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Carbon Drawdown - What is it? And why is it important?



As we move into the second decade of the 2000's one of the most talked about topics is our changing climate. And more specifically, how our actions as a species are having a negative affect on the future of our climate. It's common to hear all sorts of climate related words, phrases and terms being thrown around, most with combative and negative tones (but that's another blog for another time). But today, we're going to focus on carbon drawdown.


What is carbon drawdown?

Well, put quite simply it's the process of taking carbon from the atmosphere (drawing it down) and then putting it back (sequestering) it into the earth or storing it otherwise. The concept of carbon drawdown is based on the idea that we can help slow or even reverse the effects of anthropogenic (caused by humans) climate change. Through minimising the amount of carbon we emit, while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. This concept was popularised by Paul Hawken. Hawken has long been an environmental champion and an and advocate that we can make a difference to climate change right now, using technology that already exists. In fact, Paul has written an entire book about it. Drawdown - The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. In his book Hawken introduces the reader to all of the sectors that are emitting carbon, while presenting ways in which they can limit their emissions and even contribute positively to carbon drawdown. At Keep It Cool, we're focused on the land sector, and more specifically the practice of forest regeneration.


In a nutshell, planting trees helps drawdown carbon from the atmosphere. Our main goal at Keep it Cool is to use forest regeneration as a way to drawdown carbon from the atmosphere. Luckily for us, all plants on the planet drawdown carbon as a part of just being alive. Through photosynthesis. Simply put, plants are powered by the sun, and they absorb carbon dioxide while emitting oxygen as a result of producing energy to grow. That carbon dioxide is then stored in the organic matter of the plant, with some even being transferred to the soil. Basically, if it wasn't for plants, we'd all run out of oxygen pretty quick. They're pretty cool.


“no other mechanism known to humankind is as effective in addressing global warming as capturing carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis.” - Paul Hawken


Why is carbon drawdown important?

We all know by now that our climate is changing, and it seems like it's for worse. Sure, people can argue until the cows come home about whether it's caused by humans, if it's really that bad and throw it around like a political football. But, that's kind of just pointless, because, it's still changing. More specifically, mean global temperatures are rising. As a result we're seeing more extreme and more unpredictable weather. Leading to more catastrophic natural disasters, immeasurable property damage and more loss of life. So, we need to do something about it. Why is the temperature rising? It's widely believed that it is due mostly to greenhouse gas emissions (a contentious statement, although one that is agreed on by most scientists). Emissions that have grown exponentially since the industrial revolution. Pretty much everything you own or eat (some worse than others) emits or has emitted carbon in some way, shape or form that is contributing to global temperature rise. The idea behind carbon drawdown is that by removing carbon from the atmosphere, we can slow, or even reverse the effects of anthropogenic climate change.


So, yeah, pretty cool huh? That's what we thought. So that's why we want to plant trees. The areas most under threat by global temperature rise are some of our most pristine and beautiful. Our great outdoors. At Keep It Cool we love the outdoors, especially the mountains. And if the mountains get hotter then we have less snow in winter and more unbearably hot days in summer. So we're planting trees to help positively contribute to drawing down carbon. All while telling our story, inspiring and educating people who love the outdoors to do what they can to contribute. Because every little bit adds up to a lot. And together, we can have a serious impact, and work towards a better future.