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…

Check out the January 2022 Issue of the Compendium

This March (apologies for being behind schedule), we released the tenth edition of our Compendium of Scientific and Practical Findings Supporting Eco-Restoration to Address Global Warming. In this issue we focus on the relationship between vegetation and temperature, and the ecological role of animals. We welcome your interest and comments – please contact us at staff@bio4climate.org.

Featured Creature: Horseshoe Crab

Photo from National Wildlife Federation

What creature far older than dinosaurs has survived on earth for 480 million years, loves going to the beach, has enough vision for a Nobel Prize, is very much ‘for the birds’ and deeply treasured for its blue-blooded ‘aristocratic’ character? The horseshoe crab, or limulus polyphemus, of course! So how old are these creatures? Horseshoe crabs are “living fossils” dating…

Featured Creature: Brook Trout

Photo from On The Water

What might well be considered the most beautiful freshwater fish, beloved by anglers and everyone else, especially when dressed up in its fall spawning colors? The ‘brook trout,’ of course, or salvelinus fontinalis, which is actually a char!   Where do we find this beauteous creature? Brook trout, otherwise known as brookies, eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook char, squaretail, or even mud trout (though I’ve never heard them…

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…

Jim Laurie’s Fall 2021 Class

Biodiversity V, which takes a deeper dive into forest ecosystems, is starting on October 6, 2021. The course will focus on maximizing photosynthesis and balancing the carbon cycle to cool the climate. It will run for twelve consecutive Wednesdays, with choice of afternoon (1-3 pm EST) or evening classes (7-9 pm EST). It builds his on…

Check out the July 2021 Issue of the Compendium

This July, we released the ninth edition of our Compendium of Scientific and Practical Findings Supporting Eco-Restoration to Address Global Warming. In this issue we focused on the ecological roles of native plants, and as well as including discussions of symbiosis, biophilia, and an Okanagan worldview of society.

Jim Laurie’s Summer 2021 Class

Biodiversity IV: Fungi & Forests begins on June 16, 2021 and runs for twelve consecutive Wednesdays through September 1st, with choice of afternoon (12-2 pm EST) or evening classes (7-9 pm EST).  You are welcome to join at any time during the course. Jim will send you class notes and home study opportunities every week.…

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…

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…

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,…

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.…

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…

Jim Laurie’s Spring 2021 Class

Biodiversity III: Mastering the Water Cycle begins on February 3, 2021 and runs for twelve consecutive Wednesdays through April 21st, with choice of afternoon (1-3 pm EST) or evening classes (7-9 pm EST).  Jim will send you class notes and home study opportunities every week. A certificate of completion will be available for those who…

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…

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…

Geo-Engineering – An Idea Whose Time Ought Never Come

Photo: Net Power, Inc.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Cool It! Water and the Climate Crisis

Photograph of the square and adjacent park in Trebon, Czech Republic, taken with a thermal camera. The differences in temperatures between the vegetation, facades and roofs of the houses - from 15°C (59°F) to 30°C (86°F) - are visible. [From New Water Paradigm, p. 33]

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…

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

Reversing desertification by applying holistic planned grazing in Zimbabwe (photos courtesy of the Africa Center for Holistic Management).

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…

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…

Without vast tracts of grasslands, what can we do in New England?

To pull carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it in soils, we need to restore biodiversity: that’s the foundation of the whole show. One of the most important visible elements from the perspective of ecosystems is to cover bare ground. Bare ground doesn’t absorb water, it breaks the water cycle, it interferes with the…