original. Two stars from me.
… (més)
booktsunami | Hi ha 11 ressenyes més | Jun 17, 2024 |
I abandoned this book after a few chapters due to the fact that it didn't make much sense. Initially it promises to describe how, without any effort, the whole economy can - and in fact will - change to become sustainable. In fact, a sustainable economy is actually more efficient and more profitable than the one we have now, it promises.

Already there is a significant problem with this promise. If it's more profitable, and we can put our faith in the market, why isn't it already happening? This is especially pertinent given that this book was written over ten years ago and none of the predictions I read have come to pass.

The book says that it will explain how the market will provide all of these solutions but the two chapters that follow don't explain it at all. Instead they abandon economics altogether in favour of propagating half-truths about engineering and science that seem to contradict the thesis of the book.

At that point I gave up.
… (més)
robfwalter | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Jul 31, 2023 |
I do want to read more recent books by Hawken.
Not sure whether I was put off by the latent eco-colonialism (that was common at the time this book was written and for near a decade after) or because it was challenging me and my views so much I just couldn't emotionally deal at the time.
zizabeph | Hi ha 11 ressenyes més | May 7, 2023 |



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