Climate activists are starting the new year with a redoubled effort to generate action, with one local group set to hold a daylong event aimed at doing just that.
Drawdown East End, a group representing the five East End towns, will host the Drawdown East End Festival, featuring films, forums, and a marketplace, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The group’s name is derived from Project Drawdown, a comprehensive plan developed by Paul Hawken with 100 science-based solutions to slow down and reverse the effects of climate change. It is based on “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming,” a book edited by Mr. Hawken that is commonly referred to as Project Drawdown.
The festival will include three screenings of “2040,” a film by Damon Gameau, an Australian director whose concern about the world his young daughter will inherit motivated him to embark on a global journey to meet innovators in economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education, and sustainability in order to identify available solutions to heal the planet and societies. “2040” will be screened at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. A discussion will follow each screening.
Drawdown East End is similarly committed to implementing local solutions to help alleviate the climate crisis as quickly and safely as possible. “The idea is to start to actually bring the community together,” said Cindy Spoor, an organizer of the festival. “The concept of Drawdown was research and communication. Now we want boots on the ground.”
Forums focusing on three topics — reducing food waste, moving toward a plant-rich diet, and regenerative practices on land and sea, the latter comprising 15 of Drawdown’s 100 solutions — will happen during both of the afternoon screenings, Ms. Spoor said, with those attending free to choose which they would like to participate in. After a 20 to 30-minute presentation of material, groups of three to four will discuss a specific question for 15 to 20 minutes before moving to another group.
Participants “will talk to different people and bring the conversation you just had to your new table — it expands the conversation in an exponential way,” Ms. Spoor said. “It’s an opportunity for people to start conversations, to spark something individually or as a collective.”
The idea, said Mary Morgan, a co-founder of Drawdown East End, is to empower individuals to take achievable actions, “things in our hands that we can do.” The goal is to “activate the public from the grassroots up. You choose, you challenge yourself, and we want to applaud your challenge.”
Between 4 and 6 p.m., Ms. Morgan said, organizers will ask participants to reveal what they found most resonant at the festival and encourage them to join “eco-challenges” to motivate toward action that will bring the earth into balance and lead to health and economic benefits.
Vendors and interactive exhibits that align with and highlight Drawdown’s research on effective solutions and technologies will be in the main gallery during the festival.
Drawdown East End formed about one year ago. In January 2019, it held a series of workshops at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton and in May held a rally outside Southampton Town Hall to urge the adoption of policies outlined in the Project Drawdown book.