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Transcript: Creating Resilient Biosystems
Interview with Walter Jehne, available to everyone
[00:02:11] Walter: Why is it that after 50 years of hard evidence from Charles Keeling, you know, here's the actual CO2 greenhouse effect. After 50 years, we're still in this thing rather than looking at the situation where you're really still chasing symptoms rather than the cause, but we're running out of time, you know? And so you've got to ask yourself, Hey, what's been the politics of 50 years of climate misinformation, but also false contexting of the situation. Right? A very narrow, very limited context, rather than looking at the actual cause rather than the symptom.
[00:02:52] Rachel: Absolutely. One of the things I find so fascinating at the moment, um, are- it's actually a couple of things I know that you've brought up with other people, like, um, the focus on, uh, carbon, you know, this kind of panicked focus on carbon. And I was like, well, what about water? I mean, good luck, you know, having a planet that has no water, even this demand that we stop, you know, you have to stop using fossil fuels overnight. You can't!.
[00:03:21] Walter: Well put it this way, do you want to go back to 500 million people on the planet, max? So we've got 7.5 billion volunteers for Hara-kiri. Well, no way.
[00:03:33] Rachel: Well, exactly. So I still wonder, not only, you know, how did the signs get pushed to one side for so long, but even amongst activists groups, or even amongst those that are meant to be pedaling the right kind of information, why the messages have become so focused on the things that a) have very minimal impact or b) are actually impossible, you know? So you're getting all of this energy directed towards things, essentially keeping business as usual.
[00:04:01] Walter: Yeah. Yeah. And there's very clear answers, there's really fully substantiated evidence of the stoke, why that's happened. Uh, it's a very, very major story. But in a sense, we don't want to raise it now because it will be used to, um, to basically negate climate change, that we need to do something.
So we're really, I mean, I'm really sort of, uh, conflicted because I'm saying, look, here's a smart and natural way, but at the same time, I'm challenging the status quo and people will then use that to say, oh, well look, the status quo's all garbage. Right. And we don't, you know, they're not going to say, Hey, we've got to embrace this alternative. They simply say we've been misled. And then we've got another 10 years of inertia because of, you know, the past mistakes.
But look, it all started basically Stockholm, 1972, we had the global earth summit, you know, major thing coming together, limits to groth, the whole ecological consciousness, ok '72. Well, before your time I expect. And yeah, look, and we had about 20 very, very genuine, serious, uh, research, uh, years on earth system science where this whole evidence of, yeah, hydrology drives 95% of the heat dynamics of the blue planet. All that was there, all documented, NASA, you know, this is not, not just by individuals, but NASA, everybody. But then it was a political decision in the late eighties, early nineties to say, Hey, this is challenging too much of the status quo. Let's now look at just slow- I mean, can we reduce fossil fuel emissions? CO2 emissions? And basically through the IPCC process, can we just focus on that? And then modeling, you know, sort of computer modeling of what would be the scenarios in 2100?
And we've really wasted 30 years since then, just in that narrow focus. And of course all the governments we've spent 80 billion USD now on that black hole tunnel doing research there. But of course they're not funding research elsewhere, right? So we've really been in this black hole for 30 years, just CO2, uh, forward model projections scenarios.
But also the scenarios, it's self-defeating deliberately because by definition, the further you look, there's more error. And of course then the policy people will say, oh, well that level of error, we can't possibly make decisions. We need to do more research. And so you're just kicking the can down the road continually. Rather than saying, Hey, we're responsible. We have agency, but it's all about land management.
The other nice thing if you use CO2, then it's a global crisis. It's a global imperative. No individual nation can solve that. We have to have international consensus with- today, you know, Ukraine, it's an oxymoron. Okay. And so they're saying, oh, we always need international consensus. We've had 26 COP meetings talking about international consensus. And yet the real issue is, no, it's responsibility, ground level, every area, I mean every square meter of land that you manage governs both carbon emissions, but also the carbon draw-down potential. So rather than saying, we are responsible, we have response ability, ability, and we've got to get our finger out and do it. That's been deferred by, hang on, here is, we need this international consensus.
[00:08:00] Rachel: This seems to be a lack of understanding of how, um, system science works at a policy-making decision level, because I mean, to me, having interviewed all these experts around the world, it would seem that, um, you need to create an interlocking system of responsibility, of empowerment, of whatever. Um. Because what we're seeing at the moment is that, um, those in powerful places don't want to make decisions. And then those on the ground, as well are saying, well, it's not on us to make those decisions. You know, you're the real emitters. There's sort of this conflict in the climate movement about whose fault it really is. Whereas actually, if you try and take like a systems looking approach, it's like, well, we're all responsible for the planet. Aren't we, we're all part of the ecosystem.
[00:08:48] Walter: You're being too kind, you see, because very senior levels should be retired. And no look, they're very well aware. They're very well aware, but politics is always short term, three year term, opportunism, expediency and market and spin. Right? And so in that short term context, you know, defining the problem that we're responsible, knowing that they're impotent in that three years to do anything meaningful, but it wouldn't be accepted. So they've just basically picked on this really externalization argument. Okay. It's CO2, we've got the scientists working on it. We're having meetings, we're talking, talking, we're just, I mean, it's perfection and externalization responsibility, but it's deliberate, right? So it's not that they're ignorant. They know it all, these things, but each individual nation, each individual policy area says: that's too big for my plate. Let's just join the call for international consensus.
[00:09:59] Rachel: Well, it is too big for any one nation's plate in a sense. Um. It's too big for any one leader. This is why I think again, back to that systems of ecosystems and ecosystems of, of citizenship, of what it means to be a civilian of what it means to live on this planet. If you break it down into making every single person responsible and then increasing responsibility based on the levels of socioeconomic precarity, the more privilege that you have, the more responsibility that you can take, leaning into the benefits of the white middle-class nature of the environmental movement, which does allow people to sort of give more, rather than denigrating it. You know, there's all these sorts of, um, uh, ways that we could be thinking about creating a better system, it seems to me, to tackle it.
[00:10:47] Walter: You see what happened? And it was you guys, UK Hadley center, 20 years ago, they had a very significant conference, right? Joachim Schellnhuber was leading it or, you know, coordinating it. But it was really saying, look, the whole crisis is about dangerous hydrological climate extremes. You know, it's the hurricanes, it's the floods, cyclones aridification, droughts, wildfires. Right? So the things that are impacting people and biosystem, not just impacting collapsing, are hydrological.
You and I, we, I mean, like we die at 10,000 parts CO2 in the air, right? That's when submariners die. You breathe out 1000 parts per million CO2 in the breath that you're breathing out. So it's not CO2 that's going to actually be the problem, but dangerous hydrological events. And they were, they are intensifying now. Okay. And so again, that is responsibility. What are we doing about it? And of course, nothing, we've because we've deferred it all on to the oxymoron: international consensus, right? CO2.
So for 20 years, in a sense we've even denied that action and, see, hydrological extreme extremes impact locally. You know, they kill people locally here and now everywhere, wildfires, et cetera. But they don't want to admit that that's climate change because that's just an act of God that, you know, randomly occurs. Uh-uh, it's us. And again, it's the externalization of recognition and responsibility, deliberately so, right?
[00:12:36] Rachel: Absolutely.
[00:12:37] Walter: And so for 20 years we've actually denied even the major impacts, which again, hydrological not CO2.
[00:12:45] Rachel: Right before we get into the science of this. Um, I've one question on, on the politics. You said that there was a political decision made in the eighties that skewed everybody's attention towards emissions, et cetera. What do you think that that decision was and who was it taken by?
[00:13:02] Walter: Oh well, very simple. Margaret Thatcher was very, very leading in '79 onwards saying, yes, this is real. Uh. Picked up on the earth summit story to say, I mean like the Stockholm summit and said, yeah, we've got to do this work. But they realized then by after 20 years that, okay, this is really fundamentally changing our economic modus operandi. Right? And of course then the answer is, no let's rather blame something simple. The Americans were very, very key: look, we've got to market this to a population. We need a guy in a black hat and a white hat. You know, we need a good guy, bad guy cause and effect. And also let's, if we have that bad guy, CO2, we can actually say, look, let's do research, externalize it to the international consensus argument. So it was a very convenient political out.
And so when they formed the UN F triple C, the United nations framework convention on climate change and the intergovernmental panel on climate change, it was more or less that consensus to say, right, let's externalize this. Sure, we'll put money in it, do the research, but we're not taking it the responsibility on our own grassroots level.
[00:14:20] Rachel: Because of the impact that it would have had on economies and economic systems?
[00:14:26] Walter: The vested interest status quo to fundamentally recognize their responsibility. It would have forced all the externalities that we have in our economy. You know, I mean, we produce food, but we use 10 calories of oil energy for every calorie of any industrial good energy we produce. It would have forced all those onto the balance sheet. Right? So, no, it's far nicer to say, look, here's a bad guy, CO2, and let's research it and put it into the international consensus oxymoron. Kick the can down the road.
[00:15:05] Rachel: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it's so interesting. Isn't it? Whenever you get into any conversation about anything important, it all comes down to vested interests. No matter what it's about.
[00:15:16] Walter: Exactly, because who's actually taking the championship and the truth of the actual planetary process rather than, yeah, the short-term economic political expedient, right? The short term are always those political processes, but in the long run of course, systems collapse.
[00:15:39] Rachel: Yes. And system, systems collapsing and growing, interestingly, because I interviewed, um, Jessie Henshaw about this, and she was adamant that we have to understand, even on the side that want to protect the planet, systems have to grow. It's very normal for them to grow. And then they have to be allowed to collapse.
[00:15:58] Walter: And as a microbiologist, every, every growth is balanced by decomposition and cycles. Right? So that the health is actually that cycle. We don't like the death element of it or the decomposition. We think that's bad. But in fact in that is our actually salvation because that efficiency of cycling allows us to keep the thing growing, but actually move it better and better. And the regeneration story is very much how do we harness some of that cycling opportunity?
[00:16:33] Rachel: Right. Let's talk about water and then we'll talk about regenerative agriculture. Um. And I'm just going to start this, I'm going to hopefully spring us, um, by- I'm sure you, you saw this? I think it was about, it must've been about a year ago now. Uh.
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States said off hand at a conference, I think she was actually leaving the conference, she said off hand to a junket of journalists: "well, in the future, by 2050, wars will not be fought over oil. They will be fought over water."
[00:17:15] Walter: Absolutely. And this is right across the world. The only thing she's wrong, it's not 2050, uh, bring it down to 2030. Okay. And that's absolutely right, because basically, I mean all over the planet, whether it's the organella Delta in the America, whether it's India, we've been exploiting water resources. China desperately trying to convert the rivers that are feeding Southeast Asia from the Tibet plateau up north, you know? Water is the thing.
Look, water is critical for life. Water is critical for all our bio chemistry. Well, of course, this is a blue planet. We've got abundant water. The amount of available fresh water is really precarious, but we have to re I mean, again, we have to rethink the whole hydrology, which we can. But that's critical.
And of course, the other thing is in the context of Kamala's problem or statement, Mark Twain said it a hundred years ago: "whiskey is for drinking water is for fighting over." So that's, that's one of Twain's, you know, like historic remarks. And it's absolutely true.
And China, for example, it's got basically 17, 18% of the world population. It's got 7% of the arable land or the agricultural land and water wise. It's going to be the key limiting thing, both from pollution and over extraction, both surface and groundwater.
The world banks put 50,000 large dams, money funding for 50,000 large dams around the world. And Hey, it's, hasn't worked, you know. It doesn't function. Yeah. So, no, you're absolutely right. And worse still with climate change, you see, it's actually, we're going to have more rain because there's more evaporation, but it'll be in extreme storms, but also large areas will be aridifying and desertifying, largely because of the soil is degraded.
So in Europe, the whole Iberian peninsula, the Mediterranean it'll be a combination of aridification and wildfires. And you will see in the next 10 years, systems collapsing hydrologically, right? Syria is a classic example. Syria, the fertile Crescent, cradle of Western agriculture 8,000 years ago. And what did you have five years ago? Millions of Syrian people having walked off their fields because of aridifcation, no water, into Aleppo, Damascus social crisis, and of course in, into Europe.
And that's really the biggest threat we've got and all the defense people, they they freak out about it. I mean, they're really worried because they know no amount of hardware can stop that social collapse if that happens. I mean, like we're talking to the people from US defense department and it's actually rebuilding the resilience of biosystems hydrologically. That is the essence of keeping social stability. The Arab Spring: seven missed meals is all that separates social stability and chaos. Seven missed meals.
[00:20:41] Rachel: That's interesting.
[00:20:42] Walter: Between stability and chaos, that's the dividing line. The dividing line whether you can have the seven meals is largely water, and, and social stability so you can keep on growing things. Right?
[00:20:54] Rachel: Okay, Kamala's right. But also defense departments are contacting you? They're they're aware of the issue?
[00:21:01] Walter: Oh yeah, yeah. Look, US defense, you know, the senior general think tanks, you know? No, no. They've been looking at threats and risks and issues, scenarios. And without any question, way above terrorism or anything like that, it is this, um, yeah, the, the actual resilience, buffering and viability of biosystems. Right? And Biden's just put $200 billion into a program to help reinforce that, actually just came out the other day. Here is USDA really investing big time in resilience, you know, how do we build resilient biosystems?
So they'll get onto it, but obviously it's a question of now practically, what do they do? Mostly when you start throwing money at it and you get a lot of quangos and overheads and agencies all, you know, building empires, feudal, empires on it. Whether the action is on the ground or not is still open question. Right.
But the reality is that look it's, it's interesting, Rachel, I've been, I retired 15 years ago. I'm a scientist, right? I retired 15 years ago, set up Healthy Soils Australia. I worked for 10 years since retirement with a guy, Michael Jeffrey, who's our ex governor general, right? Queen's representative. He's retired, he retired as well. And yeah, we, we walked into any prime minister, into any minister, no troubles.
They all know, they all know, but of course they all say, well look fantastic, Michael, glad you're doing this. Uh, I've got to focus on the next election. I've got to focus on, you know, these, the expediency. We can't address that. And that's the story all over the world.
[00:22:52] Rachel: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and you know, um, again, I'm all for sort of symbiotic relationships with things and I firmly believe in democracies, real democracies. In real democracies, we get the governments that we deserve.
[00:23:08] Walter: I mean, you know, like it's the worst of all things, but it's the only thing.
[00:23:12] Rachel: Yeah, pretty much. And, uh, I mean, this is part of why I make this podcast. There's so much information out there, you know, we just want to package it and make it digestible. And if you're fortunate enough to live in a democratic country, educate yourself.
[00:23:25] Walter: Absolutely because we're one of the few that can do that. We must. Yes.
[00:23:31] Rachel: Absolutely. So, I mean, what's, um, what do you think is going to happen over the next decade then to the world's, uh, water systems and to our soil? Are there pockets that you're particularly concerned about or is it generally going to be a nightmare?
[00:23:49] Walter: We're going to, let's be positive. I'm going to, we're going to regenerate them. We're going to rehydrate them. We're going to regreen them and we will have an equitable socially just a biosystem and society for the 10 billion people by 2050.
Fantastic. But look, no, no, no look that's yes, but the beautiful thing, Rachel, we, we can do it, right? We can do it. I mean like, okay, I'm old, but also microbiology is very old. We go back 3.8 billion years, you know, the first life on the planet. And that's exactly what nature did you see? 420 million years ago, there was no life on land. It was just rock hard, dry rock, life in the oceans. But the mineral nutrients that were essential for life were coming, leaching from the land. So nature said, Hey, I'm going to go onto the land and solubilize more nutrients because that was the limiting factor. So fungi grew from the estron edges onto the rock, started solubilizing that rock for nutrients, transporting it back. And of course, in doing so, leaving behind organic detritus, that organic detritus was able to then hold water, created the first soils soil is just mineral detritus plus organic detritus. Created the first soils and created the first terrestrial hydrological system very rapidly in a space of, you know, a couple of hundred million years. Not even that, a hundred million years. You had the whole earth land surface vegetated. Initially from fungi, lichens, mosses, burns cycads, gymnosperms, et cetera, extending all over the planet, fundamentally changing the atmosphere, fundamentally changing the hydrological cycle and cooling the planet.
So natures, I mean, it's just exquisite, it's simple. We can't escape it. And yeah, we can harness that. We can accelerate that. We don't have 420 million years, of course, you're, you've got 10 years ,Rachel, you know, because like we've got this decade, right. We've got to do it. We can. And it's rebuilding the earth's soil carbon sponge just as nature did 420 million years ago.
[00:26:13] Rachel: Is the soil carbon sponge the fact that soil retains carbon dioxide?
[00:26:19] Walter: It's more significant than that. Certainly the soil, the sponge is - okay. It's plants fixing carbon from the air, photosynthesis. Right? And it's, again, this is the life growth and death, right? And we all worry. I mean, we all know, we were all excited that we were growing more, we're growing more. We've got bigger yields growing plants. But what matters is biodegradation, you see it, what matters is what happens to every gram of carbon, the plants fix on this planet? And there's only two things that can happen to it. It can either oxidize, burn back to CO2 or microbes can convert it into stable soil carbon.
[00:27:05] Rachel: Perfect!
[00:27:07] Walter: It's that simple. Huh? It's just so powerful, elegant. But see what I'm saying, here is a growth cycle. That's only part of the equation, photosynthesis, green, but where the strategic smart side is, what happens to every gram? Does it burn or does it biodegrade? Is it fire? Or is it fungi?
And if you're backing biodegradation and fungi, you're creating stable soil carbon, humus, and that then creates, it then has a force multiply, 20 fold force multiply: every gram of carbon we can put into the soil can hold up to up to 20 grams of extra water in that soil.
[00:27:52] Rachel: Oh, wow. Wow.
[00:27:53] Walter: You see, it's a, it's a positive feedback force multiply. You, you know, you've got to, look, baby's nappy, right? How heavy is the baby's nappy when it's dry and how heavy heavy is it when it's wet?
[00:28:05] Rachel: Wrong reference for me. But, uh-
[00:28:08] Walter: But what I'm saying, it's the same, same process, right? And now, now we've got that sponge holding water. When you think of it's a 24 water retention, it can sustain the longevity of green growth for so much longer. And so there's bio productivity and the other nice thing is it's longevity. I mean, we've never talked about that in science. We always said, can we grow more faster, bigger. But no, no, it's all about growing longer. You know, we get a rain, do we waste it all down the culverts, the pavements? Create a flood and erosion? Sea level rise? Or do we soak it into the soil, extend the longevity of green? And again, nature, get this, 500% positive feedback in more plant growth. You see, so nature really is so exquisitely beautiful because she can basically take one drop of water or one gram of carbon, make the sponge, hold the water and she's getting multiplier effects on multiplier effects.
[00:29:18] Rachel: All right. Okay. Now what happens on farmland, for example, what happens if you then cut down crops and rip them out and then, and replant, whatever, like, is this on sort of natural soil or-
[00:29:33] Walter: But in this you asking the serious story, right? So if we just say go back 8,000 years after the last ice age, you know, the climate, the Holocene had warmed up, basically the whole 14 billion hectares of land on earth was basically vegetated, forests and grasslands. And along comes Homo Hubris or Homosapien, and we get smart and say, look, we've got burning. Yeah. See. So we can burn agriculture to exploit. We can cultivate. And initially we were just miniscule, right? Like 8,000, 6,000 years ago, compared to nature, we were just ants, you know, it wasn't significant. But really over the last 300 years, but particularly over the last 80 years, since the second world war, because we've got oil energy, we were able to again, have an, a massive, uh, escalation of our impact on the soil. Right.
So we've got now oil that we can drive big machines so we can cultivate. We had a, basically a munitions industry that we turned into fertilizer industry or the ammonium nitrate, right. Because it was, Haber Bosch designed it for munitions. We then use it for fertilizer. We had a biological warfare activity. We said, no, we're not going to kill people. We'll kill insects instead. So that's the whole bio side sort of, you know, um, thing. And we basically in the last 80 years just gone full bore, chemical industrial impacts on the land. And yeah, we basically oxidized 50% of the carbon from our 1.5 billion hectares of cropping land. You know, we're just burning off carbon and yeah, we're ending up with Syrias where they've burned off all their carbon, lost its water, holding capacity, lost productivity, peasants walking off to Damascus, social crisis. Collapse.
[00:31:37] Rachel: Yeah, sure. But that's, I mean, maybe I'm misunderstanding this slightly, but surely that's also, I mean, you know, the, the, the, the global heating, which I understand is, is related to the hydrology or caused by the hydrology. It's also, you know, the peak oil, the fact that Syria hit peak oil awhile back, and we do tend to see-
[00:31:57] Walter: No, no, I agree. This all compounds back to- the bottom line is that, look, if we don't have healthy biosystems, if we don't have healthy functioning land biosystems, we can't sustain life. You know, that's basic fundamental for your life. But we can't sustain economies either. And well, Jared Diamond, collapse, 23 civilizations, and we all see them in the archeology, the dust, the archeology, right? Because they've all basically oxidized their carbon from their soils, you know, degraded their water. And then of course, no food, collapse.
President Roosevelt said in the dust bowl, a nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. And that's what we're doing. So we're halfway through that, different areas at different stages, depending on the legacy or how rich their soil was initially. America, Europe, particularly favorable. We go there, these exquisitely fertile glaciated soils, right? Soils that have been glaciated. But basically, um, yeah, w we're halfway through that currency. The UN will make the point. We've got 60 harvest max left on the planet.
[00:33:18] Rachel: 60?!
[00:33:19] Walter: Oh yeah.
[00:33:20] Rachel: Unless we regenerate?
[00:33:21] Walter: Yes. Unless we fundamentally change because the rate of- okay. Every harvest, every year we are losing 5 to 10 tons of carbon per hectare per annum from those soils oxidizing. That's what causes most or, now fossil fuels is adding a lot to it, but before that, that was what was causing the CO2 increase, the oxidation of carbon from the soils.
[00:33:46] Rachel: But we can keep the carbon and the water in the soil, um, as through regen- regenerative agriculture while still harvesting?
[00:33:56] Walter: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We can reverse it while still harv- yeah, we can, we can reverse it all as nature did in creating the biosystems. Right? It's it's just a balance of, exactly with photosynthesis and then burning or fungi, which one do you want?
[00:34:12] Rachel: Uh, I suppose I just, I don't know enough about soil to understand how we could till, for example, or how we could, um, produce crops, essentially.
[00:34:25] Walter: You answered the question itself, uh, does nature till?
[00:34:30] Rachel: Degradation, yeah.
[00:34:33] Walter: See that's the point? Like, I mean, look, she doesn't till you, you just, well, in this, the whole innovative agriculture zero till, right? So you don't need to till you just need good soil structure. Instead of trying to create it artificially through oil-based energy and machines, we can create that through roots and microbes as nature does. Far better.
[00:34:55] Rachel: Right.
[00:34:56] Walter: The proof is very simple. Like, let me take your neighbors, the Dutch, right? The Dutch are now the second, uh, they have the second largest agricultural export industry in terms of value. Right? Second largest globally. And of course they've got basically no land, right? So what they do is toxic saline slime from the bottom of the Rhine river, you know, all the pollutants from Switzerland and Germany, and they'll create, pull the soils out, go through an accelerated soil regeneration process, and with 10 years they're growing tulips and 15 years, they're growing vegetables that they're exporting to England and the world.
You see? So yes, we can do that. I mean, there's a nation, just excellent doing it. I mean, they're doing it all for money rather than- but they're using soil petagenesis, regeneration in soils, to drive that, just as nature.
[00:35:58] Rachel: So how much land would we need? Obviously the goal would be, you know, you have a hundred percent, uh, land use of regenerative agriculture, uh, but how much land? What's the minimum percentage that we need to hit, can it feed everybody?
[00:36:14] Walter: Beautiful question. And look, there's 14 billion hectares of land. Okay. Over the last sort of 6,000 years, but particular the last 3, 400, we've now created lots of wasteland. We have 5 billion hectares of man-made desert and wasteland, roughly 40 percent, right? Okay. 5 billion hectares. And on the rest of the cropping land, we've basically degraded 50% of that. These are UN figures.
There were 8 billion hectares of primary forests 6,000 years ago, we've got 3.5 billion left, right? So we've deforested again, two-thirds of the forest. We burned 10% of our residual forest every year in wildfires, more emissions of CO2 than all our fossil fuel use, but we've never accounted for it because we said, Hey, that's mother nature's problems, you know, it's her wildfires. There's no way out.
Externalization again and again and again. Okay. So that's the scale of the mess, but no, I mean, obviously I can't be absolutely certain because we haven't done it, but no, if we basically had 10% of each of those systems and regenerate 10% of those systems, then we should be able to cool the planet and restabilize carbon and restabalize food biosystems. Okay?
And this, I mean, let's get into the details. We do a lot of work in India. In Andhra Pradesh with VEJA Khumalo who's a very innovative. But the big one there is there's a million poor women farmers, right? These are women farming one acre or whatever, and VEJA has been working with them for the last five years and really instituted a really powerful thing called zero budget natural farming, right? Really a massive revolution in restoring natural farming systems. And basically out of that, we can go back into arid areas, now, some of that 5 billion hectares of desert wasteland.
And yeah I have no hesitation: technically we could regreen 1 billion hectares of green landscape from those desert areas, rebuild Savanna grasslands, agroforests. And that would be a massive effect, both on carbon, but more importantly in hydrology and natural, safe, cooling.
And all of this is highly profitable, right? I mean, it's all, I mean, you need seed money, but the dividends socially, financially, economically, strategically are enormous.
[00:39:04] Rachel: Yeah. There's huge barriers though, to that as well. I mean the amount of land management companies that have cropped up in the past decade that are sort of tackling climate change, but really are funded by some of the, you know, the top five food companies that are essentially trying to get their hands exclusively on resources and saying you can plant cacao and you can plant soy and you can- no, it's really, no, it's absolutely fine because we're just going to tell you how to do it sustainably. Nonsense.
[00:39:32] Walter: Totally, Rachel, we we've got some real dangers in exactly that space, right? Here's the science, but now entrepreneurs coming in and saying, Hey, I can buy land, I can speculate on land. You've got China saying I can buy out parts of Africa and repeat British colonialism from the 19th century or 18th century, right?
Yes. You've all got those sorts of situations, and yeah, so often the motives aren't clear. Now, particularly because Paris, we had a big win cop, 21, you know, like zero carbon, I mean net zero carbon. And now there's a massive move globally on carbon offsets. Right? So a lot of these people are talking up carbon offsets. I can keep using fossil fuels because I'm going to grow carbon offsets to offset them. And I mean, it's totally valid if it was done genuinely. But half the stuff becomes false accounting. So there's a lot of scams in that game going to happen.
[00:40:37] Rachel: This is, funnily enough, um, the exact focus of my investigations at the moment. And last week I got news of three such scams in Papa, New Guinea alone. Three in a week. I mean, it is an unregulated market and speculative, exploitative opportunists are moving in to make their money before the UN figures out exactly how to regulate it.
[00:41:04] Walter: Yeah. Well look, they me tell you the history of that. I mean, like, because it all happened in the last five minutes. Okay. We, we had a big win in Paris, Christina Figueres and really, you know, championing that whole zero net. Right? And they're very good, very progressive because that should have forced us to internalize the externalities. Right? So we were doing proper accounting, and all the externalities should have come onto the balance sheet. Everybody has to now come clean. Right?
So that was agreement in Paris. But then they had three COPs afterwards where they were supposed to codify the standards or methodologies, the agreements for the accounting. And they just fudged them deliberately. You know, they just fudged and fudged and fudged and couldn't come, and then Poland, basically, they came to the conclusion that, right, that was at COP, what was it? Cop 24, 25? Right? They came to the conclusion said, well, look, we can't get agreement. Every nation can have their own carbon accounting systems.
Well, thank you very much, Mr. Putin, right? Like, I mean, you understand? It's it's disgusting. That's what, that's, what we're getting at with the politics, right? So it's, it's deliberately, we, we achieved a milestone in Paris, real passion, genuine intent, but then the next four COPs just eroded it to the extent that basically, well, COP26 Glasgow, you know, three months ago. There's Australia up there being sponsored by a gas company, you know, Australia's contribution to COP was being sponsored by a gas company. Well, come on.
[00:42:52] Rachel: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:42:53] Walter: This is politics right?
[00:42:54] Rachel: Sure. Um, and I think best to start taking the evidence that we have at face value of the nature of politics, of the money behind politics, rather than keeping protesting in the streets and knocking on the doors and saying, please change please change.
[00:43:10] Walter: But yes, I agree. But also in a really serious way, Rachel, um, we're running out of time, right? Like with nature we got the solutions. Yes, we can do it, but now we only have 10 years max, because then these dangerous hydrological extremes, wildfires, for example, will start impacting.
So California's burning, British Columbia is burning. Portugal's burning. Greece is burning. Siberia's burning. Right. And we're losing 10% of our residual forest every year now through burning. Yeah. Now we've got to turn that around. Otherwise, literally we don't have forest. If we don't have forest, we have the whole hydrology, you know, we have cascading collapses from that, right?
[00:43:58] Rachel: Yeah.
[00:43:59] Walter: So we're really, uh, I mean, yes, we've been playing this sort of self-interested politics game, but see now things are coming unstuck because they're realizing that yeah, nation after nations, they're heading to the Syrian situation.
[00:44:17] Rachel: I don't know, uh, you know, we see so much like in Malaysia, for example, um, in the state of Sarawak, which had, you know, Borneo had one of the world's most amazing primary rainforests. You know, 80, 80%, and the last time this was studied was in 2011 and logging has been rampant since, but in 2011, uh, 80% of, uh, Borneo's forests had been impacted by logging.
Even in the past year, I mean the amount of floods that have hit the people of Sarawak and Sabah is just, it's constant. I mean, villages are being washed away. People are dying and you have their politicians saying it's an act of God, saying it's no, it's nothing to do with logging, ignoring the scientists, ignoring the academics and shutting down publications that actually speak about the truth. So yeah, maybe some people around the world are waking up
to it, but-
[00:45:10] Walter: Yes. They're just repeating exactly the narrative that, you know, the talking notes from the west for the last 50 years. Right?
[00:45:20] Rachel: Exactly.
[00:45:21] Walter: Exactly. But yeah, but I mean, the weather changes. I mean, there's a case in point where, I mean, the Americans had Trump, which was a disaster, but Biden comes in and he recognized, the department of defense recognized, they put $200 billion, we've got to do something, they launched all this resilience activity. But whether that will be enough, fast enough, whether the money will be used wisely or just more quangos and overheads, we don't know yet. Right? But certainly they're recognizing look, yes, we've got to build this resilience because it's not, yeah, California's burning, Southwest US is aridifying, you know, it's just, it's just falling apart.
[00:46:04] Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, maybe we'll see, maybe, I mean, it's funny, isn't it? Because the west quote-unquote, um, is very powerful in very, very many senses, especially, uh military-wise, but very small. I mean the amount of land that we actually manage now, um, it's very, very small. And when you've got places like India and China and these huge Asian countries that-
[00:46:34] Walter: No, no, fair enough.
I mean, but the point is, yeah, again, this is nature and nature didn't worry about how big is my continent. She said, look every square foot of land, is it degrading or is it regenerating? Is it growing plants? So really we have agency on the land that we stand on, right? The stuff in our hands. And here are the processes.
So you got fungi, you've got plants, you've got everything. So you can regenerate at any scale. One of the biggest hopes, and I spend a lot of time really quite enthused, is urban agriculture, young people in cities. You know, 70%, 80% will be in these concentration camps we call cities and can we empower them to basically take autonomy and responsibility, but also empowerment to then say, look, here is nutritious food from our cycle organic waste? Right? And can we really rebuild a vibrant, urban, agricultural movement globally?
[00:47:43] Rachel: How much square footage meters, um, can somebody feed themselves with using urban agriculture?
[00:47:50] Walter: I mean, okay. Wll look, we should talk about data, but I know I can, I'll give you the technologies, cycling, actual thing. You could live off four square meters or four cubic meters of healthy soil.
[00:48:05] Rachel: That's not a lot.
[00:48:06] Walter: Yeah. Just make it twice the size of your bed.
[00:48:11] Rachel: What? One person? A family?
[00:48:13] Walter: Yeah, one person. Yeah. Yeah.
It'll go on enough of your green food, nutritious green food. It may not grow all of your starches and all your grains, because it's a different system, but you could live off potatoes if you had to. Okay. And then the question, you need about a hundred grams of protein per person per day. So if you could integrate some chickens and stuff with other people on that sort of square areas, cycling the waste, organic matter, you know, the, the kitchen scraps and the green leaf coming off, you could cycle that all into eggs or milk, and there's your protein, right?
So we can, no, it's exciting. We could design viable autonomous life support system for urban habitats, young people on that sort of ratio of land to people, right? And you don't have to have land. You can do that vertically. You can do that in all sorts of interesting ways.
[00:49:16] Rachel: That's very interesting to hear because I had Jason Bradford on the show, um, who was talking about transforming food systems. And he was saying, you know, you have to get out of the city, pretty much, because you know, the food systems are going to collapse and people won't have access to what they need and, you know, urban agriculture sort of while I don't think he said this, um, to be completely fair to him. But what I got from a little bit was like, it's a bit of a pipe dream.
[00:49:43] Walter: Yes, but actually on another, I mean, yes, there's a good debate. And of course it's not going to happen instantly. There's all that smart innovation. Like we're in Australia, very dry continent. We've got these working bags, growing systems, 10 times water use efficiency compared to what conventional things. We can build all these nutrients cycle.
But see, on another level, going up higher in nature, these cities are actually gold mines, right? Because when you think of it, that's where all the people are. They're consuming all this food. So they're the sink for all these nutrients, from the countryside, coming to the city to feed the people, right? And those nutrients then get excreted obviously. And then mostly in history, they've caused pandemics, pollution and pandemics, right? Cholera, et cetera, typhoid, because everyone's living in muck. But if we can cycle them very, very efficiently, like a rainforest and no, then we can sustain very high viable communities. Very high quality ecologically ethical systems. But we can do that, yeah, with the efficiency of rainforest. And it's beautiful.
[00:50:58] Rachel: This is interesting then. Does that mean that we would have to change our waste system as well in cities ideally?
[00:51:04] Walter: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, no, no, absolutely, Rachel, because it's it's, as I said, it's a goldmine, it's not a waste system. So you're going to have to entrepreneurially sort of say, give me your gold. Right? You might even pay me to take it away. But I'm going to turn it, you see, and that's the point, there's all the organic waste. I can turn it into compost, into new soil. Your friends the Dutch are doing with the polder soil, it's toxic saline slime from the bottom of the Rhine. So they're taking all this waste, making these beautiful soils. And basically you're also getting all those nutrients and you're saying I'm cycling those nutrients.
I did some work way, way back when I was younger in the seventies, uh, in a place called Fraser island, which is a sand dune, but it supports rainforest. So you've got the paradox, you know, how's the world's most productive terrestrial ecosystem growing on basically no nutrients at all? Effectively crushed glass? You know, just sand. And of course why and how? Because every molecule of phosphorus is cycling 10,000 times faster because it's very healthy microbial cycling compared to what an agricultural soil is.
So what we're saying is we can create bio productivities through these microbial ecologies cycling efficiency, and you can do that in cities.
[00:52:32] Rachel: Mm, It's all, it's all very exciting. Isn't it? Cause it's like kind of a mix of like, um, scifi, you know, progress, which we all love, um, but then actually still getting back to the roots of what we actually need rather than sending people to Mars.
[00:52:49] Walter: Exactly. See what we've got to look at it this way. There's no nutrients have left this planet for 4.6 billion years. Right. It's still all here. And it's just a case of, are we leaving it inert, you know, polluted deposits or are we actually got it in a life cycle? Uh, efficiently cycling? And nature is really the anti entropy sort of thing. Right? I mean, everything gets wasted and dissipated, but nature plants, microbial ecology brings it all together and enhances cycling and efficiencies and is actually the anti entropy process on this planet. And what we're doing is, is kind of like the thing is there's life and death. Well, this process is actually the anti entropy thing that makes the planet blossom.
[00:53:39] Rachel: Alright. Alright. I'm just thinking back to um all of the- I get emails sometimes from my guests, previous guests. Yeah. Well, whenever I speak, especially the physicists, whenever I speak about entropy or anything or, or thermodynamics, I get corrected very fast.
[00:54:01] Walter: That's just them trying to say, look, we're the experts.
[00:54:04] Rachel: I greatly appreciate it, hugely. I mean-
[00:54:09] Walter: But the whole urban agriculture comes down to that. You know, we are response able, right? I mean, yes, all this heavy stuff. Responsibility. No, but we also enormously response able, right? Yeah. You can convert the area of your bed into a living green microcosm. If you had two beds, you could go to space indefinitely living off that.
[00:54:32] Rachel: Okay. Understood. Understood. I think, uh, one, one thing I would like to touch on then would be, could you just explain how the hydrology and how this regenerative agriculture could cool the earth? Because something that I've heard from, uh, other climate scientists is that, uh, cooling's fine or whatever, but ultimately with the amount of damage that we've done already, the amount of GHGs the greenhouse gases that have been produced, nothing can be done now. We are, we're on our way to smashing way past 1.5.
[00:55:05] Walter: They're right - look they're right if they're in the carbon context that the IPCC has, you know, defined it as in the last, because we- look okay, the oceans covers 71% of the planet, 4,000 meters deep. They hold 38,000 billion tons of dissolved carbon in the water, right? 38,000 billion. Okay. The atmosphere holds 750 billion, tons of carbon as CO2 in the atmosphere, right? So that's 50 times more carbon in the ocean than the atmosphere.
So you're now saying, oh, if we can reduce carbon in the atmosphere through all the valiant efforts by changing our fossil fuel use, deluding ourselves that we're going to change the balance of carbon in there. No, because the minute we take carbon out of the atmosphere, the ocean will simply burp and re-equilibrilate some of that 38,000 billion tons back into the air. Right?
It's an enormous buffered system. It's taken us hundreds of years, thousands of years. You're not buffering. We've only seen a fraction of that. We can't- look, we can't control this through carbon, you know, through atmospheric carbon quantities, right? The only way we can do it is putting carbon into the sponge to get that hydrological force multiply, the 20 fold plus multiply.
But here's a sweet spot. It's much better than that. 95% of the heat dynamics of the blue planet, the last 4.2 billion years, has been driven by water. The CO2 component of the greenhouse effect, even with the elevation, does less than 4% of that heat dynamics. So we've constrained ourselves to, you know, laboring or playing around with 4% and nature plays at 95%. So the, the magnitude of the, you know, the power, but also the buffering is exquisitely different. Right?
So how does nature cool the planet? When you've got a tree or green grass or anything green, it's transpiring water, right? It's taking water from the soil and putting up into the atmosphere. Transpiration. And every gram of water that's transpired has to go from a liquid into a gas to do that. And to do that, it needs to have latent heat, you know, to do that heat convert or to that phase conversion. It needs 590 calories of heat energy to turn a gram of water from liquid to gas. So it has to take that heat from the surface to change that water phase. And it takes that up into the upper atmosphere and then largely out to space.
That cools the planet because you're needing all that heat. Okay. The cools the planet. And we've got- I live in Canberra, it's an urban forest. It's an artificial city. It was created as an urban forest. It's 10 degrees centigrade cooler on a summer's day, 40 degree day, under this urban forest where I live compared to the concrete suburb, three kilometers away. 10 degrees cooler. So there's natural air conditioning. This transpiration is taking in total on the planetary basis 24% of the incident solar radiation from the sun that the earth gets and it's taking 24% of it back up into the air, out to space.
[00:58:54] Rachel: Out to space? It just sounds, it just sounds..
[00:58:58] Walter: Well, it's just, it's gets energy and it emits, it retransmits energy, right? It's just an energy balance. Right? So 24% of the energy balance is driven by this hydrological process. You know, we've already agreed, because all the forest cutting, we're now doing that with half the green on this planet that we had 8,000 years ago. We're running it on 50% of the residual green is doing 24%, but it gets much better than that.
When that water, I mean, it's a bit more complicated, but just keep it simple. When that water goes into the air, it will form clouds, right? It condenses to form clouds and the clouds are very reflective. They reflect incident solar radiation directly back to space before it even gets to the planet. Yeah. 50% of the planet was always covered with clouds. Mostly it still is. And those clouds reflect 33% of the incident, solar radiation directly back out to space. So cloud comes over your area. You have to put on a jumper, it's cooler. Okay.
So there's clouds, there's another hydrological dynamic that we can control. Now the next stage is how do those clouds form rain, in this painting behind me is actually, I mean, I won't go into detail, but that's really bacteria from forest that act as precipitation nuclei to coalesce millions of cloud droplets into raindrop that's heavy enough to fall out of the sky. So over 50% of the rain on this planet is actually microbially driven, biologically driven. And so these forest create rain, right? But the point is that that's the rain that recharges the sponge and that allows this whole hydrological cooling system to go.
And then there's one other really powerful thing coming to your friends who say, it's too late, too late. It's not too late. Okay. When we've got a sponge and we've got water in the soil and we've got green vegetation on the soil, that's in a sense, protecting the soil right from heating. And a green, protected, vegetated soil rarely gets about 20 degrees centigrade because of these cooling effects, shading effects. You measure it, and we do the citizen science, it's very clear, rarely above 20 degrees.
Contrasting that if you look at a pavement or asphalt or bear degraded soil. It absorbs heat and it can heat up to over 70 degrees centigrade. Right. And again, all of these measures are there no question. And see, there's a simple rule of physics. I mean, it's a law of physics a bit like Einstein, right? It's called a Stefan-Boltzmann law of physics, which means the amount of reradiation coming from any surface is proportional to the temperature of that surface. Right? The hotter the surface, the more it reradiates. It's a bit like a stove, the hotter, the stove, the more- it's the same thing.
And the equation, I mean, I want to give you the equation the amount of reradiation is the fourth power of the temperature in degrees kelvin. Now that means temperature x temperature x temperature x temperature. So the amount of heat being reradiated by a bare dry hot surface is massively greater than a cool green cooler surface at 20 degrees.
[01:02:47] Rachel: Right.
[01:02:47] Walter: That's all preamble. Now the punchline is this Rachel: the greenhouse effect on this planet, natural and enhanced, is governed by two factors. See nature's so simple, so elegant, she's beautiful. Two factors. The first is the amount of re heat going up, the amount of reradiation going up, right? And the second factor is what percentage of that reradiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases in the air to prevent from escaping to space. Is heat going up to space and then we've got this blanket that's slowing it down. Right.
But if we can keep land surfaces protected and shaded and moist and cooler, we can turn down the amount of reradiation. Yes. That we can turn down the stove that's driving greenhouse warming. You can turn the stove from ultra high to simmer. We can do that within a matter of two, three weeks. How long does it take for grass to grow from a soil? So we can turn down the greenhouse effect, not by trying to change the CO2 in the air, but simply by keeping land systems protected, shaded, moist, and cool.
[01:04:12] Rachel: Fantastic.
[01:04:13] Walter: Because it doesn't matter how many CO2 molecules are in the air if there's no heat or much less heat coming up. There's nothing to absorb.
[01:04:26] Rachel: Gotcha.
[01:04:27] Walter: See? And this is, this is now going to the start of our conversation. It's just changing the context. Just change the way we think. Instead of saying, oh, we've got a problem. We've got too many CO2 molecules up in the air. Of course we have. Yes, there are greenhouse gas, yes they absorbed them. We've beaten ourselves up for 50 years to say, oh, we've got to stop this. We've got to stop all fossil fuel use, et cetera, et cetera. The physics is telling us that no, that's not good enough because the ocean buffering 38,000 billion tons. It'll take thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of years for that to have any effect, we're already at one degree warming. We can't go to 1.5, but within three weeks you can turn down the greenhouse effect by just keeping things green, protected, cool.
But see, it's interesting. When you simply say that to all the chemists and physicists and scientists on the planet, or they say, oh, well, we've never considered that. They don't say it's wrong. They know it's right, because it's fundamental laws of the earth, right? It's, it's fundamental physics. They don't dispute that, but they've never considered it because the context has always been, oh we've looked at the problem as a CO2 gas problem. We've never looked at it as a system. What governs the heat dynamics? And where do we have agency hydrologically? Yes. So you regreening your balcony or whatever you've got, hey, that's you have power, you have agency, you are important.
[01:06:11] Rachel: So 10%. Regenerating 10% of our food system, current food systems-
[01:06:19] Walter: Regreening, regreening 10% of the planet in these different, um, you know, deserts and forests and stuff like that. We collectively, we could put enough hydrological cooling within 10 years to bring the climate back to pre pre a greenhouse crisis levels.
[01:06:40] Rachel: Pre crisis level?
[01:06:42] Walter: Oh yeah. Yeah.
[01:06:43] Rachel: Wow.
[01:06:47] Walter: Yeah, well, okay. What do you want if you want? Okay. We'll bring it down to 0.5 degree warming, you know, so you have a more moderate climate Britain that you can enjoy your summers with no danger.
And in doing so, and I mean the food things a little bit, I mean, it's the same story, but in food thing, yeah, we don't need 10%. If we had 0.1% of the land intelligently and urban agriculture situation, we could feed the planet.
[01:07:19] Rachel: 0.1%?
[01:07:21] Walter: That sort of order because there's 14 billion hectares land. So we don't need much, you know. You could feed yourself on four square meters. So yeah, no trouble. The Dutch, see what, look at the Dutch are doing. They've got very, very little land and they're second biggest food exporter.
[01:07:41] Rachel: So, I mean, Why isn't this getting talked about?
[01:07:44] Walter: Well, that's why, why hasn't Rachel made the program before? That's where we started, isn't it? Because there's a status quo. We are herd mentality, you know, like basically the earth was flat, you know, the sun revolved around the earth. They had to sort of nearly shoot the guy or kill the guy who said that no, no, no, the earth goes round the sun. Right? I mean, like we, we're very dogmatically fixed in our own hierarchies, you know, egos, et cetera, systems. And yeah, we don't accept change. You know, the inertia to change the inertia to relook innovatively, creatively is enormous.
So by definition, you've always had the innovators. You always had the, um, the Van Goghs and painters and stuff like that. And they say, Hey, look at that guy. He can't even draw a straight line. You see? So it's always really yeah, where is the challenge? Where's the innovation, where's the truth? And yeah, basically by definition, you know, like the status quo doesn't innovate, innovate always comes from the 1% or less who put new options and then the logic, but often the logic doesn't get accepted. They get stoned to death. But then soon afterwards, you know, the weeds come up and who knows? The change. You see it is all about not me science.
I mean, yeah. Here's all the evidence and stuff like that. But how do we communicate and empower youth globally to do that? Well, not even globally because they are disempowered. So how do we, you take, yeah, look, how, how do you take that informed youth with agency, you know, in our world and how do we get that message across to say no, no, it's in your hands.
Your future's in your hands is natures.
[01:09:44] Rachel: Let's broadcast that message.
[01:09:46] Walter: Yeah. Okay. So look, uh, have a look through your tapes and stuff. What you've recorded, um, if there's any points of questions or case studies or numbers, or you want to get into physics a bit more, I'm happy to fill in. It's valid to say, look, I've been saying this for 10 years more and not once has a physicist or scientist rejected any of it except to say, oh, that's out of our context.
You know, that that's outside of the definition, it's outside of the funding parameters, the weight and the way the problem has been given to us. Right. And that's valid because they've been funded to do that job. And therefore they, they, well, they want the money. Therefore they comply with the funding requirements.
They don't think beyond it.
[01:10:40] Rachel: Yeah. All right. Understood. Understood. Um, I will link everybody to your website, um, so that they can go through research.
[01:10:48] Walter: Yeah. I mean, yes. Good. We don't necessarily have as much on the website as I like, you know, there's a lot of them. Cause we also, we're just a charity, you know, we were unfunded, so basically.
Yeah. But look, raise the debate, raise the questions. There's some of the information on our website, but no, look, there's a lot actually documented. So if you need then references and case studies and others, it's not all on our website, but certainly I can back you up on
[01:11:17] Rachel: anything. I would love a couple of case studies.
I'd love to be able to, to link to them, uh, for people to see
[01:11:24] Walter: they exquisite on everything. Every. Yes. It's all confirmed at all documented, but you've just got to explain that, that natural phenomena in terms of the context, right?
[01:11:38] Rachel: Sure, sure, sure, sure. I'm also thinking, um, I think whatever you send me, I will send on to Tim Garrett.
Who's an atmospheric scientist and Anasazi and McCurry. Ava. Who's a theoretical physicist. Who's working on the biotic pump theory.
[01:11:53] Walter: No, no, no. See again, there was a classic situation for years. I tried to get the biotic pump discussion published and the journal said, no, no, no. This is part of the status quo.
Finally, the bravery, they had to put a disclaimer. They said, we're publishing this just the pasta debate. But w w don't don't put our neck in the news in case it's wrong. Right?
[01:12:20] Rachel: Shocking, shocking though. Although they did it, they recently got prop properly, properly published. It's done. Um, and the dissenters have kind of snuck away with the tail between
[01:12:31] Walter: it's actually the microbial process that drives that biotic pump in the Amazon.
You see, the Amazon has times of rainfall that cause dally compared to the water coming in from the Atlantic ocean and the water flying back out to the Atlantic. So the internal rainfall is seven times because every day that what has transpired it is then nucleated by these microbial nuclear precipitates again that afternoon.
So it's the water cycle. And this is one of the force multipliers we talked about, right? It's not the quantity. It's the actual quality of the cycles.
[01:13:13] Rachel: Amazing. My final question: who would you like to platform?
[01:13:18] Walter: Yeah, yeah. Look okay. There's not one sort of person because we've covered so many wider areas, but certainly I would argue my colleague BJ, Kuma, India, 1 million women farmers, but now Modi, the Indian prime minister very significantly has said, look, this natural farming is really India's, uh, future totally radical India beyond the green revolution. Okay. And sixties, we had the great industrial agriculture green revolution, right? The moron fertilizer, more on biocides, more on energy, and they've more or less switched it instead of saying, no, we're going back now to natural fact they've they haven't got the money for that.
And the people just dying suicides, toxics, but they've also gone because India is 1.4 billion people. They've also gone to Antonio get terrorists, secretary general, United nations, and then Tony of course came up. We need these natural climate solutions. You know, you came big deal on that last year. And so that was based on Modi's things.
So VJ. Uh, it's damaged or the million ladies, farmers have demonstrated, BJ's put it together, I've backed up the science science, or that motives taking it forward. And Tonia guitarists is sort of playing it in the United nations. Right. So, um, yeah, but each of those links, I mean, that's a nice story that really, because that really gets to scale, but it's really gets to the whole social empowerment.
Right. They're getting three times the yield three times a yield, but also they're really revitalizing social equity, right. Because these are now what was previously very, very undernourished, really starved, exploited, and slave people are now being re-empower. And all of it. No, no, no. Hang on. Sorry. They're not being reimbursed.
They are re-empowering themselves. Right? There you
[01:15:24] Rachel: go. Yeah. The nature of environment. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Walter, it was such a pleasure speaking with you.
[01:15:31] Walter: Thank you. Very happy and key to help.
[01:15:34] Rachel: Thank you. I'm I'm still happy to have had you on the show and my listeners are going to be so thrilled. Honestly, every week, every week for about two and a half months, I've had people contacting me, asking for me to interview you.
You have to get multiple and you have to give Ultron. So thank you very much for taking the time.
[01:15:50] Walter: All the best. Bye-bye.