The Solutions Project's Sarah Shanley Hope

Sarah’s Hope 

Interview: Sarah Shanley Hope of The Solutions Project for 100% renewable energy



Photo and text © Isaac Hernandez,


Sarah Shanley Hope directs the 100% Campaign and The Solutions Project, dedicated to speeding up the global shift toward 100% renewable energy, possible by 2050. Her second last name fits her like a glove.

“When you lose hope it’s because you’re not doing enough,” said Mark Ruffalo, one of the founders of The Solutions Project.

“I would add, you lose hope when you're not active or in a community, when you’re not in relation to other people,” she says with a smile. “I used to be the executive director of the Alliance for Climate Education, which works with hundreds of thousands and reached millions of high school students, and they're taking action. They're not waiting for government to act. They're not waiting for a particular NGO or a particular celebrity to tell them what to do. They’re seeing the opportunity to drive solutions in their communities and together with their friends. The Solutions Project and the 100% Campaign are tapping into that energy to move from a place of total fear, and in many places total confusion, to just start acting." 

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Mark Jacobson: “A world with 100% clean energy is possible”

 Mark Jacobson portrait by Isaac Hernandez

 Mark Jacobson, Stanford University, photo © Isaac Hernández Herrero


"Costs go down, health goes up, including economic health"

Mark Jacobson interview by Isaac Hernández published in Spanish newspaper El Mundo

©2016 Isaac Hernández Herrero/

Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, has created a model for the electrification of the world by 2050, with no need for fossil fuels or nuclear power, and using only existing hydroelectric plants. He started creating this model in 2001, and presented his latest model before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

He considers himself an optimist, due to the information he’s been able to gather. “We’ve looked at 139 countries in the world to convert to 100 percent wind, water and solar power for all purposes, and what I find is that yes, it's possible, we can do it. It's technically and economically feasible. The cost toll is modest to low, but it will save lives, eliminate climate change emissions, and stabilize prices of energy, because there's zero fuel cost to wind, water and solar, and you create jobs, there's net job creation.”

The benefits are multiple, not only in reduction of pollution and CO2 emissions, but also in lessening terrorism risks by decentralizing power. “You reduce the need to import energy, reducing international conflicts over energy. There's really little doubt that I’m actually very optimistic. It’s just a question of when it will happen.”


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Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle holds a diving helmet similar to the one she used for her first deep water dive when she was eighteen. The submarine she uses on current missions is behind her. And a prototype for a submarine of the future is further back. Photo: ©2012 Isaac Hernández/

When Sylvia Earle started scuba diving in 1953, nobody thought people could damage the ocean. “It was a sea of Eden,” the National Geographic oceanographer says. “Since then, we’ve eaten more than 90 percent of big fish, and more than half of the coral reefs have disappeared.”

Earle wants you to know why this matters to you.

The ocean is more important than it's been given credit for. Seventy percent of the Earth’s oxygen is generated by the creatures in the ocean. Ninety seven percent of all water on Earth is ocean. “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea, no matter where you live,” she says, speaking about the ocean she fell in love with when she was three. She quotes the late British poet W.H. Auden, “Thousands have lived without love, none without water.”

We are upsetting the balance of our oceans and we still don’t know what the full consequences might be, especially if we continue damaging it at the current rate. One thing you can do to protect the oceans is to not eat big fish, those who have a long tail invested in them. “It takes thousands of other creatures to make a tuna fish,” Sylvia says passionately. “I stopped killing wildlife to eat. If everyone would just give wildlife a break for a while… it doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating fish forever.”


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