Corinna is joined by an incredible leader in natural foods, entrepreneurship and climate activism, Paul Hawken as they discuss his history and his latest work: Regeneration: Ending The Climate Crisis In One Generation.
About Paul Hawken: Paul starts ecological businesses, writes about nature and commerce, and consults with heads of state and CEOs on climatic, economic and ecological regeneration. He has written eight books including five national and New York Times bestsellers: Growing a Business, The Next Economy, The Ecology of Commerce, Blessed Unrest, and Drawdown. He is the founder of Project Drawdown, Regeneration.org, and just completed his latest work, Regeneration, Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation which is published by Penguin RandomHouse. It is released in the UK on September 14, 2021 and everywhere else on September 21st.
Paul Hawken Website: https://www.paulhawken.com
Regeneration Website: https://www.regeneration.org
Episode Highlights and Timestamps:
00:00 Introduction + Common Roots
04:50 Never Turn Your Back on Nature, A Loss of Nature Literacy
09:48 Regeneration – Tapping into The Innate Quality Of Life
15:30 The Fundamental Cause of Global Warming
20:37 Does Technology Provide A Solution To Food Insecurity And Sustainable Food Production? (Indoor / Vertical Farming, Impossible Burger, etc.)
28:25 Regenerative Agriculture = Solution: Pollinators, Nutrients, Carbon Sequestration, Increased Soil Moisture, Healthy Plants
31:30 The Problem of GMO Soy and Glyphosate (and the Impossibility of the Impossible Burger)
35:33 The Consequences of GMOs
41:00 An Unlikely Friendship + Glyphosate’s Planned Short-term Utility
43:10 Weeds – A Tool To Heal The Soil
45:20 Climate Activism And Solving For Mount Everest Syndrome
50:00 Naming The Goal = Reverse Global Warming (not combat / tackle / mitigate climate change)
52:35 The Birth of Project Drawdown
55:45 Who We Are: Our Individual & Collective Agency
58:30 Regeneration Toolkit: Nexus, Climate Action Systems and More
01:02:10 David Johnson’s Concept / Greenprint and Paul Hawken’s Thoughts On 1 Billion Activists
01:07:15 Pushing From The Middle (not the bottom)
01:10:50 The Ability Of Earth / Climate To Heal
01:16:00 The #1 Solution for CO2 Reduction = Electrify Everything
01:25:00 The Importance of Questions and a Curious Mind
- IPCC 6th Report: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-cycle/
- Weeds: Guardians of The Soil by Joseph A Cocannouer: https://www.amazon.com/Weeds-Guardians-Soil-Joseph-Cocannouer/dp/0815972059
- Regeneration Nexus (direct link): https://www.regeneration.org/nexus
- Books Paul Hawken Authored / Edited: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=author%3AHawken%2C%20Paul
- CAFOS: Confined Area Feeding Operations
- IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
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Hello, fellow do-gooders and friends. I’m your host, Corinna Bellizzi, an activist, and cause marketer. Who’s passionate about social impact and sustainability. Today. I am honored to be joined by an incredible leader in natural foods, entrepreneurship and climate activism. Paul Hawkin, Paul starts ecological businesses.
He writes about nature and commerce and consults with the heads of state and CEOs on climatic, economic and ecological regeneration. He has written eight books, including five national and New York times bestsellers growing a business. The next economy, the ecology of commerce. Bless it on right. And draw down.
He is the founder of project drawdown, regeneration.org, and just completed his latest work regeneration ending the climate crisis in one generation, which is published by penguin random house. It is released in the UK on September 14th, 2021, and everywhere else on September 21st. Welcome to
the show, Paul, thanks so much.
And thank you for that. And it actually, when I listened to that introduction, it sounds like I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. So
well, I’ll join those ranks any day. You know, we have a common thread in our histories. You were co-founder of Erewhon and natural foods company. And I’ve lived in, worked in that same industry, my entire life.
I think we even know some of the same people and putting Paul Stamets. And he’s just one example that jumps to mind because you know what everything he’s doing with mushrooms and bees, it’s just incredible.
Yeah. Paul is the, uh, the Elvish genius of the, of the forest. He really, you know, his understanding his mycological.
You know, intelligence is astounding and, um, and he’s just so much fun to be with because you feel like you’re in something from the Lord of the rings, like, you know, remember Bama Dale, Tom, Bombadil exactly. There’s this bounding around the forest and knew everything and was totally at home in nature.
And, um, Paul is very much that way. And he’s just spellbinding when he gives talks and, you know, the range with, with which he understands, um, the influence and the effect of, you know, different families, fungi on human wellbeing and health on mind and on the environment as a whole, um, is kind of like a gateway, you know, to possibility.
And I feel like he’s my mentor in that sense, because I felt like a whole discussion on climate for, to this day, even, but has been about probability of what’s going to go wrong. How fast when, and whether it’s going faster, more wrong than we thought it was going wrong and it’s not going wrong, climate is perfect, but the it’s always perfect just the way it is.
But what we haven’t talked about is possibility and the cascading possibilities that come from, um, The planet homeschooling us. Cause that is really what’s happening. I mean, we’re being homeschooled by my mother and, and uh, you know, nature never makes a mistake only we do. And, and it was what is our mistake?
The, you know, the it’s being out of alignment with life, the biology. And so people like Paul Stamets and others, you know, I’m sure, you know, uh, what their work is about is alignment. You know, let’s just, this is how life works. It is incredible. It’s miraculous. It is beyond mysterious. You know, it is, um, uh, our understanding of it is just exploding right now.
And so the living world, and we are unintentionally and in some cases intentionally, but unintentionally destroying it as fast as we can.
Well, isn’t that the truth I’m reminded of something. My husband often says to me, we live close to Santa Cruz, right? So when we go to the ocean, he’s always saying to our children never turn your back on the ocean.
And the thing I often get thinking about on the heels of that, because every time I’m at the beach or near the ocean, the power of it just is all encompassing. It’s, it’s an incredible resource to us. And I feel like we just need to, we’ve turned our back on mother nature and we need to get back to remembering that we cannot do that for the long-term.
That’d be a good slogan. Never turn your back on to nature. I mean, and that is, uh, you know, uh, an oceanic or coastal maximum, you know, when she never keep your eye off it, you know, but, uh, but yeah, exactly. But not all we turned away from it we’ve lost literacy. We actually have lost, uh, um, what it is not to say that anybody doesn’t understand it in its entirety.
And we don’t, you know, but we’ve lost that, um, connection, uh, that sort of fundamental understanding. Somebody asked me and I get this question all the time credit, which is like, what is the most important? You know, what’s the number one, most important thing. You know, people are going to tell them what is the most important thing they do.
And I said, that is so American, you know, and like the top 10, the top number one, it was never one sound
bites. That’s all we have time for.
It is, there is no number one, but if, if you press me on that, like really pushing on that one, it’s like find out where you are. Because you don’t know where you live, you may know your address.
You don’t know who’s land unceded lands you’re on, who lived there before you, you don’t know that children can name 500 logos, commercial logos and spot them and naming them. They can’t name three native plants between native birds. And so basically humanities, especially a privileged humanity who lives in excerpt suburbs, you know, towns, cities, uh, or privates, whatever, wherever they live, you know, the point is they don’t know where they.
And if you don’t know where you are, how can you have, if you don’t, how can you have any empathy? How can you have any understanding? But most importantly, how can you fall in love with something you don’t know, you don’t know about? And we protect what we love. And so the most important thing to do is fall in love.
And when you start to understand, you know, that what is outside is extraordinary, you know, and in, in, in this complexity far more complex than anything we’ve created, even regenerative agriculture is new, um, form right now. I mean, it’s being rebuilt. When I started, Erewhon the book that really made a big impression on me was farmers of 40 centuries.
You know, like how could they farm the same land for 40 centuries? Regenerativity, that’s how they did it. There was no question about it, or they wouldn’t have been there that long. But, but the thing is that regenerative ag is really an emergent technology, more complex and any single shiny object coming out of Silicon valley.
I can tell you that. And because of the, we don’t even know what’s underneath, you know, underneath our feet, we know a lot is there, we know it’s life. We know it’s virus and protozoa and bacteria and et cetera. Um, the interactions are extraordinary that the number of, of organisms there is in the trillions, you know, uh, just in your backyard or even in a, in a square yard.
And, um, that’s just the beginning, you know? And so it’s not that we need to know all this or name it or understand it. And we probably never will, but, but to have respect and honor it and appreciate it for what it is and what it gives us. And so to me, this idea of regeneration is actually. It’s going back to an innate quality that we have as human beings, because every one of us regenerates every day, our 30 trillion cells to every nanosecond, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
If they weren’t doing that, we have, if we’re parents or aunts and uncles or whatever, I mean, we do it with our nephews or nieces or children every day. Our acts of care are regenerative acts. You know, we do it with our families in a larger sense. We do it with our animals or pets, our cartons and so forth.
We do it in many extended ways. We’re always thinking about the care and the life of others. And what we have lost is that sense of care for the life of the whole, of our environmental ecosystem as a whole of our forests and so forth, because we basically haven’t been bought into an economic system that basically did generates life.
And what I mean by that is it takes life no matter what you buy, no matter what service you are, actually the recipient of, if you sort of, you know, follow the breadcrumbs back to the supply chain, you will find out that it is destroying life. It is taking life and that is degeneration. And so really regeneration, isn’t a attempt to have a new code word like sustainability or something like that.
It’s so much to say, should we go back home to ourselves? And, and, and tap into this, you know, uh, quality that’s in nays and they, to all of life, life creates the conditions for life. That’s what life does and we are life. And so what would an economic system, what would a social system, what would any system look like if we put life at the center of every act and decision, and that’s really what the book regeneration is about and the website and stuff?
Well, okay. So you have me thinking that I need to rename my podcast from CareMore be better, a social impact and sustainability podcast to a regeneration model.
I love it. You can take it. I mean, I offer the word to you because you are it, and that’s what you’ve been doing. Well, it’s interesting
because when I first got your book, what I expected I would see was I expected it to be specifically about regenerative agriculture, because that’s the thing that I think it’s talked about more from this perspective.
And then as I paged through it and looked at each section, I mean, that’s just one element of what you’re talking about and you really dive into basically every planetary and human problem that we have. Many of which are socially related and it’s just, it’s an audacious read, but what I love about it just on the, in the brief time I’ve been able to spend with it.
It came to me two days ago on my birthday. So it felt like a really good birthday present. Um, is that, I mean, it feels like something I can chapterize I can read bisections I can choose the things that I’m most passionate about from it to really champion as a mantle. And, um, it feels like with the book, I have like an inspirational toolkit to make more of a difference in what I do every day.
And so I just want to thank you for that. That’s
incredible. You’re so welcome. One of the things that you see in the literature it’s well-intentioned literature, the literature is. I have done the research or we have done the research. We know you don’t listen up. Yeah. It’s really important. And if you don’t do this, we’re all screwed.
Okay. I mean, this is kind of the leitmotif of climate literature. And I feel like my job is my job and our job. We have a staff, you know, we have amazing staff and researchers and scholars and so forth is definitely do the research. No question about it. And the science is I tell my staff, I mean, there’s 7,000 citations in that book, but they’re not in the book.
They’re on a website, 7,000. So we’ve done our homework on the science, but science for me is like a floor. You know, this, the floor and the floors are for dancing.
And so the book is about, is what the book tries to do is create narratives and spaciousness. And, and you just named it actually, by the way, you started to look at it, read it, understand it, or see its value to you, which is you went to areas where you either curious, or you’re already lit up, or you already have some knowledge, you know, or you want more or you want to get whatever.
And, and the idea when I, I not. Maybe 80% of it, you know, Courtney white wrote Psalm and then those essays, you know, from cross Safina and Isabella tree and Charles Massey some really amazing, amazing people in the world. But Leah Penniman had so far our farm in Albany, but, but the point being really when I edited it was to the ontologically.
There was one of those words you should just throw out because, you know, but I mean, in terms of how we learn, how we learn was to not start at the outset of the book and say, everything’s connected, you know, which is. Yeah, it’s true, but it’s a cliche, you know, and she’s like, it’s, to me, it’s like a new age bomb, you know, like, well, okay.
So what it, rather than just going into everything from as complicated as beavers, you know, to net zero cities, to Marine protected areas, you know, to fire ecology and these things. And then when you read about them, it’s like, oh, there’s connections within them. Oh, that’s connected to this. I never knew that.
How interesting. And so that the, the idea is that at some point, you know, you’re going to come to the conclusion, like, wow, everything is connected in ways that are so intricate and past hating. Uh, I didn’t know that. So you are coming to that conclusion as opposed to the author or the book saying everything’s connected, you know, which is like, yeah, but it just falls flat, you know, that statement to me, but the subject matter doesn’t fall flat.
You know? Um, do you want me thinking about Joseph Campbell’s work? Um, there was this book I read in college for a literature class of all things. And, um, the professor wanted us to draw connections from one chapter to the next, because Joseph Campbell was really fond of making connections that you wouldn’t necessarily see.
And so, uh, what this professor had discovered in reading, it was that the first chapter, the first subject of each chapter was connected to one another. If you, so he basically gave us essay assignments where we would take one, one paragraph from one chapter and relate it to another paragraph from another chapter.
And there was always something that could be drawn and it’s, that’s the way the book feels to me. So I just, I love that
we know something is really curious and I just discovered it recently, if you go back to my work and you read the last chapter or even the epilogue, so to speak, uh, and you read it, it portends and the next book.
And I never realized that I never realized it because at the time when I finished those books, I didn’t know what the next book was going to be at all. At least I didn’t think I did. And, uh, so that’s another connection, but I think the, the, the, the fundamental cause of global warming is disconnection.
We’re disconnected from each other in profound ways and getting more. So, um, we’ve discovered all sorts of ways to do that. Social media being profoundly the most important way we’ve learned to disconnect the human population. We thought it was going to be the opposite. It’s actually not true. Um, but we’ve disconnected ourselves.
So nature. And we’ve disconnected nature from itself to habitat fragmentation as soon as certification pollution, mining, deforestation, et cetera. So in a way, you know, what we’re talking about in terms of regeneration is, is a profound reconnection to self. And is if you take care of yourself that you can’t take care of anything, unless you’re doing that.
And then you can take care of your, your family, your people, your friends, your place, your community, others who are in need or want and so forth. Um, and, um, in, and again, I felt like, you know, we’ve just, um, we’ve balkanized ourselves, you know, our life or our sensibilities, you know, and, and we’re so full of things to do and information were flooded with it.
But what we’ve lost is that fundamental connection to our own life. You know, I mean, 70% of the diseases in the United States are metabolic and that comes from eating ultra processed food. And just actually, I call it non-food I in the book, I say this isn’t ultra processed food is a chemical experiment.
Right. And we’ve labeled as food. And then, so that’s that creates this disconnection in, you have these anomalies, like perhaps to call us and say, we’re making all the Pepsi with renewable energy and I’m saying, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You’re stealing the health of our children. So I don’t care what your energy source, you make it with, you know, you’re making the wrong thing, you know, I mean, and you’re advertising it, you know, in ways that, you know, basically seduce youth and so forth.
So again, it’s really, I’m not trying to Mount Mount Pepsi-Cola. I’m just trying to say, if we look at the world from the point of view of the first sentence of the book, which is regeneration is putting the life, putting life at the center of every act in decision, we have a different way of seeing the world and what we do, what we buy, what we make, what we, um, support.
Um, uh, and I think profoundly what it means to be a human being. I mean, you know, and, and I feel like probably the greatest cause of depression in the world is lack of meaning and purpose,
of connection to, yeah. But my life has been. Right. You don’t have a purpose, you know, and so remember I said, you know, we’re being homeschooled by the planet, you know, and it’s like a gift, like, you know, even gender, the pronoun, she, but it doesn’t matter if you know him or her, his, it doesn’t matter.
The planet, the planet is offer. It’s an offer from the planet to us and so forth, you know, in, in that offer basically is to reconnect to where you live to who we are. And, and, and so it’s such an interesting time because the, I can’t think of something, a life that is going to be more meaningful right now than looking at the nose, seeing the headlines, seeing the Northern hemisphere on fire this year.
Okay. From Siberia to Greece, to Spain, to Canada, the United States to California. I mean, so far as, you know, the Ceylon fire, uh, and, uh, and say, and rather to get anxious and depressed and fearful about it, which is understandable. Makes sense. By the way, I, I don’t, I’m not criticizing that, but rather than stop there say, you know, why am I here?
Well, and if, if regenerating life on earth, isn’t a lifetime, um, advocation, vocation purpose. And I don’t know what it is, and it gives people dignity. It gives them meaning it gives them a sense of purpose that is transcendent of, uh, narcissism and egoism of self of bank accounts. You know, and not saying people don’t need money.
They do, of course, but there’s no, there’s no reason we learn how to steal the future and make money. Right. Good thinking, okay. We can heal the future and have income and vocations and a GDP and, you know, prosper, prosper. We can’t have, you know, sent a billionaires, you know, no, probably not, but we can regenerate this planet and have a thriving economy thriving in a different way than we think I’m thriving right now, which is capital cumulation, but thriving in a meaningful way that actually gives us security gives us a sense of wellbeing, which is lacking in the world.
agree with you now, we’re both in a relative closely proximity to, uh, Silicon valley where technology seems to be our God, so to speak, right? And so many companies, it seems are springing up to try and create solutions to the problems we face, uh, food insecure. But without really taking a nod to the earth.
And so I wanted to talk to you for a moment specifically about solutions that are being proposed or out there, like the impossible burger, but also vertical indoor farming using aquaponics, aeroponics, et cetera. They’re getting quite a bit of funding, quite a bit of focus. And really, it seems are not focused on this solution.
It’s like in a way they’ve given up on the possibility of creating a sustainable ecosystem and world, and they’re going to technology to create proteins out of air. There’s an air protein company or, uh, the impossible burger or the 1.1 with San Bertram, leading them doing vertical farms in Santa Clara.
So let’s talk about that. I want your perspective to better understand how you see that laying in and where problems
arise. That’s so interesting. I mean, it comes up for me because, you know, I’ve been, uh, started in the food business when I was young Erewhon and, uh, and so, um, and the way it started was interesting because I was, uh, there was a food co-op, I’m not a co-op, but like a buyers’ co-op when I started not, when I was working there, I would start with just people.
Every month came in, we brought a Baghdad and shared it and people put in the money that it costs and that was it. And sometimes people would come in in between and, uh, We had a few items, you know, donut bags stapled up, you know, 25 cents a pound. And I love doing that because I was reading and I can read all day.
And so all of a sudden the customer come in and they’re like, okay, great. Okay. But I mean, it wasn’t like a store. We had to be at the cash register. I could be there with my books. And one day somebody came into the store and asked me, how do you know you’re oil is cold-pressed, you know, is Hain oil. Well, because it says, so press right here.
And then how do you know your oats organic? And I said, well, we buy them from Mennonites in Pennsylvania. Come on, man. And I just don’t lie. You know? I mean the Mennonites, they don’t even have a car truck, you know, I mean, and, um, and when they laughed, you know, these people left, I realized as a journalist, do you know that I had just lied.
In a sense, I don’t know. And so I said, well, I’ll find out. So I wrote to Hayne and, um, and I got a letter back, uh, there was no internet, you know, I mean, you, you type a letter stamp on it and send it, you know, and a couple of weeks I got a letter, a really nice stationery. I must say, you know, in Boston is Hain, you know, and said, well, there’s really no such thing as cold pressed oils anymore.
They’re all cold processed, which means that they’re solvent, extracted, you know, using hexane. And then, um, they’re reduced in temperature to 34 degrees, uh, 34 to 36 degrees. And the cloudy parts called the steroids are filtered off so that the oil is clear, you know, in, I was pissed off. I just felt like I just like, that is just a lie.
You’re lying, you know? And you know, I mean, I was a Cub scout, a boy scout. I was like, you don’t lie. I was like, all right. And then the, the, uh, a few days later, the truck came in from Pennsylvania with the oats, you know, in these a hundred pound bags and on the, you know, so I, I was lifting him off the truck like this, and I could see the labels.
So an end of the Bemis bag, and it said national oil company, the Moines, Iowa, you know, I think it was four bags. You know, I’m going down the stairs and Newbury street. Carrying these a hundred pound bags and I’m going, Hmm. So after the truck left and everything, I called up the natural oil company in Des Moines, Iowa, and really nice woman answered.
Then, you know, how can I help you? And I said, tell me about your organic farming program, you know? And she said, oh, what? And I said, you know, organic farming said, what’s that? And I explained what it was. And she said, oh my goodness. He said, well, let me tell you something. We just buy oats and roll them.
And it made me so mad, you know? And it just like, not at her, she was great. She was so nice, but it just like dammit. And so then I got interested in food because I realized he was just fraudulent. This is like, come on. This is 1966. You know, it’s fraud, you know, 67 years is a long time ago. And so I then decided to replace it.
Every single product we bought and sold. Uh, from a farm that I hae had visited, I walked the dirt. I knew the farmer. I stayed overnight. I ate with them. Uh, I heard their history. Uh, that’s how Erewhon started if it wasn’t for that. Um, I’ll think, you know, Erewhon, as it became, uh, would never existed. I would have gone, I would have done something else and that was how it started.
And so when I see what you’re talking about in Silicon valley, I’m going, it’s a C it’s a very nail thing with all due respect to my gender, which is to solve the problems of technology with technology, no words, well, our technology sort of fuck things up. So let’s have this technology and we’ll fix what we did with the last technology, right?
And the last technology in food is industrial agriculture, and it’s still absolutely dominant, but, and so we’ll do it, you know, in these enclosed environments, you know, as a vertical farming or these big warehouses and so forth, you know, uh, we’ll culture, food we’ll grow food, you know, we’ll synthesize heme, you know, um, to make the burgers taste just like a beef burger, you know, it was, will actually tie to feed the desire people have for fast food and, um, and all of them to me, Plant-based food is great.
So, I mean, you look at say beyond me, that’s great. It’s it’s like they’re, you know, cooking up something that is shaped. Like, you know, it looks like tastes sort of like, you know, meat fine. No problem. I know it’s been around for a long time Worthington foods. So I base foods has been around the monastery is independent.
This for hundreds and hundreds of years, they still do, you know, really elegant ways of creating fake needs to take fish, fake chicken and everything, you know, with, uh, basically gluten, you know, and spices and things like that. So they have no problem with that. The problem I have with the idea that we’re going to get our food from indoor farming is that it won’t work.
Number one, and it’s very energy intensive. Number two, I say, I won’t work. Uh, I got a call from the China times, which is a Singapore, Singapore sometimes, and I forget where it was, but it’s the main newspaper in Singapore. I think it’s a tire size, whatever. But anyway, they were talking about they’re going to become.
Is sufficient, there were coming food know because they were depending on food from Malaysia and China and silver, and they have 50% of their land is arable only 3% of the land, the same it’s all developed. And, um, and you want to know about, you know, vertical farming and, you know, all these different ways of growing food intensively, you know, using aeroponics aquaponics, you know, and, um, I said, tell me what you ate yesterday.
I said, why? So we’ll just tell me what you ate. Okay. You know, and you know, it was noodles and soups and had beef and there was fish and, uh, the noodles are made from wheat, you know, and the, you know, the seasoning from soy. And then there was all these, you know, I mean, she just named all the things and I said, virtually nothing you’ve named except the cilantro and the Bazell could be grown in indoor farming if you can’t grow beef animals.
So I weed corn grain, barley, you, you know, you can’t, it’s not, you can’t do it. And so folks, so that alone, this idea that we can, and if you want to go, Bazell fresh and watercress and, you know, good lettuce, you know, and things in town fine, but it doesn’t make any sense, you know, in terms of, and second of all, um, the act of growing food actually can be regenerative.
That is to say it actually. Brings back pollinators brings back the health of the land and you’re getting nutrient density. That thing that makes food nutritious is stressed. It’s like it’s home. It’s called hormesis too. You know, when you exercise that stress and you can be unhealthier, if you do too much, you won’t be, but stress creates health.
The body needs stress. So to plans. So what stresses a plant heat, UV rays throughout cold insects. These are the things that plants deal with. And, and, and what happens is they develop a lot of nutrients to deal with it. They change the constituency that chemical constituent constituency, the plant, or they send their roots down, deeper, the roots get or access to bioavailable minerals and so forth.
So the plant has evolved over time, uh, with stress. And so now what we’re doing was talking about putting plants on an IB drip system, right? So you have this, this fluid going in, you know, with the macronutrients, you know, NPK of course, you know, and, and maybe some minerals, you know, something else, you know, to keep it healthy for two weeks or three weeks or five weeks, you know, cause it’s a very short growth cycle.
Uh, And that’s fine. I mean, who cares if it’s Bazell or like I said, bib lettuce, but, uh, you don’t have a healthy plant. You have a plan. It’s like, uh, somebody on a coma, you can keep somebody on a combat for 39 years, you know, and with drips, but they’re not alive in the conventional sense. And so then you, so then you’ve just forgotten what food is.
Food is an intimate connection to place. And to weather and to the sky, to the insects, into, you know, fog or sun or heat, or particularly that place in terms of the soil, all the soils in the world are different, you know, and plants co-evolved in those soils and so forth. And so, so that, and that, so there’s that, you know, which is like really, and then you have cultured meat, you know, which is we’re going to take, you know, embryonic cells or cells from a cow or a chicken and so forth.
And then in these very, very carefully controlled situations, you know, in terms of temperature, heat, humidity, uh, nutrient baths and so forth, you’re going to grow the cell. And it’s true. I mean, the dream of every cell is to become two cells.
So yeah. You know, it’s, so that’s, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re taking advantage of my TOSAs, you know, you’re saying, okay, it’s going to duplicate it. If we can get just the right conditions and so forth and you make a chicken nugget. Um, but there is no way. That that can ever be ecologically, energetically, uh, uh, sustainable.
It’s just not possible, you know, and put it, put aside the EQ factor, you know, and putting that aside, whether you want to don’t want to eat it, you know, what it tastes like. It’s just the, the metrics aren’t there. And then you have impossible burger, which is, uh, you know, pat Brown’s thing out of Stanford and with a, um, adamant, uh, endorsement and devotion to GMO soy.
And so the thing about glyphosate, which is really cause it’s the GMO is not to change the constituency of the soy in terms of nutrition or this or that. It’s about to make a herbicide assistant. That’s what GMO soy is. It’s resistant to glyphosate, and now they have new ones they’re resistant to glyphosate and Dicamba, which has really even a worse, more pernicious pest, uh, herbicide.
Um, but putting out a side. Um, the fact is that glyphosate is anti-life now it’s just not regenerative it’s degenerative because, uh, glyphosate was in denim as an antibiotic it’s anti-viral it’s antibacterial it’s, you know, it kills life, you know, that was its function original. Does it to this day. And so, um, so basically you have a burger that’s like to stop animal consumption, which makes sense.
If the animals come from typos confined area, feeding operations, which are just a disaster for everybody, I think the people who work better, the animals who live there, if you call that living, um, the way they’re fed the manure, the effluence, I mean, the whole thing is just so, um, destructive. Okay. So the intention to get rid of K pose is laudable and I praise pat brown and anybody who’s doing that wants to move us away from that, but to do so in such a way that then basically, um, furthers industrial agriculture, which is basically not just killing the soil, it does kill the soil, but we now know the glyphosate actually is harming us.
And then Beckwith is it it’s like the worst pesticide companies in the world. Thou you know, I mean, Dow chemical and, you know, and Monsanto, you know, until glyphosate, by the way, a buyer, you know, these companies knew that you never made pesticides that were water soluble. They were always lipophilic. They were fat soluble, which is why you have DDT and DDE and other, you know, aldermen and pesticides.
Fat tissue in your body, uh, where actually the body keeps them. It just, they stay there and, uh, for a long period of time, but glyphosate is water soluble. So it’s everywhere in the world. It’s in the water, it’s in all our food, it’s in all our children. And we know that impossible burger or we have heard, or we have seen data that suggests that impossible burger has a hundred times more glyphosate in it than is required or needed to cause leaky gut.
That is two to co, which is what glyphosate does, you know, and it breaks through that mucosal membrane, you know, in our gut and which is just so, I mean, it’s thinner than a 10th of a piece of cellophane. It’s thin, you know, just a few cells thick. And once that happens, then you have chaos in terms of physical.
Human health, because then you have bacteria, you have organisms that are in the gut, which are doing amazing things, creating serotonin, dopamine, and all sorts of stuff. You know, it’s our second brain, uh, going into the bloodstream and that’s, you know, there’s just a whole list of inflammatory diseases that come from that.
And so I find it odd. The impossible burger is so adamantly devoted to GMO soy. If they said, look at, you know, we’re growing like a weed and we can’t get non-GMO soy sufficiently, but we’re doing everything we can to change that in the next two, three years as they roll. Okay. Go ahead. Great. Thank you for understanding that this is about life and not about killing.
Well, you have me thinking about a couple of things. One of which is, um, I think often people misunderstand what GMOs are and you’ll even hear really incredibly well-informed scientists who are expert in their field. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one example, speak out in favor of GMOs because they think it’s going to solve our global food problems because that’s how it’s marketed, right?
Oh, I need to make this Frankenfish salmon. That’s going to double its size in shorter time. And, um, out-compete other salmon in captivity. Um, so that I can be the master. And then guess what? That bitch always, they will always escape into the wild and if they can, out-compete the native salmon in that area.
Then guess what? Those salmon are going to get weaker. They’re not going to be able to swim upstream as far taking nutrients from the ocean, into our forests where they’re needed to keep the forest healthy. And then this whole cycle continues. It’s like the law of unintended consequences is right in central frame.
And we’re sitting there what, supporting it and saying, oh, we want the unintended consequences. We’re not
going to dig deep enough. No, it’s it, it defies common sense. And again, remember I said earlier, I said, we don’t know where we live. Okay. I don’t think that people who are pro for example, you know, genetically modified salmon have ever been on a salmon stream.
Right? Watch the migration have talked to indigenous people who have been depending on harvesting salmon for thousands of years that understand that Pileggi fish, you know, actually have this incredible molecular memory of where they were born. Okay. And I live, we’re both live in California where, you know, in the fall.
They start coming and waiting for the first rainfall and what they’re not wait, waiting for rain. Actually, they’re waiting for the rain to hit the streams and the rivers, you know, that they came from, you know, and to wash into the ocean and then they sense it. And then they follow that molecular trail, which is extraordinary back to streams that are no wider than a computer screen.
You know, I mean, it can be very small in wiggling into the rocks. If the stream is still functional and clean and clear, you know, and lay eggs, I mean, uh, fry, you know, uh, come out of there and so forth. So the idea of replacing that with something that doesn’t, it’s not born, I mean, where did, where did, where was the barn, you know, and does it go back, maybe they stick these, those, these in streams and maybe that happens.
I’m not sure I forgot about that. You know, I haven’t read that closely about it, but yeah. I mean, the other idea, the other problem is that we need more to feed the world with 70% of the food in the world feeds animals. So it’s feeding cables. So we grow plenty of it. We have plenty of pharma, we have too much pharma and actually to feed the world, we’re not feeding the world.
And so this has been used as a kind of guilt, trippy, you know, like, well, you, you, when I started. And then when I started to, I got started to get pressed in this we’re growing, you know, organic food and all that sort of stuff. And we were malnourished out again and again again, by the chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard and different scientists.
And, you know, we’ll you hippies, you know, you know, you, you you’re, you’re privileged, you can eat that way, but you know, what about the rest of the children in the world? You know, you will starve the children. If we went to that kind of agriculture. And of course it’s the other way around. We’re going to starve the children, the world.
If we continue with industrial agriculture, it’s upside down and backwards, but that logic was being used and it’s still being used to this day by industrial ag, the summer we feed the world and you guys are on, you’re on, you know, organic regenerative, you know, sustainability trip and so forth. But we are the ones who take this seriously and we’re going to take care of the world.
And so that’s why you have the bill gates. You have, again, men think that way, they think that, you know, if we, if we can just create more with, you know, it’s not really with less, by the way, but just more. No by taking more actually was with it. They don’t understand and so forth, they will solve a problem instead of creating a worst problem that they’re trying to solve.
And GMO is that, I mean, if, if you’re talking about, you know, modifying papaya, you know, in Hawaii, you know, to, I forget what it resists now and so forth, it’s like, okay, well, whatever, if it works for you, you know, it doesn’t really change the ecosystem. It doesn’t change the soil. It doesn’t change pollinators.
It doesn’t change, um, the nutrition of it and so forth. So when we say GMO, the problem is it got conflated with so many different things and so forth, you know, and somebody can make an argument to me about GMO that like with the papaya in Hawaii, I would say, okay, fine. I mean, I feel fine about it. You know, not that I’m a judge, you know, but I would say that, but that’s not what’s happening whatsoever.
It is absolutely an enabler of, uh, chemical pollution and the degradation and extraction of fertility from the land.
Yeah. I mean, that’s why the non GMO project seal, right. Bears that butterfly because Monsanto, what do they do? They put pesticides right in the DNA of the corn and kills blocks of butterflies.
These are the unintended consequences.
Yeah, actually that was unintended consequences. I mean, they intended for
bugs to die. They just didn’t know what was going to be the butterfly. Yeah, exactly. Or did they well, which is worse.
I remember, uh, they had Monsanto, the CEO, Bob superior was a friend of mine, uh, and is a friend because he was Buddhist.
And so I would see him at Buddhist retreats. We do these, you know, 10 day silent retreats in Bob Sparrow’s area. And so I know people find that sort of, you know, impossible to leave, but know your boss and, but then not during the retreat, but before and after, and other times, you know, we talk about it and this bacillus third in dances, which is, uh, was sort of, you know, knitted into the corn, you know, which is a natural pesticide.
It is actually, it’s a natural bacteria. And, um, but I remember talking to the scientists there and they knew that it would create resistance that no words that it actually wouldn’t work for very long. They also knew then that glyphosate would create resistance. I mean, it was totally interesting. And the reason now you have Monsanto buyer or buyer, Monsanto and Syngenta, and , uh, Courtney Cartiva, excuse me.
Uh, the Dow chemical, um, uh, company petitioning the EPA to authorize CAMBA for food crops, which is so much more pernicious than glyphosate as a herbicide. It, because glyphosate isn’t working and it’s interesting, it’s not working against a weed is called pigweed, but actually is amaranth. Actually amaranth is one of the most ancient foods there is.
And the world that goes back 7,000 years in terms of cultivation has these beautiful small kind of. Um, they red little flowers. Well, I’m talking about the seeds, you know, the food, uh, I think I forgot to call it cloud sounds. Right. Um, but like keenwah even smaller, you know, and so nutritious, so high in protein, so good.
As you know, and, and so, and that’s what they can’t kill now is food with God to say, you know, and there’s a beautiful book. I mean, I’m digressing, you know, I mean, you can snip this out of the video, but, but again, when I got involved with agriculture, you know, as a youth, you know, I’m met, my grandfather was a farmer, so it wasn’t that foreign to me.
But, you know, with organic agriculture, I read a book called weeds by Joseph Hawken hours published during the depression 32, I think at university of Oklahoma. And it was a really big foot. It’s a beautiful book to this day. And what he showed was that if you have this kind of way to Canadians this soul or this or that, and so forth, that the weed, the weed, the plant is growing there to heal the soil and that he showed how different deficiencies in the soil then would attract a certain.
Species of plant a certain family, um, because they were had that deep taproots to bring up minnows cause so the mineralized and so forth that actually, when we look at, you know, oh my God, the weeds are taking over. They’re taking over because the soil has been depleted. And, um, so to see them as actually the earth trying to heal itself, to bring back a diversity and, and a healthy ecosystem, you know, rather than, cause you never see that in nature, you don’t see bare ground except in desert landscapes and you know, steep mountains and so forth.
But the earth always wants to be covered, you know, because that is what creates the most, most life. And so when you get like MRF, you know, taking over corn fields, GMO corn in the Midwest, it’s like, it’s like the soil going, we’re impoverished. This soil sucks. We’re going to
bring some nutrients back.
We’re gonna based on agents back in ambulances, I’m here, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m, you know, as of remote advising weeds and corn and soil, as you know, I’m just for fun. But the point being is that we, if you step back and look at it, you go, oh, my soil is sick and it’s trying to heal itself, you know, as opposed to, oh my God, it’s a pernicious weed.
Well, so let’s get back to climate change and activism for a moment. Um, climate change is obviously a big, big problem. It’s the biggest that our generation will face. And so is social activism in a way it’s like these two things are very connected. So how can we move forward from your perspective, without suffering from this Mount Everest syndrome, where we just feel like it’s all too much, give up, go home.
And, uh, I don’t know, call it in, I guess, because it seems like that’s what a lot of people are, are starting to feel from, from what I hear. Just even speaking to people in my community, like, oh, it’s just too much for me to even
think about. Yeah. I mean, they’ll look at everything and say, it’s way past its sell date.
They’re like, uh, well, first of all, I think we need to talk differently. Then the messaging around this, uh, has guaranteed that 98 it’s actually between 98 and 99% of human beings on the planet today are disengaged from doing anything. Global warming. Right? How could that be? It’s been in the public sphere for 45, 50 years and say, well, that’s, I can tell you why, because the language absolutely is either incomprehensible or meaningless or numbing.
Uh, and it just hasn’t worked. I mean, you know, I mean, th the language about combating tackling fighting, you know, it’s like, again, my sweet gender males, you know, I mean, that’s male language, you know, you don’t see a woman say we’re going to combat, you know, climate change or, you know, it’s really man, you know, who came up with that and men dominated climate science until recently they still do actually.
But, uh, there, there has been this change in the last 10 years, but so then the language itself was all about metrics and acronyms, you know, in, in, in jargon, you know, what does net zero mean? What does carbon neutral mean? What does decarbonisation mean? What does mitigate mean? You know, I mean, you know, I mean, these words are like, what are you guys talking about?
You know? And so people who are inside who are literate in climate science and so forth, it makes sense, but they’re taught, that’s a bubble they’re talking to each other. And even within that bubble, Very few people do anything. They think that if they’re watching a documentary and not Netflix about climate, they’ve done something, you know, or they do the recycling faithfully every Thursday morning, you know, whatever.
It’s like, they think they’re doing something and you know, or they bought a Tesla, which didn’t do anything in my opinion, by the way. Um, and, uh, so I think that EBS does something, but you know, the idea that we can get a 6,000 pound, you know, $80,000 car, you know, talk with, and somehow we’re addressing, you know, global warming is just kind of like, you know, that’s why
I opted for the Chevy bolt.
Exactly. Right, exactly. Right. You know, but so we’ve languaged it. And then with the signs, as it came out was about future existential threat. Okay. Like, Hey, this is coming, we need to do something now or along the way to prevent what is coming in. The basically what was coming was caused by global warming.
And so one of the things that we have to take out of our language is climate change. The climate is perfect. Climate always changes. It changes every nanosecond. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have seasons food and beauty and forest and, you know, glaciers, I mean, come on. So climate change is a good thing.
Second, the way the climate is today is perfect because it is response or part of the biosphere itself atmosphere. The biosphere are not things where you can draw a line and say, okay, that’s biosphere, that’s atmosphere. They’re inextricably bound to the same thing. And so the climate reflects the biosphere and the biosphere is what we’ve changed.
Right. You know, by yes. And our combustion of fossil fuels have then basically gone up into the atmosphere, you know, and terms of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from other practices, you know, however, so for us, so we constantly were fighting climate change, you know, or whatever we’re verbalizing to climate change versus, you know, uh, what we’re dealing with is warming.
That is, this is a warmer, so it’s the warming, that’s changing the climate and the climate craze Wilder. Okay. So we, we have to understand, okay. So how can we basically stop warming and then reduce the causes of warming so we can get back to a more stabilized climate. You know, the last 10,000 years has been relatively stable.
You still get, you know, really interesting climatic events, but not too interesting as they becoming and be, you know, right now is too much. And so that’s our goal. And so our goal, again, it isn’t about budding tackling, mitigating. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, I can’t wait to mitigate today.
Right. Right. I mean, nobody really, I mean, you’re fighting tackle. Uh, I was asked about that on stage. And then over two years ago, you know, about your taco or, you know, it was a man of course. And you know, and I said, do you want to come upstage here and show us how you’re going to do it? And because this is the atmosphere, we’re an auditorium.
Where do you think you’re breathing? Right. This is it. How do you, how are you going to tackle this? You know, show me what I was when I was trying to point at you. I’m trying to make you feel bad. I’m sorry to say we’ve language and silver, we’ve othered. It. It’s something else, someplace else. And we need to fix it.
You know, there’s no, it there, we need to fix ourselves and who we are and how we live and how we respect each other in life itself. That’s what needs to be. That creates climate that creates global warming. Right? And so we also need to name the goal, which is why drawdown came out. I said, when I, it started in 2001, it was a third assessment and people were like, same words, mitigation and all that sort of then fighting, tackling combating, you know, and, and I went around to NGOs and scientists and university friends and stuff at institutions and said, can we name the goal, please?
Those aren’t goals as a verbs, I’m an English major. I’m not a scientist, but you don’t have a verb as the goal
part of how you get
to where you might go. But my B but maybe not, you know, the goal actually is to reverse global warming. And that’s really important to name the goal. Our goal isn’t to mitigate can mitigate means to reduce the pain of something of this seriously.
And that’s a mitigation means, you know, why would we want to reduce the pants here since of it, it’s going to screw us. So we actually want to stop, you know, missions and started to bring carbon back home from whence. It came, it came from here, you know, planet earth. It didn’t come from some other planet, you know, and it’s food for the planet.
And, uh, you know, this, what photosynthesis with the plant world is what we, it eats, it eats carbon dioxide in, splits it into sugar and oxygen, you know, with, uh, the use of light. And so, you know, to look at it that way, then second, can we map, measure model solutions that exist, that we know how to do them, not like, you know, pie in the sky and so forth and see if we can accomplish it.
And I didn’t know. And I’ve asked for years people to do that. And they said, we don’t know how to do it, or we don’t have the funding to do it, or that’s not our focus, but it’s a good idea. And maybe you should do it. I said, I don’t know how to do it either, but that’s how Don came about what I started to do in 20 13, 20 14 and gathered a small team.
Um, uh, Amanda Ravenhill, Chad crystal chisel. I mean, we didn’t know how to do it. Right.
You have to start somewhere though, and you got some incredible thinkers together. And we started to build that
solution. We got advisors, amazing scientific advisors. We got researchers so all over the world and so forth.
And I used to go out funding for you to get funding. Could you help us? People just said, no, they just looked down their nose. How to, you know, a book on books, you know, you know, they would say, well, who’s doing heading research. Has Chad freshmen. I said, you know, I said, yeah, he’s got a degree from Oxford.
And they’d say, what’s his degree? And I said, yeah, Art history. said, he’s really good though, at research. And it’s like, well, what’s your degree? And I said, actually don’t have a degree, but I studied English, you know? I mean, so, I mean, again, we didn’t have the pedigree, you know, to do it, but we went out and got scholars from all over the world who did, you know, and we call them drawdown fellows, you know, and amazing young people, you know, and they’re in their twenties, primarily some, a little bit in thirties, you know, just all over it from all six continents.
And we started to work together and collaborate, you know, uh, and that’s what created throttle and set. That’s the same thing we did with regeneration as well, by the way, and so forth. But I mean, so to provide people a sense of possibility, you know, and, and so I feel like what, what, what people lack right now, even from drawdown.
And I knew it was narrow in a certain sense, it ranked everything. How much does it cost? How much would we save if we scaled it over the next 30 years, you know, to 2050 and okay. That was the modeling methodology. Is missing there. And what is B generation is about is that you have the book, the last day pages is called action and connection.
It is the most important part of the book by the way. And the first part of the book to me is a neurotransmitter literary equivalent of a neuro-transmitter would go to the nerve. And the action connection is basically the wormhole to the website. The website has three things or several things, but one the most important thing it’s called the nexus and nexus is the most complete listing and network of climate solutions in the world today, but not just the listing, but is actually how to do it, how exactly what you can do now, what you can do as an individual, for sure.
But as it says, in hindsight, you probably saw that in the book is there’s no such thing as an individual. That’s just sort of the ego waking up every morning, going, Hey, you know, but you actually don’t exist as an individual. You exist as a family, as you know, relationships as a neighborhood, as community, as a church, as a school, as a company, as a, you know, your network is so fascinating, you know, that is who we are and we have agency.
Your podcast is agency. Right. And you’re one person for sure. But how many people do you reach? How often in what way? That is what you’ve chosen to do. Everybody has agency and it varies, of course, you know, but fact is we all do. So we go into those levels of agency, you know, it’s like, well, well, this is what you can do as a neighborhood or as a community.
If it applies, this is what you can do as a city, as a company, as a school, as a classroom, these are ways you can fact these challenges like the boreal forest or solutions, you know, like regenerative ag or food waste and so forth, you know, and this, and these are what we call, um, in politics, the bad actors, these are people that are really screwing it up.
This is, you know, this is the chairman and the Procter and gamble. Who’s cutting down Virgin trees in the boreal forest to make plush toilet paper, you know, and this is his phone number and this is email. And I’m sure you’d like to hear from you, if you have feelings about that, you know? So like this is so that’s the influence you really want to influence, not just to be there.
And, and, and, and all the different ways you can influence, you know, and also politicians or our legislatures or policies, or what a city council level and so forth. And then we have, we’re called the good actors. Th that is to say people who are really making a difference, Daniel Nierenberg of food, you know, food tank, amazing what she’s doing, you know, uh, civil eats is the other, uh, um, website she has in Europe.
And so we, we will list those people. And then we list all the organizations that are just. You know, they’re just a great job, including podcasts, by the way. You know, if their focus is in that area, that that solution challenge is about. And then all the videos, these are great videos. These are great documentaries.
These are great books. These are the articles and so forth. You want to know about the greater land restoration. You want to get involved with that. This is the two to 3 billion hectares out there that has actually been trashed by industrial agriculture deforestation. And here’s what to do. And it’s all links.
You know, we’re not telling you what to do is saying here. It’s just a pole after a things going out there in the world that people, the organizations that intelligence, the brilliance, the courage, you know, and so forth. And then, so what nexus says is take you into the world of regeneration, you know, and, and we’re doing it.
It’s gone. It’s it’s happening. It’s not like we’re trying to start something. We are just trying to honor what it is and to bring it to the forest so that other people can see it and they can see each other, you know, and then we also have climate action systems, which is basically a learning pod where you can take, gotcha.
I want to, I want to get natural gas out of my house altogether. I don’t want any natural gas, no fossil fuels in my house or heating oil if it’s in east coast and this is how you do it. This is how heat pumps is to how they work. But I’ve done it in my neighborhood, which is I I’m doing it to my house.
And I realized that the plumbers around me didn’t know. Much of anything and, and they would be asking me, and so I have David, I have Andy, you know, I have other people here, you know, who are homeowners and going, let’s figure this out, you know, and we’re figuring it out. That’s a learning pod. And we have learned a lot in what we have learned is a pod.
And then you can have it. You want Scotts valley here. This is what we’ve learned. A lot of it will apply to Scotts valley where you live some of the well, you know, and then you can add to it and so forth. So basically it goes back to cells, cells to be two cells. Well, that’s what knowledge wants to do too, is to split two, to become, to become four, become a, B 16.
So, hi, I’m an accent system is a way for our understanding and our learning, you know, about what to do and how to do it and what works and what doesn’t work and all that sort of stuff to basically disseminate and to proliferate. And then finally we have what’s called punch lists, you know, which are, which are charming and funny.
And, and, you know, but it’s basically of the seven things you’re committed to doing in the next month, a year or 10, whatever. And, you know, I have a friend of a friend and what he does is teach children in refugee camps, art and makes murals and gives them paint brushes. And these children are being taught anything.
That’s regeneration to really like, like openness up, you know, it says like, oh no, it’s just we gen ag. And that’s why you talked about, you thought it was going to be about Regene egg. That’s why I put it in the middle of the book, not the first one it’s in the middle, like, oh, here it is. Finally, you know, so that’s what the, to answer you a long after your question about, you know, what can I do or do I feel defeated and so forth?
It’s like, I think of the Wendell Berry quote, which is be joyous though, you know, all the facts. So which means, oh, look at the science, holy smokes, great science kind of a bummer, especially if you’re 20 years old, you know, I didn’t create any of this. You guys said that, and you’re telling me, I’ve got to fix someday, you know, your stupidity for the last hundred years, you know?
And the like, so that’s a debate, anxiety promoting, worrying, angry sort of load of information. But the thing is like, though, you know, the facts once, you know the facts then got it. Let’s go, let’s work. Let’s do. And that’s what regeneration is about.
Yeah. You know, I got the sense you could pick what you’re most passionate about and champion it because there’s, there’s some act in here that you can be the master of, and then you may not be able to, you may not have the time to do a hundred percent of it, but there’s at least one thing you can champion
and you have allies.
Yeah. You know, and this is getting back to what I discussed with David Johnson when we were talking about the climate problem as a whole like, okay. So if we have, uh, if we need a billion activists and we’re, we don’t have them, or we’re not going to get them, how do we create equivalent change? And so his concept is essentially creating a GreenPrint that uses elements of design thinking and some other things in negotiation, et cetera, to essentially build a framework from which a bunch of activists could work on a global scale on one mission that they might all champion together.
That seems like it’s a lot of the same sort of idea or a complimentary idea to what you’re doing with nexus, et cetera. It seems like it’s a portal, a gateway or a door through which you’re inviting us all in to say, here’s what I
want to do. Yeah. I mean, Davidson a neighbor, lovely, lovely human being. Uh, I don’t really agree.
Um, I hope it works. I hope he does it. I support it avidly. That what I don’t agree is that what you do is that takes too long. Um, it’s top-down in terms of the. And, uh, we have top-down world and I mean, men have been in charge for, you know, quite a long time. And that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.
And so what we do is create the conditions for self-organization because that is what your body does. That’s what everything in nature does. And so if we’re going to do this, I disagree. We are going to have the billion activists we are. And the question is how, what will be the catalyst? What would be the focal points?
And the reason we will have a billion activists is businesses because climate will be the biggest movement in the history of humankind. Not because some charismatic vertebrae stood up and said, you know, follow me. I’m not for that. It’s because of weather. Whether it just that’s, it, it affects all of us.
It affects all of us and it brings us together. Actually, I don’t care what religion you are or this, or what you believe about that. And so forth. You know, we have a common shared, um, purpose and interests. Now, you know, that is far more important than what might divide us. And so to me to give up on a billion activists is act, actually I D I’m the opposite.
I’m F I’m going for the billion. And then the two. And the thing about it is that if we really look at the solutions, you know, and I say the solutions and nexus are everything that’s in the book, but everything is in drawdown and everything. That’s in accelerated pathways and other solution, um, grant oriented, uh, um, initiatives that are in the world.
So it contains all of them, not just the ones in regeneration, but the thing about that is that, um, um,
we, we need, we, like I said, we need to see each other in a different way than the way we have organized. Everything in the world. Um, because, and again, that’s what I said about regeneration biology is our teacher here. And as I said, you know, if you try to organize your body, you’d be dead. Okay. You can, the only thing you can change is what you see read, eat, smelled, smoke.
Okay. You can change those things, right? You can change the inputs, but you can’t change. What’s going on. And miraculous. It is beautiful is extraordinary. Okay. The human body, one cell in, in, in one second has more things going on in that cell than all the stars in the universe. So it’s like better not how the Republican party in charge of your body.
Right. Or anybody in the other organization. So that is what Les was like that. So we have to think about how can we create conditions for self-organization in the planet rather than, you know, socially. And again, if you look at all the solutions that are nexus and you didn’t have a climate scientist alive, and you were clueless as to extreme weather saying, oh, I have a string of bad luck on the weather, you know, everything’s burning.
And then it’s got too cold in Texas and, oh, it’s too warm here. And like, or whatever, all that you were clueless, you would want to do every one of those solutions because they have cascading benefits for people, for children, for future, for water, for health, for education, for nutrition. I mean, let’s do them anyway.
In other words, you don’t have to have a messianic or you don’t have to, you know, like we have to do it because of guilt or shame. And that’s what happened with science. It had talked about future existential threat. It talked about, you know, and th th it tacitly was about fear and threat. You know, like if we don’t do this, some bad things will happen, you know?
And then activists took that up. And they amplified it with shame and blame, you know, pointing fingers, you know, and well deserved by the way, you know, in terms of Exxon and Chevron and so forth and no question, but, you know, fear, threat, shame, blame, and so forth, actually do not motivate. They do not create action.
They do. They numb you. And most people don’t even have the time to do that. You know, in terms of stop the Keystone pipeline, which has hallelujah and bless bill McKibben, everybody who got involved with that, but so far. So we have to create something which is really about, like I say, regeneration is, has big arms, which is, this is create a much better world and much more fascinating world and got the problem.
Whether we use the problem as a way to transform who we are, what we do and where we are going to become, as opposed to see the problem as something that is, um, oppressive, that we’re the object of it, you know, and somebody did that. I’m the object that’s unfair. I’m mad. I’m going to act out as a victim.
Really the rest of your life. You’re going to be a victim. That’s a stupid way to spend time on that planet, which is so beautiful. So, I mean, it feels
to me like you’re talking about essentially pushing from the bottom for change by changing your lifestyle. No,
the middle, the middle. Yeah. That’s the thing.
It’s always been individual the bottom, you know, then the top is conference of the parties, the government by no, whatever I’m going. Well, they’re really slow. They don’t get it. You know? Uh, I mean, I’m not saying that by the administration doesn’t get it, but I’m just saying, it was like, and then the bottom is activist individual.
I mean, that’s what British petroleum did they individuated the problem, your carbon footprint, you know, we’re just selling oil, you know, or gasoline or whatever, you know, we’re doing what you want. You know, you’re the problem. Tobacco industry actually discovered that with individuating, the problem with we’re not the problem you smoke.
And, and so that is wrong because only certain things that individuals can do if they think that they’re alone. And that is the other thing of we’ve other climate, other nature, you know, we’ve other, each other. I mean, and, and othering is separation, you know, making it separate, you know? And so, no, I’m not saying it’s the, it’s the middle out a billion people is the middle.
And, and, and that is what is untapped. And that is that 98 to 98% of the world is disengaged. And we have to think, why are they disengaged? It’s a good reason. I’m not blaming them at all. Like 40, 50% are empathetic. They’re sympathetic, you know, they’re like, oh yeah, this is really a big problem, but they don’t do anything.
So what’s where that’s the gap analysis we’re trying to do, which is okay. You know, why, what is it? You know, what are the obstacles? What’s the resistance points? What is the communication lack? You know, w where are we lacking communication? And so, uh, that’s to me, the, the, the, the opening, you know, that’s there, it’s just, it’s, I mean, that opening is so big.
You could, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s like a me yawning, mine opening, you know, again, that’s why I see climate as definitely the changing weather is definitely hairless. It’s absolutely perilous and it’s grievous to, you know, loss and the sense of suffering is causing it. It’s horrible. And no question about it at the same time that shouldn’t disallow us from doing a 180 at the same time and looking the other direction to what it is telling us and what is possible.
Um, Hmm. As an individual, interestingly, because you have agency, not just because you’re an individual and, um, and that is why climate action systems and nexus really opens up that whole world of what yes, you can do, knowing that there’s so many users out there and they’re your friends, your allies, they care, and that’s who we are.
that’s beautiful. And I want to, uh, bring up one more thing. Um, as I have heard this a few times before, and I’ve seen it in my environment, when we allow the earth a chance to heal, it heals remarkably quickly, even the climate. So I was hoping you could talk about that for a moment, because I think that helps to give people faith that we can make a difference.
Well, yeah, I mean, there’s that piece by Isabella tree about the Napa state in, in, in Sussex, it’s a beautiful, beautiful piece, you know, but he, uh, she and Charlie, her husband Turley, but WRAL inherited this, uh, 3,500 acre estate. That’s, um, basically a farm and on Sussex clay, which is just. Awful to farm in.
And, um, and they tried to redo it in new equipment and new techniques and more chemicals in this. And they lost more money, uh, than it was losing before they inherited it. And they decided to take out all the fencing, the ring fences, and listening to a guy named Franz they’re, uh, uh, uh, doctor cologists let it go wild.
Okay. And they brought back three animals, uh, Tamworth pig, a type of horse and Longhorn cattle. That pretty much approximated the original inhabitants of the land, you know, 2000 years ago in Europe. And in the short time in 27 years, 20 years, they have more red listed species on their land, on the land and Napa state.
Then all the conservation areas in the UK put together and 3,500 acres, the purple emperor butterfly, the turtle dove the first nesting storks in UK for 600 years. And they just let it go wild and nature. It just restored so quickly. You see that, you know, of course, you know, in other places, the world, you know, Chernobyl, you go to look at the turnover.
I know the city of Chernobyl. I mean, it’s a jungle, it’s a gardens. Animals is creatures. The biodiversity, there is enormous, right? It was never there before, because there’s no. Right. And so the, the, the rate at which, uh, you know, nature restores itself is, is, is absolutely extraordinary. And what we know now, and this is a shift in climate science, which is it’s science has never, right.
It just moves. It keeps moving, you know, and the assumption was that when greenhouse gases peat, that they were up there for, you know, decades and hundreds of years, they would stay up there and warming would not only persist, but increase for centuries. And so then you say, well, you’re telling me that we achieved nets that are, that, which is going to burn up anyway.
Right. Kind of what the science and so what’s the incentive and what’s so great about the sixth assessment is that they realized that the models were wrong. And actually that when we hit net zero there within a relatively short time, um, hitting stabilizes, uh, and, and starts to, if we’ve started drawing carbon down, which is what dropped on us about, uh, you know, those gases, but carbon Swami can draw down.
Um, the, uh, and cooling begins. And we never knew that before. I mean, we were, if people want to go down the rabbit hole of climate science, I mean really in depth, it’s pretty depressing. If you think about this is here for a hundred of years, you know, and I’m like, well, what’s the point then, you know, to do everything.
And now we have a goal and we, our data and regeneration show that we can get rid of fossil fuels by 2042, at the current rate, we just saw something today. Us can be 40% solar, not counting wind by 2035. You know, I mean, the re it’s interesting to know the McKinsey and, uh, the IEA, the international energy agency had been wrong about the growth and rate of growth, uh, of wind and solar for 20 straight.
Yeah. Even if underestimated the rate of growth and the rate of the dropping cost, these are the best agencies in the world. IEA, you know, no is, it’s just outpaced it in every way in terms of its rate of growth. So we have to understand that other things are exponential to, you know, not just things that we don’t want, and that is the rate of human, um, capacity in change.
And when humans are on it, they’re amazing and human beings are honest. Um, so yes, what we face in terms of the weather is foreboding. No question about it. Um, but we shouldn’t let that dark cloud, oh, clued our vision of who we are and the best of humanity and the best of humanity is coming to the fore.
Well, I’m encouraged by the fact that even though Sandra’s village got torn down and Scott’s valley, they replaced it with condos that are all electric. And when I first saw that, I’m like, what is the benefit of that? Like, it’s just all electric, Wood’s all solar run. They are essentially building a building that doesn’t have any gas or other fossil fuels going into it.
They were all built to lead, certify levels. So, I mean, essentially having a minimal impact on the environment while creating stable places for people to live and grow. So I think that’s.
I mean, if you ask me in regeneration, what’s the number one solution. I would say it depends how you look at it. I mean, uh, but you know, I wouldn’t, but the number one solution, if you’re just doing, you know, CO2 metrics, is that condo electrify, everything, everything.
I thought it was opposite at first,
well isn’t natural gas better. It has to be electricity. Renewable energy has to be. So, I mean, yeah, the input has to be renewable, but to electrify everything. And, uh, and there we go. And when those go up, those engineers, those architects, those city planners, they all learn something, they learn a lot more, they cutting their teeth, they learn how to do it better, faster, cheaper, more effectively.
They spread that information, you know, we’re a learning species for sure. And so those, you know, sort of, you know, the camel’s nose is, you know, slipping under the tent of regeneration and as it does. So, um, you know, the, the, the rate of change to become. It’s something I think we underestimate, you know, because we see the headlines, you know, about both scenario and Orban and, you know, Trump and all these things are going, oh my God, the world is going nuts.
You know? And I wouldn’t argue that one in that sense, but I wouldn’t say it’s just true, but that’s another podcast, but I do. That it obscures what’s happening. That’s what bless it. And rest that book was about, which is, you know, we don’t hear about the 1 million organizations that are devoted to restoring life on earth and, you know, social justice and indigenous rights.
You know, we don’t hear about them, but they’re out there and they’re growing and they’re effective and things are happening. And so you just saw, um, basically at the IUC and the international union of conservation and nature, which is the biggest conservation organization in the world recognize, and, uh, institutionalize Indian presence, knowledge and wisdom of indigenous people into the IUC.
N like, wow, uh, that is so important because 80% of the biodiversity is on tribal or unseated, formal tribal lands or lands that are basically occupied and, and, um, uh, populated by indigenous the 5,000 Jesus cultures in the world. And it’s a very important part of the book, indigeneity, indigenous knowledge and wisdom.
Um, and so to have to read that today and read that this morning was like, yes, you know, cause again, it’s kind of like climate was very male oriented and excluded women, frankly, a women’s way of seeing the world, being the world, thinking the world’s women’s science, um, and conservation has been a very privileged white person.
Enterprise, you know, or not, it didn’t have the best of intentions. Of course it does, you know, but it also had a blind spot, you know, which is it. Didn’t really look at what I call observational science, which is indigenous people are scientists and it’s encoded in their language. And we think, well, if you don’t have a written language, you’re not literate, you’re illiterate.
So therefore there couldn’t be any science and it’s actually upside down backwards. The DNA Navajo have narratives. These narratives, these songs, these stories actually are basically how they transmit scientific understanding generation to generation. And they have stories that can identify and talk about 700 different insects.
Come on, show me somebody who’s not an entomologist who knows anything about 700 insects, pollinators and so forth. So for us to discover that this wealth of, of understanding and observational science is the science of play. It’s not, you know, science, which is imperical science, which is do an experiment.
And if you can replicate it, then it must be true. And, you know, observational science is the science of, of places. A pattern of change, a dynamic of systems, which is you’re looking at it from pattern recognition so forth, and it never repeats itself. If nothing in life repeats itself, no Oak leaf is like any other Oak loop in world.
None ever nature doesn’t have straight lines, circles or repetition. And so observational science is a completely different way of understanding the world and the win. The reason we know these are great observational scientists is the event in the same place for 2,005,000, 10,000, 15,000 years. And they learned to live there without anything that we associate with in terms of survival.
And boy, did they learn a lot? And boy do indigenous people know a lot first nations native Americans. I mean, extraordinary. So just the very fact that we’re at that point where not only indigenous people reclaiming their rights, we claiming their voice reclaiming this sovereignty, but at the same time, White people, Europeans colonists, settlers, or organizations that came out of that are starting to recognize it.
Oh my God. You know, I mean, um, the people that, I mean, Darwin called a Yaman of people in the Franco beasts, wasn’t this, you know, uh, and they have a language that has almost as many words as Japanese, the beef. You know, and so, you know, appreciating now finally, you know, after what 500 and some odd years, you know, of terror and murder and rape and pillage and marginalization, and we just saw, you know, what Canada did to children in these Catholic schools, you know, I mean, all that came out of a decree by the Pope, you know, and, uh, for, you know, about, um, uh, that, uh, really mandated that Spaniards and others, you know, could conquer the world, you know, in the name of Catholicism and so forth, you know, uh, the doctrine of discovery, if you discovered it it’s yours, that was the doctor and discovery came from the PayPal PayPal’s, um, uh, decrease and so forth.
They still have never, ever, ever said that to create was wrong, or we’ll get rid of that to create a decree still exist to this day, you know? And so we’re, we’re living, uh, uh, uh, uh, again, another point of emergence, you know, in terms of. Human understanding of respect and honoring and, and that, that we didn’t have, you know, we just had our academic science, which is fantastic, by the way, I’m not downplaying that at all.
I’m just saying is like welcome to the world of observational science, Darwin himself, you know, putting aside his characterization of the Yom and the people was an observational scientists, so it was Wallace. So it was Galileo. So it was Copernicus for that matter, you know? I mean, so the great science of the past came from observation didn’t come from empiricism.
And, um, so we are now welcoming back in. Um, we, I mean, who are we? You know, but I’m just saying is that the world is, is, is starting to reconnect in that way. You know, um, what we, human beings have, uh, discovered and known for so long, and I was being shared in a way that could come at a more vital, important, and urgent time is now.
Well, I think that this interview will send me down quite a few more rabbit holes. Uh, something we didn’t get into is my background starting in anthropology and archeology. I actually prepared the skeleton of one of Jane Goodall’s chimps back in my undergrad. So your book is like a full circle of connection to all of this.
Um, so I am hoping that we can keep this door open and reconnect again in the future. I love that too. I would love to end this interview as I end most of mine, which is just to ask the simple question. If there is a question that I haven’t asked that you wish I had, what would it be? And if you don’t have one top of mind, just whatever thought you’d like to leave all of us with today.
Well, as a person has done, uh, a lot of public speaking, um, I can tell you questions are gold for a speaker. As my grandfather said, once he said, son, you know, you don’t learn anything when your mouth is open,
but when you do public speaking and then you have Q and a within, you know, it’s like th th the questions are always virtually, always emblematic of a lot of other people have the same question. Number one, number two is you learn something from a question as opposed to just seeing it as a interrogative, you know?
Um, and so, uh, I would say the, that I love questions. Every day. What I question is myself, you know, I mean, what are you doing? And, and the questioning, isn’t maybe what you might think, which is, are you doing enough? You know, are you, uh, could you do more, um, uh, that’s my workaholic self asking that question, but asking from a deeper point of view, which is, are you taking care of yourself in, in a two way?
I don’t mean in a narcissistic way, you know, like, uh, I got my gym membership, I got this, I got the, you know, I have all these different, no, I mean, in a sense of, again, the where of, of, of, of self love in the sense of honoring that I’m a human being and here I’m in. And then, because if there isn’t that, then, then there isn’t love for the rest of the world, no matter what you think or say there really isn’t.
And, um, the regeneration is the second book in a trilogy. There’s a third book. And, but the third book, I won’t give you the title. Now I have the title. But the third book and this isn’t the subtitle either. It’s about falling in love, but the word and, and, and not because I think it’s gonna change the world or anything it’ll change me because I write to learn.
I don’t write because I know. And so I, the question I always have for myself, am I actually creating, again, we talked about spaciousness early, but the spaciousness from my own being, you know, to, uh, honor love, respect, you know, my family, my friends, my networks, you know, uh, and, uh, usually I fail on that by the way.
And, but I am always asking that question, you know, because it conflicts with my sense of urgency, my workaholics health, you know, this is so important, you know, do this. And, um, so that’s the question I ask myself, you know, um, the question I would probably ask in turn or. You know, or, or the suggestion I’d make in turn is what we talked about earlier, which is really for, uh, somebody to really take the time.
It sounds odd to take the time to find out where you then find out, you know, look at something, you know, and say, what is it? And what started me on my path was I had a family, um, which was not good. And it was not safe to be in my home. How ever it was. And I would go outside every minute I could. Cause I was safe outside.
I always felt safe. And so no matter what was happening, thunder, lightning, floods, I just felt like even when I lived in the Sierras later, you know, in those fires, I felt safe. I never felt threatened by anything in nature. Um, and but when you’re outside, what you discover as a child is you don’t know squat, you don’t know anything and you don’t know the names of things.
You don’t know where it was making those noises. You don’t know what’s crawling away when you pick up the rock, you know, and when you’re a child inside, you know, you can do the light switches, the TV, the refrigerator, you know, I mean, you you’ve mastered the house like that. You know, it’s really easy. Uh, no mastery at all.
It’s really an outside, you know, you could spend 10 lifetimes and you wouldn’t know exactly you wouldn’t master it, then those sets thing. And so when it developed his curiosity, You know, which is like, how does this work? What’s the name who named it? What does the name mean? Um, and, and, and those questions keep, you know, basically expanding.
And, and so to this day, I really, well, I really am grateful for that because my books are about learning. They’re not about knowing yes. To I, or the case of the last two books. You have a lot of researchers, you know? So we are learning. Yes, of course. But it’s really about taking what is in time to, I’m a step down transformer.
I’m not as smart as everybody that I read and the books I read, the scientists I draw on, you know, but, but I was an English major. So what I try to do is take complex information and make it accessible, you know, because that’s what I need as a, as a person. And I know like Paul Stamets people who are just like amazing geniuses.
I’m not that person. I’m the person who wants to that. You know, and the way I help is to try to make language accessible and science accessible and to title, you know, reconnect, you know, that sense of othering, you know, that is so pervasive in our society, whether it’s me too, or anti-Semitism, or, you know, cultural or racial or legends, I mean this, which is other everything.
And we just hear it and, and to actually, um, try to in language and ideas and so forth to again, create those, uh, um, possibilities for people to see how beautiful those connections are.
Well, thank you, Paul. This has been incredible.
Thank you. Thank you so much for what you do really. I mean, camera would be better.
I mean, couldn’t be a better slogan.
Well, I’m thrilled. You’d come on. Um, and I’m also itching to know what that third book is, start to finish. Um, I’m thrilled that I got the chance to review regeneration before it’s helped for the masses. I’m loving it and I’m fairly confident it will live on my coffee table as a conversation piece for years to come.
Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s an honor to have met you. I actually have quite a few questions from our audience, so I’ll figure out another way to connect with you on that,
but happy to. To respond to those questions. You know, I think again, to me, questions are gold. Yes. But your audience is gold. And, and like, I mean, because those questions will stay with you sometimes and you realize there’s a question, like that’s a really good question, you know, I’ve, I, I haven’t asked that myself in somebody will raise it.
You go, wow. That they’re seeing the world from their perspective. How interesting, not just, I don’t mean that in a kind of nice way. I’m just like, oh, you know, that isn’t addressed or I hadn’t thought of it that way. You know, the question is a thought yes. And every question actually is a statement in disguise as well.
They’re not trying, you’re not trying to disguise. It just is, you can just change it around and it’s a statement. And, uh, so I welcome that in every way. And, um, I’m glad you got the book. I don’t know if you got the bound galley or the real book does have color in it all the way through it. Does you have?
I have never seen that book yet.
It arrived on September 7th, so
I’ve never seen it well,
yeah, that, that’s the first time I’ve seen the book. Yeah. I mean, it’s
beautiful. I mean, it’s far bigger than I thought it was from the initial picture. I thought it was going to be, you know, I don’t know, Kia size, so this is more, it’s almost like the size of some of my textbooks, but the
table book is.
Yeah, it’s quite a coffee table book, sit there and just look good.
Well, this one’s already dying here, so I to
thank you so much. So
today’s call to action for our audience. For all of you is really clear. We can all start by ordering a copy of Paul Hawkins’ new book regeneration ending the climate crisis in one generation it’s chock full of ideas for how we can all regenerate our precious planet.
As we’ve talked about, it’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s audacious, and it will make a great gift this holiday season to just in time, I can save this for certain. Mine is already well loved and will be more so in time to come. So to order your copy, you can follow the links provided in my show notes, or just visit regeneration.org.
I’ve also been following them on Instagram. They have a very active page. I encourage you to check it out and if you visit our podcast website care more, be better. You will see an action page with a link to Paul Hawkins regeneration. I’m also compiling a blog about today’s. So which will feature calls, tips for things you can do to support or regeneration and a few quotes that I’ve already extracted from the book.
Thank you listeners now. And always for being a part of this pot and this community, because together we really can do so much more.