Tough Thinking for Urgent Action

Climate Cooling Front and Center

Written by Community Solutions Fellow Peter Bane

 

Climate change looms before us an existential threat dwarfing by several orders of magnitude the change of government recently enacted by an enfeebled political system in the United States. Stable climate has given rise to agriculture and human civilization, and the climate, along with the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere that together regulate it, are the greatest global commons, one we must protect at all costs.

As concerned citizens of the world, and as permaculture designers, we are obliged to think systematically about the problems we face, the resources we can bring to bear on them, and the outcomes we seek. To begin a conversation on strategic objectives, I propose an inverted variation of the familiar SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. We will find it much more clarifying to put Threats first, as these are daunting, and to take the sequence in reverse.

The Threats are to world peace, contemporary civilization, and the health and well-being of the human population. Also under threat are most forms of higher life on the planet, along with the ecosystems that sustain them. The deep cause is human activity, both its extent and its nature. The proximate cause is massive disruption of the climate, rising sea levels, and consequent displacement of human and other populations.

 

    The Threats take three specific forms, which I will discuss below, and a fourth is implied.

1. Extreme climate events are increasing in frequency and intensity.

    Anthropogenic heating of the globe is underway, initiated 7,000 years ago during the expansion of agriculture by early Eurasian civilizations and massively accelerated during the industrial era. (1) Fire, drought, and crop failures in Russia; record temperatures of 129°F in Pakistan followed by immense flooding. Fires alternating with biblical-scale floods in the Amazon. The Western Hemisphere’s largest city, Sao Paolo, running out of water for 23 million. These are markers on the road toward a world we can scarcely imagine and may not survive.

    The period during which all of agriculture and civilization arose is a short interval in the much longer but still geologically insignificant lifespan of Homo hubris/sapiens. What few realize is that the past 10,000 years offered temperate and stable climate conditions suitable for the cultivation of crops on a large scale and that most of the previous 3 million years did not. Our agriculture is an artifact of our climate, and without it is likely to fail. Plants may be engineered to resist pesticides, but there is no genetic memory to resist 50°C/122°F temperatures.

    Wild fires, drought, flooding, massive storms, and the dislocation of pollinators and other phenology compound the degradation of soils to threaten widespread crop failures. In 2012, 63% of U.S. counties reached levels of extreme drought by the end of the growing season, leading to a dramatic fall in yields. If this repeats at five-year intervals, famine will spread. Drought has already affected dozens of countries in Africa and Asia, and compounded by run-of-the-mill political ineptitude, led directly to the collapse of a relatively modern society in Syria. While the U.S. media audience sat mesmerized by the rantings of a demagogue during the past year, a billion tons of carbon from dried and burning peat bogs went into the atmosphere across Indonesia where more than 200 million people were barely able to see through the smoke. (2)

    Global heating is also leading to a rise in sea levels that threatens the half of human population living within 50 miles of the ocean. Dislocations are certain to spread as the trickle of refugees we see today becomes a flood.

2. The climate system has momentum that makes action urgent in this decade.

    Ice core data show that the climate can switch directions abruptly, and that despite its apparent robustness, may be vulnerable to rapid change from forcing or positive feedback loops such as methane releases from melting permafrost, Arctic warming due to reduced snow and sea ice cover (lower albedo), and loss of vegetative cover in semi-arid regions. Much of the political questioning about climate change has festered during a period when the oceans have been absorbing both carbon dioxide and much of the heat load imposed by human activity. At some point which we cannot predict, but which might happen soon, this will reverse and the curve of heating may accelerate further. The rate of carbon dioxide additions to the atmosphere is increasing year after year, and biosystems are being degraded. Ecological footprint measurements suggest that humanity is overdrawing natural capital regeneration by at least 50% each year with no suggestion that this will reverse. (3) This clearly cannot continue as the underlying life systems will drop below critical thresholds in extent and vitality, leading directly to rapid collapse. A critical test, which we should not like to witness, will be the conversion of the Amazon basin from a carbon sink (where CO2 is being absorbed at greater rates than released) to a carbon source (from fires and dessication). Ironically, widespread fires may be followed (or preceded) by unprecedented flooding as occurred in Acre state in Brazil in 2012 and 2015. (4) The scale of ecological disruption is increasing.

3. The human response has been achingly slow, and on its present course will remain inadequate for many decades.

    Carbon dioxide emissions (along with methane and other “minor” greenhouse gases) have been targeted as the driver of global heating, yet we have not succeeded in reducing their output globally nor for any major portion of the world for more than a few quarters or years associated with severe economic retrenchment. Russia reduced CO2 output after the Soviet Union collapsed. (5) The US reduced emissions during 2009 and for a short time afterward as deep recession set in. (6) The pressures to continue using fossil fuel are immense, and the conversion to renewable energies, while accelerating, is decades from reaching critical mass.

    Worse, even if carbon dioxide emissions were to end tomorrow, the planet would continue to warm from effects not yet registered by the climate system, and to do so for about 30 more years. (7) We are just now experiencing the climate heating effects of the 1980s, before a full quarter of the fossil fuel ever used by humans was released (1990-2010; thank you very much Mssrs. Bush and Clinton! -8)

3a. We do not have time for an orderly (business-as-usual) retreat from the Growth Economy, so technological “fixes” will be advanced as climate shocks hit hard.

    While hidden in plain sight now, when the implications of the first three threats are made undeniable by events, this threat will emerge as the first three synergize: technocrats and the usual cast of elite terrorists will promote geoengineering openly. At present, 20 years of artificial cloud cover in the form of chemical hazes dispersed by airplanes has introduced a measure of global dimming (supported by the discharge of industrial pollutants into the atmosphere) without either reducing heating or inducing rainfall. It remains a conspiracy of military and political insiders firmly marked “taboo” for the media. (Just look up for the grids in the sky…) When simultaneous climate-linked crises converge and the public’s fear is aroused, worse will be cooked up, and a drumbeat of demands for technological salvation will overwhelm reasonable voices. This cannot have a good outcome.

    Whether the spider pilots are presently releasing aluminum and barium (toxic to soils, implicated in dementia) or coal fly ash (mercury, arsenic, and tiny particulates harmful to the lungs) matters little compared to what will be inflicted upon us if nothing is done to turn the temperature down. Think quack medicine on a planetary scale.

    The conclusion from the Threats we face is that we must think differently about the situation and we must do so with urgent clarity, because these Threats undermine the human future. They certainly hold the prospect of famine and social collapse. The latter will make any kind of orderly response to climate change very difficult. You can be sure that nothing proactive or positive for the environment or society is going on in Syria today. The problems of Syria will metastasize if the climate system is not healed.

    We can also conclude that a different approach than the reduction of carbon emissions must be found and undertaken with all deliberate speed. This is not to say that we should not reduce emissions. There are good reasons enough to continue working on that problem, but we must leap over what is now a roadblock in our thinking to get at what might forestall extreme climate events, runaway change in the climate system, and geoengineering as a maniacal last gasp of self-destruction by Homo economicus.

 

    This points us toward Opportunities.

4. Climate negotiators have accepted a new paradigm.

    The Paris Agreement (Conference of the Parties or COP-21) introduced three simple words, backed by 193 governments, “Net Zero Emissions.” This means that the parties, virtually all of the world’s governments, agree to set goals that converge on eliminating the annual net release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by their societies. “Net” means that carbon drawdown is now on the table, along with emissions reductions. Though the nominal targets and the mechanisms of CO2 reduction are too little and too slow (for reasons we examined in #3 above), the corner has been turned in our thinking. (9)

    Charles Keeling’s famous rising sawtooth graph of CO2 levels in the atmosphere (from which we get the 350.org campaign, and the current levels of 400 ppm, etc) were generated from readings high atop Mauna Loa in the remote Pacific. They show annual increases of CO2 of about 7ppm each November, and annual decreases of about 5ppm each May. (10) Guess what! The large vegetated land masses of the Northern Hemisphere (the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean) draw down carbon by photosynthesis during the spring and summer, and this drawdown exceeds the ongoing rate of emissions by human activity for the period of green growth. Winter brings a ratcheting up of CO2 as vegetation decays, industrial carbon releases accelerate with heating loads, and total photosynthesis wanes, limited to the much smaller land masses of South America, southern Africa, and Australia.

    A major opportunity exists to draw down carbon by extending the area and longevity of green growth across the planet. Furthermore, the world’s governments have agreed that this is part of their covenant with each other, and that such efforts will be advanced and supported.

5. Land degradation is far advanced on historic timescales, and must be dramatically reversed to ensure supplies of food and water, and to prevent fire and flood. This is our invitation to cool the climate simultaneously.

    Land repair can happen quickly and affordably if the right thinking is put to work in the right places. and it offers huge benefits. Many small actions can have a broadscale effect on regional economies, hydrology, and cumulatively on the climate system.

    The regeneration of biosystems will result in accelerated sequestering of carbon from the atmosphere into soils and vegetation where it will have forcing effects on water storage capacity, buffering of rainfall extremes, soil fertility (and thus human nutrition), and net agricultural and forest productivity. The process should also directly address unemployment by creating millions of jobs. At a deeper level, it is likely to reduce conflict and mental illness, while increasing physical and emotional health among human populations as people are put to paid and meaningful work in nature.

    Some 8 billion ha (20 billion acres) of forests grew up in the wake of retreating glaciers within the last 13,000 years, along with 5 billion ha  (12.5 billion acres) of grasslands. These have been degraded by human activities to about 3 billion ha (7.5 billion) of forests, of which about half are primary and the rest poorer regrowth, 5 billion ha of agricultural lands of low primary productivity and impoverished soils, and 5 billion ha of man-made deserts. (11) (For perspective, the area of the continental US is about 2 billion ha or 5 billion acres.) The crisis/opportunity is widespread and massive. Agriculture and urbanization are contributing to drying of the land (through artificial drainage and careless practices) on a scale that significantly impacts sea level rise. Water is increasingly in short supply.

    Needed for its own sake and for its many immediate, local, and practical effects, biosystems regeneration is the one great economic sector able to sustain growth in the coming decades as it does not depend on dwindling resources. By mobilizing under- and unemployed workers applying minimal toolkits and tiny amounts of fossil fuel for some machinery to deploy locally available resources of wood, stone, earth, and brush, land repair can catalyze and support local economic renewal around the world. (12)

6. Large-scale funding is being mobilized for investments in climate mitigation.

    While the big numbers thrown around during the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009 were not substantiated, a quieter move is now underway, growing out of the COP-22 discussion just concluded in Marrakech, Morocco. Funds on the order of $10 billion per year are being lined up for distribution through the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environmental Facility, both U.N.-associated agencies operating under the climate and biosphere regulatory agreements that began to emerge in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. While these mechanisms are imperfect, they have the backing of large numbers of countries, including the British Commonwealth and much of the E.U.

    The Net Zero Emissions provision of the Paris Agreement came forward with the strong support of the Commonwealth countries (53 nations) and France, which hosted the talks. This group’s representatives are now actively seeking consultation and guidance from experienced permaculture designers. (13) It is a valuable door, now opened, to direct funding toward biosystems regeneration with the express aim of locking up and drawing down carbon. It will have the effect of fostering market pricing of carbon, which will in turn make funds available for such initiatives as carbon farming, forest conservation, and land repair.

    In addition, private capital is moving toward climate mitigation in the form of social investments and profit-oriented projects with positive climate spinoffs.

    Though the Threats are grave, new thinking has emerged to enable new and widely distributed action. However, the focus remains directed at carbon targets, with their very slow response time (in human terms and in terms of the climate urgency).

 

    Our Weaknesses should give us pause as we contemplate how to apply ourselves to the dilemmas created by these Threats and Opportunities.

7. Atmospheric carbon reduction is needed, not merely reduced emissions, but more urgent still is mitigation of extreme climate events. A more complete paradigm of environmental stewardship and action is required.

    Despite ample evidence that global warming is leading to weather-related economic disasters with downstream effects that are destabilizing societies, and in the face of numerous careful studies, computer simulations, and a consensus of scientific opinion that the second half of the 21st century will be fraught with enormous problems, governments and the public have remained fixed on carbon emissions reductions (whether in favor or opposed)—and now have just begun to admit that carbon drawdown can help. They fail to see that the dangers lie in extreme events, whether these are single massive storms such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, Hurricane Katrina on the US Gulf Coast in 2005, or Superstorm Sandy in New York in 2012, or seasonal or prolonged droughts (Russia, the Middle East, the Sahel), vast recurring fires as occur in SE Asia, Australia, and the Amazon, or recent catastrophic floods (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia). This comes from a hubris borne of technological power and inculcated over several generations.

    The grinding, disruptive force of nature cannot be stopped by nuclear weapons or fleets of warships, only by millions of human hands and eyes, and by a new thinking that sees nature as our ally. Seawalls to protect coastal infrastructure are unaffordable outside a few globally critical ports, and will soon enough be breached if runaway heating proceeds without interruption. Cloud seeding, desalinization of seawater, and all the madcap schemes to divert distant rivers and lakes or to pump aquifers deeper cannot reverse drought generated by planetary climate conditions so long as the same thinking leading to the same behaviors that have created the problems continues.

    As writers from Sir Albert Howard to J. Russell Smith to Aldo Leopold and Bill Mollison have eloquently argued, we need a new land ethic and a new agriculture. Our farming, forestry, and city building activities are destroying soil carbon, disrupting water cycles, and consuming forests in a seemingly endless downward spiral. The climate dislocations, which began with agriculture 7,000 years ago, are still tied closely to its propagation across ever larger areas.

    The deadly dangers of flood, drought, and fire make headlines, but ongoing soil erosion, which is a precursor of all of these and threatens human survival no less, gets little attention. The lever for moving all these colossal problems lies in the landscape-level management of water to regulate and smooth the flow of runoff from farm, forest, and town lands. A vast array of micro-engineering works are needed to check flood flows, trap sediments, collect and hold biomass, and allow water to infiltrate to soil and water tables to ensure steady, year-round soil moisture for critical revegetation with brush and trees. Big dams are nominally about flood control, but in reality are a chiefly schemes to regulate river levels for shipping and to generate electricity. The flooding of valuable lowlands which they bring can scarcely be tolerated any longer in a world short of cropland. In any case, the answers begin to be found in the upper parts of catchments.

    Restoring water cycles requires deepening of soils, the growth of forests and shelterbelts, and extending and prolonging green growth on millions of barren and degraded acres of crop- and wasteland. This is work for millions of small teams and crews working in local communities everywhere.

    Of critical importance to global climate systems are local actions that restore forest cover continuously from coastlines to continental interiors. While the scientific community continues to test and challenge their findings, the work of two Russian scientists: Makarieva and Gorshkov, published in the last decade, persuasively argues that coastal forests create low pressure by transpiration, which draws in moisture-laden sea air. (14) They have termed this effect ‘the biotic pump.’ This moisture is in turn passed along to the atmosphere and to more interior forests which continue to draw it in, down, and back up again. Addressing drought in continental interiors requires continuous bands of forested land to harvest, re-transpire, and seed the rain.

    Precipitation over land is primarily a result of raindrop and snowflake nucleation around microbes produced in the stomata of tree leaves. Salts and ice crystals contribute as well, especially over the oceans and very cold regions, but we can influence the production of these critical microbial precipitation nuclei over land by planting and nurturing forests. Willie Smits in Borneo has demonstrated this by restoring forest cover to degraded palm oil plantations in Borneo (15), while Stoy at U. of Montana has documented that the spread of cover and cash crops on land that formerly lay fallow in the Dakotas and adjacent territory in Canada has led to long-term increases in soil moisture and rainfall. (16)

    If water is retained on land by building the soil-carbon sponge and restoring forests and grasslands, moisture can move gently up and down in place, reducing runoff peaks and cooling whole regions by increasing high-albedo cloud cover and regular precipitation. This in turn will mitigate the violent movement of large amounts of water from the sea toward the land, dangers that continue to mount in recent years with never-before-seen “atmospheric rivers” (17) and unprecedented storms leading to tidal surges and widescale flooding.

    We will examine some of the tools needed for this work below.

8. Climate science, by emphasizing the effects of CO2, methane, and the minor GHGs, has focused public attention on the wrong targets.

    Disingenous arguments backed by corporate money and advanced by paid shills have muddied the water of climate science too long, but these openly fraudulent efforts have been partly enabled by a failure of scientific consensus to embrace a more complete paradigm of climate science. Faced with evidence of global warming, and pressed for answers by governments, scientists from the 1970s (18), later reified by prestigious research institutions (19), advanced the thesis that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, acting as a greenhouse gas, forced global warming. The relatively minor but increasing contributions of greenhouse gases (GHG) CO2, methane, halocarbons (CFCs, etc.), and nitrous oxides were understood to trigger slight increases in temperature which in turn led to increased capacity of the atmosphere to hold water vapor, itself the primary greenhouse gas. Water in three phases and in continuous circulation, was too complex to model in the 1970s. It’s probably too complex to model via computer simulation today. It was also too complicated and expensive to monitor effectively, while the relatively rare gas CO2, which molecule for molecule has a greater effect than water vapor, was more uniformly distributed, and could, from the right vantage point, be effectively tracked.

    Just as arguments raged for decades about whether human land use might contribute to carbon in the atmosphere, only to be settled scientifically in the last few years (3) and politically in the last 12 months, so the failure to acknowledge human impacts on water in the atmosphere has clouded the picture of global warming. Water vapor, through phase changes, the release of latent heat by evapotranspiration from plants and soils, by convection from the ground to the upper atmosphere, through cloud formation (with albedo or reflective effects on incoming solar radiation), and the ability or failure of ecosystems to condense precipitation nuclei have immense impacts on weather, climate, and global temperatures, to say nothing of water on the 70% of Earth’s surface that is ocean, absorbing vast amounts of heat and distributing it around the planet. Humans have very much affected atmospheric moisture by the dessicating effects of our agriculture and urbanization, and more broadly by our degradation of ecosystems (draining wetlands, cutting forests).

9. We have failed to mobilize the whole of society in the titanic effort to restore balance to Earth’s climate and biosphere.

    The failure to consider adequately the 95% of planetary heat dynamics regulated by water, left the scientific consensus open to sniping criticisms. Carbon dioxide even at double current concentrations is in no way is a dangerous pollutant threatening human health directly, and it may even improve plant photosynthesis under some circumstances. (Of course global warming on its present course is a huge threat to human health and even survival.) Thus, the EPA’s stretch of its statutory authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate power plants has become a political football in part because the logic was limiting.

    If we wish to accelerate action on climate change, we need to engage the critics on viable common ground and argue the case on the strongest practical as well as scientific bases. If we can address climate skeptics with arguments that do not immediately present an existential threat to their interests, we are far likelier to gain support. If business can quantify the costs of using fossil fuels (as carbon offsets that will in fact draw down more than the CO2 released), it can accommodate the needs of climate mitigation within a familiar market framework. Scores of major corporations have already begun such planning, with estimated per-ton costs of carbon mitigation in the range of $62. (20) We need to be ready to provide those services in ways that actually address the Threats.

 

    Our Weaknesses, as so many things considered through the permaculture lens, also point to potential Strengths.

10. We have powerful, simple, and inexpensive solutions available to repair land, stop erosion, build soil, and regenerate water cycles, vegetation, and biodiversity.

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put millions to work through the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration to repair landscapes and infrastructure across the United States during the New Deal era of the 30s. Many of the earthen structures: swales, terraces, infiltration pits and ponds, as well as the bridges, culverts, forest trails, and more that these agencies built are still in place, working quietly to regulate stream flow and improve conditions for people and wildlife. More recently, the Slovak Republic undertook a pilot program of waterworks to similar purposes in 2010-2011. (21) Modern documentation of that effort, with color photos, text, and web dissemination makes widely available a dizzying array of creative, low-cost solutions to flooding and erosion in agricultural, forested, and urban landscapes of that small central European country. These are national-scale examples within current and recent historical time. Smaller efforts are ongoing in a multitude of regions, unremarked but no less effective. Bill Mollison and Hugo Schiechtl have described many of the same techniques and methods as used in Slovakia in great detail, and have gone beyond the European context to address dryland and tropical regions too. (22) Permaculture designers have gathered traditional knowledge from East Lansing to Ethiopia about what works to repair damaged lands, restore water supplies, and improve agriculture.

    The demonstrated systems are effective (Slovak installations of 2010 withstood tremendous flooding pressures in 2011 and came through in good shape with obviously mitigating effects on local and downstream areas). They are also cheap, can be made in large measure with local materials, and often do not require machinery—though it can be helpful on large projects. Wood, stone, and bamboo structures, gabions and check dams, earthen dams, dikes, polders, balks, terraces, and contour ditches can be created quickly and without specialized tools or materials. They can endure for generations and so represent excellent investments. Water slowed down and infiltrated to soils and groundwater becomes available to sustain more plant growth for longer each season and to promote better transpiration, cooling, cloud formation, and rainfall. Water retained can grow trees and crops instead of the budgets of drainage engineers and sewer contractors.

    Nor are microengineering works the only approach, though these are directly and progressively restorative in damaged lands, and once installed can work passively for decades where no agriculture is presently sustainable. Where farming is active, cover crops, zero-tillage implements, elimination of fallow, intensive rotational grazing, polycultures, and a suite of agroforestry techniques (sylvopasture, alleycropping, and more) are available to improve yields and nutrition, build soil carbon, eliminate erosion, enhance profit, and support ecosystem services such as pollination, microclimate, and amenity.

    All these methods are proven and available, but are too little adopted because of institutional inertia, resistance by some corporate interests, and a lack of information by land managers.

11. Extensive grassroots networks are familiar with land repair tools and have the capacity to expand these practices rapidly by training teams of local workers.

    The concepts behind restoration waterworks are simple and the engineering required for success can be conveyed with simple models and diagrams. Initial oversight of crews can lead to team self-management within a short time. The diverse solutions implemented in the Slovakian experience testify to the wisdom that there is no one right way—a thousand flowers may bloom, or a thousand check dams, each different, may leak and hold at the same time—and all contribute to the wellbeing of the land. Specialized skills such as the use of earth-moving machinery, chainsaws, and the careful laying of masonry, are either widely distributed or can be organized in most regions. The scale of work supports amateur efforts, which can be both varied and surprisingly capable.

    The knowledge of intensive rotational grazing, of the timing and installation of agroforestry systems, and the specialized equipment needed for zero-tillage cultivation of crops are also well developed and widespread at this point, though still not practiced by enough farmers. A key insight from the Holistic Management movement, inspired by Allan Savory, lies is the development of self-help cells or small groups of practitioners in a region who can provide mutual support and regular learning to each other based on empirical findings of greatest relevance. (24)

    Drawing on these grassroots networks to stimulate the spread of skills and practice is equivalent to the decentralization of operational decisions by the US and British forces during WWII. While the war effort as a whole was directed with great precision from headquarters locations and at the highest strategic level, the solving of logistical problems, which were immense, fell on G.I.s and officers in every imaginable situation on the ground. The ingenuity, resilience, and positive attitude of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and support personnel made possible adaptive responses that were decisive as a whole.

    A similar urgency and reliance on the good sense and goodwill of ordinary people everywhere is now required to mobilize a full effort by humanity to secure its own survival.

12. The rich abundance of the fossil fuel era has enabled millions of ordinary people to learn new ways of thinking outside the box.

    Despite organized efforts over the past several decades to ‘dumb-down’ school students, and the pernicious influence of mass media, relative well-being in many societies since WWII has fostered the growth of free-thinking about environmental issues, science, land-use practice, and the social systems that arise from decisions about them. This freedom to innovate, to solve problems, and to engage the world and other people about matters of shared concern may be be our greatest strength.

    The open, democratic, and universal nature of permaculture design, both as a system of thought rooted in science and empiricism, and as a social movement without borders and with flat hierarchies, connects it to a vast array of parallel and allied movements for social and cultural betterment. It ensures the relatively free flow of information, accelerates learning, rewards useful innovation, and catalyzes internal motivations to organize untapped potentials within the human population. Learning, sharing, and working with others on matters of immediate and visceral concern go to the core of our humanity and our capacity for making culture.

    Centered in its concerns on food, nutrition, health, and the common property resources of the land, permaculture design and allied movements are part of a huge, and ultimately unstoppable movement for the transformation of culture. With strategic intervention and guidance at this point, humanity can limit the damage from climate change, begin immediately cooling the planet, and buy itself time to bring carbon levels in the atmosphere and carbon consumption in the economy down to safe levels.

 

Notes

1. http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Ruddiman2003.pdf

2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/03/indonesias-forest-fires-what-you-need-to-know

3. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/footprint_basics_overview/

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgHpLLmjV5Q, https://robertscribbler.com/2015/06/26/its-not-just-sao-paulo-much-of-south-america-and-caribbean-sweltering-under-extreme-drought/

5. http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/rus.html

6. http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf

7. https://skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

8. http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Fossil_fuels_global_production

9. Bates, Albert K., The Paris Agreement. 2015.

10. https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/full.html

11. http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html,

12. http://www.bridge.bris.ac.uk/resources/Databases/BIOMES_data

13. http://ecovillage.org/node/9501?utm_source=GEN+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2641e1f61b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bfc230fd5a-2641e1f61b-25464405, accessed 12/23/16.

14. http://www.bioticregulation.ru/pump/pump7.php

15. https://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest

16. http://www.northernmag.net/AGNews/AgNewsStories/Tabld/657/

ArtMID/2927/ArticleID/6351/MSU-Researcher-Who-Linked-Farming-Technique-to-Cooler-Temps-Wins-Award.aspx

17. https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/atmospheric-river-explained#/!

18. http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/ThermalEqu.pdf

19. http://www.geraldbarney.com/Global_2000_Report/G2000-Eng-GPO/G2000_Vol1_GPO.pdf

20. http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/22Nov2013-CDP-InternalCarbonPriceReprt.pdf, and subsequent reports

21. http://www.ludiaavoda.sk/data/files/44_kravcik-after-us-the-desert-and-the-deluge.pdf (readers may have difficulty in downloading from this link). Kravcik’s work is outlined in this 2007 paper: http://www.waterparadigm.org/indexen.php?web=./home/homeen.html, though the Slovak government’s water programme was funded through the EU in 2010-11. References to it may be found here: http://nwrm.eu/source/after-us-desert-and-deluge

22. Schiechtl, Hugo. Bioengineering for Land Reclamation and Conservation. 1980., Mollison, B. Permaculture Designers Manual. 1988.

All web references accessed 12/23/16.

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