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Act on climate

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, July 27th, 2022 - 27 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, nature, sustainability - Tags: , , , , ,

John D Liu’s documentary on the ecological restoration of the desert on the Loess Plateau in China,

John Liu on the importance of ecological restoration in climate action,

I feel certain that to succeed in reversing climate change, biodiversity loss, and hydrological collapse, ecosystem restoration must become the central intention of human civilization. We must consider how big a change this is. It is a paradigm shift of enormous complexity but if humanity decides collectively to restore the Earth’s natural ecological functionality, then really nothing can stop us.

My greatest hope is in “The Ecosystem Restoration Camps Movement” which is growing rapidly and after just 5 years is expected to have over 50 camps around the world by the end of 2021. The camps face challenges but they are successfully engaging new people and new energy to restoration efforts. I think that this method that allows all to participate is a key element to restoring the Earth.

Already there are camps on all continents. In the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East there are camps in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Somalia, Turkey, and together with the UN and GAIA University, several villages are working on Rural Agriculture Development in Syria. We are working to link these together and get Arabic Language teaching materials flowing through the region to grow more camps and involve more communities.

On priorities,

Consciousness: We are going to have to value life higher than things. We must transform the economy in order to reflect the true value of life. This requires us to stop thinking that buying and selling things is somehow the basis of wealth and allows us to understand and care for all people and all living beings. Now we are invested in death and are consuming the Earth’s life support systems. This false belief in materialism must end, so we can take another path.

If we are unable to understand this or unable to do it then we cannot change the trends that are leading to predictable catastrophic outcomes.

Intention: We must be intentional. Intention depends on what we understand and is the bridge between theoretic understanding and action. I believe that when people make this shift then all politicians and theorists will follow. We must reverse the course of what is happening now. We can no longer wait for the vested interests to lead because they believe that it is in their interest to keep things the same, we require a paradigm shift.

Action: Now is the time to act. All people who understand that our children and future generations of life are dependent on this choice must now stand up and take action. If we are conscious of the value of the Earth’s living systems and of all life and we have the intention to stop exploiting and start conserving and restoring then we must act with fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness. The best way to do this is joyously and collaboratively. It is a monumental shift in civilization.

27 comments on “Act on climate ”

  1. dv 1

    Oops I read ACT as ACTs position on climate!!!


  2. Robert Guyton 2

    “The Ecosystem Restoration Camps Movement”

    Now that sounds interesting/promising/encouraging!

  3. roy cartland 3

    Car-free cities would be perfect for Europe. Many of those cities grew and before the car's invention, so are therefore walkable and have decent metro systems. I'd love to see how some of our big cities could be de-super-ised and re-borough-ised.

    • satty 3.1

      Wellington CBD is very suitable for large pedestrianised areas.

      We walk through the Botanical Gardens into town and everything is easily accessible by foot. Our friends can easily be reached by bus (wondering if it's just a lucky coincident we never have to change a bus to do so).

    • weka 3.2

      maybe not car free but low auto. So people can still hire a car for an hour if it's raining and they need to do errands that can't wait. Obviously delivery still needs to happen, and disable people need access. I think it's more a change in thinking, and a behavioural change that is supported with proactive alternatives. Petrol prices, CoL, climate are all external pressures, let's make it easy to change the behaviours.

      • roy cartland 3.2.1

        Yes. So needful cars only. That would increase/improve services like Mevo and Cityhop.

        I'm still a fan of rail, despite the obvious drawbacks. It's much more efficient (11x more than trucks, 3x more than cars), due to steel-on-steel having lower resistance than air-filled-tyre-on-asphalt.

        • weka

          good point. Roading materials are hugely problematic as are tyres. Love the interconnected solutions here.

          • roy cartland

            I've never been to Venice, but every time I hear people raving about I think, why can't we build more if it's so great? Not just Venices, which are awfully labour-intensive to maintain, but modern ones?

            Even places like Gulang Yu attract huge numbers of visitors because it's so pleasant – no cars! Everything is moved by handcart (great job for anyone wanting to keep fit!). Is it possible for everywhere (or at least a critical number of places) to be like this? I'd rather live like that than have a self-driving electric car.

            • weka


              • weka

                I suspect growing up before the advent of cheap Japanese imports, cell phones and decent public transport systems makes it easier to see. We just arranged our lives differently.

                • roy cartland

                  The internet too, probably. Because everything is at your fingertips, you assume it's easy and natural just to pop overseas whenever you feel like it. Hawaii, for example.

            • The Old Stone Town of Zanzibar must be similar – no cars at all, though most of the alleyways are way too narrow for normal vehicles. Lots of motorbikes.

              • roy cartland

                Central Florence is a bit like that. I love it.

                Lijiang, Yunnan. An actual medieval Chinese village, which still functions. Even the buildings outside the town walls lean into the style in the hopes of attracting visitors, because it's so nice.

                Laomendong, Nanjing. A new area built in the old style, to the old architectural mores. No cars, awesome. So it's possible and desirable.

  4. Anker 4


    I have come across the article a few times . The MIT people stress this approach will help but not replace climate action.

    • weka 4.1

      I'd want to see the cradle to grave accounting, including how much GHG emissions there were in the project.

      • Anker 4.1.1

        Will look to see if any such analysis has been done. I posted somewhat reluctantly, because I think people might feel "Oh great the clever people have a solution, we don't have to try anymore". Even the MIT. people say this isn't the case.

        I feel pretty fatalistic about CC. That doesn't mean it isn't worth trying and I think my own carbon footprint is very low. The fatalism comes from just listiening to what is happening to weather around the world. Hearing that emission continue to climb, despite the "blah, blah, blah" and realizing that us humans are a pretty flawed species.

  5. Anker 5

    Opps. Just seen the link above is broken. Sorry!

  6. lprent 6

    Ha! I came expecting to see something on the Act party policy on climate change. I should have known better – they are a pack of dithering fuckwits about climate change – and more interested in focus groupies than science. But I looked it up for laughs.

    For instance – what looks like their only long term climate policy

    ACT also proposes to change our climate change regulations to provide carbon credits for New Zealand wood products that store carbon for at least fifty years.

    Apparently the dumbshit ostriches in Act haven't quite realised that CH4 emissions in the atmosphere have a half life of something like 50 years and that of CO2 is well over a thousand years at the very least.

    There is absolutely no way to estimate a half life of wood products. Sure I have 18th century pub table at home – but it is one of the very few survivors of probably millions of tables from that century. Most wood furniture doesn't last for more than a decade or two. Most wooden houses don't last more than 50 years, they either get replaced, burn or get knocked down in unpredictable events like the ChCh earthquakes.

    And that is before I get into the questions of wastage – usually more than 50% of the total wood. The off cuts go straight into landfill or get burnt and therefore go straight back into the current CO2 atmospheric and oceans.

    Basically there are only two ways to lock CO2 into trees.

    One is to not cut down long growing forests. That means no commercial tree farming in plantations because that requires forestry plans that last centuries. Plantation pinus radiata is particularly useless because it is pretty useless as a long term forest. However forests are dangerous for CO2 – you get large bursts of CO2 when they burn or die from disease or bugs – something that is likely to happen more often as the climate shifts faster.

    The other is to routinely log forests and drop the wood into a swamp or under sediment in depths or water. That was where the fossil carbon came from in the first place.

    You have to wonder how much Act got in with donations from the wood industry for that bit of facile unscientific stupidity. I guess that greed trumps intelligence every time if you're a typical actoid.


  7. newsense 7

    But the government is supposed to do something about that!

    People already shit out of luck what was described as a (third) medium, manageable weather event in the South in the last couple of weeks.

  8. Hunter Thompson II 8

    Author and critic Clive James once wrote that the way we live now is not normal.

    He didn't define what a normal state was, but given the floods in Chinese cities and aridification in the western USA, we humans definitely need to get a better relationship with the natural world.

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