Optimism, Climate Change and Young Adults
Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation is the subtitle of Paul Hawken’s new book, “Regeneration.”
Anxiety over global warming is not just dispiriting, it also causes paralysis. Climate change feels overwhelming, in large part because our brains are not wired to deal with existential threats. Despite the recent extreme weather activity, the problem is too large and too diffuse for individuals to feel in control.
SymSoil was invited to a conference call with Paul Hawken discussing his new book “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation” and I heard 2 things that surprised me.
First, his book “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” was an outgrowth of attending climate change conferences with lots of handwringing and measurement of change, but little focus on solutions. “Drawdown” was an attempt to quantify different prospective solutions — and, of course, soil-based carbon sequestration and the soil microbe biome was prominently featured.
The second story from Paul Hawken surprised me more, and involved UC Irvine. Today, millions of young people have been feeling disillusionment and rage about the degradation of the environment. A paper by Wim Thiery in Science, put numbers to their experiences. For those living in nations with decarbonization programs, as laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement, people born in 2020 are expected to experience 30 major heatwaves during their lifetime. Obviously, it will be higher in other regions.
Arizona State University may be the leading school in sustainability, but UC Irvine has decided to tackle climate change mitigation solutions with an explicit goal of reducing the anxiety and increasing optimism and, I presume, forward momentum with those solutions.
SymSoil has a scalable solution for soil-based carbon sequestration for agriculture. A 2 degree (C ) increase in global temperatures, is expected to equal a 15% reduction in agricultural output. If you are an accredited investor, reach out to me directly at ElizabethP@SymSoil.com
SymSoil is also working with 100K Trees for Humanity, an urban reforestation nonprofit that will engage millions of Americans in climate change action through planting one (1) tree each by 2030, which is seeking corporate sponsorship. Using Miyawaki forestry techniques to restore native plants to urban locations will cool cities, improve air quality and reduce stress.
Planting a tree serves several purposes: First, at the individual level, it gives you a sense of having done something meaningful in the climate change fight. And that feeling of contributing to the solution often returns when you see the tree. At the neighborhood level, trees are calming, act as windbreaks and create shade. At the community level, they add economic value, reduce the heat from asphalt, absorb water, reduce soil erosion, and pollution (air, water, soil, noise). The symbiotic relationship with soil microbes, which sustain them, also permanently sequesters carbon in the soil.
Why does SymSoil care? We focus on solutions to environmental issues, with a focus on soil biology. Trees and plants feed, and are fed by, the soil microbiome. Healthy soil influences water, carbon sequestration and human health. SymSoil holds a patent on the first scalable approach to manufacturing Soil Food Web products as an alternative to agrochemicals.