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Let nature heal climate and biodiversity crises, say campaigners  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 245
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/03/let-nature-heal-climate-and-biodiversity-crises-say-campaigners

Finally some sense in the newspapers, make nature great again!
Clever move. I clash with my "green" friends who have great jobs with huge incomes who buy real estate and fly all over the world to see what is left of it. They say we have to move away from fossil fuels at all costs. I don't agree, because if the whole of Europe or USA would stop using fossil fuels, world prices would drop, which would lead to an uptick in usage in upcoming economies. People in China import cans of Canadian air, but continue spewing out the most toxic levels of carbons ever seen. They have zero concerns for the environment, Chinese investors speculate, buying up specimens of dying out species, hunting them down . Never mind the Indians who are leading the way up in the continuous global CO2 output. They are not going to stop till the last drop of petrol has been burned, just like my "green" friends and family, nor me nor my permie friends, while i am at it. Sorry if you are one of the few permies riding bikes and using up nothing, i know you are around!
Forests take up amazing level of CO2, but hardly anyone ever mentions it. So therefore i like to put the permies attention to this Guardian article.
I am a firm believer in rewilding the gardens, the desserts, the planes, the swamps the coasts and what have you. We can, the knowledge is there, we should put our efforts there. I expect nothing of no political party, but extreme push back from the state, it has to come from the ground up, from the people. The media are only parroting what the state wants to hear, monocultures and big agro products, kill,kill,kill nature and soil.
I think it's quite likely that if the balance in nature is completely gone, the media will blame foodforests for the insect plagues plaguing mono cultures and the government will come and burn them down, cheered on by the majority of local debt slave-farmers.
But still i think it's worth a try, the time has come.
Have a nice  day everybody!
 
pollinator
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This is so true, and very evident where I am currently located: a prairie/Everglades ecoregion. Prescribed burns happen here on a daily basis. At any time there are multiple fires visible on the horizon, all in the name of preserving an ecosystem, an ecosystem that no longer exists in it's natural state. They've drained the land, the giant Cypress forests are gone, and forests are now trying to grow again, hence the burning, however now there is one plant that invaded and acts as a fire ladder into the   canopy, old world climbing fern, and the fires now kill the hammocks as well as renew the grasses. They're dumping massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere in the name of a few grasses. Let nature adapt, let the trees grow, animals and plants will adapt. This prairie "ecosystem" was probably not what was here before wild cattle and hogs invaded the area, and cattle farming became ubiquitous and before the land was drained. Now this place has become a tropical melting pot of plants and animals and fish from tropical places around the world, we should embrace that instead of fighting it with poison and fire. The native green anole hasn't disappeared with the introduction of the cuban anole, it has simply evolved in a short span of time to have feet better suited for climbing.  Rattlesnakes have stopped rattling to hide from the hogs, and on and on. Even the seminole adapted in their time, moving south to escape invasive peoples, absorbing escaped slaves and other tribes, even growing bananas and oranges.
 
master pollinator
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This is a complex issue.

Grasslands can foster at least as much biodiversity as forests; in some cases, they can do more, and sequester more carbon. And sea grasses, more so. As is also Dan's point, we need to be sure of the veracity of what we "know."

On the whole, I definitely agree that we can heal the damage civilisation has done, but I think it's incumbent upon us to make that happen. And there are concrete (pun intended, you'll see what I mean) ways we can go about it.

I like the idea of biorock artificial reef structures. Current from renewable sources like solar, wind, or wave/tide can cause the accumulation of sea minerals onto a wire frame, on which coral species thrive. Based on the fact that carbon is one of the main elements removed from the seawater, sequestering it in a cement-like structure, it should even address ocean acidification, at least locally.

I like the idea of these artificial reefs placed in historic hurricane paths, so that the incoming and outgoing material moved by hurricanes is trapped by them, eventually making sub-surface structures to support aquatic grasses, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps.

As to forests, I love them, but there has been, historically, a tendency to protect trees at the expense of the forest ecosystems. Fire events have been suppressed for decades because of the damage they do to our homes and infrastructure, with little to no consideration for the increasing fire load, or the fact that, when trees become artificially old (artificially senescent), they stop sequestering carbon at the same rate as younger, growing trees.

I say the right way to "let nature heal climate and biodiversity crises" is to make sure whatever steps we take make use of biomimicry. Not intervening might work, but, as in the case of letting naturally-occurring fires burn overburdened forests, we won't like it when our towns and infrastructure burn.

Better to take an active role.

-CK
 
pollinator
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Personally, I don't think there's much I can do to convince others to take better care of the earth.  My goal is to create a little oasis of regenerative ag in the desert that is North America.  Hopefully I can infect others but I'm a cynic, so I'm not expecting to.

I have a hard time complaining about non first-world countries burning their way through oil.  All the Western countries did it and they are all well-off enough to take an interest in the environment.  I am sure that these countries will also use more of that oil to make products for more sustainable living than the Western countries did.  They may not admit it to the people, but I have to believe that every country is worried about running out of oil.
 
Hugo Morvan
pollinator
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Hi Timothy, i was using China and India as examples to make my point about using oil. I realize it is a gross generalization, and would i not be so frustrated about the economic reality facing the futility of the admirable efforts people are undertaking to reduce carbon outputs, i would have put it differently.
There are great defenders of nature in these countries as well, i admire the Indian lady Vandana Shiva for example, huge reforesting efforts are happening in China. Talking about nature is as complex as nature is, and i am not shying away from talking about it because of peoples sensitivities towards insulting other peoples or cultures. We in the West do still use the most oil by far, it is shameful. We in western Europe have cut down most of our forests and are at many times not capable of protecting the tiniest endangered species but still dare to complain about Africans killing elephants, while they eat these poor peoples vegetable gardens. All these things are true and shameful at the same time, it doesn't mean in my opinion we should shy away from stating it like it is.
I see no way forward if we're not going to see the situation we are in for what it is all together. I don't care for countries and borders in an environmental sense, it is a human concept, people do things differently in different countries, still we remain people making bad choices and i speak my own truth despite PC culture.
Because it is such a complex issue as Chris Kott pointed out we should be able to speak out.  
 
Dan Allen
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I should clarify my post. I'm not trying to say that forests sequester carbon better or worse than grasses, but rather that post industrial current carbon levels favor the growth of trees over c4 and c3 grasses. There is a global shift toward natural conversion of deserts to grasslands, and fire Savannah's to forest, so burning the savannah is counter productive in my opinion. I completely understand that carbon sequestration is a very complicated issue with many variables, however there is significant evidence that nature is responding to current carbon levels by trying to grow more trees, especially in Savannah type ecosystems. Pictured is a regularly burned area near me, on public land, and land just a few miles away that hasn't burned in a long time. And last a young forest, with old world climbing fern on the maple in the foreground. When you see trees in the burned over areas, you can be assured they are spraying herbicide to keep the old world climbing fern at Bay, so they can burn without destroying the few trees left. Definitely an interesting subject. Further compounding the issue here is that most of the burning is done during the dry season, allowing the exposed thin layer of Ash and topsoil to blow away, ending up in waterways, making it's way to lake Okeechobee, worsening an already nightmare situation.
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