Keep Up With The COP

By December 10, 2015 One Comment
Baba Brinkman

Author Baba Brinkman

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  • Ashley Bies says:

    Awesome stuff, Baba!

    Thanks for all you do to represent (particularly for the future).

    I’m wonder if you’ve had any contact with these perspectives on ways to transform our future into a livable (non-cataclysmic-extinction) one [/dispel the forces that prevent major urgent changes from being made]?

    1). Dr. Doug Tallamy has shown that native woody vegetation supports a tremendous diversity of insect life (which he frequently refers to as bird food), supporting a complex food chain and and maintaining an abundance of diverse native species (e.g. birds), whereas exotic plants (and lawns) support almost no native insect life (either in diversity or abundance) and therefore no food chain (and that, purely selfishly, we need all remaining species/biodiversity [and restored native range and productivity] for our own future – as both individuals and species); He therefore calls for restoring half the 40 million acres of lawn in the US to native woody vegetation (an area bigger than the combined total of 9 of our premier National Parks):
    2 talks, each great:

    Review and recommendations:


    2). Advocate Tony Lovell’s TEDxDubbo talk, on seasonally dry grasslands (including pasture and rangeland) as a natural carbon pump. When grassland is subject to the natural process of intensive grazing (by either herds of wild grazers, or well-managed intensive rotational livestock grazing), native tall grasses, now browsed to stubs, slough off most of their root systems, down to what can be sustained while the aboveground stems re-grow: They thereby pull carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it underground (forming naturally dark, organic/carbon-rich soil), regrow quickly, and repeat the process the next time a herd grazes by. Since there’s 5 billion hectares (12.3B acres) of degraded or desertified grazing land around the world, restoring natural grazing conditions (whether by restoring natural herds or carefully managing domestic herds) would restore a tremendous amount of carbon sequestration, potentially enough to help us to not only avert the impending climate disaster (of continuing to increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations from the current 400ppm on to 550ppm), but also to restore a natural climate (by both offsetting continuing emissions and, eventually, reducing atmospheric CO2 back to the natural/pre-industrial 280ppm):

    -=- Which implies that the following – …which really could be catchier… – could also improve soil carbon retention and sequestration: -=-

    3). Dr. Jackson’s perspective that we can avoid all pesticides of all sorts (and most fertilizers and land tilling [/soil killing {/lost carbon storage and sequestration}]) by naturally perennializing annual crop species:
    TEDxOverland Park talk (“We Can Now Solve the 10,000 Year Old Problem of Agriculture”):

    The Land Institute:


    4). Dr. Wessels’* TEDxWindham talk (15min.s), on societal specialization (shrinking rather than consolidating the scale and focus of our corporations) for equity and resilience (“Simply Complex Systems”):
    5). Dr. Wessels'* Antioch New England graduation speech (20min.s), on re-storying our country (back to our frugal roots, away from the consumerist web spun by corporate influence ever since the Civil War [as warned of by Pres. Lincoln before his assassination] – parts 1-3):

    * = […Incase you haven’t…I’d highly recommend checking out Tom Wessels, Emeritus Professor of Ecology at Antioch NE {and our preeminent regional naturalist}, in general, and his book, Reading the Forested Landscape, in particular.]

    …In perhaps somewhat of a similar vein, though from a different paradigm…

    6). Eisenstein TEDxWhitechappel talk (“A New Story of the People”), suggesting that a new story (/worldview) is necessary to avert global disaster:


    7). Eisenstein documentary (based on one of his books) “Sacred [gift] Economy,” in 12 min.:

    …Perhaps most fundamental of all (with USA as case study for western democracies/vetocracies)…

    8). Harvard Professor (and DNC-squashed ’16 Presidential candidate, author of Republic Lost) Lawrence Lessig’s warns of 90+% political despair, “Tweedism”, the 0.02% influencing nominations (and a major study that shows political outcomes track the interests of the elite and not -at all- those of the people):

    [My take: Replace “Warren” with “Sanders” for Lessig’s view of the potential benefit a populist Progressive candidacy (let alone Presidency) for our society; and the need to rally to such a candidate as our leader in order for us to overcome the stranglehold of money on our political system**. And why nothing, nothing substantive, nothing meaningful, will change, unless we do overcome and transform that system: That, if we adopt Sanders’ candidacy as our focal point for this half-century’s major social movement (harking back to race rights and MLK’s leadership), Lessig believes we can get there, together.]
    ** = Hence my hope that Sanders’ campaign may become the most likely in modern history to produce major coat tails, to bring the 96% who believe it’s important to reduce the influence of money in politics (and the 94% who believe the system is rigged) into a transformative political movement – i.e. to engage (/transcend) the current 91% who believe it’s unlikely we can do anything about money in politics; if his candidacy does, and those coat tails turn out to be all that they could be, his candidacy could begin to transform Congress (and thereby our collective future).

    Anyway – if you’d like to chat with this ecologically oriented fan (albeit without a tit-for-tat financial-contribution-for-celebrity-conversation) about these or any other (e.g. biodiversity, and conservation, population and world perspective) topics, please be in touch. Meanwhile, thanks so much for continually inspiring and informing with your science-based lyricism! In gratitude,

    Take care, caretake,

    I also recommend:
    9). A series of seminars (“Biodiversity and the Meaning of Human Existence”) led by E.O. Wilson (the forefather of conservation biology and still one of our preeminent scientific and conservation leaders), which I’ve found very much thought provoking and inspiring (but then, I’m a biodiversity geek, for sure;):

    P.P.S. […getting slightly Gandalfish here…]
    You might also appreciate these regionally-sourced climate raps:
    10). Shea Reister (“Do The Math”):
    11). X 10 (“CO2”):
    [A riff on their original “802” rap: ]

    Ashley Bies
    Field conservation ecologist

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