Gardening in a Changing Climate, part 5

okay Hello and welcome back for part five of Gardening in a Changing Climate. Again my name is Steve Savage if you haven’t been with us before and I will be your host and guide for this final part a final part of our journey. In part four we looked at the consequences of proceeding as usual Now in part five we will look at the part that reflects our title and probably the one you’ve been waiting for. We are going to look at some governmental actions as you can see on the screen that will help to mitigate the forthcoming climate changes and that’s some new technology which if it proves out will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But the bulk of part five will be spent on individual actions, what you and I and we can do. Individual actions are actually I’ve split them into two parts. The first part revolves around a gardening, farming, ranching, and that sort of thing. And the second part then are just general generalized areas around our homes and everyday lives and things that we can do. So welcome aboard and let’s get started and I will tell you this part is going to be at least an hour and a half maybe a little bit longer because I didn’t want to do a part six so I crammed everything into here. So with that then, we’ve been on a really, really long journey From a look at the essentials of life to how the earth regulates its climate by controlling the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, through plate tectonics, volcanism, the rock cycle, and the formation and breakup of continents to the effect of earth’s orbit on and inclination upon climate. From there we looked at the more depressing aspects of the last 560 million years of life on earth, the five major mass extinctions that have occurred over those over those 560 million years and how current conditions and trends parallel some of the factors that caused those extinctions. Finally we explored an even more depressing picture of what could happen to earth if we continue our current practice of repeating the carbon dioxide experiment and using the atmosphere as a worldwide garbage can I have, I hope, through this journey that you have seen how interrelated the earth systems are and how changing or disrupting one system can set up a whole series of changes in other systems I wanted you to see that what is happening today is not something new but as a replay of events that have happened many times before. That was the whole point. Bad things have happened before when earth control mechanisms were disrupted by natural causes and will likely happen again if and when we disrupt those mechanisms. Remember at the beginning I said that in order to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been Well we sure as heck know where we have been and it wasn’t a very pretty picture. Let’s hope where we are going can improve on where we have been For our closing section then, once again and the one the course title reflects, let’s turn to a more positive, more upbeat, a vision of what we can do collectively, governmentally, individually, to reverse or at least moderate those dark predictions and preserve the earth as we know it today Here are seven things government can do to slow climate change. They’re not all inclusive, they’re just the start and I see there’s only six there because the one, the second one down is actually two. Okay so there are seven, trust me. The first thing that is just let nature resolve the problem We must cut about 30 gigatons, and remember one gigaton is one billion metric tons, a year of carbon emissions by 2030 if we are to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees celsius which is 3.6 degrees fahrenheit Nature can reduce about one-third of the emissions needed to hit that goal if countries invest in carbon storing forests, grasslands, wetlands, and farms. The ability of nature to solve problems just doesn’t get enough attention and I think we talked about nature in the last part towards the end of one of those quotes There are three actions government can take to help nature help us. The first is simply keeping nature intact to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, that means letting tropical forest stands or mid-latitude forest stands for that matter

and leaving coastal marshes undeveloped. The vegetation will keep on growing and storing carbon. The second strategy centers on managing working lands such as farms, ranches, timberland with carbon in mind and we’ll see and talk more about this a little later on The third strategy is to restore systems that have been damaged or destroyed, replanting forests as well as restoring grasslands wetlands and coastal mangroves and even seagrasses, again to help store carbon. Recent studies show that restoring coastal marshes is far more effective at reducing the effects of storm surge from like from hurricanes and tropical storms than our sea walls. The marshes absorb the energy of the storm surge and dissipate it, whereas sea walls are vulnerable to collapse or over topic So the marshes help mitigate the effects of those storms and at the same time they’re storing carbon so we get a double whammy out of that The trifecta then is keeping nature intact managing and restoring I will see these elements repeated as we look at the other areas in this section. The next one is move from fossil fuels to renewable fuels and there’s one that’s called EROI or energy return on investment and the other one is remove from fossil fuels to renewable energy energy sprawl and I am going to skip those, in the order of saving some time and if you would like to read about those, again you can go to the to the text and and you can read those for yourself if you’re interested. So let’s look at the next one down there which is responsible forests and water practices. And the first one, number one under there is clear cutting We need to limit clear cutting. We don’t need to eliminate it, we just need to limit it. When forests and grasslands in the upper reaches of a watershed are cleared it increases erosion and sediment. That settlement must be filtered out for domestic use It settles in reservoirs reducing their water holding capacity and you don’t have to go far to see that. Just go right down highway 50 and go over to Folsom Lake. When that was built, I think it was a mid 50s when it finally opened up, it had a capacity of 1 million acre feet 60 years or 65 years, whatever it is later, it has a capacity of 900 000 acre feet We’ve lost 100 000 acre feet and that’s all due to sedimentation. In another 300 years or so so assuming we’re all still around then, it won’t be Folsom Lake anymore it’ll be Folsom Meadow Denuded watersheds lose their capacity to absorb and slowly release rain water leading to that erosion, mudslides, and leaving less water to recharge aquifers because it runs off too fast before it can actually soak in. When forest lands are clear-cut for lumber production, agricultural purposes, or development runoff from farms, roads, buildings, all that stuff pollutes water supplies and washes those nutrient rich sediments, if I can say it, into lakes and the ocean, and of course we know where that goes we’ve seen what happens many times before So limiting clear cutting then retains cool shaded areas for fish habitat and reproduction and most important of all a healthy forest acts as a carbon dioxide sink soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestrating the trees Remember we said the average tree soaked up about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. I’m going to I added something into here now because just looking around all the smoke and all the forest fires burning everything else and I don’t think I’ve brought it up before, I told you I would give you only scientific based information I think I have. Right now I’m not. Okay I am going to give you my opinion and it is only my opinion and you can take it for whatever you think it’s worth. Absolutely nothing or whatever. So with the forest fires that are raging in California, Oregon, Washington, again let me offer this observation and be clear again this is my opinion. My opinion only. I believe the coniferous force in the Sierra and the Cascades are ultimately doomed. Coniferous forests are moving farther north in Canada in response to actually warming conditions in the Canadian arctic

and sub-arctic areas. So what used to be the end of the tree line now is moving farther north Warmer, but in warmer and drier conditions in the Sierra and Cascades however, will lead to tree death from drought, beetle infestations and as well as it will just be too hot for those trees to survive. Most of them then will be consumed in ever larger forest fires and I’m not talking about next week next month next year but over a period of time What’s going to replace them I haven’t got a clue. Perhaps some mixture of hardwood forests and grasslands. Only time will tell and so that’s the end of my opinion and again you can take that for whatever you think it’s worth. Probably absolutely nothing. So number two then practicing healthy harvesting. And again within this scope of healthy harvesting practices the big job is not deciding what trees to cut down, but which ones to leave standing. Cutting down the most valuable trees with no thought can make it harder for the forest to regrow. The problem is what will repopulate the forest? Maybe something you don’t want We’re already seeing starthistle, for example moving to higher elevations. In a mixed forest the practice can lead to a loss of diversity Remember that speciation. By leaving trees of different ages and species regrowth is facilitated and a mix of species is maintained Let’s talk a little bit then about water policy We need to get past the idea that water policy is an either or choice between people and nature, agriculture and fish. Appeals to emotions don’t solve that problem and just create walls between different groups. It doesn’t have to be We can have multiple uses of water and have those uses be sustainable. What it does take is cooperation, diverse groups working together to find areas of agreement and compromise and science-based solutions What is not needed or helpful, is false claims and appeals to the emotions about managing water use There’s a strong need to modernize our water use management. We can modernize agricultural irrigation systems and carefully apply both water and fertilizer when and as needed to have the greatest impact on crop growth and reproduction. This assures then that the water and the fertilizer is used beneficially and reduces in the case of fertilizer percolation aquifers as well as reducing runoff of nutrient-rich water We can build storm water retention bases to catch and hold rain water to slow runoff and allow aquifer recharge. We can establish water banks, paying rights holders to leave water in streams and rivers at critical times for fish or leave it in the ground. Water rights can be shared or sold to move excess water to areas that are having a shortfall. We can flood fallow fields to provide feeding areas for migrating birds and get the double whammy out of that as it helps to recharge the aquifers once again How about preserving and creating wetlands that could be a powerful tool not only improving water quality but also in increasing water supply Another benefit is in reducing fertilizer runoff Wetlands are very effective at reducing nitrate levels, particularly ortho phosphorus levels in runoff into again streams, lakes, and on to the ocean. And again that’s important because we’ve seen what that does. Wetlands size at about three percent of the nearby farm fields reduce nitrates washing into rivers by about 12 to 24 percent, somewhere in that range. Wetland size six percent of the farm fields produces a nitrate reduction of somewhere between 36 and 44 So we can protect our water supplies, aquifers, and surface waters from nitrate pollution by again restoring forest, using water efficient irrigation methods, keeping cattle out of streams, and by using terraces and stream buffers to reduce erosion. Using these methods is a heck of a lot cheaper than filtration and treatment and better for the environment and it makes agriculture more sustainable. How about increasing electrification of transportation All increasing that electrification then of all types of transportation can reduce carbon

dioxide input into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels which would seem obvious But carbon dioxide reduction is dependent upon how that electricity is generated. If it’s generated by burning fossil fuels there is no reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. And, in fact, they might actually increase because now people are driving the electric cars around thinking boy I’m not putting any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and they drive more, but the electricity generated to charge those batteries in their cars is burning fossil fuels Only electricity generated by renewable means, results in any meaningful carbon dioxide reduction. Let’s talk a little bit then about cap and trade the last one And here we’re talking about something called the California model because California was the one that kind of got this whole thing started and originally initiated the thing So cap and trade then sets overall limits on greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the cap Credits are given to industry for carbon dioxide emissions and if you don’t need them you can sell them to someone else who does. That’s the trade The number of credits is reduced by three percent each year. So what’s that what’s the impact of that? Well so far it’s been a good tool to address climate change. Its effects are not just limited to California but are having an impact throughout the US and Canada. Much of that impact is on forest where it’s catalyzing conservation programs across the US. Used properly it can generate economic benefits to grow economies and provide cash to restore still more forests Forest restoration then aids the fight to reduce carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere In fact some funds from these projects have been used to purchase coal rights in order to retire them, meaning that coal stays in the ground and is never burned to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere The program encourages better forest management for their carbon value So the question might be then hey is there a better way? Well here is the problem with cap and trade. Give you a scenario here. If I have 100 credits to emit carbon each year but I need only 60 I can sell the remaining 40 Meanwhile someone else is producing 140 units of carbon but has only 100 credits they can buy my 40 excess credits and go right on releasing their 140 units of carbon into the atmosphere and there is no net reduction of carbon release Eventually the annual 3 reduction of credits will reduce carbon releases but it’s pretty slow Buying forest credits an existing forest also produces no net gain in carbon pollution reduction as the forest was already there soaking up carbon. Yes, it will continue to grow as it gets bigger it will absorb still more carbon, but again that’s a pretty slow process And meanwhile your credit purchase allows you to keep dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere I think your dumping is far ahead of the rate of growth of the forest to absorb Only if the purchase prevents a forest from being clear-cut or results in planning of a new forest, is there any net carbon reduction. So some environmentalists then are arguing for a better quicker way to reduce carbon and it’s called a carbon tax. Oh my god I’ve just said it. Tax! Nobody likes taxes. I don’t like taxes I pay a lot of taxes and i get it okay, but we have to realize something here in this world, the government really doesn’t have any money of its own. the only money it has is what it takes from you in the form of taxes and then hopefully it applies that money to things that are beneficial to all of us. So paying taxes is kind of like just a necessary evil. So let me give you something. If carbon is taxed at ten dollars a ton and I emit a thousand tons per year. It costs me ten thousand dollars a year to pollute Hey no problem. Just the cost of doing business, right? But if I produce a million tons per year it cost me 10 million dollars to pollute Hey, now you’re starting to talk real money A tar carbon tax gives big polluters an incentive to reduce their emissions as quickly as possible and again let me give you an example. The United Kingdom imposed a carbon tax which,

in 2018 at least, was about 25 a ton and they primarily put that on fossil fuel power plants It cut carbon emissions in half from 2015 to 2016. You see corporations are reluctant to invest in carbon remove carbon dioxide removal technologies because they see no market value in it. To them the climate is a public benefit not something from which they can earn a profit. It’s easier and cheaper just to use the atmosphere as a garbage can So we have two slides coming up here, I’ll leave this on for just a minute so you can read it. It talks about what we’re going to talk about in more detail in individual actions okay. So while it’s easy to succumb to this “woe’s me” attitude and become depressed so there are no there are numerous things individuals can do to help in this battle against climate change. Yeah the efforts of any one individual have virtually zero impact on the climate. But if the efforts of thousands or millions will or even in the case remember of the Mono Lake committee where probably just less than 100 people had this tremendous impact in saving Mono Lake. That’s the goal You can go down to there’s a website called drawdown, I think it’s or something like that I’ll give it to you in just a minute, in fact maybe it’s on the next slide, yeah it is on the bottom of the next slide, You can go to that it gives, I think it has about a hundred and some odd ideas for how people can reduce their carbon input to the atmosphere. I’ve I have a couple of them included in here but you can go find a whole lot more So again, this slide and the next have just some of the things that we as individuals can do to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, store carbon dioxide in the soil or in plant tissues, reduce water pollution and runoff, prevent ocean pollution, algae blooms, anoxic conditions, and so on and so forth So global warming, if you haven’t got it by now, will produce many changes in our climate and for gardeners and for ranchers and for farmers, in how we grow and manage our gardens Climate zones are moving northward into higher elevations. Our sunset zones 7 or 9 may become more like Tucson’s 12 or Phoenix’s zone 13 Growing season is lengthening. All across the U.S spring blooms occur earlier, fall lasts longer, and migration patterns are changing. Animals are responding by moving their ranges north or to higher elevations and, as I just said in my opinion piece, we may soon see a shift in forest patterns as well as our conifer coniferous forest shift further northward or farther northward In our own area the change will be to a hotter and drier climate. Summers will become longer and much hotter, while winter rains will be more variable and unreliable, shifting from winters of drought to those of heavily deluges. Again we may wind up looking more like Phoenix over the next 15 years And I lived in phoenix and I gardened there so what I’m telling you is kind of what I did We will plant vegetables in the fall and early spring taking advantage of the more or less warmer winter early spring months before it gets too hot, like about in June it starts getting really blistering down there. So the vegetable, these early winter vegetables and even spring vegetables then plant in the fall and the early spring while heat lovers such as corn melons and so forth, tomatoes will be planted in the late winter so that they mature again before we get into June or or too far into June and the summer really gets blisteringly hot Summer temperatures hill here may well average 107 degrees Fahrenheit and we may see spikes up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades Some crops require a certain amount of hours during winter in which the temperature has to be below a certain temperature. Apples are an important crop in El Dorado County and in our home gardens as well which require these lower temperatures in the winter. They’re called chilling hours. Different varieties have different requirements. With warming temperatures the number of chilling hours will likely lessen which may require a change in varieties to some that require fewer chilling hours. So you may wind up having to pull your apple trees out, I can see it up in Apple

Hill now, and switch from apple trees that require 800, 900, maybe 1500 chilling hours down to something maybe requires only 5, 6, 700 hundred chilling hours in order to get a decent crop. Frost and freeze damage will become a greater threat to crops as early springs and warm weather encourage plants to begin to grow, bloom, or set earlier, or they encourage you to plant your plants out. Those early warm cells can then be followed by a return of winter storms bringing frosts and freezing temperatures or heavy rain or snow as that, remember that more erratic jet stream produces sharp ridges and deep troughs that can bring a succession of warm and cold periods. So it sucks you in with a warm period and then drops you into a cold period. Probably even more of a problem in the mid-west than it is here. So the following topics then give us some direction in how to cope with these changes and how to prevent maybe, or mitigate some of them So again, gardeners face these unprecedented times where warming trends are observed across all seasons which introduces uncertainty around the stability of temperature averages and ranges and this is producing changes in frost free season length and changes in hardiness zones which we’ve used for years but now we question how confidently we can rely on them and on existing guidelines for planting and harvesting and frost free days and chilling hours and all this stuff. The decision making process now means attaching importance to the number and strength of extreme weather events including those periods of excessively high temperatures, droughts, floods, heavy downpours, and these sharp peaks and troughs in the weather patterns These changes portend danger for migrating insects and birds. Their migration cycles are timed for them to arrive in an area where food is available to support them as they proceed on their migratory journey. But if flowering and food production occurs earlier due to climate changes, the migrating species perhaps proceeding on their normal schedule may arrive too late. The food is already gone. That could lead to starvation and a complete disruption of migratory patterns So the slide shows the observed increases in frost free growing season length for the period from 1992 to 2012. There likely have been additional increases since then Let’s look at a practice that we may have to practice in a not too distant future and in fact you can practice it now if you want. It’s called dry land farming. So what the heck is dryland farming? It’s basically the production of crops without irrigation on land that experiences low average annual rainfall or rainfall that is highly variable from year to year or even within a given rainy season. It’s most useful for areas with cool wet seasons and warm dry seasons and rainfall must be at least 10 inches per year Outside of the rainfall it kind of sounds like us doesn’t it in our Mediterranean climate? Wet, cool wet wet wet season and then a warm or a hot dry season Except we get more than 10 inches of rain per year, at least right now we do. Dryland farming depends on making the best use of the bank of soil moist created by winter rainfall What can I grow in dryland farming? Actually a fairly large number of crops, including something like grapes, tomatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, beans, sunflowers, watermelon, cantaloupes, potatoes, and also those apples. and I’m sure if you go online or start searching around you can find even other crops that can grow in dryland farming conditions. The point is that finding the right crops for dryland production requires experimentation, to see what works in your garden So what are the techniques? Well first of all let’s retain rain water. Conserve and use water and to conserve and use water effectively. It’s vital to retain all the rain water possible. Increase water absorption by improving the soil. Till to observe and to absorb and allow to penetrate water that falls on it. If you till or turn your soil over in the dormant season,

do it when the soil is wet enough to form clods, but not too wet you, don’t want to form a clay mess, you want just to clod it up. This lengthens the time it takes raindrops to break the clods down It allows water to seep down between the clods which improves penetration and impedes runoff And that is what I do in my garden okay. I take once the my whatever my crops are are finished, I take those plants out, I don’t leave them as a residue, at least not yet, I may start doing that, but I take them out and then anything that looks diseased I throw in the burn pile but everything else goes into my compost pile. I then clean up any residue old leaves again, and because of these possible disease problems. Once I’ve done that I bring in humus uh put it in try to get at least two inches deep if i can, and then I take a balanced fertilizer, triple 15 and I put that sprinkle some of that on. Now the first 15 is the nitrogen and I put that on because the hummock is isn’t completely broken down usually, and so you get that incorporated in the soil and it starts to break down, it uses nitrogen out of the soil so you could run possibly run into a nitrogen deficiency. So I put that nitrogen on there to just try to bulk that up a little bit. The second two phosphorus and potassium then, don’t dissolve well in water the nitrogen does. So by incorporating them in the soil and let them sit in the soil there over the winter hopefully the winter rains will be sufficient to begin to break, dissolve that and again get it incorporated into the soil. So the winter rains come along, oh I turn that over then of course again leaving it cloddy and then the winter rains come hopefully and they begin to melt all that down, the water soaks in really well and by the time spring runs around usually what I have is is the clods are dissolved, the the garden soil looks a little hummocky. I take a rake out and kind of level it out a little bit and then I plant my seeds or my transplants or whatever it is and it works quite effectively. And that’s something you can do in your garden So you can also practice something called no-till gardening and just leave stubble and crop residue on the ground to decay In that process, again it reduces runoff You might, in fact I would strongly recommend that you don’t plant the same crop into the beds where a similar crop was left in place because any plant diseases that developed on that crop will still be there and when your new crop comes up it will immediately affect it, infected it. You can, sometimes you can get by two years safely but I wouldn’t play with it, just plant a different crop over there, wherever you left uh you know bean reserve or tomato residue, don’t plant beans or tomatoes in that same area. You want to try not to let the soil form a crust. If you turn it over and rototill it and you create fine grains, those grains tend, as they get wet, tend to stick together and when they do that they then form an impenetrable crust that rain water can’t go through, so the rain water then puddles up and then it runs off. And if you’re like me I think most of us around here our gardens are kind of not level, they’re kind of on a little bit of a downhill grade which just worsens the problem. And which gets to the other thing, is be sure the beds are as level as possible to reduce the runoff In case of very large slopes, you need to set the beds up perpendicular to the slope, okay. And then if it’s really bad you may actually have to terrace, to try to level it out and reduce the amount of runoff. Another thing you need to do is reduce evapotranspiration, ET. Okay so plants, when you’re using dryland farming must be germinated initially under normal conditions of water and temperature, most likely in a greenhouse or perhaps in a cold frame Only growth and maturity occur in dryland conditions. Again, preventing that water loss is your key strategy and so something else you need to control then is heat and wind through either shade structures or wind breaks. And that’s essential because heat and wind speed up water loss from the soil through evaporation and from the plants through transpiration. So and again losses due to evapotranspiration ET must be minimized Trees can be used or large shrubs to form wind breaks and also to provide shade, but care must be taken to prevent either too much shade on the crop which can reduce your yields

or maybe prevent them totally, and to reduce root competition for the available water and nutrients Again loss of water nutrients and light can lead to a drastic reduction in your yields In place of these you might look at a like a lattice structure you can put up which will provide some shade and also reduce the wind speed and that eliminates the root competition problem. You can also use a shade cloth that’s another thing that can be used Leaving a crop residue or stubble or mulch can help to retain the water as well, reduce the runoff, and allow that water to soak in, which is the key That mulch or compost can be added in the summer, again to reduce evaporation and keep the soil temperature cool and it can also be used to reduce weeds, and again the idea here is to is keep that water in the soil as much as possible for use by your plants You need to eliminate the weeds because that means that the available water is going to your crop, to your plants, and not to grow weeds. So get rid of them Fallow beds, you can leave half the crop area fallow for a year by alternating beds and what that does then it leaves the soil stored water from one year in the ground and then you get rain the next winter hopefully, and that gives you two years then worth of soil stored water for growth when you plant in that bed. And I’ve been toying with that idea here to leave my bed, half of my beds fallow, I think I might try that this winter. If you do that don’t leave the ground bare in the fallowed bed. You need to have a cover crop of some sort, or a cover of old plant stubble or something like that or you need mulch to retain the water for the dry months. Remember if you leave that soil bare it’s going to get very very hot during the summer and that’s going to increase the evaporation from the soil and you’re going to lose a lot of the water you’re trying to store. So you need to put a good cover of some kind of mulch on top of that to keep that soil cool and keep as much of that water down there in the soil as you possibly can What are some desirable crop characteristics then? Quick maturing, drought resistant crops, obviously are essential. You’re going to plant fewer plants, you’re going to plant them farther apart to reduce competition. Dwarf varieties are useful as they use and lose less water and they still produce a pretty good crop. Crops that close their stomata or curl their leaves, such as corn for one, during the daylight again reduces water loss through transpiration. Remember dryland farming yields will be less, but the fruits produced are generally better tasting, they’re denser, and they generally pack more nutrients in each fruit So let’s look at something called regenerative agriculture. And what is that? Well it’s basically the practice of creating healthy soils. It’s estimated about 50 percent of the carbon that was contained in earth soils has been lost to the atmosphere over the past centuries through agriculture So regenerative agriculture then enhances and sustains the health of the soil by restoring its carbon content, which improves its productivity. Increasing soil carbon content by even a few percent stores huge amounts of carbon in the soil, reducing the amount of carbon release to the atmosphere while improving the soil and improving carbon or crop yield. In fact soil stores about twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does, so increasing that storage could help to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and then and therefore address climate change. Healthy soils contain about five percent organic matter. It includes fungi, bacteria, protozoa, dead plant, and animal material, that sort of stuff. The organisms then feed on the dead material converting it back into its constituent parts that can then be used by living plants In so doing they improve the tilth of the soil soil aeration, water holding capacity, and they keep the carbon in the soil where it’s needed instead of releasing it into the atmosphere

Healthy soils also soak up precipitation and filter water gradually through loose soil. Soils low in organic matter again tend to form surface crusts that again shed the water sending your water running off into streams, lakes or just off somewhere you don’t want it whereas healthy soils slow that process down and allow more water to soak in Healthy soils require less irrigation, they can keep farmland productive, and increase crop resiliency to drought. Intercropping can help by creating greater soil organism diversity So healthy soil practices, I’m going to give you a list here and you wouldn’t have to use them all you can pick and choose you know what works best for you No tillage is one. Diverse cover crops is another In farm fertility, there’s no external nutrients, no pesticides, or synthetic fertilizer. Multi-crop rotation Leave crop residue or stubble on the soil And the addition of compost. So all these are are healthy soil practices and you can use them all or you know one or two whatever works for you By practicing no tillage gardening, then again the crop residue is left on the ground to break down which adds carbon to the soil.Tillage on the other hand, aerates the soil which accelerates microbial breakdown of the organic matter and that releases the resulting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere so you decrease the amount of carbon that could be in the soil instead making carbon dioxide out of it and putting it up into the atmosphere. And again, I will repeat if you’re going to leave old crop residue or stubble in the soil, you need to rotate your crops so you don’t perpetuate the same crop diseases on the same crops. That rotation of the crops helps break the disease cycle Using these practices increases soil carbon storage, it encourages microbial growth, it promotes roots to grow deeper, it improves nutrient uptake and water retention, it makes the plants more pest resistance, and it increases soil fertility. That’s a pretty good rate of return for just practicing even a few of these regenerative agriculture practices. Cover cropping, especially with deep rooted plants, reduces wind and water erosion, which keeps the nutrients and the soil in place, and it can help fix nitrogen in the soil if you plant the right cover crop. And if you turn that cover crop under it adds organic matter to the soil. Healthy soils can mitigate climate change because the microbes break up carbon molecules so they bind to the soil particles thus storing the carbon in the soil where it can be used by the plants Also it slows the breakdown as we’ve said, release of carbon dioxide storing it in the soil for decades or perhaps even longer than that. It’s estimated that regenerative agriculture practices, if they are increased to about 1 billion acres by 2050 could reduce about 23 gigatons of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere through sequestration and reduced emissions. So it’s talking about conservation agriculture and I know I have all I have trouble regenerative agriculture, sustaining agriculture, conservation agriculture, I have trouble keeping them all straight too. Okay, so I’m conservation agriculture is just basically an expansion of the idea of no-till agriculture, which we just talked about So low conservation agricultural practices that embrace three basic principles. Number one is minimize soil disturbance by not tilling to planting seeds or transplants directly into the soil. Number two they maintain soil cover by leaving crop residues after harvesting or planting after harvest or planting cover crops, that’s another way you can do that. Again which puts stuff in the soil and reduces runoff. And then number three is managing crop rotation by changing what is grown where and we’ve talked about that. It’s estimated that by using these principles about a half a ton of carbon per acre, per year, can be sequestered. Plus it makes the land more resilient to climate change events such as prolonged droughts and or heavy downpours Tree intercropping and wind breaks. Okay so tree intercropping is just the intermingling of trees and crops which can increase the carbon content of the soil and the productivity of the land

Windbreaks placed around homes, farm fields, or livestock areas promote energy savings as well as provide crop protection from the wind The arrangement of trees and crops on a farmstead varies with the topography, the culture, the climate, and the crop value, but there are some common benefits which I’m going to discuss. So agricultural benefits then Windbreaks reduce erosion and create habitats for birds and pollinators Okay, so slow down the wind speed, you don’t blow all your topsoil off. You keep it where you where you wanted it. Wind breaks can reduce evapotranspiration by reducing wind speeds, which reduces crop ventilation. So you’re not losing so much water through transpiration Deep rooted trees can draw minerals and nutrients for shallow rooted plants, but you’ve got to watch out. Remember we talked again about excessive root competition and also excessive shading. Fast growing crops and annuals that are susceptible to being flattened by wind and rain can be protected by these lines of trees or tall shrubs, again where they break up the wind and slow the speed down. I actually teach this, a lot of this, in another course which maybe one day we’ll put online or maybe one day we’ll be able to get back in the classroom We talk a lot about these things. They’re called wind breaks, so they’re called shelterbelts also If you’re reading literature you may see a referral to shelterbelts, it’s basically the same thing. Shelterbelts are usually trees. Light sensitive crops can be protected from excess sunlight, but again watch out for excessive shading, you’ve got to watch that Finally, planting fruit trees on the edge of farm fields can stabilize the soil, capture carbon, and they can increase local food production either for your own use or you can sell the crop. What about benefits around the home and for livestock. Well one thing is you can plant trees on your property to store carbon, that’s certainly one thing. But strategically placed trees can reduce the wind, lessening home air infiltration which can reduce home heating costs in the winter and by shading the house in the summer you reduce air conditioning costs because you keep the inside of the house cooler. Okay and again this same class I was just talking about, we talk about that and what trees to use, where they should be located, some pitfalls. We talk about all that. I don’t have time for that today sorry. These actions though do reduce energy use, they save you money, and lessen the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere Wind breaks to shelter livestock reduce their heat loss, okay which can reduce feed costs. If the animal is standing out there in the blazing, blasting wind, it removes the boundary layer air from around that animal, which is air which serves to insulate the animal and keep it warm. You remove it replace it with cold air then the animal has to replace that heat in that boundary layer, okay Which means the animal burns more energy which means it’s got to eat more food. If you can reduce that that ventilation, that removal of the boundary layer even by a little bit the animal stays warmer, needs to generate less heat which means it generates has to eat less food, you save money Remove trees or don’t plant such as acacias or eucalyptus, they suck groundwater, as does starthistle as well. You would be surprised. My starthistle class, I show you exactly how much groundwater starthistle uses up, and it uses it and it’s the deep stored water in the summertime which just keeps the plant alive in the summer, okay. So you want to eliminate that stuff or you don’t want to plant it. You also don’t want to plant a eucalyptus tree close to your house because the oils in that tree, if it ever catches fire, it’s just like a blow torch It’s estimated that 571 million acres are truly intercropped, It could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 17 gigatons over a period of about 30 years How about planting an urban forest. An urban forest not only makes the environment more beautiful, it also cools the environment in summer, mitigates wind in winter, and absorbs tons of carbon dioxide and pollutants, again acted as an offset against climate change. There is a resource online at something called vibrant cities lab, that’s all one word run together,, that provides an urban forestry toolkit, plus guidance on how to start an urban tree planting program,

how to advocate for one, and example ordinances, if you’re interested in something like that Let’s look at sustainable intensification. Another one of those things that isn’t immediately evident what they’re talking about. So what it simply means is more intensively farming land to produce more crops or livestock on the same amount of land On a farm, sustainable intensification can improve soil management while producing larger yields On a pasture, it involves growing more nutritious grasses which allow more cattle to be grazed on the same amount of land. Implementing sustainable intensification then requires identifying a locale’s most at-risk resources and what you’re trying to protect then, water, deforestation, healthy soils, etc., then working to preserve them Sustainable intensification allows us to produce more on the land we have, rather than plowing up more grasslands or cutting down more forests, both of which reduce the ability to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in the trees or plant material and ultimately in the soil So we can grow more then we have and we don’t have to destroy more lands more forests Responsible use of fertilizer is another thing and we kind of discuss this a little bit but we want to apply fertilizer again, you should apply the right source of nutrients at the right time, at the right rate, and in the right place. Over application can result in runoff into water bodies and eventually again into the ocean, we see where that leads. Or unused fertilizer may percolate into aquifers polluting them and rendering them unusable for domestic uses and we talked about that, remember the San Joaquin Valley. Unused fertilizer may also volatilize, releasing harmful nitrogen compounds into the atmosphere, I think we talked about that. And what we didn’t talk about is too much fertilizer can also kill the microorganisms that help sequester carbon in the soil Now let’s look then at rain gardens, gardening basins, the dry wells, and that sort of thing. And there is a class on this by the way. I don’t know if it’s online yet, zoom class or what, but there is one on this specifically Rain garden is usually just a depression in the soil or a basin you create in the garden or in the landscape which catches and holds runoff, keeps the runoff on your land instead of running down, if you’re in an urban environment, disturbing the environment or runs into the gutters and and eventually into some place or wherever it goes, whereas it keeps it on the land, helps it to soak in. So that basin holds that water giving it time to soak in versus running off, and the basin’s holding capacity or efficiency can be enhanced by putting a dry well beneath the basin So what is a dry well? It’s basically a hole, it’s two feet, five feet deep, whatever deep you can get, usually at the center or the low point of the basin. You fill about the bottom third of that with sand, about the next third you put in gravel, you cover that with a semi-permeable cover of some sort and you can put soil up on top of that and actually plant over it if you wish The dry well then allows the basin to collect more water and directs it deeper into the soil, again enhancing aquifer recharge and reducing runoff because it can just store more. I have, I think four or five basins in my yard and I set them up so they’re kind of stepped, so when one fills up, whatever the runoff out of that one flows into another one, which flows into another one so on Every one of mine has at least one dry well under it some have two. My dry wells are run anywhere from about two to maybe three and a half feet deep, and that’s from the bottom of the depression not from the existing soil level After that as you probably are all well aware living here in the foothills you have rock problems and you just get to the point that I can’t dig any further. The rocks are just too many, too numerous, too big, to something or other So I kind of have to stop. That semi-permeable barrier to put in there on top of the gravel, I use a weed block cloth and I just double or triple it over, lay it across and what you’re trying to do there is catch the soil there and not let it get down into your gravel and your sand bed where it will eventually plug it up. That’s the idea anyway

So again by reducing the runoff you get the benefit of the rainfall, we’re reducing the runoff of the fertilizer and the herbicides and so on and so forth into the streams you’ve got. You can also plant deep rooted plants. Those would be uh either deep rooted or woody plants which again removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as the plants tend to have a longer lifespan and be more permanent and the deeper roots tend to store the carbon deeper in the soil where it is protected for a longer period of time. What about irrigation techniques? Talking about three things here, drip, row irrigation, and then sprinklers Drip irrigation. That puts the water where you need it rather than watering the weeds. For a given amount of water it soaks deeper into the root zone which increases yield for the water used. It also reduces the humidity around the plant as compared to a particular sprinkler system which means that you should have less fungal disease problems on your plants because you’re not getting the plants wet You can use individual emitters for your plants or you can use something like inline irrigation, and those are all discussed in that class or in my water management class which maybe one day we’ll put online or teach in person again. Okay so you don’t have to put dozens and dozens of emitters around your tree or shrub whatever it is. With a drip system what it does it wets a very small area on the surface but as that water sinks in it sinks in in a conical pattern and eventually as it gets down into the root zone then it spreads out so that each of the emitters kind of unite, it’s not necessary, you don’t have to wet the whole surface around there, the whole subsurface around there, but they unite and so the water is available for the plant So again, a few emitters is all you really need You don’t have to cover the soil with the emitters Again and also reduces then erosion and loss of water due to evaporation. Again which reduces your overall water use, and it can save energy if you’re pumping a well, and that in turn reduces carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere. How about sprinkler, most of us are not going to use row irrigation, canal irrigation, but those have suffer from again water evaporation of the water in the canal or in the row. They also suffer by increasing the humidity around the plant which can lead to disease problems And then again if you’re trying to pump water not only out of the ground but pump it into the row and pump it out of the row to some place else again, you have carbon dioxide issues there with putting more of it into the atmosphere Sprinklers now. Sprinklers can cover a large area They have a couple of problems. First of all when they sprinkle they break that water up into little tiny particles which gives you more evaporation surfaces as it falls to the ground so you lose a considerable amount of water to evaporation before the water ever hits the ground And then once it hits the ground you want it to be able to soak in, so you don’t want to do it in the heat of the day. You want to soak in otherwise you’re going to lose a lot of your water to evaporation from the soil surface before it ever soaks down. Another problem is if you put the irrigation sprinkler irrigation on too soon too early like at night it sits on there on the plant and doesn’t evaporate and that leaves time for any fungal spores that are on your plant They require a certain amount of time being wet in order to germinate and you give them plenty of time to do that so you can run into fungal problems on your plants as well. The best way to use a sprinkler system is to get a good timer. okay You can then time it and maybe you want to you could, the best time is probably about five or six o’clock in the morning to maybe 10 o’clock in the morning, but if you need more time than that, maybe two o’clock in the morning something like that. It still gives, you don’t have that much longer to sunrise and hopefully the wet plant material will have time to dry before the fungal spores germinate. Okay so that’s one problem. So you want to set your timers to get into that window as much as you possibly can And then also if you’re sprinkler watering the heat of the day obviously you’re going to lose more water to evaporation off of those droplets as they fall than you would in the cooler times in

the morning. And then again the water doesn’t, once it hits the ground, doesn’t have as long to sink in before it begins to evaporate from the ground surface. If you’re trying to sprinkler water a slope, the best way to water plants on a slope is to use like an inline drip system or something like that But if you’re going to use a sprinkler what you need to do is look at that slope and before you put, you can have plants on it, but it’s best just to have the bare slope before you start planting and don’t put any mulch on it. Turn your sprinkler system on get your stop watch out and let it run until you see the water beginning to run off, then you turn it off Then you also want to know how deep you want the water to go. Six inches, 12 inches, 18 inches. So you go down with your trowel and dig down a ways and see how far the water soaked in If it hasn’t soaked in far enough you wait a little while till the water has percolated down somewhat, turn the sprinkler system on again. And then you time until you start getting runoff, turn it off note the time, go dig down. If it hasn’t gotten as far down as you need, you wait a little time again, turn it on again, and do the same thing. When you’re finished with all that and you’ve got the water as deep as you want it to go, then you note those times and then you program your sprinkler to mimic that. Then you can go ahead and put mulch on or plant your plants and then put mulch on to reduce the runoff, keep the soil cool, reduce the evaporation, reduce weeds, all that sort of stuff. You can also dig a little trench on the downhill side of the plant so any water run off that does occur can be caught in that little basin to further soak water into the ground So there’s another thing you can use which is called deficit irrigation, which is applying the absolute minimum amount of water to maintain healthy plant growth and production Obviously that’s going to reduce water consumption and save energy. In a garden you’re absolute minimum is going to be much higher than it is going to be on a lawn So because you want a crop, you’ve got to put enough water on to give you the crop but no more than what is enough. On a lawn, on the other hand the deficit irrigation then means that through the summer months your lawns are going to look really lousy because you don’t care how it looks you just want to keep the roots and the growth crown alive so that when the fall rain comes it comes back to life and it grows, you have a nice green lawn up until late spring early summer and then you deficit irrigate again with just enough water to keep it alive but it doesn’t look really great. And again, at my water management class we go through that and I’ve got some tables and stuff like that that you can use which would help you with that if you decided to use deficit irrigation So what about composting versus landfills The practice of composting as opposed to sending the green waste to landfills has obvious environmental advantages as well as producing this rich source of amendments for your garden So you can compost on your own and you can use like rapid composting techniques and I believe we have a composting class again I don’t know if it’s online but we do have one and it talks about hot composting and various other methods you can use. I use the let it rot composting method I just pile it all up and you know, eventually it will rot. That’s what I use because I just need too much and hot composting is too much work. I run a small farm so I can’t be out there flipping piles every darn day or every other day. So one thing is composting your own property If you send composting or your green material off for like waste management here to pick it up in their recycled bins every other week, the green waste bins, if that goes into a municipal composting pile which I hope it does with them Then a lot of communities do that. They municipally compost and then they either give that compost back to gardeners or they sell it back to you usually at a reduced cost If you’re going to use municipal compost you must must must be very very careful that the municipal entity that is doing the composting is doing it properly. They’re hot composting because they’re picking up stuff from all over the place. It could be diseased material. It could be stuff that’s been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, god knows what. Okay and that’s all put into a big pile and it’s composted. The heat, if they’re using the proper techniques and doing it properly, should kill the organisms and should basically break down those chemicals and everything is just fine

But if they’re not doing it and they give it to you and you put it in your garden you may be in for some really big problems. Now the other thing is if they just take it and dump it into the landfill then the problem is it gets buried. It breaks down anaerobically. Remember that term from way back when, and it releases methane into the atmosphere and we know methane is is not good. okay So then the composting, if it’s done correctly, reduces that methane production and release Composting converts organic material into stable carbon while retaining water and nutrients of the original waste. The stable carbon helps retain carbon in the soil where it can be used by the plants, again rather than releasing it into the atmosphere What about managed grazing for you ranchers out there. There are three managed grazing techniques that improve the soil health, promote carbon sequestration, increase water retention, and improve forage productivity. The first is what’s called improved continuous grazing which decreases the number of animals per acre, So here you’re probably going to have to have a large acreage, not too many animals, honestly can’t clear you know, strip it of all its land so as they graze another part of the acreage is still growing, then they’ll move over and graze that, what they grazed before can grow. They don’t totally destroy everything that’s on the property That’s improved continuous grazing. Number two is something called rotational grazing which moves the animals from pasture to pasture allowing the pastures that have already been grazed to recover. So you pull them off of this pasture before they completely destroyed it down to the ground, move it to another pasture and they graze that down and move it to another The third is called adaptive multi-pasture grazing and that shifts the animals through smaller pastures in quick succession after which the land again is allowed to recover. So it’s basically just rotational grazing but using smaller pasture areas and moving the animals from pasture to pasture more quickly. Managed grazing protects natural grasslands from over grazing and trampling and it can sequester anywhere from a half to three tons of carbon per acre Let’s talk about reducing food waste One third of the food grown does not make it from farm to fork Uneaten food squanders seed, water, energy, land and fertilizer, all of which required energy in some form to produce and releases carbon dioxide in the process as well as clearing land to produce uneaten food just worsens the problem. Uneaten food generates greenhouse gases including methane, once again, when that uneaten food and organic matter is stuck into landfills. Food waste is responsible for about eight percent of global emissions.  If 50% of food waste could be reduced by 2050, we could avoid putting about 26 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Reducing food waste also, as I said, avoids deforestation and destruction of grasslands done to produce additional farmland to produce what may be uneaten food and that would prevent an additional 44 gigatons of emissions over the next 30 years What about adopting a plant rich diet. The western diet is meat-centric, I think we all know that, and as more people throughout the world move into the middle class that diet is expanding And it comes at a really steep price tag of producing about one-fifth of global emissions Livestock flatulence accounts for 26% of the methane emissions in the U.S. alone and it’s responsible for about 14 and a half percent of greenhouse gases gas emissions worldwide For just a gee whiz, if cattle were their own nation they would be the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitters after china and the U.S. Switching to a plant-based diet might be the most effective way that we as individuals can stop climate change you don’t have to become vegan, you don’t have to become you know strictly a vegetative whatever

I’m trying to say here, whatever. You eat just plants okay. You don’t have to become that. You just all you do is reduce your meat consumption by by some percentage uh whatever is comfortable for you Plant rich diets could reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 66 gigatons annually by 2050 We could also source local foods, that is sourcing whatever grows near you when you can That saves burning fossil fuels for transportation, whether by truck, ship, plane, whatever they use to do it. You can do that in your own garden, grow your own food in your garden if you’ve got the space. You can frequent local farms through plant sales and things like that You can buy local produce in your grocery store. So all those things can you can use to source local foods and cut down on the transportation and the carbon dioxide emissions that are related to it. We, at our own garden, I’ll grow a lot I run a small farm so we sell a lot of produce but we also keep some for ourselves and so for the summer months much of our produce comes out of the garden and my wife also processes it and freezes it and so in the winter months we can go out into the freezer jerk out a jar or a can or whatever or something and bring it in and eat it and it tastes almost as good as if we’d gone out into the garden in the summer and picked it fresh. Almost What about rooftop solar photovoltaics. The cost of individual rooftop solar installations has plummeted drastically over the past several years to where about 65 cents per watt it generated I think and it may be even lower now. This number is a little bit old  So in many areas though, the cost now is competitive or even less costly than conventional power generation. And particularly when you get all the credits when you buy one of these systems you get credit. So I’m just picking numbers out of the air now maybe it costs you twenty thousand dollars to put the system up on your roof but you get a ten thousand dollar rebate from the state or for PGE or from somebody and, maybe you get a tax credit of another ten percent again, whatever the number is so it’s your actual cost is not twenty thousand dollars it may be only like about five thousand or six thousand dollars and you can rapidly recoup that through the energy generated them but you don’t have to buy from PG &E or SMUD or whoever your provider is So if rooftop solar grows from the current four tenths of a percent of electricity generation and that’s a 2018 number to seven percent by 2050 we could avoid about 24.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions. And I do have solar voltaics on my roof and in fact we’re just putting in batteries because of all these power outages so that I can feed that power into my batteries and I run off the batteries so when PG & E cuts the power off I’ve still got power in the house. In the meantime I’m generating a lot of my own energy and actually feeding it back into the grid as well. So that’s something you can do and it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere What about electric vehicles That could bring significant emissions reductions by switching to them Compared to gasoline-powered vehicles emissions drop by 50 percent if an EV’s power comes off a conventional grid If it’s powered by solar generated energy those carbon dioxide emissions fall by 95 percent Building insulation. Remember we talked about that a little bit about the air infiltration into your house and trying to cut the wind speed so it cuts the infiltration Well air infiltration accounts for 25 to 60 percent of the energy used to heat and cool a home. Energy is simply wasted. And we’ve discussed again that the location of trees and cutting back the wind that cuts down that infiltration Also insulating a building further reduces the infiltration. Better insulating a building reduces heat exchange, it saves energy, and again it avoids unnecessary carbon dioxide produced by generating unneeded heat. If 50 percent of existing residential and commercial buildings install proper insulation. A little bit more than 8 gigatons of emissions can be avoided Some really mundane stuff now okay. Household led lights. Led bulbs use 90 percent less energy than

incandescent bulbs and 50 percent less than compact fluorescence. About 8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions can be saved if 90 percent of household lighting switches to leds Solar hot water. The use of solar hot water generated by solar systems versus conventional fuels can reduce fuel consumption by anywhere from 50 to 70 percent, depending of course on how much hot water you use. Smart thermostats can adjust the operation of cooling and heating systems to operate only when buildings are occupied. This saves energy and emissions that would otherwise be wasted heating and cooling unoccupied buildings We have a smart thermostat and what we and we also have a whole house fan and we program that smart thermostat so that, we’re also timer for using electric, we got all kinds of stuff going on. So we program that smart thermostat so that in the summertime, for example, it cools the house, first of all we turn on the whole house fan overnight. Open up the windows the air conditioner is actually turned off and the windows then draw on the cool air. I get up in the morning I shut windows to lock that cool air in. The air conditioner is on but it’s not running then until the temperature reaches whatever temperatures I’ve set it at which sometimes it doesn’t reach it at all. When we get to maximum billing, because we’re on time of use about two in the afternoon, the air conditioner and we set it at a higher temperature so it can’t go on, and it almost never does. So when we get to the other end, in the evening we go off time of the high price electricity it’s set at a lower temperature and will come back on if the house needs cooling, it will cool the house down. In the winter time we set the thermostat to warm the house to whatever level we set it at during the day, again during the peak time of use, heater goes off and then it comes back on in the evening to reheat the house to whatever level and then it goes off about the time we go to bed so we heat the house to a much lower level and then it comes back on in the early morning about seven o’clock when we get up to heat the house again. It’s a way you can use a smart thermostat to save a whole lot of energy and a whole lot of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Smart window glass. Windows are able to reduce the transmission of heat energy contained in the sunlight into buildings. They’re called low e or low emission glass. And now there’s glass that automatically darkens as the sunlight strikes it and lightens as the darkness falls It’s very similar if you have transitions lenses in your glasses, it’s the same idea. So it reduces the solar energy transmitted through windows in the summer which reduces the load on your air conditioner and again save energy and emissions My house when I built it was passive solar and then we put low e windows in which we’re kind of working at counter purposes to ourselves. So but with passive solar then we have our window and the eaves on our house hang over so that in the summer when the sun is high they shade the windows and the sunlight can’t get in to heat the house, and then we have low e windows which even cut it down more. In the winter time the sun level elevation is lower it shines in underneath the eaves and warms the house. And we actually have a sun room which has a solar mass and a concrete brick which absorbs that heat to help heat the house as well. When we put low e glasses in we cut down the amount of radiation coming in to heat the thermal mass so we kind of shot ourselves on the foot. But overall it’s probably good. Okay. You can do that too Switch detergents. 90 percent of the energy used by your washing machine goes to warming the water Switching the detergent form to a detergent formulator to work better in cold water, and you don’t have to heat the water. Stop using one use bottles and straws Almost 460 billion, that’s with a b, billion single-use plastic bottles are purchased worldwide each year and less than half of them are recycled Reducing plastic bottle production reduces demand for the petroleum and natural gas needed to produce them, it reduces the energy to manufacture them, and reduces the amount of plastic that is polluting our oceans. The same goes for plastic straws So, here we go. Call or meet your representative If you’re concerned about the effects of emissions,

fossil fuel use, and global warming on the climate call or meet or email your representative to express those concerns and perhaps offer ideas for solutions Let them know you are concerned and will be monitoring their actions and will be voting accordingly. Vote Climate, a U.S. political action committee has analyzed the public position of every member of congress ranking them from climate zero to climate hero Go to voteclimatepac, all one word dot org to view those ratings. Urge your governor and or mayor to join the United States Climate Alliance and that’s USClimateAlliance dot org, again all one word And the global covenant of mayors for climate and energy and that’s globalcovenantofmayors dot org. Join or ask your employer to join the American Sustainable Business Council, It advocates for legislation and other policies that address a bottom line of people, planet, and profit Let your local chamber of commerce know that clean, cheap, renewable energy is good for every kind of business, creates good jobs, and should be a top priority. In fact solar-powered jobs now create more jobs and employ more people than conventional energy jobs And that will probably even become more so in the future Ask if they or the state are involved in the transportation and climate initiative to improve public access to transportation while slashing carbon emissions. Do they support investing in public transportation, making electric cars more affordable, higher gas mileage standards, remember we talked about that earlier, and adding infrastructure for charging electric vehicles Also improving high-speed internet access in rural areas to enable more people to telecommunicate and that’s been a huge one right now because more people are telecommunicating so if more people had the capability to do that it might even be better Open dialogue and seek common ground. Often we find that we are talking past each other when we interact with those who are skeptical about climate change or at least don’t believe it is human caused. Most people can agree that the weather is changing. Most people and we’ve had a slight problem here where my my notebook fell off so just hang on just a minute and we’ll get this back where it was okay Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch it. Okay So again most people can agree that the weather is changing. Most people are concerned and don’t want to see the earth and its environment damaged Most people want to pass a healthy earth onto their children and their grandchildren and so on Find areas where you agree and work with them in those areas. You may not agree on everything so agree to disagree where that happens and work on those areas where you can agree A suggestion on how to talk about climate change Start a conversation. Study shows that we believe that what we believe others think about a topic affects our own beliefs So in other words simply sharing your perspective may help change others hearts and minds Focus on shared interests. When talking to someone start by asking open-ended questions rooted in shared interest. For example, note changes in your garden, your state, or other locations you both care about and ask if the other person has noticed those changes too. Listen respectably. Remember your goal is confirmation not confrontation and conquest. Share your perspective and listen attentively to the other person. Finally remember studies show that each person’s brain constructs a version of reality unique to them given the inputs it receives Your construct or reality may be very different from theirs, in fact no two people have exactly the same reality construct, or view reality in the exact same way. Take that into consideration as you discuss climate change with others especially with those who don’t share your views. Finally volunteer Whether it be on political campaigns or just participating in local environmental projects. Every little bit helps. Remember the Mono Lake committee. With the cooperation of and efforts of thousands of individuals you, I, we, can make a difference

And very quickly let’s run through the technology on the horizon so there are some new technologies in development that may help to solve water problems as glaciers melt potentially drying rivers reducing their flow or as climate patterns shift creating drought in some areas or to reduce the strain on aquifers Other new technologies may reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by providing fuels and fertilizers from artificial leaves thus creating a closed carbon dioxide cycle rather than digging and pumping more fossil fuels, burning them and releasing their carbon dioxide into the atmosphere Finally perhaps we can create sustainable communities where power is created and shared locally, reducing the need for large power plants and lengthy transmission lines So let’s look at drawing water from the air very quickly. The ability to draw water from the air could lessen the demand on aquifers and surface water sources as well as provide water in desert areas without the need for canals Reduced pumping could lead to power to lower carbon dioxide emissions from well pumps or pumps to lift water into canals or out of the canals There’s a new material under development that can pull water from the air even with the humidity as low as 20 percent. The system uses heat from the sun to operate. There is no electricity involved As of 2017 the system could pull 2.8 liters of water daily per kilogram of the material. And there’s ongoing efforts to try to boost that up and make it even more efficient Fuel and fertilizer from leaves. Artificial leaves have been developed that mimic the photosynthetic process to split water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen, which can then be used to convert carbon dioxide drawn from the air into hydrocarbons thus removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The process is more efficient than a natural leaf, about ten percent efficient. For a natural leaf it’s only one percent efficient Again more work is being done on that. Finally sustainable communities. To create more sustainable communities using solar power there’s a need to concentrate solar panels, not just on the building, but on buildings throughout the area and on open spaces and maybe over parking lots. This can allow more power to be generated on site where it is actually needed. Excess power can be stored in flywheels or perhaps in batteries so it’s available for later use such as at night or protect perhaps on cloudy days. The key to much of this is the development of better more efficient batteries to increase the storage and energy density so that we have enough power available And work on those batteries is also progressing Sustainable communities could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the need for fossil fuel power plants and shortening the need for and length of transmission lines. Presently more than a quarter of U.S. emissions come from residences So let’s get to the closing we have reached just about the end of this. I would like to give you a few closing comments however. Here are a couple of points that are important If you get nothing else from this class I hope you remember them I’ve mentioned them several times in the past in the presentation. First the earth has run the carbon dioxide experiment many times in the past and it is always, it has always ended badly Second, everything is fine until it isn’t, until we reach that tipping point where it’s too late, we’ve gone over the edge, and we can’t go back. Everything is fine until it isn’t So these are especially important in the light of two developments in release in July of 2018 actually and they are the studies suggest that global warming could be increasing at a rate faster than predicted. I think we’ve pretty much confirmed that. The changes seen today are much faster than anything encountered in earth history. The key to take away from that is not only that statement also that in terms of rate of change we are in uncharted territory This further substantiated again by the fact that July 2019 earth had its 415th warmer than normal month in a row and the U.S. had its warmest three, four, and five year spans on record The U.S. also had its warmest month in history in July of 2019 and part five is being recorded on

September 15, 2020. In news released on September 14, 2020 it was revealed that the period June to August of 2020 produced the hottest summer on record 2.11 degrees fahrenheit which is about 1.2 degrees celsius warmer than average. August was the second hottest since the record keeping began surpassing the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees fahrenheit by 1.69 degrees fahrenheit only August 2016 was hotter. Also on September 14th it was announced that the progressive descent of the progressive disintegration of Greenland’s ice shelf continued in 2020 as a huge chunk of the ice shelf in the arctic totaling 42.3 square miles broke off In 2019 Greenland lost enough ice to cover California four feet deep in water. The evaporation insults or the environmental insults rather just keep piling up with report after report after report You couple all these occurrences then with that in the apparent increase in the rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide increases to 2.5 parts per million or above and the rate of annual temperature increase to anywhere from 0.03 to 0.05 degrees celsius per year through 2050 it would seem something is happening. Are we approaching that all-important tipping point where it becomes too late to prevent catastrophic change. Time appears to be getting short. Look out your window for the last month and you might really draw that conclusion. It appears we have three choices. okay Choice number one then is suffer with the changes we are creating and continue as we have been Number two is adapt to the changes by changing our lifestyles moving to a cooler climate moving cities inland whatever. And number three is mitigate by changing our current practices reducing carbon dioxide emissions and trying to remove accumulated carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the short term it’s probably going to have to be a combination of adapt and mitigate but in the long term we want to live in a world anywhere near what we have lived in mitigation is the only solution. But here is the thing, it is our choice Whatever that choice is we will have to live with it perhaps for centuries As you can see there’s a difference then between a sustainable future and a deadly collapse of the ecosystem. That future depends on decisions made by us, which in turn depends on how soon we recognize that what we are doing and take action to correct it and again it breaks into two categories. Winners who see what is happening and take action to fix it and losers who can’t get their act together, deny what is happening, and their civilization collapses. The question becomes which category do we choose to be in. A final note then on the acceptance of scientific truth comes from the noted physicist Max Planck. It may explain why so many people reject global warming in spite of all the evidence and insist all is well. I’m going to quote him he says, “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light but rather because its opponents eventually die.” I hope we are smarter than that and we lost all the text on my there it is. okay I don’t know why that happened but there it is so I promised you the website to go to if you wanted to look at the presentations the slides that is in the text they can be found there at that site remember the text, the slides will be pretty much as you have seen. There are a few errors on them I think I pointed those out, mainly to the not putting the proper reference on or not or not putting a reference on where it should have been. The text has changed dramatically because I have left out parts of the text to make this whole thing shorter but then I’ve also added in text as we went along as things changed to try to keep it up to date so the things I’ve added in will not be in there, the things I left out will be. Sorry about that. So I hope you have gotten something from this class

I hope it proves useful and I just want to say that I want to thank you ever so much for the privilege of your time and maybe we’ll see you in another class sometime in the future