Courtney White

Collaboration, not confrontation. Two stories from the NY Times highlight the regenerative power of working together. The first involves beavers and what happened when a rancher, Agee Smith, in Nevada decided to end his family’s war against them and foster their renewal instead. The land blossomed. I know Agee from my Quivira days. His ranching philosophy and land stewardship ethic are truly inspiring. The second story involves the Yakima River watershed in arid central Washington and what happened when water managers, including the Yakima Nation, decided to work together rather than go to court over dwindling water resources. The result is a bevy of projects designed to improve water supplies, built on mutual respect and dialogue – facilitated by Melanie Stansbury, a self-described “total water nerd” who was recently elected to Congress from New Mexico’s First District!

 Jonathan Hawken

Capturing kinetic energy from the ocean: After 15 years in the development and testing phase, SWEL (Sea Wave Energy Ltd) has developed a green energy platform using Waveline Magnet (WLM) technology, capable of generating significant amounts of power at a cost that competes with fossil fuels. Data collected thus far indicates that one WLM system could generate more than 140,000 MWh of raw power annually in energetic wave climates. The system is made from lightweight recycled plastics and is scalable, modular, inexpensive, and easily reparable. It has the additional benefit of mitigating coastal erosion.

 Juliana Birnbaum

Cautionary words from generations past: As my hometown in megadrought-affected California was engulfed this week in the extreme heat that impacted so many regions of the world over the summer, this New York Times piece highlighting messages from our ancestors struck home. The low waters of the drought-stricken Danube River in Europe are revealing relics from various points in history as well as some “hunger stones” engraved with messages from times of dangerously low water levels in the past. Read to the end for a concerning missive from 1616.

 Kavya Gopal

Women-led reforestation of The Congo Rainforest: My regeneration heroines this week are The DR Congo Women who are leading reforestation efforts in the Congo Rainforest, which is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world and also, unfortunately, under threat of disappearing in less than 80 years due to current deforestation rates. The project has been led by WECAN since 2014 and has resulted in the planting of 100,000 trees by hand. It has also supported food sovereignty for local women through the agroforestry of 25 local tree varieties. Central to the program is the ongoing defense of the land rights of the indigenous Pygmy communities living in the forest who have formed a local conservation committee and campaigned for accountability and support from the government. To me, the project is a window into a truly regenerative future—one that protects both the land and its people.

 Robert Denney

The fight over Utah National Monuments continues: The Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah are together about the size of Connecticut, and they contain both dramatic rock formations and priceless Native American artifacts. Despite this clear significance, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase have been the subject of intense political debate concerning the scope of public land management since at least the 1990s. And now, that debate continues as the State of Utah filed suit to challenge President Biden’s decision to restore the boundaries of the two monuments that were downsized under the previous presidential administration. Tribes, including the Hopi, Ute Indian, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni, and Navajo Nation have been working to protect this area for years (and arguably centuries), and it looks like that work is not yet done.

 Amy Boyer

Challenging economic growth: Degrowth, the idea that economies don't require constant growth but can develop while using fewer resources, gives us a chance to tell new stories about how societies work while exploring old stories, and the IPCC explored it in their "Sixth Assessment Report: Mitigation of Climate Change" last spring. The story that growth is necessary to economies is in fact quite recent, says this long read that questions both degrowth and "green growth"; it is thought-provoking despite lumping Paul Hawken in with green-growthers on the basis of a 1999 book. Meanwhile, discussion of degrowth in cities shows that it may be more practical than constant growth, and a more heart-centered perspective suggests that we might be happier if we look to community to solve problems rather than throwing money at them.

 Claire Krummenacher

Hawai'i closes its last coal plant: In a major step forward for the islands' clean energy transition, Hawai'i has retired its last coal-burning power plant, which formerly provided 20% of Oahu's electricity and emitted 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. AES, the operator of the coal plant, has supported the transition, assisted former coal plant workers in finding jobs in renewable energy, and is currently working to develop six renewable energy sites across the islands.  Hawai'i passed the first law of its kind in the United States in 2020 when lawmakers voted to mandate 100% renewable energy electricity generation across the islands by 2045. While it is expected that the power demand will be partially filled by oil in the short term, there are currently nine approved solar, battery, and geothermal projects set to begin operations in 2024, with the Mililani I Solar project on Oahu already generating 20% of the coal plant's capacity.

Take Action on Nexus

Did you know that a teaspoon of healthy soil contains billions of living organisms? Expand the teaspoon to a square foot and you’ll discover one hundred species of arthropods, such as mites and millipedes, as well as several earthworms. However, industrial agriculture uses potent pesticides and herbicides that kill soil organisms. These chemicals are toxic to people as well. In contrast, regenerative agriculture creates the conditions for life to flourish.

This week, learn how regenerative agriculture sequesters carbon, heals land, and honors life. 

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Photo Credits
1st photo: Jillian via Adobe 
2nd photo: NCRS 

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