Life Saves the Planet

The Bio4Climate Blog 

“Life Saves the Planet” is more than just a blog—it’s our philosophy and a partnership with GBH public television’s Lowell Lecture Series. In the search for answers to climate change, we look to the interconnected living systems that sustain our planet. These biodiverse systems shape our atmosphere, regulate temperature, and maintain balance in weather patterns. Inspired by the words of Janine Benyus, who proclaimed that “life creates the conditions of life,” we gather cutting-edge research, ideas, and resources to guide the way. 

Join our mailing list for updates and be part of the inspiring journey to protect and preserve our world.

Journey of an Apprentice

Introduction by Jim Laurie Erling Jorgensen was a student in my “Systems Thinking and Scenario Building” course (Biodiversity 6) in the summer of 2022.  He is determined to learn how life processes work and develop a scenario of restoring these processes.  His goal is also to create a story that young people and adults with little training in…

Slow Water Romance

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we invite you to experience a romantic journey in a winter wonderland. As the temperatures rise in February or earlier in our warming world, the snow melts, and we realize that the water cycle is a precious gift from the sun to all living creatures on Earth. Without the sun’s energy, the ocean, and…

Intact ecosystems stabilize climate.

The more we disturb intact ecosystems, the less stable the climate that we have. Do we have systematic evidence-based resources to prove how natural ecosystems stabilize climate? Yes, we do! It would be helpful for science communicators and policymakers to have a resource with systematized evidence. For example:Primary forests have higher resilience against droughts than secondary forests.Native vegetation…

Regenerative Grazing: A Compelling Climate Strategy

Most of what you hear climate activists talk about when it comes to beef or cows is methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas and cows emit methane as part of their digestion process. What you don’t hear is that this is primarily a problem of the commercial cattle industry and that nature has an ingenious way of balancing this methane production. Learn about this natural system and how cattle can be managed as part of eco-restoration and climate mitigation.

What a Great Day at Tufts: Regenerating Life Together

Our Boston Premiere of Regenerating Life at Tufts University was a tremendous success! It was exciting to see about 100 people come together to experience how John Feldman wove the many threads of the importance of nature to climate stability together in film. Conversation was lively during the lunch break, as people talked with exhibitors from local organizations…

A Film that Affirms the Power of Life to Heal Our Planet

To a climate conversation long dominated by computer models and technological jargon, Regenerating Life: How to Cool the Planet, Feed the World and Live Happily Ever After brings some badly needed rain, along with dung beetles, sweating trees, fungal mycelia, cloud-making forests, beavers, worms, soil microbes, cow patties and whales. As more and more people are learning, there’s…

Art for Nature

The first memories of my childhood that I can recall is that of me sitting on my bed with a blank sheet of paper and a box of crayons, making lines and circles and shapes of all kinds as the warm sunlight flooded in through the windows of the apartment. Painting was something I was always attracted to.…

Biodiversity Field Day at Gladney Farm

Bio4Climate friends Tim Jones and Chie Morizuka manage a regenerative farm called Gladney Farm in Hokkaido, Japan. As the name suggests, there’s a lot to be glad about on the newly restored land! Tim and Chie share the love by hosting groups eager to learn from the farm animals and plants. Students of all ages visit the farm…

Our First Miyawaki Forest Turns Two

Our community grows alongside our first Miyawaki forest! In September of 2021, we planted our first Miyawaki forest – the first in the Northeastern U.S. – in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the forest turns two, and demonstrates signs of resilient, abundant growth, the Bio4Climate team gathered with local forest enthusiasts to reflect and celebrate the ecosystem restoration happening in…

Gaia Songs: Seeking Equilibrium

Here are the writings and paintings that made up my exhibit, “Gaia Songs: Seeking Equilibrium.” The exhibit included my essay, “Earth is a Person” and my article “Building Climate Stability” and six paintings with Artist’s Statements. The Artist Statements include two paragraphs for each painting about how they relate to the conference “The Uses and Abuses of Power…

Earth is a Person

Nathan Phillips remarked to me that trees were like lungs. I thought, it’s far more than that… In the Surgical Oncology Unit, the cancer ward, you can’t always save people. Sometimes all you can do is keep them comfortable, be there with them, then care for their families as they go. You see the many ways that each…

What Drives the Greenhouse Effect

One of the profound ways Australian Climatologist Walter Jehne influenced my thinking was in helping me see the other side of the greenhouse effect. We always think about the “insulating” gases, and not about the source of the heat. And that’s bare land… This introduces the first of my RegenLife Minutes: From the new documentary Regenerating Life, this 1 minute video…

Regenerating Life: Support the Film, Support the Movement!

John Feldman brings the voices of Bio4Climate together in his new film – Regenerating Life. When you donate to this campaign, part of your donation goes to support our work (as long as you fill in the box on the donation page with our name). And you get to see this groundbreaking film before the rest of the…

In Memoriam: Ronnie Cummins

Dearest Friends, I was surprised and saddened to learn of the passing of Ronnie Cummins on April 26, 2023. As Executive Director of Bio4Climate and as a friend, I wanted to add a few of my experiences with Ronnie. I met Ronnie at our first conference in 2014, where he gave a rousing talk entitled “Climate and Regenerative Organic…

A Review Of John Feldman’s “Regenerating Life”

by Fred Jennings, Ecological Economist for Biodiversity for a Livable Climate Part One: “Water Cools The Planet” Runtime 41:43 John Feldman introduces himself and expresses surprise that this work got him thinking a lot about water. The film proceeds to talk about water in its many diverse aspects: as a powerful greenhouse gas; in its role distributing heat…

Primates and Peatlands: Restoring Indonesian Ecosystems in the Face of Flooding

Meet Eka Cahyaningrum, restorer of peatlands and advocate for primates. Her work in Indonesia restores wild animal populations and their habitats while uplifting local communities. Her youth-led efforts demonstrate the power of coming together under one goal: to create better living conditions for all living beings, so that we can all thrive. Eka Cahyaningrum, Primate Researcher and 2022…

Environmental Activism and the Search for Purpose

By Carlos Mdemu Social Media, Writing, and Online Outreach Intern Since 2011, I have been working in the field of environmental and solid waste management. At the beginning of my journey, I remember visiting one of the famous local markets in Dar es Salaam for a community cleanup. The local market, in terms of waste management and general cleanliness,…

Our Underrated Climate Ally: The Small Water Cycle

Cabezon Peak after rain, Photo by John Fowler (CC BY 2.0) Although climate change is a global issue, it can and must be addressed locally. Our overall climate is shifting drastically, but local climates are also changing, and they don’t always get the same amount of attention. Local climates change when the environment is drastically altered. This happens…

Climate Emotions: The Turbulent Turf of 21st Century Feelings

“Climate Anxiety” has become a widespread theme lately.  As Bio4Climate began planning an event along those lines, I thought of my own anxieties about biodiversity loss and global warming, and wondered how to transform climate distress into a rich, meaningful and adaptive state of mind.  I’m finding that it helps when I embrace rather than avoid the emotions that flow through me in this time of growing personal, social and ecological turbulence…

Kachana Station: A Home for Donkey-Led Restoration

In northwestern Australia, far from roads or major cities, a herd of wild donkeys carries a valuable promise. This remote region is the Kimberley, home to Kachana Station, a family-owned holistically managed landscape. The Henggelers have overseen Kachana Station for decades, and their management techniques have brought benefits for the soil, wildlife, and local climate.  The Kimberley is…

Climate Justice: For People and Planet

Climate change is already here. Severe weather-related events such as more frequent hurricanes, intense droughts, longer wildfire seasons, and devastating floods are evidence of this statement.  However, not all people are experiencing the consequences of the climate crisis equally. All too often, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are on the frontlines. Due to systemic injustices, these communities…

Lessons from a Monarch Butterfly

What can we learn from the monarch butterfly? A few months ago, as the new year rolled in, I reflected on the way we humans use holidays and calendars to mark time’s passage, and how this might look to other creatures whose life span and sense of time is very different.  For example, most monarch butterflies live only…

A Montage of Words and Images

“Ecological processes are not only more complex than we think. They are more complex than we can ever think.” – Michael Crowfoot, Soil Scientist “On one of my early projects…a scientist friend asked me, how did I know what I was doing, and where did I get the knowledge to understand the system with which I was working?…

Climate Is About Far More Than Carbon Dioxide

“We have to do everything we know how to do to address climate change.”
– Sir Nicholas Stern

But what is “everything we know how to do”? What does “everything” mean? Who are “we”?

Until very recently “everything” meant reducing emissions and pulling excess carbon out of the atmosphere. That has slowly begun to change, but our cherished , tenacious, fallacious assumption has been that global warming revolves around one isolated variable: carbon.

Imagine Earth Day in Ten Years

How do you experience your connection to the planet? For me, my sense of intimacy with other life comes from my senses – feeling the sun on my skin, smelling the magnolias blooming in the air, watching day by day and week by week as buds sprout, unfurl, and flower to invite bees and ants inside. Along with other…

Reflections on Activism

At Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, we believe that everyone has a place in the fight for a livable climate and flourishing future. We were called to this work from different places and for different reasons, but we’re united in our commitment to be stewards of nature, and to work with nature and each other to heal the…

Barn Swallows and the Tyranny of Small Decisions

Barn Swallows, birds who eat insects as they scurry across the sky, are disappearing. This isn’t surprising, I suppose, given that they are among the 2.9 billion birds lost across species in the United States – representing one third of the bird numbers we had 50 years ago. What did surprise me is how we got here, according to an intriguing explanation from a leading economist, Alfred E. Kahn.

Urban Soil Restoration to Help Communities Manage Stormwater

Jan Lambert’s take: This article by Charles Hegberg, talks about the importance of soil restoration in urban settings for optimal stormwater infiltration. He writes: “We have hundreds of years of experience in making ‘Dirt’ – It’s time we start re-making ‘Soils’ on a landscape level, quickly.“ “It’s no secret: Americans take their lawns seriously – kind of a…

Congregational Watershed Manual

From Jan Lambert, Voices of Water for Climate Program Director:  I have come to know authors Nancy Wright and Richard Butz from Ascension Lutheran Church in Burlington, Vermont as two delightful and well-informed people with a wonderful message to share of how people of faith can act for good for clean water, and for a compelling project to…

Water, Land, and Climate –The Critical Connection

Water plays a critical role in restoring a livable climate.
A New Water Paradigm is emerging to help us restore landscapes naturally,
so we no longer wastefully “drain the rain” but instead “retain the rain” with
water catchments, soil, plants and animals.
The result?
We can renew our climates through local action, by allowing rainwater to soak
into the soil to restore local land-based water cycles. We can also expect
reduced flooding and pollution, renewed springs and streams, more drinking
water, more food, less poverty and conflict, and improved wildlife habitat.
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain!

The New Water Paradigm: Global Climate and Ecosystem Restoration

Bernd Walter Müller edited by: Helena Laughton Jan Lambert’s Quick Take: Very understandable reading about the importance of the New Water Paradigm. Abstract: Most global water-related crises, such as water scarcity, drought, desertification, flooding, rising sea levels and climate change, are symptoms of long-term mismanagement of rainwater and vegetation. This results in global disruptions to Natural Water Cycles.…

Beavers As Partners – Focus of the Valley Green Journal

FIX LINK AT BOTTOM Jan Lambert’s Quick Take: ‘Beavers As Partners’ is a community service focus of The Valley Green Journal in helping communities find non-lethal solutions to human-beaver conflicts, especially with the use of beaver deceiver flow devices to prevent flooding. Abstract: Beavers As Partners is a campaign to raise awareness of the critical role that beavers…

Help Save Beavers!

Jan Lambert’s Quick Take: If you love beavers you need to meet Sharon Brown, a beaver advocate who raises orphaned beaver kits as their “mother” and even takes her babies for swimming lessons! Abstract: Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW) is an educational nonprofit that has been helping people enjoy the great benefits of coexistence with this keystone species…

State-of-the-Art Beaver Deceiver™ in Marlboro VT

FIX LINK Jan Lambert’s Quick Take: Beavers are nature’s water engineers; they create and preserve wetlands vital to ecosystems. When beavers and human activities conflict with each other, there can be a win-win solution for both the beavers and the humans! Be sure to check out Skip’s website! Abstract: A win-win solution to human-beaver conflict is installed in…

After Us, the Desert and the Deluge?

Jan’s Quick Take: This is a large and lavishly illustrated volume detailing the Slovakian “Landscape Revitalisation and Integrated River Basin Management Programme.”  The book is presented in Slovakian and English languages (in side-by-side panels).  This work is a unique reflection and photo-documentary, of sorts, of the insights and results from the Slovakian Program, while simultaneously delving into the…

A Global Action Plan for the Restoration of Natural Water Cycles and Climate

Ing. Michal Kravčík,CSc. / Jan Lambert https://bio4climate.org/downloads/Kravcik_Global_Action_Plan.pdf Jan’s Quick-Take: This is a document intended to guide people from individuals to the national level, on addressing climate change through the restoration of short, or small water cycles, thus increasing the production potential and biodiversity of all continents through the introduction of various measures of rainwater retention. Excerpt from: 1.…

Water for the Recovery of the Climate: A New Water Paradigm

Ing. Michal Kravčík,CSc. / RNDr. Jan Pokorný, CSc. / Ing. Juraj Kohutiar/           Ing. Martin Kovác / RNDr. Eugen Tóth http://www.waterparadigm.org/download/Water_for_the_Recovery_of_the_Climate_A_New_Water_Paradigm.pdf Jan Lambert’s Quick-Take: The New Water Paradigm presents a very useful way to view drought and other climate change, a way that shows how humankind can influence climate for the better simply by restoring natural water cycles that…

global surface temperature 1970 - 2020

Real Climate Reality

Based on widely accepted scientific measurements, global emissions reduction efforts, while essential, have not succeeded in reducing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. The annual rate of carbon released into the atmosphere is accelerating (for many reasons which need not be discussed here). Reducing emissions and building out alternative energy are necessary but insufficient to address global warming and,…

Geo-Engineering – An Idea Whose Time Ought Never Come

Human technology is, along with the population growth made possible by technology, the foundation of the anthropocene era. Technology’s ultimate end is to expand carrying capacity so that we can accommodate a growing population, and bears many unintended consequences of which global warming is one of the most serious.

The technologies in question over the past few hundred thousand years include the intentional use of fire, development of hand tools, agriculture, wheels, shipbuilding, architecture, culminating in the industrial era and widespread use of fossil fuels.

There is a long list of unintended technological consequences and progress traps that have effectively put an end to every large-scale complex society in human history.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Won’t End Global Warming

Solar panels on rooftops. Hybrid and electric vehicles. Meatless Mondays. What do all of these indicators of societal progress have in common? They are just some examples among the many widely attainable, lifestyle modifiers for reducing energy consumption in our fossil fuel-addicted world. But while replacing SUVs with hybrid cars and changing lifestyle habits to reduce individual carbon…

A Call for Sanity

In September, members of the United Nations will convene a round of climate change negotiations. It’s not hard to guess what is on the table: greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Yet after almost three decades of effort, during which atmospheric carbon concentrations have only gone up, another meeting focused primarily if not exclusively on emissions reductions appears to hold little promise for…

Changing the Climate Conversation

“Everything is connected to everything else.” – Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle Like most climate activists, for a long time I thought that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were THE driving force behind climate change.  It followed that reducing emissions was our overriding goal.   A steady stream of messages from both the climate movement and the mainstream media are constantly…

Cool It! Water and the Climate Crisis

With a record drought in California, floods in the UK and snow paralyzing areas of the South that have hardly met a plow, people are starting to make the connection between climate change and water. But generally the cause-and-effect link only goes one way, noting how climate change will affect water by putting stress on global water sources…

Carbon Farming: Paying for Results, Not for Data (Soils Are Far Too Important for a Commodities Market!)

At Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, removing carbon from the atmosphere by regenerating ecosystems and restoring biodiversity is our non-profit mission. Supporting farmers, herders and ranchers around the world to work in ways that both sequester carbon in soils and provide major benefits in productivity is a key means to that end. Unfortunately, the resources that carbon farmers…

Why everyone – vegetarians and vegans included – should be passionate about Holistic Planned Grazing

Happy New Year! Over the holiday season, I had the luxury of sharing many meals with family and friends, including latkes and apple sauce; Tofurkey and yams; and locally caught shrimp and farm-raised oysters.  In discussing my work, I was asked several times, “But how can you not eat meat and be so passionate about Holistic Planned Grazing?” Easily. Holistic…