I recently met with a group fervently advocating their key climate solution. Wonderful! Along the way though, they started dismissing other parts of the puzzle with comments like “Oh, that will take care of itself.” It made me think.
It’s time to stop expecting other (issues, projects, people) to take care of themselves. It’s time to consciously take care of each other. As Project Drawdown so clearly shows, our goal cannot be achieved by either-or thinking— we have to say yes to a multitude of important solutions. Additionally, the IPCC suggests that maintaining a livable world actually relies on cooperation, and solving the problems of inequality and poverty.
“Pathways that are consistent with sustainable development show fewer mitigation and adaptation challenges and are associated with lower mitigation costs. The large majority of modelling studies could not construct pathways characterized by lack of international cooperation, inequality and poverty that were able to limit global warming to 1.5°C.” (D.6.3, 2018 report)
Project Drawdown and the IPCC report what is essential for global solutions. In San Francisco, we have an opportunity to show that this works on the smaller scale. There are so many projects among which explicitly highlighting their connections can lead to more streamlined and more successful outcomes. For instance,
So how do we make this grand coordination happen? It’s not about anyone dropping what’s important to them in order to “be part of the team.” Most of us can make the biggest impact in the areas we’re passionate about. Still, even Olympic sprinters benefit from having their swimmer team-mates cheering them on. And the most brilliant quantum physicist can’t do any research without the efforts of those who built the particle accelerator. In the same way, the call for each real remedy to our climate crisis is amplified when others say, “That’s important to me too. These solutions go together.”
Why not celebrate these triumphs of community, through community? We don’t need to silo ourselves. We can reach out, cheer each other on, answer each others’ questions and get answers to our own, and help elevate the voices that should be heard in the halls of power.
My hope for a better future lies in our common cause.