Lyla June Johnston

 Paul Hawken

A message of hope: If you read nothing else here today, please watch this video given at Ted-X in Kansas City last month. Entitled “All Nation’s Rise,” it is without question one of the wisest and most beautiful TED talks ever given: clear, ancient, kind, eloquent, and grounded. Lyla June is a scholar, poet, musician, and activist. She is of Diné (Navajo),Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and northern European lineage. We know her at Project Regeneration as a treasured board member. She is currently researching pre-colonial food systems for her doctoral thesis. Her wisdom conveys a figure/ground shift in how we see ourselves and our relationship to the Earth.  "Humanity is an expression of the earth's beauty….when we become Mother earth's friend, confidant, ally, and partner in life instead of being her dominator, superior, or profiteer, we can transform dead systems into living systems."

 Robert Denney

Climate activists draw attention in museums. On October 24th, protestors from the group Just Stop Oil smashed cakeon a wax replica of King Charles III at Madame Tussauds in London. The protestors demanded that the UK government halt all new oil and gas licenses, which the protestors described as being a “piece of cake.” This incident came shortly after similar climate activists threw soup on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting in London’s National Gallery and others threw mashed potatoes on Claude Monet’s Haystacks painting in a German museum (both paintings were protected by glass). Whether or not vandalism was the correct strategy to get the point across, these protests are a symptom of a larger problem - namely, that many young people are fed up with the inaction of governments when it comes to climate change. These museum incidents also occurred on the eve of the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which starts on November 6th. Hopefully, the global leaders who are attending the conference take the hint.

 Tim Treuer

Mental health benefits of regeneration: As a scientist, I love (a) crossovers between different realms of research like health and ecology and (b) hearing scientists' behind-the-scenes accounts of their research. This week, a friend passed along a blog post that accomplishes both. In it, clinical psychologist Suzanne Hicks talks about a pilot project she worked on that found that engaging in forest restoration activities significantly improved the mental well-being of disengaged young folks. Just one more reason to engage in a regeneration project near you!

 Amy Boyer

Having the wind in our sails: The world's first (partially) wind-propelled bulk cargo ship, the Shofu Maru, just came into port at Newcastle Monday morning on its maiden voyage. Ironically, it's a coal carrier, and the sail is predicted to increase fuel efficiency by only 5–8%. Fortunately, it has company: the International Windship Association, promoting wind-propelled shipping, has declared this the Decade of Wind Propulsion. There are a number of different wind technologiesbeing developed, from assistance like that on the Shofu Maru to the back-to-the-future full-sail wooden cargo schooner, CEIBU, being built in Costa Rica by SailCargo. SailCargo is not only working on a zero-emission schooner, they're planting native trees with locals. They've also bought another schooner, the Vega, and one of the crew members says it's a joy to work on a sailing ship.

 Benjamin Felser

Wellsprings of Hope: Women are at the forefront of spring restoration in the Himalayas. The impacts of drying springs disproportionately hit women, but they are also the ones taking charge of their revitalization. In Uttarakhand, a Himalayan state in North India, women have been collaborating with the People’s Science Institute (PSI) to revive and steward their springs. With 50% of Himalayan springs dried or newly seasonal, women have to walk hours in rugged Himalayan terrain up to receding glaciers or down gullies to treacherous rivers. In collaboration with villages and women-led organizations like Mahila Mangal Dal, PSI has undertaken the revival of 400 springs in the region. The combination of local knowledge with technical hydrological and geological knowledge has turned life around in the villages dependent on these springs. The question is whether these efforts can counter the accelerating climate change and rash infrastructure projects which threatened the springs in the first place.

Correction: Last week’s article on quilombos incorrectly located The Ribeira de Iguapo Valley within the Amazon. The region is a part of the São Paulo State which resides within the Atlantic Forest that borders Brazil’s Atlantic coast while the Amazon Rainforest sits in the northeastern inland portion of the country

 Claire Krummenacher

Deforestation is slowing, but still falling short of climate goals: This week, the Forest Declaration Assessment–the first report since COP26 to measure progress on preventing forest loss–found that nations worldwide are failing to meet international targets to stop forest loss and degradation. Although the rate of global deforestation slowed by 6.3% in 2021 compared to the 2018-2020 baseline, this decrease fell short of the 10% needed to meet the goal of ending deforestation by 2030. Using a number of metrics, including the forest landscape integrity index and forest canopy changes, researchers discovered that tropical Asia is currently the only region on track to do so. Momentum in this region is largely driven by Indonesia–normally one of the largest contributors to deforestation–where government and corporate efforts to address the harms of palm-oil production contributed to a 25% loss of old-growth forests fell by 25% in 2021. In addition to stronger mandatory action and increased funding, the report's authors emphasized the importance of supporting Indigenous forest stewardship by strengthening land rights and addressing land-use challenges.

 Courtney White

Return of the Auroch: Rewilding Europe recently launched a major project in Spain, featuring the reintroduction of black vultures, lynx, wild horses, and aurochs. Aurochs? They are the ancient cattle of Europe, dating back millennia and depicted in many of the region’s cave paintings. Alas, the last one died in 1627. Recently, scientists embarked on an ambitious program to back-breed the Auroch into existence once more. Using DNA from near-relatives, they have succeeded in breeding a wild cattle with all the traits of the auroch – called tauros. A short video shows their release into the wild in Spain in 2021. More releases are planned. The auroch is back!

 Juliana Birnbaum

Stories for a Living Future: In this deeply poetic op-ed drawing on Jungian psychology, called "The Water of Life," Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee puts language to our global addiction to a dying, toxic spring. Yet life-giving water is flowing from a new spring, in the form of a youth-led, grassroots regenerative movement for climate action and justice.  "How can we help the water of life nourish a new way of being?" he asks.  "[...] What are the stories that can help us to emerge from the present growing wasteland into a living landscape?"  Llewellyn explores this theme further in this piece featured in Emergence Magazine, and in his new podcast series Stories for a Living Future.

 Kate Furby

Portion control for climate: I think about food all day, but this time of year, food and group meals are really prominent.A new study analyzes the carbon footprint of all kinds of food crops globally. Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara assessed food based on all kinds of impacts - water, pollution, emissions, and habitat destruction, just to name a few. The takeaways are unsurprising in that they highlight the damage from the beef and pork industry. However, there were also less obvious impacts like rice and wheat's high ecological impact (due to water and land use).  The Washington Post also offered this guide to reducing your carbon footprint, including lowering your food waste. Thinking about food, always has me thinking about family and culture, so I also really enjoyed this New York Timesnewsletter on generational differences in family and climate.

 Kavya Gopal

MPAs in the Pacific Ocean boost tuna stocks: The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii is the world’s largest no-fishing zone, almost four times the size of California. It is an example of a marine protected area, or MPAs, that act as a sanctuary for marine life. New research out of the University of Hawaii indicates that the MPA has actually helped to revive the stocks of migratory tuna–bigeye and yellowfin, both known as ahi in Hawaii–that swim through its borders. This has resulted in a “spillover benefit” where these tuna swim out of the no-fishing zone into nearby waters. Catch rates for fishermen have increased after the expansion of the monument in 2016 by 54% for yellowfin tuna, 12% for bigeye tuna, and 8% for all fish species. Hopefully, these findings strengthen the support for a target, agreed upon by more than 100 countries, to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

 Nick Obradovich

Hope is a collective endeavor: Maintaining hope today can be tough. But—as Rebecca Solnit persuasively argues—fostering our own hope for a better future is imperative. And hope is a collective endeavor: the more hopeful we believe our friends, family, and neighbors are, the more we're likely to be hopeful ourselves. Recent evidence shows that Americans dramatically underestimate the support our neighbors have for climate change solutions. Communications leveraging this fact could shift our collective beliefs to see that there's much more solution orientation in the views of those around us, galvanizing further support for climate change action. That's something to be hopeful for.

Credit: Jillian / Adobe Stock

Take Action on Nexus
Did you know that the world’s largest beaver dam is visible from space in satellite images? 
It is located in the Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and runs almost 800 meters long from end to end. Beavers are one of the few mammals on the planet that actively modifies its habitat and can therefore be employed to restore streams, wetlands, and flood plains and repair eroded ecosystems. They are considered keystone species whose activities support thousands of plant, animal, and fish species. Learn why beavers were hunted nearly to extinction by humans and why their restoration is vital to ecosystem health in the Beavers Nexus.

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