Saving ‘our’ planet … not ‘the’ planet for our grandchildren

Clive Blazey explains how ‘Drawdown’ is the best plan to reverse global warming

The key starting point in rescuing our planet is our attitude.

If you talk about the planet instead of our planet you are clearly separate from and not a party to its preservation. That’s the term the conservatives, the miners and the climate deniers use.The only way we will save our planet is for it to become part of you and the quickest way to understand that is for you to grow plants!
Politicians talk about energy and engineering solutions rather than plant-based solutions, but these are strategically the most enduring. It is these plant-based solutions that are the most important, being the quickest and much cheaper solutions. Gardeners are undoubtedly far more advanced in understanding and solving climate change than other Australians.
Is the game over?
Paul Hawken, author and editor of the book Drawdown, which is a plan to reverse global warming, states: “ We see global warming not as an inevitable but as an invitation to build, to innovate and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion and genius.Thus it is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is a human agenda.”

Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown  (Penguin Putnam, 2017) is a detailed, achievable plan to reverse global warming by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Our greatest problem is that fossil fuel burning and deforestation have a two century head start and so greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere longer after they rise. That’s why the word ‘drawdown’ – meaning ‘carbon sequestration’ is so important; we need to bring carbon back to earth and not just stop it rising, although that is obviously important as well.
Australians are the worst polluters
The target for our planet, in order to keep average temperature rises to 1.5°C between 2020 and 2050, is to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 1,442 gigatonnes
(a gigatonne is a billion (109)metric tonnes). Our planet currently emits 36 gigatonnes of CO2 annually which equates to 4.8 tonnes of CO2 for every one of our 7.5 billion peoples. But Australians are the worse polluters emitting over four times the global average, and we have been doing it for longer than even the heavily-populated countries of China and India.
The typical ploy of the angry, white Australian climate denier is to pull the race card by shifting the blame onto China or India because of their recent, rapid population growth. Well, that’s totally unreasonable because CO2 stays up in the atmosphere for generations, warming our planet well before the Chinese and Indian populations accelerated, so their contribution is very recent and tiny compared to Australia’s long-term, accumulated CO2 emissions on a per capita basis.Had we retained a carbon tax, which all international experts agree is the most efficient way to curb personal CO2 emissions, Australia would have started to reduce emissions four to five years earlier.
Why gardeners lead with lower emissions
Gardeners lead the Australian population on lower emissions by being connected to growing trees, fruits and vegetables in our backyards, and so avoiding some of the huge emissions from growing, transporting, refrigerating and the pre-packaging of food from long distances away.
Gardeners emissions are likely to be up to 20% lower from our home grown plants which bring carbon down to earth (i.e. drawdown) and storing carbon in our soils, as well as from the composting we do compared to non-composters and non-gardeners.
Summary of CO2 reduction initiatives
Eighty different solutions to restrict climate warming
to 1.5°C by 2050 have been identified.
The quickest solution to reducing CO2 emissions is not driving electric cars (1%) or installing roof-top solar (2.5%), but actually switching to wind turbines (8%) and installing solar farms (3.6%).
Even changing from non-renewable energy to renewables is expected to solve 25% of emissions, but changing food choices (32%) and planting trees and improving land use (15%) solves 47% of the problem, and it’s at a fraction of the cost.

By gardening organically at Heronswood, in just 25 years we have raised the organic soil content from 4% to 23% and brought CO2 back to earth.

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Clive Blazey

Clive is the founder of The Diggers Club, a pioneer in the rescue of heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties and author of seven books on flower, vegetable and fruit gardening.
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