Global Warming – A blessing in disguise?
Rather than view it as a disaster about to strike, how about we look at it as a wake up call that we can do better?
When you think about it, the things we have done to create an imbalance in nature that has brought on climate change has damaged the environment for all of us. The air we breathe is polluted, our oceans are heating up, our depleted forests are destroying local biodiversity. Food production (which I think we can all agree is nice to have!) is facing a critical shortage due to lifeless soils and drought.
What it all boils down to is we are using energy sources that are finite and are breaking down our ecological balance.
Imagine a future where the skies are clear, the air we breathe is pure, the water we drink is fresh, biodiversity is thriving, soils are replenished and healthy providing food security for all.
Because that is how the world would be if we applied solutions to gravitate towards a more balanced world.
Solutions at hand
National Geographic resource library reports:
“Burning coal releases gases and particulates that are harmful to the environment. Carbon dioxide is the primary emission.
Carbon dioxide is an essential part of our planet’s atmosphere. It is called a greenhouse gas because it absorbs and retains heat in the atmosphere, and keeps our planet at a livable temperature.
In the natural carbon cycle, carbon and carbon dioxide are constantly cycled between the land, ocean, atmosphere, and all living and decomposing organisms. Carbon is also sequestered, or stored underground. This keeps the carbon cycle in balance.
However, when coal and other fossil fuels are extracted and burned, they release sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, which leads to a build-up of greenhouse gases and adversely affects climates and ecosystems.“
Knowing coal and fossil fuels are damaging our environment, we must focus on clean energy source replacements.
Great news from Western Australia
Some governments are starting to respond and taking a proactive approach to help move away from our dependence on coal.
“The Western Australian Government has announced all state-owned coal-fired power stations in WA will be closed by 2029.
The WA Government is promising to spend $3.5 billion over 10 years building renewable energy capacity in the state, to replace the coal power with clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy.”
While this is great news, it is just dipping a toe in the water. We need the other top producers of coal (China, India, United States, Indonesia, the rest of Australia, and Russia) to act as responsibly and begin reducing their coal mines and moving to a cleaner source of energy.
Biochar continues to play a huge role in reversing climate change by helping bring down our dangerous levels of CO2.
Progress in the United Kingdom
The British have caught on to the benefits of biochar. In a groundbreaking scientific trial farmers will be paid to bury biochar as part of a new carbon capture trial.
“Researchers in a multi-million-pound trial are placing 200 tonnes of a charcoal-like substance under woodland and farmland in an attempt to improve British soil health and turn waste carbon into a useful nutrient.“
One draw back to this study is “to pass regulations, the researchers are using biochar made from just wood.” They do not specify where they are sourcing their wood. But they do have an eye on the potential use of dried-out food waste as well as waste products from sawmills.
Pacific Biochar in California has embraced biochar as a solution to help reduce the constant threat of major forest fires with their “The Big California Biochar Model”.
“It started with a simple question “California forests are facing an overload of fuel, leading to catastrophic fires, and the State is looking to remedy this problem… if all of that excess biomass were made into biochar, would there be enough soil to accept it?” The answer is yes, yes, there’s more than enough soil to accept all that biochar. And while doing it we can drawdown carbon, improve water conservation, and reduce nutrient pollution – so of course we mapped that out too.”
North Coast Biochar is another group using biochar as a way to help clean up and restore healthy forests.
“North Coast Biochar evolved from the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI) need to remove hardwoods and brush from overcrowded forest stands. This forest restoration increases conifer growth, reduces the risk of catastrophic forest fires, improves forest habitat and biodiversity, while increasing water flowing into local streams and tributaries. The removed tanoaks are converted to a product known as biochar. North Coast Biochar itself has an array of ecological and economic benefits: reducing water and fertilizer use, improvement of soil health and storing carbon for hundreds if not thousands of years.”
These exciting projects can lead the way for other forest management services to help bring down the severity of forest fires in a proactive way. Making biochar and feeding it into the forest soils creates a healthier environment while sequestering carbon, which is a key factor in reducing climate change.
Biochar recognized as a solution to climate change
Around the world the value of carbon sequestering is catching on!
How a soil additive called biochar can help fight the climate crisis by locking away carbon for centuries
Untapped Sustainable Resources: Hemp and Bamboo
Hemp, The Ancient Alternative
Hemp is still illegal to grow in some areas because of its controversial and sometimes illegal cousin, marijuana.
Hemp was used for clothing in Ancient China as well as paper for early Buddhist writings. Even the people in the Middle Ages used hemp for clothing as well as for rope and sails. It can be used for an array of paper and clothing products. It can even be made into a towel that could be used in lieu of paper towels or an air-dry blower in public restrooms. Here are some advantages of using hemp for fabric:
- Breathes and insulates so it is always comfortable.
- Can be made into very soft clothing that gets softer over time.
- Contains a natural UV protectant.
- Is very durable and is resistant to abrasions.
- Absorbs water very well.
Hemp is a natural fiber that is more eco-friendly than polyester or synthetically-made material. It has the following properties that make it perfect for protecting and preserving our environment:
- 100% reusable and biodegradable
- Reduces the carbon dioxide in the air more than most plants
- Has very deep roots that absorb chemicals and pollutants
- Can be grown without using herbicides
Benefits of Bamboo
Bamboo is a very fast-growing plant able to grow almost 100 inches in a day.* This makes it an extremely renewable resource. While it takes 10-30 years for trees to grow to harvest, bamboo can be harvested within 3-5 years.
Additionally, bamboo makes an excellent building material. It can be grown in whatever shape you need and there are varieties that are as strong as steel and more compressed than concrete. Plus, there are many architectural advantages to bamboo:
- Extremely lightweight, making it easy to transport.
- Very strong. It is actually used as scaffolding in some places.
- Resistant to both high winds and shocks.
- Found and grown in many areas of the world.
In addition to its pros as a building material, it is also environmentally friendly:
- Its waxy coating resists water so painting it with chemicals is not necessary.
- Pesticides are not needed for it to grow.
- When smoked, it produces its own insecticide.
- It absorbs nitrogen and can reduce pollution when planted near factories.
- Small farms and villages are planting it to slow down or stop erosion.
(Courtesy of Green and Save “How Bamboo And Hemp Can Help The Environment”)
*Editors note: According to The Happy Bamboo “timber bamboo species grow 2 to 3 feet ( 0.6 – 0.9 m) a day until they reach their maximum height. One thing to keep in mind is that older, more established plants will grow faster than newly planted ones. It takes at least 3 years in the ground for most bamboo species to be considered well established.”
Styrofoam is made out of styrene which is a petroleum-based product. Besides coming from a dirty source, discarded styrofoam can take over 500 years to breakdown. In the process it is very harmful to the environment.
How do we solve this problem?
Warm Heart has developed a simple, replicable system to convert styrofoam into a useful product. Styrofoam recycling provides an opportunity for both men and women to build a sustainable business while helping clean up our environment. Watch our video and follow our step by step directions.
Climate Change: A Challenge We Can Win
It will not be easy to undo the harm we have done to our environment, but it can be done. Upcoming generations will need to decide if they want to clean up our planet to bring back clean air, fresh water, and rebuild a world where all living things can thrive, Or continue down the road of self destruction.
We are betting on our bright, caring and intelligent youth to build a better world. All it takes is a desire to do better and the commitment to action.