#3 A Bonn Voyage with John D. Liu
Release Date: 08/28/2018
In this episode in the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization series, we hear diverse voices from the resistance to the proposed lithium mine at Thacker Pass in northern Nevada, on Paiute and Shoshone ancestral lands.info_outline #22 Judith Schwartz and Walter Jehne: Climate Change Narrative Shift
In this conversation with author Judith Schwartz and scientist Walter Jehne, we discuss the importance of the shift from seeing the Earth as a resource base to seeing ourselves as enmeshed in a web of life that both manages and depends on natural processes. In particular, we focus on how this perspective shift affects how we understand and are empowered to address anthropogenic climate change.info_outline #21 Paul Cereghino Part 2: Bioregional Restoration and Social Complexity
In this conversation with Paul Cereghino, we discuss some of the challenges of collaborating in groups and groups of groups to protect and restore the Earth, including such topics as the role of online interactions, the importance of place-based reality, benefits and pitfalls of systems like sociocracy, Covid complications, and much more.info_outline #20 Paul Cereghino Part 1: Ecosystem Guild and Restoration Camping
In this episode in the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization series, we explore one of the great challenges on our way back to harmony: humans. Through the lens of his Ecosystem Guild and Restoration Camping project in western Washington State, Paul Cereghino and I discuss some of the interhuman and intergroup complexities of grassroots ecological restoration efforts.info_outline #19 The Mangrove Action Project
In this episode we continue the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization series with Alfredo Quarto, co-founder and international program director of the Mangrove Action Project. In our conversation with Alfredo, we discuss the importance of mangrove ecologies, their devastation by the shrimp farming industry, and how the mangrove action project uses an approach called Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration to facilitate their natural regeneration.info_outline #18 Neal Spackman; The Business of Restoring the Earth
We continue the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization series with Neal Spackman, ecological restoration designer, regenerative entrepreneur, and bold visionary. Previously in this series, we heard how agriculture and development having long been destroying ecology and hydrology, causing disruptions of weather and climate systems, and leading to the fall of empires. Neal is working to change that ancient dynamic, by restoring ecological function and hydrology to regenerate economies and rainfall patterns.info_outline #17 Felipe Pasini, Syntropic Farming
Since millennia before the early states of Mesopotamia, farming has been a complexity-destroying process. In this episode, we'll hear from Felipe Pasini about an agricultural approach called Syntropic Farming that reverses this process, facilitating greater ecological complexity while providing for human needs.info_outline #16 Li An Phoa, Drinkable Rivers
In this second episode in the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization Series, I'm grateful to be able to share this inspiring conversation with Li An Phoa, creator of the Drinkable Rivers movement. Li An is a scientist, activist, and river walker, working to mobilize watersheds to engage in citizen science and work together towards the return of drinkability to their river.info_outline #15 Professor Millan Millan: The Second Leg of Climate Change
In this episode we learn about what Professor Millan Millan calls "the second leg of human-induced climate change", how our land use changes lead to major disruptions of weather and climate patterns, independently of changes due to warming from carbon emissions.info_outline #14 Prelude to the Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization Series
In this prelude to the upcoming series dealing with Water, Life, Climate, and Civilization, we take a look at the historical and mythological roots of civilization's discord, and set the tone for the series with a new song and some poignant clips from the next three episodes that remind us of the dynamic complexity we are interconnected with.info_outline
Episode 3 closes out Muse Ecology's inaugural series recorded in December 2017, about ecosystem restoration and the work of John D. Liu. In this episode, John and I have a conversation on the way to the airport that weaves through many topics currently affecting our global situation, and we discuss how a large scale shift to focusing on ecosystem restoration addresses the roots of all of them.
John D. Liu is Ecosystem Ambassador for Commonland Foundation and Visiting Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also catalyzed the Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement. You can find his films and research papers at knaw.academia.edu/JohnDLiu
One of the topics we discuss is how water vapor is more of a greenhouse gas than carbon emissions, and how ecosystem destruction has disrupted the water cycle and led to increase of uncondensated (not formed into clouds) atmospheric water vapor. The source John was referring to for his greenhouse gas numbers can be found at the following link.
Water vapor also acts as a magnifier of other greenhouse gases through strong feedback effects. Here's another article, from NASA, on water vapor's contribution to the greenhouse gas effect.
Some have ascribed the increase in uncondensated atmospheric water vapor simply to warming caused by carbon emissions, as in the following article.
Other researchers have been doing work synthesizing peer-reviewed findings from climatology, ecology, soil science, microbiology, and other fields that show anthropogenic causes, besides carbon emissions, of increased uncondensated water vapor and climate change. The good news about such effects is that they are based on our land management, and hence can be changed. The ecosystems that control the water cycles and climate have largely been cleared, drained, and paved or tilled up, and by restoring ecosystem function on the surface of Earth, we can restore hydrological cycles, which control most of our planet's thermodynamics. Here are some links to some of this important work exploring these complexities.
Walter Jehne's Restoring Water Cycles to Naturally Cool Climates and Reverse Global Warming paper was presented at Tufts, MIT, Columbus, Dayton, Oberlin, and Harvard Universities in 2015. It addresses water as greenhouse gas, our land management's effects on the water cycle and climate, and the role of vegetation and organic carbon and microbiology in the soil. Atmospheric carbon is relevant too of course, and he also has a great paper on the carbon drawdown possibilities of ecosystem restoration, Regenerate Earth. He also gave a fantastic webinar presentation earlier this year, 2018, on the water cycle, how we've altered it, and what we can do about it, as a guest on the Sustainable Design Masterclass webinar hosted by my friends Neal and Raleigh. You can find the webinar video here.
Juraj Kohutiar and Michal Kravčík wrote another great paper on civilization's land management's effects on ecology and hence hydrology and climate, Water for Integrative Climate Design. They and others at the Rain4Climate group also wrote the book Water for the Recovery of the Climate- A New Water Paradigm, also available for free online.
Here are a couple more links with lists of further resources on the relations between vegetation, water cycles, and climate.
There lots more out there on these complexities, and folks are continuing to do important research, so stay tuned in to this topic of the connections between ecosystem restoration, water cycles, and climate change. We have alot to learn.
Michael DiGiorgio recorded the banjo-bird jams I'm using in the intro and ending. You can find his amazing nature art at https://www.mdigiorgio.com. Mike says that if you'd like to buy the album of his nature-banjo jams, you can find his email on his website and he can mail you a CD.
State of the Union, at the end, is part of my album The Sweet Subtle Revolution, that I've been thinking to record for a while now. You can find a few of my songs and videos and a booking contact at www.singingdirt.com
The lovely version of Home on the Range in the background during the introduction to the bison series at the end was on the album The Spirit of South Dakota, part of an album series of music and nature sounds from National Parks around the U.S. You can find this beautiful music at https://orangetreeproductions.com/