Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food

245 Anastassia Makarieva - Healthy forests invest their capital to create their own rain

September 08, 2023 Koen van Seijen Episode 245
245 Anastassia Makarieva - Healthy forests invest their capital to create their own rain
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food
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Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food
245 Anastassia Makarieva - Healthy forests invest their capital to create their own rain
Sep 08, 2023 Episode 245
Koen van Seijen

A conversation with Anastassia Makarieva, researcher at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute and with a fellowship at the University of Munich, about how healthy ecosystems, and specifically healthy forests, regulate moisture and thus rain. We discuss tipping points and where to look for wet spots even in very dry landscapes.

Learn from one of the key scientists who developed the biotic pump theory. Why not all hope is lost, we still have massive healthy forests, but they need to be protected immediately, not only because of the carbon, and the biodiversity, but because they regulate our global weather system. From floods to droughts, from cyclones to hail, all depends on healthy ecosystems. And, of course, where she would focus her investments.

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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Send us a Text Message.

https://www.freshventures.eu/

https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/2023/02/21/bart-van-der-zande-2/
https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/2024/03/22/chris-bloomfield-daniel-reisman/

https://foodhub.nl/en/opleidingen/your-path-forward-in-regenerative-food-and-agriculture/

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

A conversation with Anastassia Makarieva, researcher at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute and with a fellowship at the University of Munich, about how healthy ecosystems, and specifically healthy forests, regulate moisture and thus rain. We discuss tipping points and where to look for wet spots even in very dry landscapes.

Learn from one of the key scientists who developed the biotic pump theory. Why not all hope is lost, we still have massive healthy forests, but they need to be protected immediately, not only because of the carbon, and the biodiversity, but because they regulate our global weather system. From floods to droughts, from cyclones to hail, all depends on healthy ecosystems. And, of course, where she would focus her investments.

---------------------------------------------------

Join our Gumroad community, discover the tiers and benefits on www.gumroad.com/investinginregenag

Support our work:

----------------------------------------------------

More about this episode on https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/anastassia-makarieva.

Find our video course on https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/course.

----------------------------------------------------

The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Send us a Text Message.

https://www.freshventures.eu/

https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/2023/02/21/bart-van-der-zande-2/
https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/2024/03/22/chris-bloomfield-daniel-reisman/

https://foodhub.nl/en/opleidingen/your-path-forward-in-regenerative-food-and-agriculture/

Support the Show.

Feedback, ideas, suggestions?
- Twitter @KoenvanSeijen
- Get in touch www.investinginregenerativeagriculture.com

Join our newsletter on www.eepurl.com/cxU33P!

Support the show

Thanks for listening and sharing!

Speaker 1:

Learn from one of the key scientists who developed the biotic pump theory how healthy ecosystems, and especially healthy forests, regulate moisture and thus rain. We discussed tipping points where to look for wet spots even in very dry landscapes. Why, not all hope is lost. We still have massive healthy forests, but they need to be protected immediately, not only because of the carbon, the biodiversity, but because they regulate our global weather systems. From floods to droughts, from cyclones to hail, all depends on healthy ecosystems. We learn how rain gets created and it's not like you learned in high school and where she would focus her investments if she would be an investor. Focus on the most degraded pieces of land, because otherwise you might end up taking very productive, albeit propped up by fossil fuel inputs, land out of production in the global rich north and create little pieces of Eden with a healthy, diverse food forest I'm generalizing here, of course while the industrial ag machine moves to other countries and continents to drive havoc there, meaning in Russia, ukraine, brazil, etc. Enjoy, if it's true that water vapor accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the greenhouse effect, well, co2 only accounts for 25. Why do we rarely discuss it? Maybe we choose to ignore it because it means we literally need to revegetate the entire earth. Bring back the marshes, the mangroves, the perennial pastures with trees and regrow real forests that can bring back rain in strategic places. In short, bring back life, lots of plants, trees, animals back to many places on this earth Natural climate engineering. It is time we take our role as keystone species super seriously.

Speaker 1:

In this special water cycle series, we interview the dreamers and the doers who are using the latest technology to figure out where to intervene first. They're making, or trying to make, the investment and return calculations and plans. So what's missing? What's holding us back? Maybe we lack the imagination to back them and try regeneration at scale. We're thankful for the support of the Nest family office in order to make this series. The Nest is a family office dedicated to building a more resilient food system through supporting natural solutions and innovative technologies that change the way we produce food. You can find out more on the NestFO. Welcome to another episode Today. We're someone from the theoretical physics departments of the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute and has a fellowship at the University of Munich. Welcome in Estonia.

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much, my pleasure.

Speaker 1:

And today is going to be an interesting dance because we're going to go deep or not super deep, but deep enough that I can still follow into physics, into weather patterns, into a lot of things that I'm going to have to ask. Could you please explain that again, because I didn't grasp it? If you want to go deep into this topic, there's some fascinating, very, very interesting longer interviews with you as well, so I invite everybody to go into that. I will put them in the show notes below. But today I want to focus on what this means for the investment community, for finance, what it means for farmers and what it means for entrepreneurs. So I'm very, very happy to have you here.

Speaker 1:

But for anybody that doesn't know your amazing work, could you share a bit? When you rolled into literally this work and when you started to focus on citropic agriculture which is talked about it when you were in the field of agriculture, and I think it's talked about it when you started focusing on soil when it hits you basically because from a nuclear physics department it's quite a step to agriculture and soil Do you remember when all those things started to connect?

Speaker 2:

Well, I need to clarify a little bit, because my work is not exactly about syndromic agriculture, syndromic restoration, but my research is devoted to the role ecosystems, and especially forest ecosystems, play in atmospheric moisture transport. And this is crucial for syndromic agriculture, for agriculture in general and for generally for all life on land. And I came quite naturally to this topic because I have a PhD in atmospheric physics. But I have been always interested in how natural ecosystems stabilize and regulate the climate and the environment, and so, more recently, as moisture and water is a crucial element of life on land, we turned, with my colleagues, to studying this role of the forests and other ecosystems in moisture transport.

Speaker 1:

And moisture transport could lead to rain, could lead to, let's say, effects that are relevant, very relevant for forest and, of course, all the land around it. And before, like it's, moisture transport is a.

Speaker 2:

it's not big, it's not irrigation pipes, let's say no, it's not irrigation, but this is something you know. As you are talking about people who put their money into like natural systems to produce food and all that, it is absolutely crucial that the knowledge of the water cycle and the role of moisture transport is part of their decision making framework.

Speaker 1:

Picture of the world and decision making.

Speaker 2:

Yes, concepts, Because why moisture transport? We know that land is elevated over the ocean and we know that there is gravity, so land is continuously losing water. It is like you know, we have a store of water, liquid water, on land, but if we do nothing, just question to you what do you think? How fast, how quickly would the rivers deplete all freshwater store on land?

Speaker 1:

Probably very quickly. So you're saying if we don't do and if there's no water transport.

Speaker 2:

Yes, if there are no compensating transport of moisture from the ocean, they would deplete In a matter of weeks. In a matter of a few years.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Just a few years.

Speaker 1:

So, any long term. All the big lakes means all the storage is.

Speaker 2:

Yes, most moisture is on the soil, so we do need this compensating moisture transport from the ocean, which occurs via the atmosphere, so what evaporates from the ocean and is brought by winds to overland. But this is not the whole story.

Speaker 1:

Because this was the story. So this was the story that we've learned, probably when you were looking in textbooks when you were in high school or middle school and you say, okay, there's evaporation on the oceans, then there's wind coming, or it gets pulled onto land and then it rains against, maybe when it goes up to elevation. If you look that far, and that was sort of the whole story we told ourselves and you are one of the people that said, actually that's only a part and actually in many places, not the biggest part of the story.

Speaker 2:

Yes, exactly, and, as you mentioned, for there to be rain, the air not moisture not just have to come to land, but it also must rise.

Speaker 2:

And we know, yes, if it hits an elevation it will rise, but there are no elevations present everywhere. So, in a way, the role, what we show in our work, is that forests can regulate this process of moisture transport by modifying both the horizontal wind and the ascending air motion. When there is already a horizontal wind, and this is what we termed the biotic pump of atmospheric moisture. And this concept says that when you have a healthy forest, natural forest of sufficient size, then it regulates this moisture transport by motioning the atmosphere, by transpiration. So we know that when there is a photosynthesis, there is a lot of water vapor emitted to the atmosphere, like a few hundred water vapor molecules per every CO2 molecule fixed. So this transpiration moistens the atmosphere and, due to physical properties of the atmosphere, a moist atmosphere is ready to moisture, is ready to rise and to initiate all this process of the pressure drop with condensation and the ascending air motion and the horizontal inflow of moist air which compensates for the loss of liquid water with stream flow. So that's the main point.

Speaker 1:

So the healthy forest basically.

Speaker 1:

So the wind is coming anyway, but the healthy forest triggers, let's say, the pool of moist air coming from the oceans and doesn't have to be even that close. It can be relatively far from the large water body and then, because it evaporates so much as well, it adds a lot of this moisture to the air and it also not only evaporates but also releases a lot of other substance that could trigger the rain or not. I think there's, but it needs to be sufficient size and sufficient healthy. It cannot be a monoculture of pine trees or something like that. And I think there's a fascinating point. There is that the trees and the forest, because it actually triggers the rain and creates a big chunk of the rain, instead of just receiving the rain and then grow further, which was sort of the theory we had like it's rain then grows the forest and actually the rain creates, partly triggers, pools and sort of nudges the moist air to come over it and then also charges even more because of the operation and to rise, and to rise, and to rise.

Speaker 2:

It pushes it up. Yes, and we can. We can view it, you know, as then, from the forest side, we can view transpiration as an investment because we have a capital which is the soil moisture store. So we have a capital in soil and if we do nothing, then inflation will eat it away, and inflation is the stream flow loss of water to the ocean Eventually Okay so.

Speaker 2:

So the forest to to remain wealthy in terms of water, it must invest. And how does it invest? It transpires a certain part of soil moisture into the atmosphere, and if it makes it moist enough, this atmosphere is giving a return.

Speaker 2:

The moist air begins to ascend, to rise, then there is condensation of water vapor, then there is drop of pressure which facilitates horizontal inflow of air from the ocean, which brings more moisture than the forest has transpired. So this investment must be wise in that sense that the return, the moisture that forest gets from this, is greater than the stream flow and the investment itself. And this is how it works. And if we replace the wise forest with a like a stupid monoculture, which will be transpiring when it is it shouldn't be, or transpires the wrong amounts, then we can just lose all the capital.

Speaker 1:

And the soil dries up.

Speaker 2:

The soil dries up.

Speaker 1:

Yes yes, we're saying the forest actually starts the process. Even so, the forest is a smart but should think and decide when and how much of its capital, the water or the moisture in the soil it wants to draw out through root systems, wants to evaporate, and then it makes I'm not saying it makes a conscious decision, but of course that wouldn't do it. A healthy forest wouldn't do it if there's not enough coming from the ocean, if it cannot pull an interesting amount that actually replaces what it evaporates, and a bit more. So it's actually. It's a form of economy and the currency is the moisture. And monoculture forest are sort of are stupid investors, like you said they are the moment. They make the wrong investment at the wrong time and they will never be able to pull any moisture or not enough moisture to replace what they have basically lost over time and they will slowly descend into dryness Fascinating metaphor.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and as for any investor, there is a context. So every forest has evolved in its particular geographic region, where there are certain geophysical moisture flows and there is a certain geophysical conditions, because we know that there is a strong player which is the ocean, and the condensation and evaporation also occurs over the ocean. So all what we said about the forest could be said about the ocean, except for the fact that oceanic ecosystems don't care about freshwater. They have enough of water and so they don't evolve any mechanism to regulate this resource, which they have in abundance. And so, because there is so much water in the ocean, so much condensation, there is a certain tug of war between the ocean and the forest, the forest must pull because otherwise they won't survive.

Speaker 2:

In short, there is more pull, yes, pull, against the ocean. And this is tricky because the geophysical conditions, the circulation cells which the headless cells, the ferrant cells, the bull cells, they work their own according to their own physical rules, and the forest must have evolved how to cope, how to make its investments in the best possible way to ensure not only sufficient but also regular moisture impart, to minimize fluctuations, to minimize Volatility, you would say, in the market, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes. Volatility, yes, Such that it can foresee a reliable moisture impart for itself. And that's also when we replace forest with something, we see growing fluctuations of the moisture transport. When there is no regulation of condensation events, they can get very wild, very intense.

Speaker 1:

Which is what we're seeing, I would say the whole July. We're recording this at the end of July 2023, the whole June and July. Actually, around the world, I don't think there's a place where it has been relatively regular. And what does it mean then for land use and restoration of me? We mentioned Syntropic a bit at the beginning. A lot of the big healthy forests are either gone or severely damaged. Do we? Is there only path to bring them back in a sense of an extremely large and healthy forest, or other ways? Of course, not the monoculture pine trees, but other ways to vegetate enough or to trigger or to help condensate in a way that we can also not only grow timber, but what do you see in the role of restoration and regeneration for the forest, but also the pieces between the forest and the ocean or the large water body, which is where we usually farm, live cities, et cetera?

Speaker 2:

First of all, I must say that we have not yet lost all the forests, and this is important because in the northern hemisphere we have this huge moral and temperate forest belt in Canada and Russia, and if we look at the root of the weather systems in our hemisphere, you will see that they coincide with this forest belt and what is going on there makes a strong impact on how these weather systems move. So when we have, for example, in Russia, we have a big logging and the forest the log forest rapidly dries out and warms rapidly and there are fires. This disrupts the normal flow of air and moisture.

Speaker 1:

And this causes Globally. That's like it's not that Globally it's not that there's massive fires in Russia and you're thinking, oh yeah, that's very bad, but it actually destroys your system.

Speaker 2:

Because we are interconnected.

Speaker 2:

And imagine a heat wave that would sit, say, in France for two days, but then it would go Now, because of this disruption, somewhere in Siberia.

Speaker 2:

This heat wave, this blocking system, just sits where it is for like two weeks, three weeks, and then we have these terrible extremes that would not have happened if there was a normal flow of air.

Speaker 2:

So this is very important and this I would like to communicate to all people who are listening that we still have this forest belt and it is of utmost importance for all people, at least in the northern hemisphere, even, especially in China, which also received moisture from Eurasia. So we need to reconsider our appreciation of how interconnected we are via the vegetation, via forest belt, and we need international efforts to preserve this, just as a guarantee for the success of all our other efforts, because, as we are doing regenerative agriculture in one place, but there comes a heat wave and sits with temperature like above 45, it is beyond what plants can tolerate. So we need to move into direction, in the strategic direction, preserving what we still have, and it is. I promise you, we are not at the bottom yet. There is what to preserve now and if we just stop doing what we are doing to borrow forests at the moment. It could significantly alleviate and improve our conditions, at least prevented from rapidly worsening.

Speaker 2:

So and then, yeah, from getting worse. So that's very important and we see these initiatives growing. Also in the United States there was such an initiative called pro-forestation, which means identify the forest that are self-sustainable and let them in peace to develop to their full ecological potential when they can regulate climate and water in the best possible way. That is genetically encoded, has been genetically encoded into them in the course of evolution. Pro-forestation the same in Russia. We are trying with our colleagues to set aside those self-sustainable forests who perform this regulatory function so that they could continue doing that. And this should be the focus of international efforts and investors, because there should be law being I don't know, perhaps shadow law being for this cause, because it is really important and if we don't do that, all our local and regional efforts can be undermined, meaningless.

Speaker 2:

It can be undermined and investments lost. So this is like an elephant in the room which nobody talks about, but it is there.

Speaker 1:

So I'm just Pro-forestation and disruption of local ecosystems globally, but especially these specific hotspots are already disrupting and if they continue, we'll disrupt way more Any efforts we do there, because, like you said, if a heat wave hits the most amazing regeneratively focused farm, et cetera, if you get 45 degrees and either you get a big fire or the plants just die and stop. So there's way more we should do beyond the farm gate and beyond whatever size farm you have, because you're being affected by what's happening in Russia, what's happening in Canada, what's happening in Brazil, what's happening in Peru, et cetera, and so we should really take a holistic context or take that into account, and you need a well-functioning, well-balanced weather system, which we don't have at the moment. And you're saying this is nothing yet, like we haven't hit the bottom at all, because there's still so much left, meaning there can be still so much to be cut and disrupted.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and if we stop doing that, the forest will still regrow, because many forests have still the potential to self-recover. We don't need planting, we just need to a little bit of protection. And also, we need to think every time when we want to go green, right, and we decide let us go green and let us import timber from Russia instead of using coal. But this could be. We won't improve our weather systems with that, quite on the contrary. So we should do everything that we can regarding fossil fuels and that, but not just not touching the shuroka systems, just not touching them. It is, we are already on the brink with them. So this is, it is not a renewable resource. It is a mechanism that works for us, and if we destroy it, we are in trouble. Now returning to your question about centropic restoration what is important to understand when we try to restore?

Speaker 1:

the pieces that are already degraded. What do we do?

Speaker 2:

Yes, the degraded pieces, Like we were now in. Last week we were in Konya and there some local stakeholders want to know how bad or how good their conditions are in terms of climate change. One can see that not all places are equal and some suffer more and some others less than the others in terms of what is going on. And, of course, the proximity to the sea is a good thing, because when you say proximity how close? How close?

Speaker 1:

What is a good? Is 500 kilometers too far? Is it better to have 100? In terms of ability to attract moisture, what does that do?

Speaker 2:

This depends also on geophysical conditions, on how the geophysical winds without vegetation would blow, and, of course, if you are Like on the route of the prevailing wind, it is better than you are on against your restoration, like against the winds that blow from land to the ocean. So it depends, but naturally we found that in the absence of vegetation, precipitation declines by three times over a few hundred kilometers. So 100 kilometers is something that is close, yeah. And Europe in this context?

Speaker 1:

is very lucky.

Speaker 2:

And that's why this culture I mean culture in quotes of she's doing air quotes for any listeners.

Speaker 2:

Yes, could be ingrained and didn't lead to complete destruction of regional climate, so close. But when it was exported to other regions of the world, it was a disaster. So in many cases so, but what we need to have in mind when attempting to restore an ecosystem. There are two regimes, like when we were talking about the investment. When the forest adds moisture to the atmosphere, the idea is to initiate condensation, so so that you must reach 100% relative humidity If and then there is precipitation, then there is the pressure drop, dynamics incoming moisture, moist air, and everything could be as needed.

Speaker 2:

But imagine that there is a very dry atmosphere and the forest adds moisture to this dry atmosphere, but the dew point is never reached, the humidity remains low relative humidity, and no condensation is initiated.

Speaker 2:

Then all this moisture could be just blown away by the wind and the investment will be lost. And so in this dry regime, the vegetation relies on the moisture store and if nothing happens, it will just deplete the store and that's it. So in this dry regime, it is not self-sustainable. And on the other hand, if you increase the amount of vegetation to a point that the transpiration is so strong that it sufficiently motions the atmosphere there, the process of condensation is switched on and you get something, at least something, in return. So it means that there is a tipping point between the dry and the wet regime, and when we restore the ecosystem, we must carefully guide it through this tipping point. So we, first of all, we need to understand that it exists and that for the ecosystem to come to the wet side, it may need a lot of help during this transition in terms of, for example, irrigation.

Speaker 1:

To get the plants to grow.

Speaker 2:

Yes, irrigation. Or when we talk about centropic restoration, this is about the choice of species. What our colleagues Philippe Pasein and Diana Andrade are doing there, mimicking natural ecological succession in the region, which actually consists in choosing carefully the species that would accumulate moisture in soil like, minimize all other expenditures except transpiration, so there is no evaporation from soil to nowhere, right? So using moisture very sparingly and then gradually, as this soil moisture store develops and the conditions improve and probably the trees get access to lower levels. So then the species composition changes to more active transpiration and probably at a certain point, Guiding to that tipping point.

Speaker 2:

Yes. So this is very important to keep in mind, because these two regimes is what causes controversy in people's perception, whether trees improve or Suck.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, extract Extract water.

Speaker 2:

Whether they add to the water cycle or, on the contrary, take from it.

Speaker 1:

And you say it depends on the two regimes. Which regime you're in?

Speaker 2:

Yes, it depends on the weather ecosystem in the wet or dry regime. And what is interesting that we have come to this conclusion purely from physical considerations and data analysis. But what is interesting that in parallel we found that in the literature people introduced some Australian researchers Professor Lydnetmar introduced this parallel concept in ecology which they called landscape trap, and this landscape trap corresponds to the dry regime. It is when you have a forest which may be like self-sufficient in terms of water. It can suffer from periodic fires, but it is part of natural dynamics. But when you cut too much this forest, it loses its ability to control the water cycle and it turns to a stage when it cannot recover.

Speaker 2:

So it spirals, the ecosystem spirals to complete degradation, so no recovery, which is called they called it landscape trap, and this corresponds to the dry regime. Whatever you do, you just lose.

Speaker 1:

So this is what the I think many people feel like they're in an area where that's happening. Yeah, whatever you try, you just seem to lose.

Speaker 2:

So, yes, and this means that the first thing that we should do when we attempt restoration in the dry place is to change the landscape to keep as much moisture which comes sometimes, at least in the landscape. So it is not about planting trees. Planting trees is the last thing to do. The first thing in a dry landscape is to keep water in the landscape because, in the absence of ecosystem control, precipitation is irregular and it comes in pulses, sometimes very intense rain.

Speaker 1:

Capture as much as possible and keep it in yes, most of it is lost.

Speaker 2:

Keeping as much as possible of this rain is the first, absolutely first measure, and there are many good practices like working as beavers if there is a stream flow. So this is the first thing to think about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then, coming back to the cognac, what did you see there and what did you mention? It's not that far from a large water body, in this case the Atlantic Ocean, and it's semi-dry, I think. Or what regime is the cognac and what did you see there?

Speaker 2:

In this case, we were able to tell them that they actually lost in the queue for the trouble, because, yes, they are in the queue, as we all are, but they are not in the first row. Because when you look at the temperature trends in the region, you will notice that temperature increases less at the coastal zone, including cognac, than in the more continental zone, and this means that the temperature contrast between the ocean and land increases much faster in the continental part, like in the.

Speaker 2:

Czech Republic, for example, than in the coastal zone. And what does it mean?

Speaker 2:

When the land is dry, the atmosphere is dry, very warm and the ocean is cold relatively right and even if the air comes, as the geophysics this day, over the land, but it warms and it means that the relative humidity decreases and there is no condensation. So this growing temperature contrast between land and ocean works against an efficient moisture transport, but for cognac it is still minimal. So they are, like I told them, close to this tipping point and so even very small improvements in what they're doing with their land, for example, covering the vineyards with the Cover crops Doing away with the bare soil, which is like you just throw away water vapor through this bare soil, so covering the crops, or they want to introduce like trees.

Speaker 2:

So when you are near the tipping point, small improvements or even small bad things could drive you to one or other regime. So it is something where what you do locally matters a lot. When you are deeply in the dry regime or safely in the wet regime you can like more or less.

Speaker 1:

Say they're close to the tipping point. How do you know that? Or how do you measure that? Or how do you calculate Like okay, you're actually.

Speaker 2:

Because we did research this. Of course, until it drives completely out we can't make an experiment right. But from our research we just calculated the temperature contrast that would block the moisture transport as controlled by the ecosystem, and Western Europe is very close. The observed temperature contrast is very close to this threshold and we see that Koneak is precisely at this small magnitude which corresponds to this tipping point. So that's how we, but they also see this is confirmed by their complaints. They don't have any very well articulated complaints like totally lost yield or something like they have like something is wrong is going on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, some annoyance, just some Something weird oh there was a tail, so they got concerned at the very right moment. Not? They are really very clever stakeholders, I must say, and they want to be ahead of problems. So that's.

Speaker 1:

And would that, in that system, then go towards Central Europe as well? Would that be, do you go from tipping point to tipping point in restoration, like you say, okay, first we take the piece closest, we focus closest to the large water body, in this case the Atlantic Ocean, just where people Koneak is like in the middle of France, close to the middle west part of France, and then you go further, like do you have to go as a domino or do you need to do the full water shed at once? Like what's the order? Because if you do it in the wrong order maybe you don't trigger anything.

Speaker 2:

Well, of course, if we go from the ocean inland, then we will repeat the path that terrestrial life took when it evolved from the sea there was no life.

Speaker 1:

Sharepoint.

Speaker 2:

No big life. So that would work. But at the same time we cannot wait so long. So even inland we can look for what we call wet sports, and these are sports or regions or locations where conditions for rainfall are good. From the geophysical point of view, these are some elevations when our dominant west to east airflow rises for some reason, like when it heats in elevation, and there are also wet spots.

Speaker 2:

Even in Saudi Arabia, if you look on the west 1,000 part, there is a small elevation, and even in the desert you can search for such wet spots, and if we analyze the circulation around such and have a picture of what is going on, then we could choose the proper vegetation types and try to improve starting from there, and then it will meet what we are doing from the coast. So it is not hopeless. There are also, for example, in the Czech Republic they have a very well developed system of artificial lakes that are 500 years old, so they have a system of management, so actually there is a store of moisture from which to start to help the region self-restore. Europe is strategically in a good position, so it really did take a lot of effort to get it into this miserable state as it is now A lot of effort from our civilization.

Speaker 1:

Basically, we were very lucky in Europe that we had such favorable conditions and we tried our best but with enormous effort to destroy it. Then we exported that. We almost succeeded we didn't succeed completely, but at least we didn't completely destroy everything. Then we exported the methods and in other places, of course, there were maybe closer to the tipping points or just less favorable or more fragile. It did enormous damage to the systems we've exported.

Speaker 1:

And then what would you do if you would be in the seat of an investor? I love to ask the question what would you do if you had to invest? So invest, which means there should be a return, but it could be extremely long. It could be 20, 30, 40, 50 years of investments. You already said we're running out of time, so I'm guessing you want to speed things up. But what if you had to invest a billion euros or a billion dollars? Could be anywhere in the world, could be in technology, could be in land, could be in products. Whatever you choose could be partly in lobbying as well to help the investment. But if you had, I would say, almost unlimited resources, what would you prioritize? Where would you focus?

Speaker 2:

Well, yes, I've heard this question from you and so I have been thinking a little bit. So what I would do I would use this money to find out very specifically who is taking decisions about what to do with the ecosystems, who is in charge of this globally, and target specifically these people with a certain amount of education about what these ecosystems actually mean. So I would actually do some like secret networking, because currently this topic is underappreciated by whoever is taking decisions.

Speaker 1:

Mindset shift.

Speaker 2:

And this would require a certain effort to identify them and to change their minds Because really, with all due respect, we are heading in the wrong direction.

Speaker 1:

We would focus on Sorry, go ahead.

Speaker 2:

And also what we want to keep in mind. Now I see that what is going on Now. There is a demand. First, we have this division between the very rich and very poor, and it grows. And among the wealthy people there is a growing demand for healthy food. And healthy food, as we know, requires a lot of labor. So we must understand if we want to eat healthy food, we should particularly increase labor investments. We should all go back to work on land not all but many of us but this also requires a lot of land. And I see that there are efforts to make certain sports where this healthy food will be growing, and one sport is Europe.

Speaker 2:

Like I was in Germany in this February. In Munich, they were discussing on a very high level that what on earth we are doing? We are feeding the total entire world with our intense agriculture, but our soil is destroying and we should really slow down. Then in France, we have these complaints that they shut off all cattle farming. So there is a slowdown. Why? Because if you need to grow healthy food, you need to slow down, that's for sure.

Speaker 2:

But this will export ecological disaster elsewhere, because there are almost 10 billion people to feed. So now there are hotspots of this ecological disaster being formed. This is Russia, where big ag will be flourishing. Russia, ukraine and probably also Brazil, where the Amazon forest will be destroyed. So those who are preparing and are in the US, now it is on the rise. Let's make American rivers clean again. Kiss the ground all that. So America wants also to recreate Adam. So they developed countries like moving up on this mass low pyramid. They suddenly realized, oh, we need health ecosystems to thrive. And now they want to recreate Adam in there, which they destroyed. But this will inevitably create the same mess elsewhere.

Speaker 2:

Destruction elsewhere. Yes, yes. So we need at least to understand that this will go on and somehow take it into account, because, for example, in Ukraine and Russia, we have already like these fields. These are exploited fields, so probably exploiting it further will make least harm until soil gives something.

Speaker 2:

But until yes, you're right. But in Brazil it will be a disaster. It will be a total disaster if the Amazon forest is under further threat. So when you guys here regenerate and our American colleagues regenerate, let us think what happens in the Amazon, where the big egg will be. Just you know, clipping hands of joy that there is a demand is growing and the pressure on the Amazon forest is destroying. Increasing the Amazon for us is crucial for climate, not in terms of carbon carbon also but in terms of the water cycle and temperature regime and regenerating our small sport here, making Adam, then we export our global climate, yes, so, and it could be even worse than if we continued for some time as it is now here.

Speaker 1:

So are you arguing for a more I will use the word holistic, but a transition, because you say it doesn't make sense to stop from one moment to the other and create Eden, and then let's all the cattle farming go into Brazil, or the extremely intensive grain production in Russia and Ukraine.

Speaker 2:

Maybe, maybe, look what I think what is. For example, if there is a land which like nothing grows, already desertified, let's go there and increase productivity there and this will lessen the pressure on the existing ecosystem. If we regenerate from land that doesn't give anything. But if we come to a land that gives a lot, even at the expense of fertilizers, but it gives a lot, and said, oh no, this land is not sustainably exploited, we will make a small piece of like paradise garden here, then the productivity will decline for sure, because the year down.

Speaker 2:

And then somebody who was eating this wheat. What he or she will be eating, they will have to import. So so I would on, for I would advise to us as a species, just a little bit, slow down this replacement of intense agriculture with something that we like more. Let us turn first to already degraded land and try to go to the worst places and focus there.

Speaker 1:

Would you use that money to do that? Would you go to places that have been severely degraded, like, but they're far away from the tipping point? So there's also a difficulty there, because if they're far away from, like going to the wet climate.

Speaker 2:

You know, it is not always. There are places that we just the soil was degraded. There are still a lot of rainfall, but it is like comes very regularly. So it is on a growth scale, it is in the wet regime, it is just requires like keeping motion landscape, and so it is not a desert in the sense that there is no rain at all, it is just desertified land in terms of nothing grows like the popper soil.

Speaker 1:

And what would you do I mean, from another, switching the question to, because this requires almost a magic wand. So that's why I love to ask that question as well If you could change one thing in this transition or one thing in general in, let's say, land use, global land use, what? Only one thing. What would that be?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely immediate moratorium on the further exploitation of all natural forests.

Speaker 1:

But it might also leads to pressure elsewhere, like you're saying that the argument you made before, like if we stop, it might lead to a lot more concrete, which has a carbon part, and might lead to how do we? Isn't there also dare transition needed? Or you say, no, this is too important, we have to stop immediately and we'll figure out like the tensions that create, like that creates, will figure out a solution to that.

Speaker 2:

We figure out the solution, because the solution is there. It is intense If we speak about wood. It is intense. Turning to intense silica culture, because forests are now natural. Forests are now just destroyed due to extensive forestry. Just when people come to a distant place, just cut out everything. Take, for example, state money as a subsidy for transport expenses and then that's it. So destruction and that's it. If they instead took, like, cut what you have grown with forestry, what you have grown, leave this forest in peace. And you know that there is this so-called in Russia, for example, state business partnership, when the state takes the expenses and the business takes the profit. And this leads to a situation where the least disturbed forest that are distant, they're standardized to be cut Because they're very distant and the business wants some subsidy to go there and to destroy there. So this is not. This destruction is now occurs at very little true economic profits.

Speaker 2:

Just because of weird incentives. So you would immediately start to pull that out. It is not about yes. It is not about yes, immediately.

Speaker 1:

And I mean there are a few examples of where you think differently. But just to ask the question John Kemp always likes to ask in a slightly different form what do you believe to be true about regeneration that others don't? So when you go to, there must be at least somehow more people talking, obviously, about the biotech pump. But when you go to a conference, where you are with your peers that studied this deeply, where are you different? Where do you think different? Where are you contrarian among your peers?

Speaker 2:

Well, it is not specifically about regeneration, but about the biotech pump. I am just everywhere a criterion, so it is like my profession, almost, to be contrarian. And then the main argument is that which has been with which we have been like fighting for quite some time is that this mechanism of condensation that they type this pressure to draw, is significant enough for the forest to have any impact on air circulation. And this is a serious argument which requires a serious response. And as we cannot make experiments like we cannot cut the forest in total and say you see what happens, so we made quite a lot of work to show.

Speaker 2:

For example, what we did is we showed that the same theory which explains the biotech pump explains quantitatively the dynamics of tropical cycles where the condensation is most intense and strong winds are generated. So we showed that the theory produces estimates that are in agreement with the patients. We showed that this mechanism is powerful enough to generate strong atmospheric motions and strong ocean transport. So it took a lot of effort to really ensure that the concept is viable. Now, fortunately, we are at a different point.

Speaker 1:

Probably More and more people have you seen the conversation, the global conversation, on this topic and the seriousness, as you've been, of course, in it for such a long time and ridiculed? Have you seen a change or shift over the last, let's say, five years and, if so, how?

Speaker 2:

Yes, this is what we are seeing, this positive shift in the seriousness with which people perceive our propositions. I think that this is due to the fact that we have been working and publishing research results, going through peer review, persuading our opponents. So this is normal process by which science should progress. I think there is always certain there might be resistance to new ideas, because this is healthy inertia of science. Of course, sometimes it is too strong, other times it is less strong, but you must be prepared to survive, and so now we are very happy that we seem to have survived to this point when everything has been, because now the situation has changed. I think that we are progressing quite nicely at the moment.

Speaker 1:

Is it fair to say you reached, or are very close to the tipping point from a dry to a wet regime.

Speaker 2:

Yes, unfortunately. Yes, one can say so, but unfortunately all this goes hand in hand with environmental degradation. All the success of our research is maybe facilitated by what people see around, so it is better to prefer that the fear remain unsuccessful. But the wet fear heals itself, of course but that does not seem to be we are saying in the pre-interview unfortunately, but at the moment, yes, we are trying with our research, we are trying to persuade people that ecosystems are really crucial for stability of our clan.

Speaker 1:

And any final. I mean that is probably the most important message. I don't know a better way to end this conversation than at that point. It is really really crucial, even if you don't care on carbon or potentially even biodiversity, but just simply in terms of regulating and stabilizing the global climate, wherever you are, you are a part of, unless you float in space it is absolutely crucial to do so. So I want to thank you so much, first of all, for the work you do and for, let's say, hanging in there in all the pressure against you and the ridicule which is a healthy part of science but still not an easy process to be in and hopefully work close to the tipping point in that sense. So thank you so much for coming on here to take your time, of course, for all the work you do, the travels and for the inspirational part you are playing in this movement, thank you. Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end.

Speaker 1:

For the show notes and links we discussed in this episode, check out our website Investing in RegendoVegaculturecom. Forward slash posts. If you liked this episode, why not share it with a friend or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts? That really helps. Thanks again and see you next time.

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