Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI

Are Some Climate Solutions More Impactful Than Others? An Interview with an Environmental Scientist

March 15, 2022 Moms Meet and KIWI magazine Season 3 Episode 3
Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI
Are Some Climate Solutions More Impactful Than Others? An Interview with an Environmental Scientist
Show Notes Transcript

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of climate change. With the constant bombardment of information it can be hard to know what the right actions are to take. In this episode, hear from the executive director of Project Drawdown, Dr. Jonathan Foley, about the many ways carbon drawdown is being used to fight the climate crisis. We’re digging into what that means, ways we as parents can help, everyday scientific solutions, and more.

Chrissy:

Welcome to raising healthy families with Moms Meet and KIWI. We're giving you the tools to enjoy the beauty and chaos of life with little ones in the healthiest way possible.

Maureen:

Hi everyone, I'm Maureen Frost editorial director and today's hosts and this episode hear from the executive director of Project Drawdown Dr. Jonathan Foley, about the many ways carbon drawdown is being used to fight climate change. We're digging into what that means ways we as parents can help and more. This episode is brought to you in part by Take Two Barleymilk. Take Two's chocolate barley milk provides even more of your daily nutrition and a better for you option with eight grams of complete plant protein per serving and 50% more calcium per serving than dairy milk. And now your favorite drink also helps the climate take two upcycles nutrient rich grain and transforms it into delicious plant based barleymilk. One bottle of chocolate barleymilk saves over 1.5 pounds of spent grain from going to waste, which in turn avoids over four pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Today we're joined by Dr. Jonathan Foley, the executive director of Project Drawdown and a world renowned environmental scientists, sustainability expert author and public speaker. His work is focused on understanding our changing planet and finding new solutions to sustain the climate ecosystems and natural resources we all depend on. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, thanks for having me, Maureen.

Maureen:

Yeah, I'm really looking forward to our conversation. Because, you know, it's very easy to feel powerless in the face of climate change. And that's why I'm so excited to share some of the solutions being used to draw down carbon and fight climate change. To get started, can you please just tell us a little bit more about the project drawdown organization and what you do?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Yeah, sure. So Project Drawdown focuses on Climate Solutions. We're a bunch of scientists in one part of the organization who studies solutions and what's out there and how well they might work. Think of us like a Consumer Reports for climate change, if you will. And then we communicate those solutions to the world through our books, through online publications, webinars, you name it. And we're a nonprofit. We're not a government. We're not a company, we exist solely to do good work on science based solutions and share them for free for the world. We're not partisan, we're not commercial. And we're trying to do good work, and you can visit us at drawdown.org and learn more about us.

Maureen:

That's great. So what made you want to be a part of the Project Drawdown?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Oh, well, gosh, I've been working on some aspects of climate change issues one way or the other for about three decades now. First, as a scientist, I was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, and then the University of Minnesota for many, many years. But I also care a lot about sharing science, especially climate change science with the world. And then I went and ran a museum in San Francisco, a big science museum for a number of years. But I wanted to do something where it was more not just science in general about like the problems of climate change, or the problems in the environment. We hear about that all the time. So I really got excited about leading an organization that focuses entirely on the solutions. We hear all there all day long about the problems of climate change, but where are the solutions? What do we know? How do we get them out into the world? It's, it'd be like going to the doctor and having a doctor tell you Wow, you're really sick. That's all I got to hear that like, you know, without treatment without anything to help you. And that's what we've been doing for too long. So drawdowns, really focusing on bringing science and communication to climate solutions. And finally, having these conversations about what can we do? What can we do now, to get started on this big challenge?

Maureen:

Yeah, I completely agree you we are, you know, all the time being told all of the scary things that are happening so it really does give you hope, when you actually focus on like, what's been done, what can be done, and I really like this, this angle of sharing climate news with our audience because sometimes you can feel very hopeless especially as parents and we know that we're handing off this planet to like our kids and future generations. So it's nice. I just actually, in our in our KIWI issue that's launching next week we talked about the way that kids are their health is going to be or already is affected by a changing climate and all of the natural disasters and extreme heat that we're going to be facing. So I really like that we can balance it out with talking about but here's what's actually being done to to draw down and tried to combat climate change. So this is great. So can you um, can you kind of talk to us a little bit more about what drawdown actually means.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Yeah, we use the word drawdown to mean a very specific big thing, right now the crap we're putting into the atmosphere, the greenhouse gas pollution is going up, and every year it goes up, that means the planets gonna get warmer, the more of the pollution goes up, the higher the temperatures will go. And the higher the temperatures go, the more destabilized our planet gets, the more wacky weather patterns will get them more floods, more droughts, more heat waves and so on. They'll just be exacerbating the situation further and further and further. So we get this curve going up. What we want to do is reach the moment we call drawdown where the curves stops. That means greenhouse gases stop going up, they stabilize, and then they might begin to come down again or draw down back to a more natural state. So, drawdown means the moment in time in the future when greenhouse gas was the pollution that causes climate change, stops rising, and begins to maybe come back down again, if you will, that's when we bend the curve on climate, just like we're trying to do with COVID and other things. So it's, let's not go down the terrible road, let's take a turn and bend it towards the better curve.

Maureen:

And I think we can all understand the curve analogy more. Yeah, those of us who are not science minded,

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, I'll just pretty straightforward drawdown, the moment of drawdown is the moment we stop pollution. Basically, when we stop ordering crap in the air, the good news is we can stop both the pollution, the sources of the pollution can be put back to zero, which would be great. But also by working with nature. And maybe someday, even with machines, we can also remove at least a little bit of that pollution ourselves through what we call carbon removal or carbon sinks. That's just a fancy way of saying can we kind of gobble up some of the pollution that's been put in the atmosphere and tuck it into trees and soil. But mostly what we have to do is stop the pollution from the smokestacks, the tailpipes, the you know, the furnaces, and the industries, and so on, and so on, and so on. So mostly it's stopping pollution, but it's also maybe removing some of the pollution we've already put up there.

Maureen:

Mm hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. So, I know on your site, you talk a little bit about the drawdown scenarios. So what are those scenarios? And why are they important?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, we to kind of illustrate the point of what can still be done, we look at different scenarios into the future, they're not predictions, nobody can predict the future with any real accuracy, who you know who the heck really knows what's going to happen. But we can look at the kind of path we're on one path will lead the world to a lot more warming. Unfortunately, the planet is already about one degree, maybe 1.2 degrees warmer, and this is Celsius degrees, warmer than it should be. It has a slight fever. Now, let's say one degree doesn't sound like a lot. But when you talk to somebody, and it's higher planet, that's actually very, very disruptive already. Because the last Ice Age was about three degrees colder than normal. We're already one degree warmer than normal the other direction really quickly, and we're headed towards more. Right now, if we don't do anything more around reducing our use of fossil fuels, or changing industries, and changing agriculture and all that, we're probably headed towards about three degrees of warming, which is very dangerous, that can be a very disturbed and dangerous world, we do not want to live in that world. And we don't want to leave that for our descendants or children. Which drawdown scenarios show that we can still by acting very quickly, and very seriously, then the curve from three degrees down to maybe two degrees of warming, which is still pretty bad. Or if we really do the best we can we can maybe stop it at 1.5. We're already around 1.1 - 1.2. Now. So the idea is if we really slam on the brakes, we could stop climate change around one and a half to two degrees, just you know, ain't great. But it's a lot better than heading into three or beyond, which should be a planet you and I wouldn't even recognize. So we're trying to stop this kind of freight train from going over the cliff. And the sooner we put it on the brakes, the better.

Maureen:

Yeah, absolutely. What are some of the sectors that you focus on for carbon drawdown?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Yeah, well, when you think about what causes climate change, it turns out, it's about five big areas. So we can look at them in turn, and all of them are really, really important. The biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally. Again, it varies a lot from place to place, whether you're in Australia or Indiana or Quebec, or whatever. It depends on where you are. But globally, on average, electricity is the biggest contributor to climate change making electricity in a power plant burning coal or natural gas. That's about 25% of climate change right there. So we have to look at how we make electricity and how we use it. Can we be more energy efficient, and then make electricity without coal, natural gas with like solar panels and wind turbines, and so on, so on, and we're making pretty good progress. on being able to do that, the second biggest emitters kind of surprises the most folks is almost 25% itself too, is food, its land use food and agriculture, all the things we do in the world to make the food we eat on this planet. That's also about a quarter of what causes climate change. And that's often very surprising to people. Most of that comes from deforestation clearing rainforest for more agricultural land. Second is beef and dairy, beef and dairy cows, you know, burn a lot of methane into the atmosphere. And there's so many of them on the planet now, we're actually releasing more methane from animals than ever before. And that's increasing another greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, warming the planets, we gotta be really careful there. And third is our fertilizer use. So it turns out when we overuse chemical fertilizers, or even manure, some of the nitrogen locked up in the fertilizer and in the manure, mixes with air and water in the soil and forms what's called nitrous oxide or into oil, which is yet another greenhouse gas that most people don't talk about. So all in deforestation, meat and dairy, fertilizers and a bunch of other things are a big contributor to climate change. So we got electricity, we got food. And then we have industry, making stuff like steel, plastics, cements, things like that. And also processing waste, that's pretty big. Then we got transportation, that's about 15% of all the emissions most of that's cars and trucks, but also airplanes, and boats, and trains and all that. And finally, we have buildings, buildings use electricity, they're made out of stuff built in industry. But in addition to all that buildings themselves, if you have a hot water heater, a furnace or boiler, a leaking air conditioner, those are additional sources of greenhouse gases, right from our homes and our offices that go into the air as well. That's together, those five things are 90% of what causes climate change, making electricity and making food making stuff, transportation and our buildings. So we got to look across those five areas for opportunities to be first maybe more efficient, be more efficient with energy, but also with food, reduce food waste, to be a big win, changing diets, big win. But then making the stuff we still need better without burning coal, or tearing down a rainforest, or burping methane or wasting materials or using too much energy. And it turns out, there's a huge number of solutions to these problems to be more efficient, and it makes stuff in different ways that doesn't cause damage to the planet. I think it's the biggest opportunity in history. And we've documented about 100 solutions that are here, now, already here today. And then there are hundreds more coming through labs and through technology innovations and things that this will be coming in the years ahead. And already they're economical, they help us and the good news is, if we deploy them wisely, they can make our lives healthier, better, more secure, and maybe even address issues around equity and justice. So there's a lot of wins here if we choose to use them.

Maureen:

Yeah, it's all connected. And it's really everything that I do read, it will make everything more equitable and and definitely just help with overall health and that of the planet. So it makes sense from every single standpoint.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

What just if you don't mind me, interjecting sorry. But like burning fossil fuels today, kills according to a study by Harvard and a few other universities, kills about 8 million people a year, just from the air pollution, of burning coal and oil and stuff like that, let alone the longer term effects of climate change, which could cause even more devastation. 8 million people a year that's like wiping out entire metropolitan area from air pollution. And most of the people who suffer from that are poor people, people who have to live near the power plants or near the refinery is near there. So not only is it a tremendous health burden, it's an equity burden to because it's visited on the most powerless people, mostly children who are going to suffer these effects. So even if you don't care about climate change, surely you want to help save 8 million people a year from dying, who don't need to let alone all the people who get asthma and other things that could be serious health issues. We can solve a lot of that while also addressing climate change at the same time.

Maureen:

Absolutely. Yeah. And one of the things that always draws it home to me is the most the people that are most vulnerable to these climate change issues are the ones that are least responsible for causing the changing climate. So yeah, so it's heartbreaking in that way. So if we can better it across the board, then that's obviously the main goal here. So you talked a little bit about the solution. So what are some of the main solutions to climate change making a difference right now?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, because we have to look across things like electricity, food, transportation, buildings and industry. And we have to look at being efficient. And then pivoting away from the old ways of making things, we need a lot of solutions. So we draw down, we've got about 100 solutions that we've documented very, very carefully. And guess what we kind of need them all. There's no silver bullet here to climate change, but we might have a lot of silver buckshot. And so we've documented around 100 solutions, and on average, they do each about 1% of the job. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some might work where you live, some work better where I live. So that's why I want to give people a big menu, but there's no one solution is really important to say. But with that said, there are a lot of things we can do at different places, in different kinds of people in a different using different levers to get them done. Some of my favorite climate solutions are ones that we as individuals and communities can have a hand in doing too, even though we still need business and policymakers to be part of all of this. But some of those include things like food waste, it turns out 30 to 40% of all the world's food, not just in the US, but globally, about 30 to 40% of all the world's food is never eaten, it's just thrown away. That's incredible. That means 30 to 40% of all the labor, all the land, all the water, all the chemicals, and yes, all the greenhouse gases that came from growing food weren't even necessary. So you and I can't fix all the food waste problems of America. But we can help by thinking about what we eat at home, making sure we eat our leftovers having smaller portions, and so on. But also we need the restaurants we need cafeterias and schools and other places, we need our supermarkets and our whole supply chains to be looking at food waste from top to bottom, and see how we can reduce that by hand to also save money and improve health. Because if we can reduce spoilage of food and the risk of foodborne illness, while we're also reducing how much gets kind of rotted out there. That's a good day. So that's a good one. Diets is another one too. We are not advocating everyone become exclusively vegan, but we're saying gee, it seems nutritionists and doctors are telling us to cut back a bit on red meat and dairy products, for most folks will be a good idea in this country. And ensures I could have a bigger environmental when doesn't mean cut it out completely, but kind of back a little would be very helpful. Then we have other things like being more efficient at home that you know, anytime you're remodeling your house, think about insulating weather stripping, sealing up the building, so it doesn't have leaks for I live in Minnesota. So when it gets cold air blowing through the windows, we feel it right away. And it shows up getting bills right away. So more energy efficiency, retrofitting your homes and businesses is always a good idea. But maybe do it while you're doing other remodeling and when you can afford to, but it'll pay itself back with huge dividends, better cars, more efficiency, living closer to where we work and go to school. So we can walk more often things like that can be helpful. More electric and hybrid vehicles down the road as they get cheaper and cheaper. And they're already cheaper to operate, especially with exploding gas prices. We need to know who wants to send money to the oil companies, I'd rather keep it at home. So next time we buy a car, maybe look for the more fuel efficient or maybe even electric vehicle. So there's, you know, just literally hundreds of solutions I talked about a few that we can all do something with others a little bit more, kind of at the level of a government or of a big business or of a state or a city is like rethinking our transportation systems like having more light rails in our cities to get around. Having subsidies for people to retrofit their homes with heat pumps, sustainable furnaces, things like that. We need good policy, we need money, we need business, and we need us all at the same time.

Maureen:

Yeah, absolutely. And it feels like the the solutions that you're talking about, that we can do ourselves, those are doable, and those are things that will benefit. Yeah, and and I think just the more that it is commonplace and talked about, which is what we're trying to do today. People it'll just become a part of your life. Of course, you're not going to waste food, of course, you know, it is a great idea that maybe you have some Meatless meals during your week and, and things like that. So those are those are attainable things that we can do. As we also tried to push for policy changes on the bigger level.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

So yeah, we're all we all have a role to play as individuals and consumers as where we invest our money, like your retirement plan, or where you go bank and stuff like that's important who you vote for. And it's not just the national stuff like Congress in the White House, but even like a lot of these things happen at the local level, like a planning commission, a Public Utility Commission, you know, so you just get involved. And we don't have to move quickly. But we don't have to do it all at once we can. We can do what we can today and then do a little bit more tomorrow and a little bit more day after that. And speeds important but not being overwhelmed is also important to take the steps you can when you can take them aggressively. But, you know, just keep at it. And the good news here, and especially since are a lot of parents listening to this podcast guess is, these are good for us, these are good for your family, they're going to save you money, they're going to create a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. And then better for a planet that you want to leave behind to your children, which is kind of our first moral obligation as parents or as, as human beings, frankly, is to think about all the work previous generations did, so we can live good lives, all those sacrifices, all that investment in us. What are we doing for the next generation? Isn't it incumbent upon us to leave the best possible world? We can? And I think we do. So let's do that. And we're gonna find actually, why didn't we do this sooner? This is a great world, this is good for us. The only people its bad for is maybe some of the oil companies and some politicians, the rest of us are going to be better off in this world. And we don't have to get political about it. It just kind of common sense,

Maureen:

Right? It is common sense. Sometimes made political, but it is common sense. Absolutely. So what are some of the more surprising ways that you can draw down carbon that maybe us who aren't in the scientific field might think about off the bat?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, I think a lot of people are surprised about like food issues a little bit that food waste, eating a little less meat and dairy would be helpful. And those things are a lot more important from a climate point of view, than whether or not you buy local food or not. For example, I'm not saying don't buy local food do that, too. But it turns out the moving food around isn't really a big part of the emissions of food. It's mainly what's being grown and how it's being grown, not where it's been grown. So people are kind of surprised by that, because you hear about food miles and stuff like that. And common sense as moving food around must burn a lot of gasoline and stuff. It actually kind of doesn't so much most of the the emissions moving food around is you and me and our cars going to the farmers market or the grocery store and going back home with just a bag of groceries. Though in a big company moves food around, they go top to bottom in a train in a big container, container ship or maybe on a truck, and they're actually pretty efficient per pound at delivering food that way, even if it's long distances. That doesn't mean we shouldn't support local food, of course, for sure that's for other reasons or more maybe social and other environmental reasons, as well as nutrition and kind of fresh food. That's great. But just the math is kind of surprising on that one that surprised me when I first learned about that.

Maureen:

I'm surprised but yeah, absolutely. Because that's not what I would have thought. But that's that's really interesting. Definitely.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Yeah, it was, well, I'm a scientist, so we kind of, you know, do the math and tell people what they don't want to hear. You're just like, oh, yeah, gee, you know, turns out that's a small number compared to you know, how the food waste part is more important than how many miles are food traveled, it turned out. It's just kind of a consequence of the way the math works. So that's a little surprising. Another one is how, what are called refrigerants like the the chemicals used in air conditioners, and refrigerators and freezers, make sure if you have like a central air conditioner, or some like that in your house, make sure you get a tuned up and those the refrigerants don't leak out. It turns out the chemicals used in the coils of our air conditioners, refrigerators and stuff are called fluorinated gases, hydrofluorocarbons, those are actually really potent greenhouse gases we don't hear about very much, even in small amounts, when they leak into the atmosphere, we're called a super pollutants, they have an incredibly strong heat trapping quality. It's like co2 on steroids. So that's when people don't really think about. So make sure it's going to be air conditioners, as well as your furnaces and your homes and things like that. And make sure that they're not leaking. If the air conditioner leaks all the refrigerant propellants out, it's not a good thing. So you want to kind of make sure that those are, you know, tight leaks and being maintained well, also is gonna save you money in the long run by running more efficiently. So that's kind of surprising. One we talked about a lot, too is how important it is, especially in poorer countries of the world, to think about how we can improve the lives of women and girls, especially in poor countries, but across the world, and especially in parity in like education access and health care access. It turns out that, you know, when we kind of when women and girls have more access to education and health care, we turn on so many good things that happen in societies that transformed their ability to adapt to a changing climate or to pivot to these new economic opportunities with like renewable energy more sustainable agriculture. Also, women will tend to have maybe fewer children, but there'll be healthier children and much more likely to survive. And girls who have children much later in life so they have many more hours. portunities. So you know, you, you think about that. So what's that got to do with climate change turns out like a lot. And also, I can't help but think that the most of the problems of climate change, unfortunately came from mostly white, mostly male, mostly rich, mostly people from the north, kind of folks, people, too much like me, for example, have been kind of some of the main culprits in where we are today, maybe some of the solutions will be unleashed by other people in the world. And we haven't heard from as much. And so this is where equity and justice can kind of help us out with climate change by bringing more voices and more hands to the table to see what we can do together.

Maureen:

Absolutely. Yeah, that's such an important point. Okay, so you talk a little bit about natural sinks. You talked a little bit about that a little earlier. So what what does that mean, and why are they important?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, it turns out that today, about 40%, of all the greenhouse gases we throw into the atmosphere, are naturally absorbed by the oceans, and by forest on earth today, which is kind of amazing. Thank God that they're doing that because if they didn't, climate change would be a whole hell of a lot worse now than it already is. So that's kind of good. What we are talking about now is to can humans, maybe add more of these so called carbon sinks in the world, some of them kind of makes sense like, well, if forests are absorbing carbon, maybe we could plant more forest and more trees and trees are made out of carbon. So the more we plant, maybe we suck some of that out of the atmosphere. Yeah, they do that. The problem though, if you keep in mind, we're talking about fairly large areas. Also the carbon that the co2 that a tree would take out of the atmosphere and build wood out of and become a big tree takes, you know, decades, maybe 30, 40, 50 years for that tree to mature. So that means it's gonna take 30, 40, 50 years to remove that carbon out of the year and build without that essentially, same thing in soils, we hear a lot of excitement about new farming techniques that build back the soils, what we call regenerative agriculture. That can be pretty exciting, too. But again, it takes a lot of time. And then you and maybe decades from now have built up the soils and the trees, and that's great. But now you got to keep them there. And make sure nobody ever piles up that soil ever again. Or that those trees never burned down or harvested? How are we going to do that forever? So there's the question of kind of the speed of how quickly they work. But then what we call the permanence of that locked up carbon in soils and trees, like how do we guarantee it's gonna stay there. I'm not trying to pour, you know, water over these ideas or dampen enthusiasm, but just you know, the science says, Hey, be careful. It's far better to stop polluting today, than polluting today, and then trying to remove it tomorrow. But with fancy things like trees and soils or machines, we're probably gonna have to do some of that. And that's really great, especially if we can do it in ways that help restore ecosystems and farm better and be healthier and all that great, great, great. But let's make sure we're focusing where we really need to focus most of our attention, which is on preventing the pollution in the first place. Like you don't want to eat a bunch of crap and the need to take dialysis or something like that, as you know, like, let's work on the diet of the atmosphere first. And then we're worried about how to remove the bad stuff in the atmosphere later. We need the right mix of those I'd say you know, 10 parts, remove avoid pollution, one part removed pollution is about the right ratio here.

Maureen:

Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense. Because we do I do hear a lot about, excuse me, regenerative agriculture and things like that. But it does, it does as far as priority wise makes sense to focus on the pollution aspect, as the number one contributor and getting that handled first.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Yeah. And be very careful with regenerative agriculture. There's a very popular but incorrect belief that ranching like putting cows and cattle out on grasslands is magically going to be sequestering carbon into the system. It has been shown yes, that grazing better with like holistic grazing and better regenerative grazing techniques can build back the soil. That's been observed many times about the cattle keep burping methane while they do it. So you're kind of solving one problem and creating another at the same time and do they cancel out then become net beneficial? is still very much an open question. It has a lot to do with the assumptions we make about the methane of the cattle and how long it lives in the atmosphere in this kind of stuff. So just be a little careful there. There are a lot of advocates for regenerative agriculture there will tell you one thing, and there are a lot of scientists who study this stuff he might tell you another So right now it's the jury's still kind of out about how effective that really can be. I think it's a good idea to do anyway, for other reasons, because it's probably better for animal welfare better for the soil better for the land better for watersheds better for biodiversity. Absolutely. But there are a few people out there trying to sell this as kind of a silver bullet climate solution. It's not, it might be another piece of silver buckshot, though. So that, combined with a lot of other things might be very helpful. And I'm all for it. But again, most of the effort is going to be in stopping pollution before it gets in the atmosphere, and a lot less than removing it later. That's just the safest bet. But let's do it all, you know, we got to do both and kind of approach here. And so regenerative agriculture is great. I just there's a bit of hype right now around it. That isn't completely borne out by the data yet. But we have a lot more to learn. And hopefully it'll get better.

Maureen:

Yeah, absolutely. So we're talking to an audience of mostly parents here. What are some of the things that we can do? Maybe that we haven't touched on yet? To work towards drawl down? And are there other things that we haven't talked about yet that we should be doing with our homes, or the way that we use electricity that can help in this process?

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, the areas in our daily lives that we can help and and let me first say, though, that, you know, we as homeowners, consumers, parents, everyday citizens, you know, participants in our communities and all that we can do a lot of different things, but we also need the politicians, we need the business leaders, we need the bankers, we need the technologists, we need everybody. But you and I have a lot we can do too. And we estimate around 30% of what needs to be done for climate change, actually is kind of centered around the communities and the homes that we are living in. We do have some direct kind of sense of agency over our lives. And we want to do that. So things like wasting less food, eating a little less meat and dairy would help a little. So that's the food part and that'll make you healthier and save you some money. Okay, that sounds good. The other things I would look at is retrofitting your home, especially when you have an opportunity to do so. Like oh, you're redoing that room. Anyway, look at the insulation, look at the weather stripping around the building envelope, things like this, insulating attics insulated in basements really cost effective and will save you money, especially in a cold climate or place with a lot of air conditioning. Doing things like retrofitting your appliances, lighting, I know people joke about changing light bulbs. But yes, change your light bulbs, LED lights today are lasting way longer use far less energy will make you money on everyone you ever replaced. So just go do that when you can. But also next time you need to buy a refrigerator or a washer dryer or whatever, try to look at those energy star ratings, and maybe upgrade to the next more efficient one you can then we get into transportation. Again, you know, maybe with a lot of kids and things, you might want a somewhat bigger vehicle, wherever, whatever. But cost, if you look around today, with the hybrids that are available are the plug in hybrids that are mainly electric, but then can use gas. If you want to go long distances and not worry about finding a charging station. They're all over the place. And they get somewhere between 50 to 80 miles per gallon now. And when gas prices shooting up, that's not a bad deal. And they also get incredibly good tax breaks for buying vehicles or plug in electric vehicles. Or plug in hybrids, I should say they're both gas and electric powered. And you don't have to retrofit your charging stations at home too much, just plug it into a regular outlet. That's what I've had in the past. But then if you want to go all electric that's going all in and that's great too. And those are going to become more and more common. And already over the lifetime of that car, you're going to save a lot of money with today's gas prices little and what they might be in the future. So that's not a bad idea either. So I guess I just asked people to kind of take a look at, you know, what they can do here and they're in like food, you're building electricity, use transportation, but then also talk about climate change more with your kids with coworkers, people in your schools, maybe in their places of worship. And let's stop polarizing this issue. It isn't left versus right, or red versus blue. It's common sense of stuff that can create jobs, help us in our communities make our communities healthier, stronger and more resilient. And yes, address climate change too. But we don't need to just fix the sky. We can do things that make our communities and our lives a lot better at the same time. And who's who's against that? Nobody. So I think we just talked about these things and common sense ways. If we realize there are a lot of opportunities in our towns and cities to do a lot of good work here. That'd be very, very good for us.

Maureen:

Yeah, absolutely. And know what I took from that, when you said that we 30% is things that we can do on an individual level is is really, you know, that makes me feel hopeful because sometimes you feel like, well, what can I do myself? That's actually going to make an impact. But if we're all working towards that goal, and we're all making the changes in our homes and our cars and what we're doing then also that changes, like, what's being sold what's being made? So it really does. Doing the individual work does help overall to so that

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

That's really important. Cuz Yeah, I mean, we all tell everyone, everybody should vote, even if you think you're a single vote doesn't matter that much mathematically. Well, it does. Because if everybody believes voting didn't matter, when we vote, but when we do things like, you know, we retrofit our homes, we tell people about it, like, hey, wow, you know, my heating bills went down by 50%. Because I reinsulated a few things where I got this new car that I love, that saves me a bunch of money, or I've got this great new diet that's saving me money and healthier, and it's helping with the environment or whatever. You're sending a really powerful economic signal and social signal and political signal every single day. It's like going into the voting booth every day, but with your wallet, and with your actions. And and then when people see Wow, they're happy, they're saving money, they are having a better life than they did before. All this nonsense about oh, solving climate change is a big sacrifice. No, it's not. It is not. We're gonna start, we're gonna turn around later and wonder what the hell took us so long. This is fantastic. We're living a better life today. Because we're using a different way of making things where we're using 21st century technologies to live our lives instead of 19th century technologies and power structures, which we don't need anymore.

Maureen:

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, health, our health will be suffering from changes in the climate and from pollution. And so if we're making it better, then we'll be healthier, too. So there's so it's all connected. And there's so many, so many positives to come out of, you know, making these solutions. And I'm working towards this, too. So, yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Dr. Foley, we are so impressed with the work that you do. And I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. And I've learned so much I, you know, I this is one of my passions covering climate. And I'm so excited to have talked to you and I learned a lot of things from you that I haven't you know, passed in my reading and my and every other conversations that have so I really appreciate you and the work that project drawdown is doing. So thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Jonathan Foley:

Well, thanks for the chance to talk to you today. And thank you for all the work you're doing too.

Maureen:

Thank you. Here's what's new at Mom's Meet and KIWI magazine. Make sure you register for WOW Summit '22 Virtual. Join us from March 29 through 31 2022, to attend educational workshops learn from compelling speakers network with like minded moms, and discover new products in our virtual exhibit hall. Plus, you'll have a chance to win amazing prizes such as an Apple iPad, Ninja foodie and more. KIWI magazine's 2022 Spring issue is out now. Featuring fresh recipes, a family mental health advice, crafts and more, there are so many amazing articles to check out this season. Plus, dive deeper into what you need to know about climate change and its impact on your kids health. This episode is brought to you in part by zing bars. When you reach for a zing original plant based bar, you're nourishing your body with a well balanced nutritive snack that tastes delicious and supports wellness, healing and sustained energy. Zing bars are created with a proprietary blend of nut and rice proteins. prebiotic fiber, heart healthy fats and low glycaemic sugars free from dairy and soy these bars contain plant based proteins and antioxidants for a balanced and nutritious bar that is great for on the go eating. Thank you everyone for listening today. And make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don't miss the latest podcast episodes and thank you for conquering healthy living at all ages and stages of life with us.