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Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,665 ratings  ·  382 reviews
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Penguin Books
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May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a framework - not only how to stop global warming, but how to reduce carbon levels in the face of population growth and quality of life increases. The author and research team synthesized primary research from thousands of studies and developed a ranked list of the most important actions the globe can take to combat climate change. (I’ve included a one-sentence summary of each solution in this review. The book goes into far more depth about the logic behind the rankings, how each so ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
For those of you like me in despair about the state of the planet, here is a book that details dozens of things that we know can work to dial down carbon emissions and work toward reversing the current trend to destroy the environment. The point is, we know many things about how to save the planet. What we don’t really know as of today 1) if it is not already too late, and 2) if there is the political will to combat the current capitalist/political complex.

I was going to detail some of the grea
This book is a catalog of the hundred or so technologies that could potentially draw down the carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) from the atmosphere. The book was written by a couple hundred expert researchers in all walks of life. Each technology is very well presented, in a manner that is easy to understand by a non-expert. The book is very attractive, flush with color photographs appropriate for each topic covered.

Each technology is rated in terms of the amount of carbon that could p
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This has some great stuff in it but unfortunately the "most comprehensive plan" includes a lot of really stupid crap. About half of the book is a pretty good summary of real solutions and the other half is basically a bunch of crazy techno-fixes. On the good side are things like ecosystem restoration (with particular emphasis on the importance of maintaining healthy oceans, peatlands and mangroves), agroecology, managed grazing systems, silvopasture, indigenous land management, lower methane-emi ...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

A Fact is Like a Sack: "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming" by Paul Hawken (Ed.)

Galileo was championing the old established order of thinking established by the Greeks for a millennium and a half. The Greeks theory of the movement of the heavens was overly complicated to make a theory fit the facts. To quote Luigi Pirandello "A fact is like a sack - it won't stand up if it's empty.

Ptolemy and
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eco
Drawdown focuses on not only responding to but also moving beyond climate change. It offers a set of ranked plans. Anyone who is inclined to give up in the face of climate change should read this book.

A couple quick takeaways. Reducing meat from one's diet (#4) still seems to be a good idea. My own experience has been that a "meatless Monday" is nearly impossible because upending my daily routine just once a week is very irritating. Having said that, one meatless meal a day is doable and often l
Brian Clegg
When I was at university there was a book (sometimes classed as a magazine) I often thumbed through in Heffers, though I could never bring myself to buy a copy as it was too expensive. It was called The Whole Earth Catalog, and combined ecological articles with reviews of products, many of them for living an independent lifestyle. I find it hard to believe that it's accidental that the look and feel of Drawdown, with its large format, coarse paper covers and heavily illustrated interior, very di ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
To be very honest, I only skimmed this book. There are interesting tidbits galore here. But glancing over it, I said to myself, let's see what they have to say about carbon fee and dividend, or cap and trade, border adjustment, or whatever economic pricing schemes they may prefer as a means of actually getting people to DO something to reduce their carbon footprints. It was not there.
Nowhere in this book do I find any mention of real-world methods that would actually compel humans through the l
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have felt positively about our ability to stop climate change. The solutions presented in this book are feasible and clearly explained. I found several things I could implement myself, like switching to LED light bulbs, and I am looking for ways to support some of their larger-scale approaches.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
You cannot save the planet with "just a carbon tax". The math of climate change screams that at you. Even if you were able to wipe out $27 trillion in fossil fuel assets, there's already too much carbon in the air. We have created a peak carbon dioxide parts-per million that humanity has never seen since we diverged from Chimps. We have to- as the title suggests- drawdown the very carbon in the atmosphere.

And yet, the possible solutions are all very politicized, at least in the United States. Di
H.M. Ada
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Movements are dreams with feet and hands, hearts and voices.” – Paul Hawken

It’s no secret that we humans are destroying our world. But this book isn’t really about that. Rather, it’s about what we can do as individuals and collectively to build a better society and a better world. “Drawdown” refers to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by reducing current emissions and sequestering the carbon already up there through proven land and ocean practices. The solutions in this book
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is exactly what the doctor ordered. After reading The Uninhabitable Earth and Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, I was really looking for a book with solution recommendations that are backed up by rigorous scientific and engineering analyses. Drawdown is that book. What is interesting, and in many cases startling, are the solutions we haven't heard of, including the solution that has the single largest impact on reducing greenhouse gases, which is.....wait for it.....replacing the k ...more
Amanda Vu
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Outlines some of the most significant ways we can cut carbon emissions and stop global warming. Really interesting, liked how it was accessible to your average Joe/Jane (i.e. me). Some cool things I enjoyed during my read:
- For each solution we were given an estimated/projected reduction in carbon emissions if the solution were to be implemented (rough ballpark figures, but enough to give you an idea of how much impact it could make!).
- The section called "An Opening" towards the end of the boo
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The logical way to read this book is to use it to identify how you can make a difference," Paul Hawken writes at the conclusion to this stunningly important work. I can only echo his advice: use this book to educate yourself about potential solutions to our global climate crisis, then use your knowledge to advocate your elected representatives to do more and better. That's what I plan to do with what this book taught me. ...more
Teo 2050


Hawken P (ed.) (2017) (18:52) Drawdown - The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Foreword (Tom Steyer, Founder and President, NextGen Climate)

Origins (Paul Hawken)
Language (Paul Hawken)

Numbers (Chad Frischmann)
• what you will see on the page
• ranking of solutions
• gigatons of carbon dioxide reduced
• total net cost and operational savings
• to learn more


01. Wind Turbines (#2 onshore, #22 offshore)
02. Microgrids (#78)
03. Geothermal (#18)
Camille McCarthy
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This book covers a lot of the ways we could actually reverse global warming by keeping carbon in the ground and storing it. I liked some aspects of it, such as the farming and land use chapters, but I was disappointed by other sections, such as the section on electrical cars, because it assumes a lot of things. I understand that they wanted to follow a path of "what is possible and achievable today" in terms of technology and society, but the fact is that those assumptions also assume that capit ...more
Sharman Russell
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant idea for a book! Well-executed. And optimistic in its specific solutions. Who knew that refrigerant management would be so important--the number one action for the greatest effect in mitigating greenhouse gases emissions--or that people were already seriously working on this very thing. Refrigerant management. In an interview, Paul Hawken said, "Global warming is not a curse. It's feedback." And this is not to ignore or diminish the pain some people--smallholder farmers in Africa, say- ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another world is possible
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: favorites, to-reread
"To be effective, we require and deserve a conversation that includes possibility and opportunity, not repetitive emphasis on our undoing."-from "Drawdown"

"Drawdown" is a transformative book, bringing not just hope but offering the threads of a real way forward. The subtitle makes clear what the contents are about: "The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Produced to Reduce Global Warming". It not only lives up to its title, but goes beyond that promise by exemplifying the most forgiving and inviting e
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
This book lists the solutions to the climate crisis, ranking them in terms of their impact. There are many eye-opening insights that put things into perspective. The most effective measure? Properly disposing of air conditioning units. The 4th most effective? Educating girls. It is inspiring and makes it clear that we have ALL the answers. We know what to do. We just need to start doing it.
Lauren James
I read a lot of climate change non-fiction in 2020, as research for a book I'm writing. This was one of the best - comprehensive, without fearmongering, it just lays out in clear terms exactly what needs to be done to fix things. Ignoring the politics, and the drama, and the chaos - this is just pure solutions. Which, I don't know about you, is very comforting when you feel helpless about the planet's future. ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Finally, a comprehensive and holistic approach to the problem. Any talk of a green new deal needs to be rationally grounded in science as outlined in this book. A political solution to a scientific problem will not work.
Meia Alsup
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super inspiring!
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: stem, environment
Great if used as a reference work, mind-numbingly dull if you read it like a typical book. Might be better suited for an interactive website.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Check out Hawken video (youtube) to get a good sense of format of book and goals of drawdown project. Or just get the book.

Drawdown is a well written and important contribution to the global warming discussion. It addresses specifically an issue that most other climate change books do not - ie, even after we reduce CO2 emissions to near zero by say 2050, how do we draw down the excess CO2 already in the atmosphere to the 285 PPM levels that existed before the industrial age and was the maximum l
Regina Mcilvaine
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Drawdown may indeed be what its title suggests: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. It is full of hope and concrete ways to combat environmental destruction, offering some great career paths to current students. In the midst of the challenge that faces Earth's populations, Drawdown presents the frontiers of emerging industries that can propel us into a prosperous and globally sustainable future.

In each of the sectors mentioned, there is the estimated cost of rest
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general
Global warming can be reversed. Nature already draws carbon dioxide from the atmosphere faster than humans are adding to it - at least during the northern hemisphere summer. Unfortunately, humans win during the rest of the year.

Drawdown shows how humans are already building solutions that can work with nature to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reverse global warming. This book lists the top 100 solutions to global warming including their economic cost and savings.

The beauty of the so
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great summary of a myriad range of solutions to climate change.

This might be the most useful coffee-table book ever, and you can think of it as something that provides an intro to key climate action items without going into too much detail on any of them.

The authors also make an effort to quantify the impact and rank various solutions, and that's quite a helpful perspective to bring to the average reader.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
4.5 stars. Always the Debbie Downer, I would have liked more info on the negative aspects of material extraction (like mining) that all the mostly great new technologies require. But now I know about marine permaculture! Also, I skimmed this.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
This isn't really a "read cover-to-cover" type of book, but more of a "dip your toe in, learn a little, and find a some hope for the state of humanity" type of book. Lots of smart and exciting content. ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: wrong format listed for book 2 11 Mar 06, 2021 10:50PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please update the number of pages for Drawdown 5 334 Oct 10, 2020 02:08AM  
LDS Earth Steward...: Drawdown 3 7 Sep 01, 2019 10:59AM  

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Paul Hawken is the co-founder of several businesses, and lives in Sausalito, California.

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“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.” 3 likes
“The act I want to talk about is growing some—even just a little—of your own food. Rip out your lawn, if you have one, and if you don’t—if you live in a high-rise, or have a yard shrouded in shade—look into getting a plot in a community garden. Measured against the Problem We Face, planting a garden sounds pretty benign, I know, but in fact it’s one of the most powerful things an individual can do—to reduce your carbon footprint, sure, but more important, to reduce your sense of dependence and dividedness: to change the cheap-energy mind.” 1 likes
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