Alternative Ways to Think About Climate Change - Gary Williams at New Frontiers
This. Story is just going to build on the stories you've been hearing this morning that's really going to be I think you will see from really common themes to what's just been said but I'll, give you my story, it. Is a story. Those. Three things there are sort of headings that I'm going to talk about. It. Might pay to sort, of turn off the left side of your brain and pepsin, engaged the right side of brain because it might be a little fast because you, are a big audience so I decided I'll do powerpoints, actually hate powerpoints, that, if you can look at them you won't have to look at me so much so it might be quite good, so. I'm, going to talk about wholeness. And I'm going to start there because I'd actually like to talk a whole lot about wholeness and well-being. And what it is to. Have. Health, which. Is all to do with being hold and being connected. Having. Up time to did it there are touch on it and. Then I going to go through and. Get took water and then we kind of a sub-theme, is going to be able an example it's going to be a climate, change I guess, but what I'm really want to talk about is. Ecosystems. And living systems on this planet and what's happening to them okay. Sorry let's go. So. Wholeness and, a, holistic perspective and I like to keep that w there cos it's a wholes a whole view it's not a whole underground sort of a thing and. And it's all about connections. It's about patterns, of exchange. What's going on and in terms of the integration, and taining the conductivity, all the time and everything we look at and think about and do with its thinking or action, or whatever so, I just wanna on this one I want to talk about, ecological. Health well what does ecological, health it's actually a rather difficult thing to think. About it's a difficult question is what is the ecological. Health so. I'm just going to give you one possibility, here it's, really about the rate. Of turnover, of nutrients. Carbon. And phosphorous and all these nutrients and everything that's going on and the, more it turns over and the more diverse pathways. Of all, those interconnections as, then. The, healthier, their ecosystem, that's one. Major maybe of Health is that there's, a lot going on and it's very complicated and it's all sort of supporting each other in Harley, can connect away with a rapid turnover and a fertility. Is I rep a turnover of nutrients. Couple. Things are what that might mean because. It gets a little bit difficult is that. It means that it's proactive. It's. Not about maximizing. Production it's about productivity, that supports, all parts of this of the ecosystem. Or living. System, and. There's. Storages, and sort, of backups, in terms of resilience, in terms of the shocks that might come other changes and what comes out has the ability to to. Adjust and the depth. Another. Take on that is that it involves a lot of death, beat. Up seem to forget about death when, you're next going to eat some food something's. Dying so that you can live okay. So life and death go together and a healthy, ecosystem it's. Not just all about life and growth all right. And I look at it another way it's not all about regeneration, either, there. Is growth. Maturity. And, decay so. There's both, regeneration. And. Degeneration. I. Now. Want to look at something. Called world, views we all will have a world view we, have an individual world view we have our. Social. Group, community, a cultural, one a society. One we all have a world view and it's sort of the, default setting, when. You don't quite know what to make of it we go to our defaults, so. I'm going to make an assumption that. You. Can read here that's our unconsciously.
Held Beliefs, or, assumptions. About, what, about. Life what it means that, actually has the most influence on our actions and. We. Don't even know that we're, doing it we don't even know what those beliefs are they just will down deep but. It makes a real difference to, us so, I just want to look at that in terms of this little. Diagram of a friend of mine drew in. Terms. Of the, worldview that sort of it's. Turning the dominant world viewers as well view of dominance. At. The moment where a, nature. Is out there, nature, that's, the trouble with nature, because. We're soon as though nature it's like we're not part of it all. Right it's something else and that and we've come out of it and we're, now control, of it and we can now make use of and that's. A sort of dominance. And control type, of, paradigm. That we live in and so. If we think about that and we're thinking about. Chemists. The theme of climate change well the climate is changing all the time day, and night seasonally. Year on year the climate is continually changing right, so. It's always changing, always will change and. It's sort of been stated, and Charles sort of sitted a bit as well Thank, You Charles but this. Could be a statement I don't know how easy is to read there but this could be a rather raw but maybe more honest statement about. What a lot of, climate. Change. Activity. Might be about terms, of stabilizing the climate all right so. It's a climates changing and it's. Very, thick in us and our lifestyle. Then. We, must take action we must be in control so it's our responsibility to, take action for, what to, keep the climate and the convenience, and comfort, of our peasant lifestyle. That's. What a lot of climate change people talking about keeping it like it is so we can keep on living like we are well. I'd like to question that I. Want. To get into water, so. We're on a watery planet that's our. Children New Zealand I can't see it on that somewhere down there and this shows, us and. That's half the globe so we're in a very watery place at the globe and. I'm. Sure you know that the Gaia hypothesis, and that, is that where there's water there's life. So. I want to quickly just go through this and I'll just see how far I get. So. Let's say basically, what life is about life is a synergy, to me and very simplistic terms between water and carbon. Okay. And a, little bit goes like this in terms of water well. It's a feedstock to start we talk about photosynthesis, - to talk about that water, and co2. Sunlight. Photosynthesis. Makes. Carbohydrates. That's the energy of the whole system that's, how we build. Life. Right but. It's a lot more than that it's actually the facilitator. Of all organic, exchanges, water is a incredibly, unusual and, strange, molecule. Very basic but very unusual, and it facilitates all exchanges. Of life, and. So. It's, it actually helps to distribute and quickly liquid water helps, distribute nutrients, around. Well, in the oceans easy enough and Landers, will, and. That's really important because plants, can't move so nutrients. Have to come to them and I'll talk a bit late about the air bringing also, basic. Nutrients like water and co2 to, plants because that's where they are there are basic nutrients. Very. Importantly, water, is about distributing. Heat as well and. So, the climate is really about water but. Where that is all to do with water that's, what the weather is this water. Carmen. Is very unusual. Well not unusual, it's just happens to be a simple molecule that, has a sort of four-way, bonding. Positive, negative ions cations can sort of bond to it and can bond to itself and it, can form sort of complex rings, and chains and, basically, form very long complex, spiraling molecules. And that's what allows life so the two together give, you life. So. Let's look basically at a couple of basic. Cycles of, life of, carbon. And water so. Let's start with carbon don't look too much at the depth, trying to work it out okay it's. Just saying. How carbon, flows, around through. Ecosystems. And soils. And in the air and on land based. Ecosystems. There's, this interplay between, the. Land the, biomass and the. Atmosphere in. Terms of the whole interaction, of it and. Again. This one here don't you look too much time on it but this is somebody's trial look at well what's the quantities.
The Storages, and the fluxes of carbon in. The world and just look, at on the. Left-hand side you'll see a sort, of pinky thing now. That's the carbon exchange going, on through the atmosphere, through. Co2 or methane, or to cover monoxide this. Flyff this life's way of distributing, carbon, and. That's going on if you look at the smaller little pink ones that's the fossil fuel burn in the fires and, it's actually got a small percentage, of what's going on anyway. It's a huge amount of carbon been, recycled through the year anyway and we. Might be adding a bit to it. Let's. Go to the water cycle, pretty. Basic to life as I've said and and. And and a whole lot of ways. That are coming, - and how the water cycle works but that's really important part of the. Whole system life okay now, if we look at what we've done to it I'm sure you can go through all these things I don't need to tell you what they are but we've done lots of things that affected, the water cycle all right, including. On waterways but, also on land deforestation. And. What. Are its got and soil loss and all that that's. All. Disrupting, and interfering, and affecting, the water cycle it's. Also affecting, ecosystems and, they're both connected so they. Affect ecosystems affect, the water cycle affects the water cycle which affect ecosystems, the, ability of life to do its thing as. Affected, by the disruption, this one is really when if we come to climb and global climate to. Me anyway, it's, all about the circulation, of water and therefore heat the. Sun shining it's. More on the tropics are always is water. Is used to distribute. That heat around as, well as water, itself I mean. I mean part of the life cycle of life. So. I just want to come to this, as an example a little bit in terms of. Everything. With climate so let's look. At the composition serious. Very basic, of the atmosphere mostly nitrogen really, incident another stories the wife so it's not in the knee know. These over three-quarters of it then. Oxygen now on the right hand side there there's water now people look at as a dry year or wet here because. Water goes in and out of the air all the time as water vapor right. And, it seems down again is rain and that's really important and, that's what this that's that's the greenhouse gas that's the most important, greenhouse.
Gas With a lot because it's the heat transfer no it was water and, then as inert gases well they just wander, around and don't, say anybody don't you think they just do their own thing you know so we don't worry about them too much it's. Mainly a gun and a few others we, blow up there again. 2%, is about an average that's up to 4% an, air can be water vapor and it's. Coming and going and. Then as those inert fellows who just wander around and don't say hello to anybody and, then there's a bit of carbon. Carbon. Dioxide methane coming oxide whatever going, around on the system a very small part it is a trace, element, going. Through the atmosphere, really. Doing its thing for life and what. Impacts it has in the climate is really a side consequences. From my point of view. So. If we look at then some of the climate drivers and I go through this quite quickly, because. You probably know it all that I want to make the point is that the biophysical, process, of life and climate, intimately, connected, one affects the other climate, affects life life affects climate and as. We I think we need to get ahead around that bigger. Picture, all those, interconnections and, how it all works together and not concentrate or somebody wins been making a point on one, part of it which is the climate, so. What, a climate drivers let's say what are the suspects, right well. Clearly the biggest suspect, is the Sun all. Right because, that's what, brings. The heat brings the energy into the earth and it's. We. Have to deal with it and life has to deal with it and this, is just a plot, and I'm sure you've seen on the sun's energy and the radiation very since that various amount of heat. And radiation coming, to Earth and that affects the weather obviously in the climate net something and that's all fine and there's various other things that happen. What, about the moon, well. But, of different. Opinion about what effect the moon hairs and on our weather a net that from my point of view but since it affects water and in a, huge way and affects us our bodies of water and actually the moons come, in goings affecting you all, the time. In, fact so I think it is actually having an effect on the weather, whether. It's making much change in it in present time well that might be a different story so maybe it's not such a big suspect. The. Earth itself clearly, is it's, got own heat source, we. All know about volcanoes in fact volcanoes, and what that does to the climate okay and this happens to be, the. Ruapehu eruption and 1995, already small one but. We're in a high. Energy place here, right. On the Ring of Fire and all this weather that comes from around us so we. Know about the, earth being very active around here and. Then. There's life itself as a whole now, I just like the star again because there's a representation, of proteins, but, life.
Is Always, interacting. With, climate. So. There's always going on, between climate and life if. I put this one up now this is a view. Right back in time and it's a little compare whew so it's like as, you go further back in time as a psychological, view of time and that gets more. Compressed as you go back in time and I think it's quite a good human view of timeless. But. A lot of chose us temperature against, geological. Time up to the present, and what. It demonstrates is, were actually, in a cold period at the moment, the. Earth is cold and when quite a cold period with is really, quite short. Sharp, warm, intervals and the. Holocene is just the most recent of the last four, or five of those intervals. And, that's. Going to keep going these drivers, these changes, are not stopping. Just. Because we were around, they. Are continuing, to do their thing. So. Let's come to the prime suspect. The. Problem. What's. Our human activity, and what the figures there have on I want. To talk about between, difference between sources, and sinks it's really important I think. Charles already sort of raised this issue, the. Sources of co2, go in the air and the sinks when it's taken out of the years it's been recycled by life now. Clearly we, are burning fossil fuels and that's increasing, the sources of co2 and clearly we are burning plants and crops and that's increasing the sources of co2, okay. Don't. Breathe you. Live no co2. Okay. So, be careful. Don't. Tell what your fart either actually, and. And, what about our, animals and which animals are so domesticate, animals is it all animals I come. To that something. What. About the sinks well I'm afraid there's a whole long list of what we're doing in terms of reducing. The ability of life to take carbon out of the atmosphere again, you, know we're clearing forests, for draining, wetlands where we're. Poisoning. The soil as well as telling it we're, doing all sorts of things to it to the ocean and wrecking, ecosystems. We're. Polluting, waterways. We're. Putting. Plastics just. Been mentioned into our oceans, we're. Doing a lot of destructive biotechnology. Which is affecting ecosystems, there's. A long long list or. What we're doing to, our living, systems, on the truth of which we actually an intimate, part of and. That to me is the thing we should be focusing, on. That's, the bigger picture, of what we're doing to all these ecosystems, mountains, to the bottom of the sea we're, affecting, ecosystem, we're degrading, them and therefore. That less able to, make use of the carbon that's meant to be going around us left in the air nowhere, to go if we do I go I'm, left, here okay. So that, support, I really want to come back to in terms of it's really about the sinks so, it's not so much the burning, of fossil fuels that's the issue but. It's actually the the, what. We do with the burning in terms of the machines, that then are powered by cheap energy and degrade, and ecosystems. That's. The real issue of what, we're doing with it so, it's the, use were making of fossil fuels, to. Degrade. Rather than regenerate, to, be on, top, of and impose rather, than to be with and work with and, that so, it's that's. The that's actually my key. Message in a way. So. Let's just think about carbon, accounting and, if we're going to understand, what's. Going on here and and and my story is not about facts and figures it's about understanding, and values and priorities. We. Really need to see the bigger picture of what's going on and Nature, doesn't care with an animals domesticated or, what's wild it. Has the same impact what's. Important, is whether it's healthy, ecosystem. Or a degraded, ecosystem, they're, the ones on the lift are. Pretty degraded. Ecosystems and, that's a problem it's not that they're found is they degraded, it's. Not that the dairy farming, is wrong is that the what, Melissa was a hundred, percent agree with it's about how. We can, farm, grasslands. With large animals which are a natural, ecosystem in, this world in a way that is. Healthy. For the environment and, lots of soil life which means a lot of carbon and the fastest, way of sequestering, carbon out of the air is grazing. Large, animals on grasslands that's the fastest way it. Won't be the most but it's the fastest way if you want to do there so why aren't we considering they're in our Counting could, you direct me tobe. Agriculture New Zealand where's, the accounting for people who sequester carbon in the soil and, we're. In the equation one underneath it's, not just the machines, that are, burning fuels.
Its Lack. Of those. Thirsty in that field that would have been there taken up carbon on a wheat field takes up very little. Okay. So. The last thing we want to say is about. Carbon, action and, regeneration. And I'll leave it to Kay. And Bob to talk a bit about regeneration, and analysis, it's, a big issue I, have not time to go into it but the last speaker talked about plastics, in the sea now, what's the implication, that on the water cycle and the carbon cycle what. About all those plastic floating on the ocean unfit on evaporation. That's. The way you reduce, evaporation you put a plastic, film over. Water plastic. Bubbles okay. What's effect on the ecosystems, that degrade in it and therefore not allowing it to take up. Carbon. That's. The issue now, a while ago. People. Used to talk about burning, blessing. Incinerate. In it or a better guess of a kind get gasification. What zenki takes it and uses it as energy because it's just like fossil fuels it's just we've changed into another form you, can burn it and that takes it right back to co2 and h2o it's, best way of breaking down it's the only way to really break things down by fire that's that cleanser. All right we. Don't do it because he says putting co2 into the year, well. What's the consequences. Of them in. Terms. Of now all this plastic going. Around the world there's, all sorts think about why we should do it the. Last bit is I don't know what this is photoshopped or not but. This ways of doing in ways I'm not doing it oh you. Can incinerate all you can not. Incinerate very well so. My last line I think is a much deeper, issue, than. Just worrying about climate change it's. A deeper issue about our whole way, of living and we, have to change our whole way of living in a transformative, way to, have healthy ecosystems, and we be a part of a healthy ecosystem intimately. Connected, to it that's. What we've got to do in it's much harder than just saying we shall control the climate or we shall make it better for us thank. You for listening I hope you got something out of it. You. You.