How to stop and reverse climate change this decade and this century by repairing land ecosystems, restoring biodiversity, and advancing our way of life.
Chris Searles 0:01
INTRODUCTION. I am very happy to be here. Thank you, Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas, it's been a great several years of getting to present to her classes, and I really, really appreciate her attention to all the details on this stuff.
Chris Searles 0:11
I have a talk for you that's really about why we should refocus everything on the planetary life-support system today.
Chris Searles 0:17
This is a different kind of talk than I've given before. There's a whole lot of science in here, it's a pretty ambitious amount of stuff to cover. So I just want to go ahead and get started.
Chris Searles 0:26
What we're going to talk about is "the biosphere." The biosphere is the sphere of life on Earth. (showing slide:) This is just a quick model that looks like half of a tree ring showing that life began long ago and all of the life living systems comprise the biosphere since. So when I talk about "biosphere," I'm talking about "life and living systems."
Chris Searles 0:46
SECTION 1: WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Chris Searles 0:47
I want to start out with, "What should we do now?" What can you do now? Let's start with some good news.
Chris Searles 0:53
I started BioIntegrity (biointegrity.net) because I wanted to know, as a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist, "What's the number one solution to this climate crisis, and to the biodiversity extinction crisis?" And I was happily surprised to find out, also shocked to find out, that at least half of all biodiversity on Earth is in tropical forest ecosystems. So what you see in this map in the red, in the Amazon, where the greatest concentration of biodiverse vertebrates are, where biodiverse animals are located, essentially, and this is a good proxy for how biodiversity is concentrated all over the Earth.
Chris Searles 1:27
Scan across The Tropics, you see the yellow in Africa, and the yellow just east of India, over there in China and Southeast Asia, and then between the two white lines in the islands between China and Australia, that is Indonesia, also very yellow. And so this region, from Central and South America, across Africa, and Southeast Asia to Indonesia, this is where the greatest biodiversity is. I was also amazed to find out that this where the greatest carbon density is on Earth. And so I kind of had my answer right then, you know, "What's the number one solution to climate change and the species extinction crisis?" If you're going to protect those two things, you need to protect these tropical forests. And that's how BioIntegrity began.
Chris Searles 2:09
(showing a map of Tropical Forests) You can see essentially, the most intense parts of that biodiversity map and those carbon maps are here in this tropical forest map, so I wrote a paper called "The Systemic Climate Solution" (http://tinyurl.com/systemic-cs), you can check it out. It's in Google Docs and it's on the homepage of the biointegrity.net website. No one had really combined all of the superlatives that are in tropical forests into a single pper, so I did and I became a tropical forest advocate.
Chris Searles 2:35
II. TROPICAL FORESTS.
Chris Searles 2:36
Tropical forests are the biggest carbon sink on land, the number one utility we have for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They contain at least half of all the biodiversity on Earth, even though tropical forests cover less than 5% of Earth. At least 25% (probably more like 40%) of life-support services on our planet are generated by tropical forests, maybe a lot more. ALL of the remaining uncontacted tribes on Earth, and the most concentrated groups of threatened indigenous communities, are in Tropical forests. Tropical Forests are number one at cooling the planet and preventing storms and stabilizing the climate. I'll explain that in a little while. They produce 2000 to 3000 foods. They produce cures for cancer and PMS and depression, and just everything you can think of we need help with, that we can't make in labs. And then of course, we're from there. We are great apes descended from tropical forests.
Chris Searles 3:27
III. BIO-PRODUCTIVITY & LIFE-SUPPORT.
Chris Searles 3:28
So I thought all of that was incredibly powerful, and when I went to sort of understand "why" it was because bio-productivity is most intense in this part of the planet. I thought, "Hmm, that's a really awesome thing, that biodiversity and better productivity seem to go pretty well together."
Chris Searles 4:11
Now, this is our life-support system.
Chris Searles 3:51
(Showing NASA's map of our breathing Earth) This is what I like to say has allowed our technology advanced civilization to exist. This is reality, effectively, for us: all of the ideas, all of the beliefs, all of the everything that's ever happened, essentially, other than a few people getting off the earth, is because of this breathing system. And so you'll notice real quickly, that the Amazon in South America is green the entire time, and as you go across the Tropics, the Congo in Central Africa and those grasslands are pretty green most of the time. Look over at Southeast Asia, where China and so forth are, those lands are pretty green much of the time, and go down to the islands of Indonesia, those are green all the time. Central America is pretty green as well. The rest of the planet then goes through seasons. The tropical forests are productive year round, but that white color that you see descending from above, that's the seasonal change in the cycles of the temperate climate.
Chris Searles 4:31
IV. OUR IMPACTS PROTECTING TROPICAL FORESTS
Chris Searles 4:36
And so BioIntegrity.net started promoting protection of tropical forests as the most impactful thing you could do to help the climate and now our community has protected over 320,000 acres of tropical forests, that's bigger than Austin, containing over 64 million trees. Other numbers I will explain in terms of impacts they've had; the 280,000 tonnes; 85 million tonnes; and all these things that are not just about carbon, are extremely valuable.
Chris Searles 5:14
Like, we can't really come up with an economic value. So trees, you could say the trees we've protected are all, realistically speaking, large trees. So, if you give value at about $2,000, a tree, that's over $128 billion of trees protected. Those same trees are absorbing over 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, too. That's enough to take something like 56,000 cars off the road per year [or offset something like 14,000 American carbon footprints per year, which has a potential market value of something like $350,000], or about as much carbon dioxide pulled out of the atmosphere as more than two and a half billion dollars worth of rooftop solar systems keeps out of the atmosphere, every year.
Chris Searles 5:45
Then you look at this 85 million tons in protected carbon. This is the biomass of the trees, tree trunks, tree leaves, tree limbs, all those things. We have pretty good estimates on how much carbon is in these ecosystems because they're above ground and we can measure the carbon density in these trees. Tesla last year, its entire fleet of sales and all the remarkable things about Tesla, Tesla's cars offset something like 7.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (nearly 2 million EVs sold). That doesn't account at all for the enormous infrastructure build that is Tesla. But anyway, the total amount of carbon in the forests our BioIntegrity community has protected is about 10 times greater than the amount of carbon Tesla's cars kept out of the atmosphere last year.
Chris Searles 6:41
And then the rest of these things are literally irreplaceable: we can't live without this biodiversity, you can't expect it to be well cared for if we don't help these Indigenous communities right now, and this oxygen production and freshwater filtration that comes from these forests is part of our life support system paradigm. I'm gonna explain some of that later.
Chris Searles 6:44
ECOSYSTEMS > TECHNOLOGY. What we're talking about here, big picture wise, is putting life before technology, when we talk about the climate solution, the future of life on Earth, the future of how we think about the environment, and so on.
Chris Searles 6:56
V. SUPPORT THE SOLUTION.
Chris Searles 6:57
So you can support the tropical forest solution I just showed you, it's incredibly inexpensive. Go to http://biointegrity.net/solutions and you'll find that you can protect an acre of tropical forest for $2 by donating to our partner rainforest trust. Just go through the links there to make the donation and choose the project: biointegrity.net/solutions. There are even less expensive ways to help protect tropical forests. If you want to connect to those, contact me and I'll find them for you, but biointegrity.net/solutions is where you can literally take care of your carbon footprint for about $20 of a donation to rainforest trust. I encourage you to do that. If you want to make the biggest difference possible per dollar that you can, protect tropical forest.
Chris Searles 7:38
SECTON 2: NO REASON TO CARE?
Chris Searles 7:40
CHANGING HORSES. Okay, now I'm going to really, really switch over to a totally different aspect of this environmental situation that we're in, you know, WHY are we doing what are we doing? What's going on here? Well, I think one of the reasons we are not responsive to the environmental crisis, probably everyone here agrees, is our culture. And we're in this moment of trying to understand or decide, you know, are we smarter than the planetary life support system that supports us? We don't, though, have a reason, literally, ethically to care for the environment. It's just not really in our paradigm of modern industrial living. But what if we did?
Chris Searles 8:18
VI. RECLAIMING "DOMINION."
Chris Searles 8:19
BioIntegrity has a project called AllCreation.org,,, I come from a very, I'm a cultural Christian. My parents are saintly Christians, so when I was a kid growing up, I had super exposure to this culture of Christianity. The first chapter of Genesis is "the dominion verse" about, "I give you dominion over the birds of the air, and the fish of the waters," and so on and so forth. That's been interpreted to be about human beings being given sort of Spoiled Brat license to use nature, however they wish to consume it, destroy it.
Chris Searles 8:51
So allcreation.org puts out quarterly issues of a magazine that explores connections among people of faith and spiritual practice, and their sacred texts and modern thought. Long story very short, we recently published an issue called "Dominionism," (here: https://mailchi.mp/biointegrity/allc032222) which you can find at AllCreation.org, and it's got 12 people of Faith talking about what Dominion means to them. There's these beautiful ideas, I'll just say, (showing a graphic) focus on the one in the middle and the one on the bottom left. The one in the middle says, "The Hebrew scripture makes no distinction between the breath of a dog and the breath of a human." And then the one on the bottom left, "God created the universe and therefore has complete ownership over all creation. Humans are God's partners in bettering creation." So I'm reading this stuff and I'm thinking, Okay, this is different from the culture that I'm in. If you look at one more of these, the bottom right, light color. This is a Muslim imam named Islam Mossad, who is a Hadif, which means he has memorized the entire Quran. He's saying: "in Islam, you're answerable to God for what you do with the animals and the plants and the streams." And so they feel accountable to God for The nature they are entrusted with.
Chris Searles 10:01
And this is all, you know, a really surprising, modern take. These people are not environmentalists, like me, these are people of faith trying to find a deeper spiritual life.
Chris Searles 10:12
Reverend Brooks Burt, on the upper left is from the United Church of Christ. He's head of their environmental programs, and he's saying that this Genesis interpretation is off base: It's more accurate to say that humans are supposed to be servants of the other life, rather than the "stewards".
Chris Searles 10:26
And then on the bottom right, Dr. Norman Wirzba, who's a rockstar theologian at Duke Divinity School, describes the miracle of reality -- we are all sharing in this divine existence, we don't really know where we come from, we don't know what makes us make our bodies, or how we come into existence, but we are sort of animated out of the ground, you know. Life first appeared on land maybe 600 million years ago, it would have sort of crawled up as an algae, and over time, built soils, and so on, and so forth. So he's saying, "We are animated out of the ground, we share the world with the diversity of creatures that we see." Wirzba actually makes the most important points in this, he released a book on Dominionism, which is what inspired this issue. The central point is, you know, regardless of a religious perspective, as just a cultural perspective, as Wirzba says, "It doesn't seem there could be a more important question, than to figure out how to live well in our places with each other." This is the spirit of the dominion that Wirzba sees in Genesis 1:26 (Genesis chapter 1, verse 26).
Chris Searles 11:31
More importantly, Wirzba is saying that the Bible was written by agrarian people for agrarian people at an agrairian time, meaning they were living off the land. They understood, as every farm kid understands, today: You can't beat a cow to get milk. You can't, you know, tyrannically, control your plants.
Chris Searles 11:51
You work to make them as healthy as possible and hope for the best.
Chris Searles 11:54
It's about relationship. It's about a relationship that is animated by care, this idea of farming and having an agrarian life, or living off the land. And then Wirzba goes on to say, more importantly, that this human-centric interpretation of the dominion in Genesis didn't really come into Christian theology until we had cities and science; until the last few hundred years of Enlightenment and Industrialization (the beginnings of the age of total separation from Nature). Every religious Christian person should know that the Bible is about God. It's not about humans. To make Dominion about whatever serves the human is the wrong interpretation.
Chris Searles 12:30
And then you take this one step further. What a realistic and relationship-based dominion is really saying, is maybe best analogized as a sort of a babysitter idea -- that we are entrusted to care for these creatures. In this model of this religion, when it says, "I give you dominion," it's saying, "I am calling on you to BE the care provider." This is not a role of use. This is "I am giving you dominion over my household, I'm giving you dominion over all of My dominion of other life." In the passage, God literally names all of the things that creep, all of the things in the waters and all of the things that fly --- that's all of the life on the Earth! And by saying, "Let them have dominion," it's the same kind of idea as when you give a babysitter dominion over your household: you come home at the end of your night, you don't want to find your kids distressed and your resources consumed and destroyed, you expect to have great care from your babysitter.
Chris Searles 13:28
You expect your babysitter to care. You expect your care provider to be in relationship whoever and whatever you have entrusted to them. You expect your care provider to be attentive.
Chris Searles 13:35
And then one other piece I want to point out, especially because hopefully a lot of this audience is younger, is this brilliant writer Sarah Nayar, she's probably late 20s. I recommend everyone read her piece. It's called, "Discipleship and DefecatoryJustice". And so what she's talking about is that even the most mundane of our everyday practices: flushing the toilet, makes us complicit in egregious harm to other life. . . I mean, literally everything in our current way of life is destroying the other life on this planet at short and fast rates. So if the planet is our life support system, which it is, it's safer for us to transform than to stay the same.
Chris Searles 14:11
VII. 50,000 MORE YEARS OF STABLE CLIMATE.
Chris Searles 14:12
Another reason to care is that we could have 50,000 more years of a stable climate. This comes from Johan Rockstrom, a researcher who's released several papers called, "Planetary Boundaries." And then late last year, he put out "Breaking Boundaries" on Netflix and a book a little bit earlier. I recommend everybody check out this one hour documentary. A little different version of this, what I'm showing you is kind of a distillation of how to act I think.
Chris Searles 14:36
VIII. LIFE-SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Chris Searles 14:37
Here's the third reason I've kind of already given this away. But this thing we call "the environment" is literally the life support system of the planet. You know, people that are still Indigenous people, they're still agrarian and living off of the land, they haven't forgotten it's the other life all around them they rely on for everything. We need to reconnect to this big picture. So, again, "Biosphere Earth" is the composition of life and living systems on our planet. When you get a bunch of life together, it makes an ecosystem and that ecosystem produces life-support services for us.
Chris Searles 15:12
HISTORY OF LIFE. Life began somewhere in the range of 4 billion years ago. We know that there's a consensus on 3.8 billion years ago, and there's more recent scientists as maybe 4.4 billion years ago, so somewhere in this range. And then, about 66 million years ago was when the dinosaurs went extinct. The life that has come since then is what led to human beings on earth. This system of life really does wrap around the planet. The microbial life on our planet goes below the crust of the earth and all the way up into the highest points of the atmosphere around the earth. Essentially, anywhere there's moisture, there's microbial life, and the microbial life on our planet is billions of years old. I'll show you that in one second.
Chris Searles 15:51
VALUE OF BIOSPHERE EARTH. This next series of things I'm going to show you is from a bunch of research lab titled the value of biosphere Earth, so the value of the life support system, and you can go to http://biointegrity.net/value to check out all the citations in this, hundreds and hundreds of citations, to support everything I'm showing you. So the quick, again, on the history of life on our planet is that microbes have been here at least 4 billion years, maybe close to four and a half billion years and human beings showed up around 200,000, maybe 300,000 years ago. (showing orange Earth) This is what Earth looked like about 3 billion years ago. So Biosphere Earth somehow figured out how to adapt to extreme climate changes, extreme changes in resources, extreme catastrophe, and develop into what we think of as the normal reality today.
Chris Searles 16:38
ECOSYSTEMS. And as I mentioned, ECOSYSTEMS are what makes up the biosphere's living system. They contain life. They make life. They make our life support system services. And that makes also climate stability. The biosphere and the climate are entangled.
Chris Searles 16:38
TEMPERATE CLIMATE ENTANGLEMENT. The biosphere is over 4 billion years old, probably, and entangled with the climate system. Also, it's the only life support system in the known universe, Biosphere Earth.
Chris Searles 16:53
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES. (Showing a graph) So, this is a just one mapping of a bunch of ecosystem services. "Ecosystem Services" are things that come from the development of the life support system over time, things we rely on, such as decomposition, such as pollination, such as air quality, and water quality and flavors and migrations of species, and microclimate, cloud creation, seed dispersal, communication, carbon storage, instinct, nurturing... all these things are coming from Life and the Life System. The life-system has developed over this long, long period of time into being able to become the life-support system for human beings. And when the climate warmed up about 10,000 BCE, roughly 12,000 years ago, we saw this proliferation of life that led to what has made Technology and Civilization possible. It's this fluorescence of Life that's allowed us to flourish as a technology-advanced civilization.
Chris Searles 19:45
IX. THE BAD NEWS.
Chris Searles 18:01
So a fourth reason to care is that this system, that is our life system, is in SERIOUS trouble. Right now. A study from 2016 said that nearly 3/4s of humanity is already in jeopardy of life-support system collapse. We've of course, seen serious wildfires, serious flooding, the coral reefs are going down, that affects fisheries, there's all kinds of things that are happening. It's really "on" now. This is not a joke. This is not the most uplifting presentations. This is a call to change presentation. We know that between 1970 and 2018, during those 48 years, human beings grew so quickly, we reduced total wildlife on Earth by about 68%. We know that less than 3% of lands are still considered intact wilderness today. We know that more than 100 species are going extinct every day, according to the UN, they say around 150. It's just an estimate. We know the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching right now for the fourth time in six years. And I think the sixth time in 10 years, and you know, they're not supposed to bleach more than once every 20 years to stay healthy. We all know about wildfires and drought. We don't get a lot of information, but parts of Africa, south of the Sahara, between the Congo and the Sahara are in serious trouble all the time, because of the devegetation and so on. We know that we've just completely changed the way the animals migrate on our planet. We've completely changed the way this system of life functions. We know that all of all the vertebrate species, meaning animals with backbones, nearly 70% are now endangered. The UN has said that a million species are endangered with extinction right now.
Chris Searles 20:03
HITTING CRITICAL MASS. So what is driving all this is the rapid growth of humanity that has been destroying habitats, and destroying resource flows for other species. We didn't hit a billion people on earth until 1804. This is when Thomas Jefferson is getting reelected as president, we will hit 8 billion people in 2023 (219 years since one billion). Humans have been here hundreds of 1,000s of years, but we didn't hit critical mass until really recently. And it's particularly the last 50 years that have been extreme, I think it's a it's important to throw out a Putin analogy here that our way of life is very much, you know, a self destructive way of life, we are destroying the future of the life system on the planet by destroying these habitats and this biodiversity. And we are increasing the scale of that every day. Right now. We're not going in the right direction at all. And we need to change first and foremost I think our awareness, and that's, again, what I'm trying to share with you here today --
Chris Searles 21:08
When you look at what's in the greatest crisis vectors right now, it's biodiversity,,, and the nutrition that biodiversity depends on. The climate change problem, obviously, is super out of control as well, but it's literally not as urgent as the biodiversity problem. So it is our way of life that is collapsing the ability of the Earth system to regenerate itself and continue balancing the climate as it did for the last 10,000 years or so.
Chris Searles 21:35
SECTION 3: REVERSING THE CRISES
Chris Searles 21:36
X. BIOSPHERIC REFORMATION.
Chris Searles 21:37
We are driving today's collapse spiral. We should reverse that immediately. Right? So what do we do? And I think again, this is about changing the way we live changing the way we think about reality, we need to focus on the life system, stop talking about "the environment", start talking about the biospheric reality that is our only place to live.
Chris Searles 21:57
In the promo for this, we talked about the "biospheric reformation" of the economy, that we move everything about our modern way of life into being in balance with this system of life that sustains us. At every literal level this is, I think, the most exciting advancement challenge we could possibly pursue. So in a biospheric reformation direction, the most important thing is to restore the integrity of the biosphere, to build the economics that sustain the ecosystems that we have to have to survive, to allow them to regrow and reconnect, to figure out how to integrate our way of life back into the security of a robust planetary natural system. And we must advance everything about our technologies and industries and economics into this paradigm. We are in a human-centric paradigm today with everything about our culture. It really is since the history of industrialization that we've assumed other life didn't matter, the environment wasn't gonna matter, and that humans came first.
Chris Searles 22:53
Now we're at a planetary state where there's a study that says, if we don't stop deforestation by 2030, we will see civilization collapse by 2040, or 2060 at the latest. So this is not about your grandkids.
Chris Searles 23:07
It's about you right now, this need for us to change. The main question then is for biospheric reformation is "Is it good for all life?" The thing that we're doing, the decision, the product that we're making, the way that we're making it, extracting it , disposing of it? "Does it contribute to the life system? Does it make the life support system weaker or stronger?" This is the criteria we need to live by now, because there are so many of us.
Chris Searles 23:33
XI. BIOSPHERIC CLIMATE SOLUTION.
Chris Searles 23:34
And what I want to get into now, is this idea of a biospheric climate solution. Can fixing the life system, fix the climate? And I'm here to tell you, Oh, yeah, it looks really good. If we make these major changes, if we figure out how to change our values, and finance the future economy that takes care of our life support system.
Chris Searles 23:51
So the biosphere climate solution looks at the reality of the way the planet is productive and what we can gain by rebuilding the ecosystems that have been destroyed recently.
Chris Searles 24:04
It's not just a massive amount of carbon reduction that can come from a biosphere climate solution. It's also stuff we can't get from technology. So these three things cooling and irrigation, and circulation.
Chris Searles 24:15
And what I'm about to show you is that if we do the best we can for the land system on Earth, we should be well out of the climate crisis within 10 to 30 years. And we should be in reversal of the climate crisis by the end of the century.
Chris Searles 24:31
By protecting and restoring these systems, we get the biodiversity habitat back as well. And that secures our life support system. So this is the strategy I think we should be looking at.
Chris Searles 24:40
XIA. -GREENHOUSE GASSES.
Chris Searles 24:40
I'm going to show you that the carbon potential is enormous, the reduction of greenhouse gases is enormous. And these other pieces that we can't get from technology, ecosystem quality influences, global moisture cycles, global temperature, global circulation of air and water, and then the ability of ecosystems to hold Carbon and capture carbon out of the atmosphere. Every thing on earth is made of carbon to some degree carbon and water. And these are the two number one greenhouse gases. So the healthier the ecosystem is, the more carbon it can hold on to. And this is better for restoring temperate climate.
Chris Searles 25:18
HOW MUCH CARBON DO WE HAVE TO REMOVE?
Chris Searles 25:19
HOW MUCH CARBON THE LAND SYSTEM CAN REMOVE?
Chris Searles 25:23
When you look at the most important things to do first, it's the type of conservation that I just showed you, the tropical forests stuff, where we look at the ecosystems that have the most value to the planetary life support system, to protect and restore those. And then also, we need to deal with Agriculture-immediately. Our Agricultural system is really worse than our fossil fuel system to the future of the planetary life support system. I haven't seen a study to verify that, but I could explain that in q&a If we have a few minutes. So let's talk about Carbon real quick.
Chris Searles 25:44
Can the life support system consume enough carbon to avert climate change?
Chris Searles 25:48
In 2018, the UN science body on climate change, the IPCC, told us that we needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every year starting in 2030 by 28 billion metric tons, that's "28 Giga tons co2e" or 28 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases every year starting in 2030. And then by 2050 we need to reduce greenhouse gasses by 53 billion metric tons per year. And by the end of the century we need to have consumed 730 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for greenhouse gases. And if you just look at the graph on the right, you can see:
Chris Searles 26:24
We can get more than 28 billion metric tons greenhouse gas removal by the end of this decade. We can at least maintain that rate of reduction to 2050. And we can get 86% of that 730 billion metric tons of greenhouse removals we need by the end of this century (through biospheric carbon removal). And these are the top-end numbers we need. These are not the conservative numbers, these are the "making sure we stay well in the safety zone" numbers.
Chris Searles 26:45
[[[ COMPUTER GLITCH; INTERTUPTION,,, THEN]]] So everything I'm showing you here is just the land carbon system. And there are a lot of options I'm leaving out, I'm just going to show you basically two ideas.
Chris Searles 26:53
HOW FAST. First of all, though, how fast though, can we get this carbon reduction out of the atmosphere? How fast can these regrowing ecosystems pull carbon out of the atmosphere? The science tells us is they expect the first 50% of greenhouse gas absorptions would happen in the first 20 years as ecosystems reestablish. And so, you know, let's say you're 20 years old. If we started to do this today, the rest of what that paragraph says is that by the time you were 86 years old, we would be well out of the climate crisis. And the average human lifespan in America right now is 89 and 90 years old. So this would be great, right? You'd be able to live to the average lifespan and see the climate restored.
Chris Searles 27:36
I don't know that anyone is looking directly at, "How good can we do? What's the best we can do?" here. This is what I'm trying to show you, is that over the next 30 years just by focusing on these two areas, we can do really well.
Chris Searles 27:49
GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION. [Showing a detailed graph of carbon removal] The first two things in line one and two here, titled "Glasgow," are from the recent climate UN conference in November, in Glasgow, Scotland. And then the bottom eight items in this graph, starting with "reducing food waste", are all about Agriculture and how we make food and commodities.
Chris Searles 28:01
(Items #1 & #2) So let me explain these real quick. Regarding the two "GLASGOW" items, back in November, the assembly of 180 nations on Earth, or 200 nations, whatever it was, 137 of them committed to stopping deforestation by 2030. That has to happen. They also committed to restoring 711 million acres of lands degraded mostly by Agriculture. If they did these two things, according to the science, we get somewhere around 7.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide removal per year by 2030.
Chris Searles 28:32
(Items #3 - #10) And of course, we're trying to get to -28 gigatons per year. So that's a piece of that. Then you look at the rest, all of this "FOOD and AGRICULTURE" stuff we can do. These are low cost, productivity improvements, these are not things that make the business harder, these are things that should make the quality of the product better, whatever that product is. So #3, "Reducing the agricultural and food wastes associated with the food and agricultural system." And by agriculture, we mean not just food but various commodoties we grow, such as cotton, we grow, you know, lots of plants to make lots of things; paper, etc, etc. So, reducing the FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL wastes that are emitting greenhouse gas is significant, another four and a half billion metric tons per year by 2030. Moving down the list: #4 shifting to plant-diets, plant-based diets, #5 managing the nutrients and manures on these lands better, #6 improving cultivation of rice and #7 improving cattle feed, so it's healthier, and then #8-#10 really focusing on soil carbon sequestration and making our soils as rich and healthy as we possibly can. All of that adds up to, if you look in the bottom right corner of that graph, about 37.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere per year, starting in the year 2030. If you look in that green box at the bottom right you'll see that's 132.5% of the solution we need.
Chris Searles 29:48
So I sent this around to some conservation biology A-lister people I know and they said "this is amazing, but you know, it's not being talked about in the mainstream science yet, so there could be overlap in some of these areas."
Chris Searles 30:01
So what I'm showing you now is that even if you assume that all of the emissions reduction for deforestation is somehow wrapped into this Agricultural stuff, which is what one of the people said, you still end up, if you look at the green box on the bottom, nearly 120% of the solution you need. And a lot of people point out that it's pretty unlikely that the world will stop eating high emissions beef before the end of this decade or by the end of this decade. So just take that number off and you get 104% of the solution we need. Take both of these numbers off, you get 91% of the solution we need. So these numbers are modular.
Chris Searles 30:41
And over the next 80 years by protecting this TROPICAL FOREST infrastructure and the ecosystems around it, the most productive parts of the planet, the 30% of the most biodiverse lands that have been degraded, if we do that -- if we restore those lands, it would stop 71% of predicted extinctions and reduce total carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution by about 50%. That's that big number I showed you a minute ago, 630 gigatons of total carbon dioxide removal, I think it's 631 in the study, by the end of this century is totally achievable just by doing the right things for ourselves and the land system on our planet: protecting the biodiversity and the bio productivity on the planet.
Chris Searles 31:23
So here are the main ideas again, Fixing Agriculture, what you saw on that graph, Stopping Deforestation and Restoring the Land biosphere, restoring about about 711 million acres of the land biosphere, this can get us to a realistic climate solution that only improves every aspect of the climate system and the life system, secures the food system, creates jobs for people that are regenerative and restorative... There's so much more to say about this. And again, the range is from 91 to maybe 130% of the carbon dioxide removals we need, just from restoring land biosphere integrity where it's most critical to us.
Chris Searles 32:05
I don't know why we're not all looking in this direction.
Chris Searles 32:07
You know, what's the best we can do here for our life system, for ourselves, and for the climate? The carbon absorption potential is enormous in the next 30 years and in this century, and I only showed you two things. Right?
Chris Searles 32:09
10 MORE FORMS OF NATURAL GREENHOUSE GAS REMOVAL
Chris Searles 32:16
(SHOWING A LIST) Here's 10 more ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere en masse that are absolutely realistic, and that are distinct from what I just showed you. I won't go through this list, we can come back to it in q&a, but it ranges from fixing the oceans, to additional agricultural fixes, to reconnecting these migratory ranges, to bringing in composting at the municipal scale, so that we're enriching our soils everywhere we possibly can on the planet, integrating wildlife back onto the Earth everywhere we can, integrating food production back into urban places, producing cattle feed from seaweed... There are lots and lots and lots of possibilities. But let's talk about the other aspects of this BIOSPHERIC CLIMATE SOLUTION.
Chris Searles 32:41
THE SPONGE. For all four of the Biospheric Climate Solution / Land System Climate Solutions to work, we're talking about "The Land Sponge." The Sponge is maybe the most important concept for everyone here to hold onto. The Sponge is what you see in this graph. It's made of a whole lot of carbon. That carbon is in the vegetation, it's in soils, it's in those giant trees. Then you see these light blue things flying off of the water, that's evaporation. Then we have evaporation being captured by the plants and cycled by the plants. When you get to the tree scale of evaporative moisture recycling and cycling, it cools and irrigates the planet.
Chris Searles 33:16
FORESTS. Forests are the reason we have about 60 to 80% of the rain inside our continents. Forests are what move rain across continents. They are the most important aspect for our continental system to move moisture across our lands. We have to have forests to keep the planet productive on land.
Chris Searles 33:34
Chris Searles 33:35
So we just looked at a bunch of emissions reduction from protecting ecosystems and allowing them to grow and restoring them. But there's also physical cooling that these systems provide. The forests on Earth are already cooling the planet by about a half a degree Celsius. We're trying to keep from getting to one and a half degrees or two degrees Celsius. So if we lose the forest, we blow that budget, but if we restore the forest, as has been committed to in this Glasgow Declaration, by the end of the century we will see the planet cool another half degree. And that's what I mean about being able to reverse climate change. By the end of this century, we can pull an enormous amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, and we can restore the physical cooling that forests provide in particular. That's why I'm telling you about forests and not oceans today, because forests are our most accessible resource for stopping and reversing global warming.
Chris Searles 34:26
(Showing a map of solar energy at the Equator) So this of course, is how the sun hits the planet. And just to show you quickly the power of the tropical forest system and other forest systems, they are incredibly important to keeping the planet cool. It is what we call "leaf area" that provides this critical service. Leaves are moving moisture, and inhaling carbon. When precipitation falls, it moves into all the tissue of a plant and into the soil that evaporates and transpires, it's just constantly happening. It's like us drinking and peeing. This is how plants live. It's also like us drinking water and sweating. This is how we cool our bodies, and when you look at the impact of a moist system or system that can hold moisture, it's dramatic. So just quickly on the left in the green box, you see that in a forest or even a wet grassland the temperature of the dirt is going to be around 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Everybody knows that asphalt on the other hand is going to be 120 degrees Fahrenheit...
Chris Searles 35:17
[[[[ANOTHER TECH INTERUPTION]]]]
Chris Searles 35:23
Awesome, thanks for staying with us, everybody.
Chris Searles 35:25
Chris Searles 35:25
So this third macro capacity that forests have for the planetary ecosystem is they literally create precipitation and they encourage precipitation. Again, this idea of algae crawling up on land, then micro plants, and then ultimately about 300 million years ago forests, large trees, and as these things grow, they pull moisture towards them. And that moves moisture further inland on the continents, it's this S curve of the more vegetation, the more precipitation moves inland.
Chris Searles 35:53
MOISTURE. Vegetation is incredibly, perfectly designed for holding moisture as long as it possibly can and for moving it in impossible ways relative to what we know how to do technologically. And when you look at this irrigation, this self-irrigation thing, this is particularly powerful in tropical forests, where the transpiration, evaporation that is happening from the plants moves an enormous amount of moisture across the planet. We don't have another way to do this. We can't rebuild The Sponge, and we certainly can't do it pervasively in the places it belongs on the planet.
Chris Searles 36:22
SELF-REGULATION. I'm going to speed up a little bit since we are, we've lost a little time to some of these technological things. So I'll just tell you, what's happening here is this is the intelligence of this life system, it is choosing when it needs moisture, it's grabbing it when it needs it. Obviously, it doesn't control the flow of moisture, but it controls the release and the sharing of this moisture.
Chris Searles 36:40
OUR MOST RELIABLE RESOURCE. And all of that ability, this is Other Life's own survival, and it comes from the reality that every organism really wants to thrive. This is the sort of natural bias of the physical biosphere, it seems to want to go and thrive live to its fullest capacity. So we can't control these things. We can't build these things. But we can rely on this utility of self regulation. Meaning just like your body is regulating itself, just like you're making decisions, seeking to thrive is a ubiquitous, individual property present in all life. It's what we're trying to achieve with AI and all that. We've already got it! We've got it in a planetarily-pervasive way across these multiple spheres.
Chris Searles 37:19
CLIMATE SECURITY. And all of this movement of moisture is creating multiple climate centric security services we have to have. Again, back to the ecosystem services idea, The Sponge is why we have ecosystem services on land. The sponge ranges in quality, of course, from deserts to forests and coastlines to grasslands, but The Sponge... The Sponge, The Sponge, The Sponge. This is our food system protection. This is our best resource for cooling the planet. This is the best resource for maintaining the life support system of the planet.
Chris Searles 37:48
ECOSYSTEMS ARE WEAVES. When you think about what an ecosystem is, an undisturbed ecosystem is like the tissue in your body or the material of the fabric that you're wearing. It's a weave, you know, all of this connectedness. If you take a chunk out of the ecosystem, then it totally removes its capacities and can even sever the ability of that ecosystem to move moisture across a distance, to be habitat for other life, and so on. So it's, it's like, we've made some pretty big errors here, by not being aware of the importance of the life system.
Chris Searles 38:19
DON'T FRAGMENT. (Showing another map) This is a mapping from 2014, that's just showing, basically where Development has really, really taken over the soils of our planet. So this fragmentation of these sponge ecosystems on land is not a good idea. The best analogy I think, is your own body. The lymphatic system of your body is responsible, mostly responsible, for moving moisture and other things through your entire physical system. The trees in the forest on our planet are like that. As we cut them down as we sever them, we are literally just disabling and destroying the infrastructure of this moisture circulation system. But with forests it grows back it wants to thrive. And so we can literally expect that if we put things back we will restore the moisture flow, we will restore the planetary lymphatic system, back to as full of capacity as possible.
Chris Searles 39:06
REGROW THE WEAVE. In the tropics, forests can grow back to closed canopy from devastation in three to five years. Up here in North America, maybe 8 to 20 years depending on where you are. But again, this is the right timeline for reversing today's climate change. And as they're growing, they're absorbing carbon, providing habitat, doing a lot of other important things associated with the sponge, including cooling the planet.
Chris Searles 39:29
Chris Searles 39:29
So last but not least: Circulation really quickly. It's the same property as self-irrigation, cooling, and carbon-absorption: these tiny leaves, just like the pores on your skin have tiny stomata that are moving so much moisture. It's just this phenomenal reality that when you look at a forest system, I don't have a good visual for this, but the density of moisture in and above a forest is greater than the density of moisture in the general air, generally speaking. And since the atmosphere is a contiguous structure -- we're living in its bubble, when you change the forest/air moisture balance by deforesting especially in the tropics, it can cause drought in North America and Central America. That's what the green squiggly lines are showing (in the map). If we deforest the Amazon completely, science shows it would definitely cause drought. Likewise, by affecting these tropical systems, you can create floods as well. You basically change the circulation of moisture in the atmosphere through deforestation and create these crazy climatic events that we've been seeing; today's recent super tragedies. Today, what we're seeing is a combination of fragmentation and global warming. You know, for instance, California was covered in redwoods about 150 years ago. Redwoods, as we all probably know, live for 1000s of years as systems. So. we've totally changed the West Coast's land/air moisture circulation system in the last 150 years. And then we've done additional deforestation and devegetation (and de-spongefication) as people have moved to California so rapidly, recently. That fragmentation and soil sealing has caused drought.
Chris Searles 40:48
And when you add global warming to the change in the global vegetative-moisture cycle, the land system is outgunned by a sort of severing of its lymphatic ability.
Chris Searles 40:55
XII. CLIMATE RESTORATION.
Chris Searles 40:57
So restoring this circulation will "temperatize" the weather globally (make it temperate instead of extreme). It will reduce the incidence of extreme storms, flooding, tornadoes, and et cetera. And all this restoration is coming from the biosphere. We have the potential here to stop and reverse climate change. And the main priorities are Indigenous Rights, which I haven't even mentioned really yet. And then the Ecosystems, the Forests, in particular, the Coastlines and Wetlands, Grasslands, and the Equatorial and COld Oceans.
Chris Searles 41:27
LIFE-SUPPORT SYSTEM. (Watching an animated map of the breathing Earth.) That was that's what you see, in this mapping here. The dark green is the most productive. But then if you look at the coastlines, when you see red, that's also super productive. And then you see yellow in the equatorial oceans and the cold oceans of the of the poles. That's also where the productivity is. So where it's blue, white, purple and brown is where the earth is not productive, effectively. Restoration of these bioproductive, biodiverse lands and waters are the priorities for the future of making life on our planet continue; making civilization continue. To me, and I think, logically, THIS is what makes the most sense is to address this whole system.
Chris Searles 42:06
XIII. WE HAVE TOO MANY PROBLEMS.
Chris Searles 42:06
Now, we have so many issues. And when we talk about climate change as the number one problem for humanity, we're ignoring the immensity of other issues we have, because we have built the system without concern for the life support system, we built the economic system without concern for the life support systems. So if we do the technology-based climate change solution stuff we're talking about now, which is very much in question, at national/political levels, we're really not addressing most of the other things on this list (showing a list with dozens of other critical environmental problems). And this is not a complete list. But these are different types of critical issues that we need to absolutely turn around this decade.
Chris Searles 42:42
XIV. RECENTER ON THE BIOSPHERE.
Chris Searles 42:44
If we put the life system at the center of our way of life: all of these things get answered, they become part of the challenge for how we move forward and progress. So reformation of the economic system means designing our economics to protect forever ecosystems, Earth's vital organ ecosystems -- the most productive ecosystems, means making everything regenerative, particularly agriculture, which hopefully a lot of people have heard of regenerative agriculture. It means making everything circular, this idea of materials economy that doesn't create new waste or new toxicity. And then it means technologically-innovating FOR the life support system itself.
Chris Searles 43:18
So I wonder if I should, Anne-Maries, if I should stop because of time to sort of wrap up or go through another three or four minutes here?
Prof. Thomas 43:28
I would suggest maybe if you can just wrap it up in one minute. And then we'll go to questions.
Chris Searles 43:33
Okay, great. So this slide is giving a little more detail, I don't think I'll have time to read it, emphasizing that we are in his cultural posture where we don't understand the value of Earth's forest system, that forests are the primary component of this new way of solving the climate challenge. But forests are also part of a bigger picture.
Chris Searles 43:52
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND LEADERSHIP EMPOWERMENT. And back to indigenous people. It is the indigenous people on the planet that are protecting the biodiversity and the forests. They live on about 20% of the lands, but they protect about 80% of Earth's biodiversity and a significant portion of global forests as well. Their culture tells them not to destroy the other life on our planet, their culture tells them they are living in relationship with these other forms of life, which precede us. (Showing a picture of thousands of acres of the Amazon) And this is what an ecosystem looks like when it's managed by Indigenous people. It is intact and whole.
Chris Searles 44:26
TECHNOLOGICAL CARBON REMOVAL. This is what our best idea for removing carbon looks like. I have a lot of critiques that I think are fair, they're not angry or anything. But again, back to thinking about climate change and technology as the way forward for society. You know, our technologies are not built in ways that that fix all of the problems we need to fix right now-- that's the shortest way to say it, but also, when our climate solution technologies perform, they do not solve today's climate problems. So a giant carbon-capture fan system, for instance, would have to cover something like 80 million acres of land to be effective, all it would do is suck carbon out of the atmosphere and it would be enormously destructive to build, environmentally-speaking.
Chris Searles 44:56
The final ideas here --
Chris Searles 44:58
BIOSPHERIC REFORMATION VALUES. There's a bunch of new values I would like to go back in q&a and talk a bit more about: The Biospheric Reformation ideas. These values for the economy are about, you know, we need to add these things to the economy, we don't protect, we don't care, we don't take care of our life support system, we're not replenishing the resources, we have to have to continue for the next 25 years, much less than next 2500 years, or 50,000 years. So all of that can be done in the ways I'm showing here today.
Chris Searles 45:23
SYSTEMIC CHANGE? EMPOWER INDIGENOUS LEADERS & RIGHTS. FIX AGRICULTURE. RESTORE BIO-INTEGRITY. And again, Indigenous Rights; When you want to get serious about supporting big systemic changes start with indigenous rights and leadership, empowerment, then regenerative agriculture, also the globally strategic protection of lands I've showed you and some of the other items here. Lots and lots of things. Again, everything needs to change. This is about serving this indigenous worldview and this idea that we are here to care, it is our job to care for the other life. It's also our job because we have nowhere to go.
Chris Searles 45:54
XV. WRAP UP
Chris Searles 45:55
So here's what we've covered: 1) Tropical forests: Protecting tropical forests is your biggest bang for the buck action. You can protect an acre for $2. A $16 donation at http://biointegrity.net/solutions will offset your carbon footprint for life. 2) Dominion: We need to reclaim this role as being the care providers of the other life for ourselves. 3) Safer to change: It is safer to change our systems now than to continue with the status quo, including the current renewable energy paradigm that needs to improve as well. 4) The Biospheric Climate Solution: We can stabilize the climate, we can have a lot longer future here to figure out answers and become multiplanetary and all these kinds of things. 5) Biospheric Reformation Now: But for the immediate moment, we are in a downward spiral economics, we need to rescue and regrow the life system. It's the most comprehensive climate solution, the most failsafe urgent and exciting way to move forward.
Chris Searles 46:41
LASTLY. A couple of final ideas, our economics should strengthen and multiply the resources upon which the economy is built. Currently, we are destroying them. And we have been doing that rapidly for quite a while. Last but not least, forests bring the rain. So thank you very much.
Chris Searles 46:59
END OF PRESENTATION.
Chris Searles 47:01
Re: technical difficulties: .... I apologize for the crazy,,, you know, everything!
Prof. Thomas 47:08
It's because of the nasty things you said about technology, Chris. Tech is fighting back!
Prof. Thomas 47:13
Okay, well, let's go to questions. I think we have one here. It says Citizen Climate Lobby's main focus in the USA is on carbon fees to reducing carbon emissions, do we think these solutions are less political and therefore more natural and acceptable? I assume they're referring to what you were talking about.
Chris Searles 47:34
I'm not sure I understand what they mean by more natural, but I think that's the right thing to do. We're trying to move the economic system into making sense for the life system and the climate system. And so, you know, climate action is part of this bigger idea that I'm talking about: that everything needs to fit into the paradigm of biospheric reality. Other than that...you know, I just think that the politicization of climate change has made it really hard for us to make progress on "climate." So shifting over to a life support system discussion about climate, I think, could be more effective over the long haul.
Prof. Thomas 48:11
Okay, other questions?
Audience Question 48:13
Hi, can I can ask the question, please. Hi, my name is Brian Wheat. I'm a local advocate with the Texas Animal Freedom Fighters. We talk a lot about agriculture sustainability stuff, and that you didn't have too many studies on that. So I referenced that in the chat, my group covers that a lot with our animal advocacy. And, my question, when I looked it up on Project Drawdown, I think globally a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions come from the Agriculture industry, and so like the the really driving force of deforestation in the Amazon is those farmers and the industry, the JVs and whatnot, clear cutting the rainforests so they can grow more soy so they can feed more cows, so they can kind of like feed this destructive feedback loop system. Anyway, I wanted to kind of pick your brain on the viability of the carbon capture systems you touched on. I don't believe we have the technology to really do those things (carbon capture) at scale. But, if we don't have carbon capture, I don't really think we have a viable way to kind of like counteract the system. And so so what's the viability between the natural way of like reforesting with the land restoration versus like the technology of carbon capture stuff?
Chris Searles 49:45
Um, let me see if I can find this slide real quick. The... I'll just tell you, there's a study that came out in 2020 that shows that just allowing FORESTS on earth that are currently degraded to naturally regrow would absorb, by the end of this decade, around 9 billion metric tons of carbon per year. So that's a bigger number than the Glasgow 137 nations stopping deforestation commitment, and that's literally by NOT DOING ANYTHING, allowing the system to do what it does, which is live and thrive, take advantage of every opportunity to be as healthy as it possibly can.
Audience Question 50:31
(BRIAN WHEAT) Okay, so basically, like, if we just leave nature alone, it will heal itself, we don't really need to like force the technology aspect as much?
Chris Searles 50:41
Well, Yeah. We need to make our economics empower the nature to be the solution,,, that's what I'm trying to show. So that carbon capture thing, I went through it pretty quickly, but it's showing it will pull out carbon, but it doesn't do anything for all of these other urgent needs. That's one critique of the idea of building carbon capture.
Chris Searles 51:02
Another is, no one's really asking for a ton of carbon commodity. I'm not sure why that's a thing, but it's a profit-centric solution to a biocentric problem and so it really doesn't make sense when you look at what it would take to make and install technological carbon capture, that's what I'm referencing... Really quickly: we'd have to cover something like 70 to 80 million acres with carbon capture machines to provide the scale of carbon reduction needed. So that's soil sealing, like covering more life with cement effectively. That's not good.
Chris Searles 51:32
And then to manufacture all that stuff would be this, you know, super industrial process. One critique we need to really look at, I don't have any information on, but like Tesla, for instance, is doing this amazing, super sexy stuff. But they have now I think six of the hottest furnaces in the world, you know. So when they make the trucks, this is a unibody. They have to heat the metals up to 2500 degrees, and then 1800 degrees, and then 1500 degrees. And these these bodies on these cars they're making are literally super-heating the planet with temperatures that don't occur in nature, the manufacturer of it. We're also pulling gobs of metals out of the earth to make Teslas and other new stuff right now. A lot of the renewable technology,,, just to get copper and things like that,,, we're still mining virgin ecosystems. The whole climate solution is ultimately about **saving the life support system of the planet** before the climate system falls apart. If the life support system gets too beat up. Restore it, right? And doing that can fix the climate problem. But if you fix the climate problem by continuing to beat up the life system, which is already in extreme crisis today, I don't understand how that makes sense in five or 15 years?
Prof. Thomas 52:45
Well, I'm I'm sorry to interrupt. I know, we're almost out of time. And I just wanted to make sure that we got to this question because I think this question is one that many students have. It comes from Olga, "aside from donating, you know, to rainforests, is there anything else that we can do? You know, like, what can we do to offset our carbon footprint at home? We're not talking about oh, you know, use fewer Ziploc bags or what have you" Can you give them something to work with?
Chris Searles 53:14
Well, I really think the most important thing is to self educate, you know, this idea of offsetting your carbon footprint,,, what you have to purchase to offset your carbon footprint right now is either new technology or saving nature. So any carbon offsetting should be done by saving and restoring nature. If you can find products that are carbon neutral, that were delivered in a carbon neutral way, that's helpful. But we're talking about you know, micro percentages of impact relative to something like donating $2 to protect an acre of tropical forest (go to: biointegrity.net/solutions), this is a macro planetary impact you can have.
Chris Searles 53:51
One thing I wanted to say at the end of the presentation is, like, don't let my lack of awesomeness in the way I present make the importance of what I'm telling you less important.
Chris Searles 54:03
This, this is literally the best thing you can possibly do. Everyone here should go down and donate $20 to tropical forests, instead of not donating $20 to tropical forests. You can do it, you know through biointegrity to protect 10 acres (go to: biointegrity.net/solutions). If you want to protect something more economically efficient, contact me and I'll find that for you.
Chris Searles 54:20
And yeah, these other things like trying to remediate our lifestyle are super important. But again, with the system we live inside of there's almost literally nothing you can do that's really, truly, Good for the environment right now. Even the organic clothes I'm wearing have negative environmental impacts all over the place. So it's more important to: 1) Self educate about the issues, 2) Empower indigenous stewardship, and 3) Change your own mind, understand how to support the life system's restoration than anything else.
Audience Question 54:53
Okay, well, Can I ask the question?
Prof. Thomas 54:57
Audience Question 54:58
I have a concern. And I'm wondering your thoughts on it, watching climate change movements of the 80s and 90s, kind of basically flounder, when messaging didn't really connect with working class people and the poor. And a lot of just like cycling information amongst like mostly white and middle and upper class people in America. And I don't want us to make the same mistakes. Again, I think it's kind of connected to I don't know a lot about the politics in Brazil, but Bolsonaro just like rolled back so much of the work that's been done for the rainforest there. And he was elected by, you know, by a majority. So like, how, how can an environmental movement connect with people instead of demonizing through negative messaging and too much information, kind of like Al Gore style? How can the environmental movement learn from like, the 90s, the mistakes and like, be successful moving forward?
Chris Searles 55:52
Yeah, that's a really good question. And obviously, none of us have the perfect answer yet. But I think the most important thing is for us to be less afraid to talk to people that are different from us on these issues. RELEVANCY. It's, it's about relevancy, you know. So when you look at like the way demographics are figured out, it's what people naturally vibe with, and what's of interest to them in their lives, for whatever reasons, that gets attention and effort. And this disconnect you're talking about is largely, I think, we don't have a reason to care. BELIEF. It's not in the Bible, as far as most Christians are, well, as far as I know, all modern Christians are concerned, caring for other life is literally not what the Bible says. But now I'm telling you, The Bible does say that, you know. The context of when the Bible was written and why it was written, is that it's about providing care, it's about being attentive, it's about being in relationship with other life, if the general Christian population in the world understood that they were in a false context about Dominion these last 200 years, then we might see some of the difference in regards to what you're pointing to. Care and continuation would become more relevant to a broader group of people that don't just sort of have a heart for environmentalism.
Chris Searles 57:06
And, and then the other thing is, you know, I'm trying to start this conversation almost literally, today, with you guys, about biosphere about other life. And so that splits into two quick ideas. LIFE-SYSTEM. One is, we all have a life system that we rely on it is our biggest common value. So I don't know how to lead that conversation, I don't have any idea where to go with it exactly. Right away. But I do know that this is real, this is truth power, I'm not giving you an advocacy point, I'm giving you the truth about how the system functions that we live inside of, that's going to be powerful in terms of being more relevant to more people, just, you know, it needs to be said in as many different ways as possible. RECONNECT YOURSELF. And then the other thing is, we need to reconnect at a physical level, to our biological selves, you know, to the beauty of all the other life that is around us on on our skin in our bodies, this miracle of existence, there is, there's so much here, in turning this corner historically, and moving from an era of being just really tuned out and ignorant for hundreds and 1000s of years to other life thinking that it was an imposition. And now moving into recognizing this is the composition that we live inside of.
Chris Searles 58:16
And hopefully, that can pave the way for,,, maybe that's not the right analogy, that can make a trail towards us being more unified in our understanding of what it means to live on Earth.
Prof. Thomas 58:31
Okay, thank you, Chris. We'll do one more question. And then we should kind of shut it down because we're a little bit over time. So Kazel, what's your question?
Prof. Morgan 58:38
Yeah, Chris, I think your presentation is awesome. Really good. And my question is, Do you have suggestions about who to reach out to, to help support indigenous people in their fight to steward the land?
Chris Searles 58:56
Yeah, there's so many groups, this is why I didn't do a, you know, a big list. So I like a bunch of groups working in the tropics. I can recommend, you know, off the top of my head, Amazon Watch, Borneo Survival, Survival International, but I mean, there are literally hundreds of these groups doing the work. So what I would suggest is going to Google, putting in, you know, indigenous rights, or how do I support indigenous rights, or maybe saying, you know, I would like to help indigenous rights in the tropics and just kind of googling around, finding your way into that world because it is vast.
Chris Searles 59:33
My goal at one time with biointegrity was to create sort of a hub that could connect people to all of these nonprofits that are doing this work, because we need to change the economy, and that would be one of the ways to do it, but when you look at the number of groups that are out there, the list is so long, it's just impossible to make it simple. So I think it's better to just recommend digging-in on your own. You could start with Amazon Conservation or Amazon Conservation team or Amazon Watch or, you know, there are dozens and dozens of groups all over the planet, hundreds and hundreds of groups doing critical work and needing help.
Prof. Morgan 1:00:13
Okay, cool. Thank you. Yeah, thank you.
Prof. Thomas 1:00:18
Okay, thank you all for coming. Really appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your Earth Day. Hopefully you've attended some other ACC Office of Sustainability events. If you have any questions, you've seen information there in the chat about Chris. But Chris, feel free to put a link in there for biointegrity.net. And thank you again, Jasmine, if you if you can stay for a minute. Wanted to talk to you for just a sec. Okay, great. And, Yes, we will send you all a link to the recording.
Chris Searles 1:00:55
Yeah, and thanks so much, everybody. Again, thank you very much, Dr. Thomas and ACC Honors Program, Office of Sustainability, and Liberal Arts Program and to each of you for being here. It really means a lot to me. Please check out biointegrity.net, please get in touch. I'm trying to now move into a new phase of how to respond to these crises and you're the first ones to see this presentation, so thanks for this opportunity.
Chris Searles 1:01:19
Every day is Earth Day. Let's get moving. Let's make these changes.
Prof. Thomas 1:01:26
Thanks, Chris. Thank you guys. Bye