Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Hope in a changing climate", on human-led landscape restoration

This is a really cool video called "Hope in a Changing Climate", about how people can act to restore degraded landscapes and thus mitigate climate change. By planting native vegetation in ruined ecosystems, people can improve the ecosystem's original functioning in terms of water cycling, wildlife, and soil organic matter. This allows local people to better weather climate change, because the ecosystem becomes more robust. At the same time, the carbon sequestered by increased vegetation where there was none before reduces atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, thus reversing the trend toward a hotter planet.

The video is narrated by John D. Liu, a heavyset guy in a safari suit. He doesn't seem like the natural choice for an on-screen narrator, but he's really passionate and gets his point across. Liu proposes an inspiring mix of poverty erradication, agricultural productivity, and environmental restoration that's right up my alley (though of course I cringe at his unimaginative use of the term "subsistence farming" as synonymous with environmental degradation). I think my favorite line from the film is, "If people [are] the problem, they [can] also be the solution".

Here is a link to other videos from Liu's organization, the Environmental Education Media Project.

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