In the midst of war fever and alarming inflation, climate crisis continues unabated, drought, fire, flood and soon famine and pestilence? All of the above if we don’t learn and act on solid science (and massive goodwill) asap.  It’s now on us to collaborate on these immense crises.

Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, Paul Hawken’s book with Australian filmmaker, Damon Gameau, and the resulting Festival make restoring the earth to health and balance sound plausible – and without hope of becoming resilient we are surely in a rotten state.

The DRAWDOWN Festival East Coast gives visual boost and stories of resilience and regeneration to chew on and tools to work with.  Glad the end piece of the 3-day zoom was Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org, at one time present in all the countries of the world except North Korea.  I’ve joined Third Act, McKibben’s new effort, to energize climate activists over 60 to dig in  toward survival as (we) represent 80% of the wealth of the country and probably the world. Check that out at https://thirdact.org  Go grownups!

Glad I’ve been following DRAWDOWN Festival’s creator, author, visionary, Paul Hawken, since the 90’s when some of the Threshold Foundation crowd he was speaking to at a meeting space I ran deemed his talk “the most inspiring in 20 years”.   Not any less impressive now, though the content is radically changed.  Then, his book, Ecology of Commerce, seemed a road map to a future where business and a healthy planet hold hands.

Now, Regeneration holds lessons we need to learn and apply asap.  In Sonoma County, our Climate Center talks of change “to speed and scale” and DRAWDOWN Festival Jan. 21-23rd. gave solutions to a great number of  Watch here!   https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKcOkYWTbI0db-LFJjCYbv57iimMHn6No

DRAWDOWN Festival combined with the Regeneration book hands over more tools than nearly any one person could use, so best addressed with a group!  The book opens with Jane Goodall, then explains How to Use This Book and goes on to present detailed essays on energy, action, connection, and near the end we get to possibly the harshest, most stubborn enemy of Regeneration, the War Industry, user of unfathomable amounts of natural resources, killer of man and animal alike. So glad the guys included this material, absent from the earlier DRAWDOWN book focused on scientific fixes and leaving out the desparate need to put the health of planet and creatures ahead of every other thing. Just imagine 4.7 MILLION vets with PTSD as well as the fortunes turned into bombers when children and parents have no roof or food or water. Ouch!

As Regeneration’s cheerleaders, Hawken and Gameau want us to know in our hearts and minds that their are working solutions climate crisis happening around the globe.  Marvelous examples are presented from restoration of native plants for deep adaptation to sections on peatlands, wetlands, and I suspect a favorite of current Sonoma County President of the Board of Supervisors, James Gore: The Fifteen Minute City – that the best most sound city planning brings goods and services within fifteen minutes of homes.

So Paul’s book and study groups give us DRAWDOWN: the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change, and Drawdown Solutions, with short intro videos, present a healthy world in the works. We must believe we can do this – though the recent IPCC update shows we’re losing the battle if not the war against climate crises.

The Festival is a call to engage.  “The whole thing has to pivot away from …we would want to do these; we should be doing them because they make life better…better soil, better; they are inseperable.  We’re facing the greatest crisis mankind has ever faced…and 98% of people are disengaged. How could that happen? I goes to language. We’ve created it so people feel like I don’t know what to do; there is nothing to do; people talk about wind farms, electric vehicles and somebody else is doing it; I can’t do it; these are people who watch something on Netflix and feel they’ve done something…one way we will surely fail; if we don’t serve 98% of people… the cure is regeneration of life on earth and that means every child, every forest… What I’m trying to do is let people make up their own minds.  Nobody can change anyone else’s mind.  Not a polar bear on an ice flow… ” says Hawken.

Reasuringly, he tells us natural resilience continues to amaze and regeneration works, possibly no matter what happens with fossil fuels.  What great news if we can push through human fear, reticence and just pure angst and inertia! Tall order, I know.

A sample segment of the Festival:
Changing Paradigms: The Power of Regeneration Documentary Screening + Conversation on the Power of Indigenous Wisdom
Changing Paradigms: The Power of Regeneration is a powerful documentary out of Australia featuring the inspiring Charles Massy (author of Call of the Reed Warbler), followed by a discussion with Dr. Michael Dunaway, a postdoctoral fellow at Syracuse University, Mark Junker of the Sac & Fox Tribe in Kansas and Nebraska, and Ma’Ko’Quah Abigail Jones of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation on Indigenous knowledge as a climate change adaptation strategy.

So, we hope Paul Hawken and crew are right; that we’ll dig into permaculture and regenerative agriculture to the tune of a 4th of July Parade – big time!  But that’s a hope not a promise.

 

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