Compare the Red & Yellow areas (below)
Doing what’s best for our life support system is also what’s best for our climate and society. How do we know? Compare these 3 maps.
- Earth’s bio-productivity: is concentrated in Tropical lands
2. Earth’s biodiversity: is concentrated in Tropical lands
3. Land-ecosystem restoration priorities: are concentrated in Tropical lands
These maps show where the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems are located on our planet. Red & Yellow are “most productive” and “most biodiverse.”
This is how Earth’s biosphere is organized: biological productivity (carbon absorption) and biodiversity (species) are overwhelmingly located on lands in the Tropics. Putting restoration and continuation of global biospheric productivity first on society’s todo list is the most complete solution to every major issue today.
Map 1 shows biological carbon absorption assets. Map 2 shows biodiversity assets. Map 3 shows ecosystem restoration priorities from a 2020 study, which found that prioritizing protection and restoration of land-based Tropical ecosystems (wetlands, forests, grasslands, coastlines, etc.) would absorb up to 49% of global greenhouse emissions since the Industrial Revolution, save +70% of threatened species, and cost 13 times less than the next cheapest way to cut emissions and protect species. We talked about this in blog 13.
But Here’s What’s Equally Important
There is a LOT MORE value here. Mega-scale. Another way to look at this one solution, this single, giant priority, is that it is a social solution which rebuilds Earth’s atmospheric moisture circulation system — something technology isn’t even thinking about, in order to address a number of our most brittle crises. Divisionism. Poverty. Refugeeism. Natural Disaster. Here are a few of the benefits that come to mind from protecting and restoring Earth’s most bio-productive and biodiverse lands (shown in the 3 maps above):
- Stopping “Hot House Earth”. It looks to me like the only way to avoid an unstoppable cascade into runaway climate change is to reverse biospheric destruction according to the priorities shown above. The infamous Hot House Earth study says that achieving “Stable Earth” requires: i) deep cuts in greenhouse gasses; ii) biosphere sink protection; iii) removing CO2 from the atmosphere; iv) solar radiation management; and v) adaptation to impacts of warming already occurring. These requirements cannot be met by mere “decarbonization”, but globally-strategic biospheric rescue and stewardship accomplishes exactly these things: i) massive greenhouse cuts, ii) biosphere sink protection, iii) creating additional drawdown capacity, iv) reducing on-site heat stress, v) adapting to and recovering from damage — and can be activated at scale before 2030 to prevent Hot House Earth, which could be triggered as soon as 2034.
- Moisture System Rebuild. Protecting and restoring tropical forests, soils, vegetation, coastlines, wetlands, and biodiversity restores the bio-physical infrastructure of the global moisture circulation system. This in turn increases the productivity and longevity of all ecosystems and likewise reduces drought, extreme weather and desertification in the Tropics and around the planet. Protecting and rebuilding the tropics is the only way to preserve the potential for a lush, productive planet. (Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref)
- Securing the Food System. Rebuilding the atmospheric moisture system lowers tropical temperatures and strengthens reliable irrigation of the tropical and global food industries. This results in radically enhanced resilience for the global food production system to climate change, population growth, biosphere collapse, and extreme weather. (Ref, Ref)
- Maintaining Goldilocks Conditions. Increasing atmospheric moisture flow in the Tropics by protecting and restoring vital organ wildernesses has micro to macro-cooling effects on ecosystems both there and around the world. Cooling reduces stress, death, and species relocations. It also helps slow ocean warming and counteract other degrading effects of global warming. (Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref)
- Reducing Drama & Trauma. A moisture system rebuild in the Tropics would minimize the frequency and intensity of climate change and extreme weather events, such as drought, hurricanes, floods, and prolonged temperature extremes. (Ref, Ref, ibid 1, 2, 3, 4 above)
- Eliminating Financial Losses. Restoring the tropical moisture system would radically reduce all financial losses associated with climate change and bio-physical resource collapse. It would also radically improve physical recovery time after extreme weather events. (Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref)
- Eliminating Food-Poverty. Solving climate change by aiming to completely eliminate food-poverty in the Tropics, where population-growth is most concentrated and global warming is most destructive, and land-based ecosystems are most productive, via integration of all the above means all food industry actors, small to industrial, must be equipped to produce and deliver food in a net regenerative way. That may sound like enormous undertaking, to save ourselves by transforming food production in the Tropics to a biospherically regenerative systems, but it’s also profitable. Additional ROIs from regeneratively eliminating food-poverty in the Tropics: systemic economic growth, new market establishment, sustainable peace, activating a greater proportion of human potential, more jobs, more education. (Ref, Ref).
- Reducing Potential for Pandemics. Wilderness restoration enhances pest and pathogen management by other species.(Ref)
- Engaging Economic Transformation. Humanity must steward its only life-support system to continue. Simple. We can utilize permaculture, agroforestry, and regenerative agriculture to rebuild our temperate climate system’s physical / biospheric infrastructure. Doing so would advance the human identity, i think, by a) connecting us to biospheric reality and b) converting the most destructive aspects of our economy, such as tropical meat production and highway development, to biospheric asset regenerators and stewards. Projections on the total economic gains of a similar but broader plan, “30x30”, calls for investing an additional $1.4 Trillion in our life support system over the next 10 years, and projects an economic return in cost savings, risk reduction, and capital gains equal to about $7 trillion over the next 30 years. (Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref, Ref)
- Business Opportunity. There are many additional, large-scale biospheric protection and restoration solutions other than “priority 1” discussed here, that are profitable today: regenerative food & diets, ocean farming, permanent agriculture, regenerative waste, large-species range restoration, to name a few. There is enormouse potential today for rapid, profitable, inclusive evolution of the human economy, which securitizes our primary asset, Biosphere Earth. (Ref)
(The above is just today’s list.)
PEOPLE NEED solutions today that resolve climate change, address poverty and wealth imbalance’s worst abuses, eliminate refugeeism, prevent pandemics, secure the global economy, and protect us all from population growth and near term food shortages. That’s biosphere. We need economic development that rebuilds the security of our planetary life-support system. That’s biosphere. We need biosphere.
Biospheric climate solutions.
More tomorrow! Thanks.
This blog is part of a series on Biosphere Earth.
Read the prior post, Feasibility.