This July, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) will welcome environmentalist, entrepreneur, activist, and author Paul Hawken, who will give two presentations focused on how humans can halt climate change — the most important challenge facing our planet. Hawken’s latest best-selling book, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming,” outlines 100 tangible solutions to address climate change, each backed by peer-reviewed studies and an extensive team of researchers.
Hawken will deliver the keynote address at ACES’ sold-out 50th anniversary celebration, An Evening on the Lake, on July 11th. Then, on July 13th, Hawken will present a public lecture in partnership with The Aspen Institute at Paepcke Auditorium, with tickets on sale starting June 22nd via aspenshowtix.com or in-person at the Wheeler Opera House box office in Aspen.
When you look at the list of solutions proposed in “Drawdown,” what stands out is how many of Hawken’s top 20 actions revolve around food, diet, and waste. At Rock Bottom Ranch, ACES provides environmental science education programs and serves as a model for many of the most-impactful solutions, whether that’s reducing food waste (solution #3), shifting to a more plant-rich diet (solution #4), or incorporating silvopasture (solution #9) and regenerative agriculture practices (solution #11) to increase carbon sequestration and improve soil health.
In a media landscape where much of the messaging around climate change can feel hopeless, Hawken brings an informed (and much-appreciated) level of optimism. In Hawken’s words, “What we wanted to do in Project Drawdown is to name the goal. If you don’t name the goal, fat chance that you’re going to be able to hit it.” As Hawken noted in a recent interview with Aspen Sojourner, it’s also human nature to want to find solutions together: “When we connect, it’s not a matter of one person’s vision but the collective outcome of people who are compassionate and kind and have touched back into the essence of their pure nature to regenerate. The default mode in nature is to regenerate. It’s what nature does. So, let’s do it. ”
To learn more about Paul Hawken’s upcoming public lecture and ACES’ educational programs and community events, visit aspennature.org.