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Executive Director, Project Drawdown. Climate & environmental scientist, focused on solutions.
Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota

Dr. Jonathan Foley is a renowned climate & environmental scientist, writer, and speaker. He is also Executive Director of Project Drawdown — the world’s leading resource for climate solutions.

California coast and sunset. Photography © 2020 J. Foley

Governments and businesses are looking to lead on climate change, but too many of their commitments are built on flawed “Net Zero” frameworks and “carbon offsets”. Authentic climate leadership requires more — a transparent and meaningful “Emissions 360” pledge that is focused on bringing emissions to zero, helping others do the same, and equitably addressing historic climate pollution.

Sunset with Thule Elk at Point Reyes National Seashore, Northern California. Photo by J.Foley © 2021.

Some people are proposing to counteract climate change by artificially dimming the Sun. But it’s largely ineffective. It’s potentially risky. And it’s unnecessary. Instead, we should focus on real-world solutions that work.

OilPhoto: Zbynek Burival, Unsplash

Artificial carbon removal is largely a sideshow when it comes to climate change. At best, it may eventually grow into a minor solution. At worst, it’s a distraction from reducing emissions — and plays right into the fossil fuel industry’s hands.

Photo by Tomas Hertogh on Unsplash

Agriculture has disrupted the planet more than anything we have ever done, including burning fossil fuels. A sustainable future depends on recognizing this fact — and radically changing the way we farm and eat.

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

The simplest environmental solutions are often the best. They’re proven. They’re ready now. They can help us avert disaster. So why do many prefer complicated, high-tech, faraway gadgets instead?

Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

Every climate solution works differently, unfolding at different speeds. We’ll need them all, traveling in four parallel waves, to stop climate change.

Prague Astronomical Clock. Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

Despite what many think, climate change is as much a problem of time as technology. We already have tools to get started. What we don’t have is time to waste.

Skies over San Diego, California. Photo by Jonathan Foley © 2014.

Greenhouse gas “offsets” — where you pay others to reduce their pollution today, or bet on schemes to remove yours tomorrow — are all the rage, but they come with risks. We need offsets, but they must be used wisely, sparingly, and without distracting us from the job of reducing our emissions.

Addressing climate change is like playing chess. So we should learn the rules. Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

Addressing climate change is like playing chess. We need to use all the pieces, employ multiple strategies, and see the whole board. But, unlike chess, we have to play this game collaboratively to win.

Dr. Jonathan Foley

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