March and April 2017 - Vital Hempnewsletter
For the last eight years, we’ve set up a booth at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim. This year, as part of the event, some people with a long view of how business can support life produced Climate Day, filled with panels and speakers, addressing how businesses, organizations and individuals can work toward the immediate and significant drawdown of carbon in our atmosphere. Realizing this goal will help us narrowly avert the apocalyptic scenarios that await life on Earth if we continue with our routines, as though everything will work out without any smart, scientific and sustained changes on our part.
As you must know, there is no superhero who will arrive at the last possible moment to pull us off the track, no one to reverse time, or invent a fantastic vacuum to suck CO2 from our atmosphere. We are the heroes we’ve been waiting for!!! And nature itself has already invented its own miraculous mechanisms for rebalancing our horribly out-of-balance world. With GRACE and LOVE (and science), we move ourselves into a better future.
Like so many, I have gone through the last fifteen or so years of my life somewhat shocked and paralyzed by the thought of global warming and its consequences. I wanted to address this environmental/life challenge, so I left academia to start a hemp clothing company, thinking hemp, along with alternative energy (and fair trade chocolate, of course), were all vital parts of the solution to our collective existential circumstances.
Over the last fourteen years, I learned that there are innumerable pieces to this puzzle, but it always felt like a puzzle with too many pieces; I didn’t know where to start, or where to keep going. How effective is recycling? Shall I aspire to drive a Tesla? Will solar panels on our roofs make the difference in time?
At Climate Day, I learned from the environmentalist-entrepreneur, Paul Hawken, the founder of Erewhon and Smith & Hawken, and a leading author/researcher on the topic of climate change, that there are over one hundred ways to reverse global warming--many more (and more interesting) than the common aphorisms—“consume less,” “live closer to work,” “stop cutting trees”--that have been circulating for decades. Through his Project Drawdown and a new book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Hawken gives us an optimistic long-view, rooted in science and the capacity of people to evolve.
“Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.”
Some of the solutions confound, and then appear so rational and doable. Educating girls around the world has a massive positive effect on the reduction of atmospheric carbon. Combining this economical practice with Supporting Female-owned Businesses amplifies the positive results, such that the sum of the two outweighs even the positive effect of the most effective single solution.
If you are, like me, a person who wants to “enact meaningful solutions,” take a look at Project Drawdown online (http://www.drawdown.org). Hawken’s talk gave me real hope, which is something we all need, especially in the midst of this dystopian (and hopefully short-lived) Republican administration.
Here’s a quote from the website that I hope will inspire you to become more active in our heroic story: “In conducting our research, we found a plan, a blueprint that already exists in the world in the form of humanity’s collective wisdom, made manifest in applied, hands-on practices and technologies. Individuals, communities, farmers, cities, companies, and governments have shown that they care about this planet, its people, and its places. Engaged citizens world over are doing something extraordinary. This is their story.”
To view a few of these solutions, go here: http://www.drawdown.org/solutions
The vital questions remain: will we acknowledge and apply the effective solutions that researchers, scientists and other life-affirming humans have presented to us? Will we of listen at last to those on our Titanic Earth, who see the iceberg (or rather, the icebergs melting), counsel us to change course, and have discovered (and are sharing) common-sense, evolutionary alternatives?
We can support these solutions. We can thrive in our abundant, diverse and complex world, living more harmoniously with the vast cycles of nature, providing healthier lives for all living things, and recognizing that we are all connected, from the tiniest creatures in the ocean to the geese that flew by this morning, to the refugees fleeing the never-ending war in their native land, to the billionaires on their mega-yachts, to you and to me.
On that note, I recommend one other timely and essential book that addresses the present challenge we face: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century by Yale history professor and journalist, Timothy Snyder. His short book offers us ways to remain human in a system that threatens to keep us atomized, compliant and powerless, fixated on screens, rather than focused on what we can do together, with freedom and justice for all.
And finally, if you happen to be in Colorado (or have friends in Colorado) and want to join a vital community of hemp entrepreneurs, researchers, activists and enthusiasts, join us at the NoCo Hemp Expo (http://nocohempexpo.com) in Loveland, CO. We’ll be there again, tomorrow, 4/1, representing our hemp clothing and accessories, acting like fools, and working with others in the industry to cool the globe & hemp you out!
Thanks for being vital,