Courage and Determination.
The opportunity to overcome humanity’s greatest challenge is within our reach. We can build a bridge to a safe and livable climate future. It will require courage, determination, and optimism. Even against impossible odds, humans have achieved so many things that were thought to be nearly impossible. We are innovative and we know that change sometimes happens in leaps.

Focus on solutions.
While it’s important to keep a sharp eye on the disturbing news about climate science, people are not inspired by fear. Fear is paralyzing. Think about it: what does your body feel like when you are in fear? Do you feel creative? Eager to collaborate with others? (Not really.) When we are feeling optimistic, we are at our most creative and collaborative. It’s our job to paint a positive vision of the future, then make it happen. To do that, we focus on solutions more than problems. We are solutionaries, sharing our dream for a more just and sustainable world.

To effect change, you have to give people a vision of a better future. Martin Luther King didn’t go around the US saying, “I have a nightmare.” He said, “I have a dream.”

– Project Drawdown ED Jonathan Foley
Dr. King at the March on Washington

We already have what we need.
Drawdown is based on solutions that are already being implemented and need to be scaled up. Some of the work involves science and technology, and some of it is education, networking, and other kinds of social work. Find out what is going on in your area, what is needed to scale up, and what skills and energy you can offer to make it happen.

The Upcycle in Mitchell County welcomes neighbors to re-use scrap materials for creative projects.

People will be more interested in working on climate solutions that also help solve other problems. As we scale up renewable energy technologies, we will provide new jobs in the process. While sequestering carbon, food forests address hunger. Empowering women and educating girls lifts human rights as it lowers the population. The cascading benefits of Drawdown solutions can help us engage with people who care about all kinds of other issues.

Solar panels generate energy while providing shade and shelter. Photo: Quadell

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Whether you live an urban environment or in a mountain holler… whether you represent a business, nonprofit, or yourself… whether your family has been in your county for generations, preceded European settlement, or just immigrated to the US last year… whatever shade your skin is, whatever languages you speak… whatever your abilities, education level, or economic level… whether you’re religious or not, young or old, whatever your gender or preferences… we invite you to work with us toward a just and equitable future.

Dig In! Yancey Community Garden workers. Photo: Kathleen Wood

Mutual Respect.
The work of Drawdown is the work of relationships. To build healthy relationships, we listen with compassion, assume goodwill on the part of others, and communicate with respect. In caring passionately about our ideas, we don’t forget to care about each other. Our region is made up of many different kinds of folks. We strive to find common ground.

Focus on community work.
Working together, we will find our power. The choices we make in our private lives — eating a more plant-based diet, driving small, putting solar panels on our homes — are important choices, but we won’t solve climate change on our own, in isolation. The most important work is what we do collectively in our own communities.

We are primarily civic beings. We have to build power and we have to do that through collective action

– Project Drawdown VP Katharine Wilkinson
Voting, and helping others vote, are powerful climate actions. Photo: Bart Everson

Ready to get involved? Find out more about the work we are doing to implement Drawdown solutions in the Southern Appalachian region.

Let’s work together.

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