Bring Back The Cloud Pastures
It’s My corollary To Bring Back The Fish
Best of all when one works to accomplish one, that same work delivers the corollary
Seeing that beautiful bird above, the Magnificent Quetzel resident of Costa Rica’s ‘cloud forests’, is what makes challenges in life seem less important.
There is a growing collective consensus about the need to start now to begin vital potent work to reduce the impact of ‘climate change’. In this post the meme is to speak on the topic of developing and delivering large-scale practical technologies to mitigate the high levels of planet changing CO2 and to do so by putting our heads into the clouds, by working to restore the world’s cloud pastures.
As they say in the American West, where I have spent half a lifetime, this ain’t my first rodeo. I have run the gamut from being a reforestation scientist – bureaucrat -businessman to more recently working to deliver my methods to ‘bring back the fish’ as in ocean pasture restoration. Ocean pasture restoration delivers the biggest and best results in the immediate form of hundreds of millions of additional fish.
I live on the cusp between science and business, that’s the world we call technology, you know the practical useful stuff that delivers more than just words. Coming up with a thousand different ideas for a new ‘light bulb’ is wonderful, delivering the one that works, that is priceless.
The Power of Plants is really cool
What if the principal mechanism behind global warming is NOT the radiative forcing of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, but rather, is the more direct measure of how much cooling shade this planet enjoys. When plants consume CO2 they also work to help make clouds.
We all know that when we are out on a bright sunny day whether it is winter or summer being in the direct sun results in our prompt warming. The very first thing we do to avoid too much warming is get out of the sun, we get under some shade where the sun’s warming rays don’t reach us. For you and I and all of the rest of the mobile forms of life on this planet getting under the shade is something that really moves us.
But most of Nature is rooted in place and cannot move to find that cooling shade. That vast majority of Nature relies on the nurture of evolution and the power of living plants to produce clouds, shade producing, cooling, moving clouds, that go where they are needed. It is the global cooling power of cloudiness that made this planet livable and keeps it so. While plants on Earth, as in land, are important in so many ways, it is their aquatic cousins, the ocean pastures of phytoplankton, that are really responsible for keeping Mother Nature’s cool.
One common thread in my work to restore trees and seas is the word ‘RESTORE.’
It is the damage to and destruction of Nature’s ecosystems and my life-long efforts to tend to and minister aid and healing comfort Mother Nature that is my passion and mission on this planet. Along the way I have been blessed with love and children and grandchildren though alas my true passion for Mother Nature seems to have persistently resulted in the interruption of my own human love-life, ces’t la vie 🙁
Today I still work with forests on land but more and more I spend my time in that vastly wilder blue expanse of ocean that covers 72% of this blue planet. There in Mother Nature’s oceans is where the most terrible toll of our century of fossil fool burning CO2 emitting harm is taking place first and foremost.
One of the most vital jobs of the world’s oceans and the life therein is to grow healthy and sustain their, and our, healthy environment. Let’s leave the most familiar part of the oceans, the coastlines, and venture out onto the vast ocean expanse that lies out of sight of land. There the ocean is not some uniform blue unknowable immensity, it is every bit as diverse as what we terrans are accustomed to on Earth. There are lush pastures and desolate deserts and much much more.
For years when I first set out from land where I was a forest ecologist I tried to use a meme for the oceans plant ecosystems calling them the ocean forest. Somehow that ocean forest moniker worked but it wasn’t quite right. These most potent ecological parts of the ocean were not really forests, nor were they deserts, they were something in between.
One day trekking at the start of a long day that began by crossing a big pasture in the hills of Costa Rica on my way to a cloud forest it came to me.
The most important part of Mother Nature’s oceans are her ocean pastures, they are not merely for ocean life, they are her cloud pastures.
If you are so fortunate to one day be far out to sea, where inevitably you will have been journeying for days across clear blue ocean waters that are not in bloom, your luck might take you into an ocean pasture in all her blooming glory. Before you see it you will know it is there as your nose will tell you something incredibly different is in the air and must be there.
You will follow your nose out on deck of the ship. If you are especially lucky and dawn is just breaking, you will see and know as the sun rises in the sky and the pasture rejoices with the sun, that world has come alive and the smell, why of course, you know it now, it is the smell of a fresh mown pasture. Or perhaps a rose garden.
The smells of an ocean pasture are in science what we call biogenic aerosols. Those molecules that come from life are at the heart of every bit of fog and cloud and raindrop. They are not there by accident! They are key players in Nature’s master plan.
Mother Nature in her evolutionary wisdom has ordained that her ocean pastures are vital parts of what makes this small blue dot in the vastness of space livable. We just happen to be almost at the just right distance from our blazingly hot sun to be not too cold and not too HOT but just right. That we live in the Goldilock’s Zone where it is just right is no accident, your Mother made it so.
Alas now comes the time in this blog post where I’ll resort to the technobabble about how vital ocean cloud pastures are for humanity.
There are three elements to my techno talk, cause, effect, and most important of all the cure!
The FACT is ocean pastures, are this world’s principal cloud pastures. But these pastures, a thousand times more expansive than our beautiful cloud forests, are turning into ever clearer, bluer, lifeless deserts.
The CAUSE of the trouble comes from us, it is our CO2, that CO2 is good for plants on land but it is slow death, actually not so slow, for plants in the sea.
The ocean pasture killing EFFECT of CO2 in the ocean is primarily because it is helping grow plants on land. Since most of the Earth is covered with grass not forests it is the fact that more grass is growing that has led to less dust blowing.
Dust that once blew off of lands where the grass had dried up and bared the soil is in terrible decline on this CO2 enriched world. That dust is what sustains ocean pastures, ocean cloud pastures. Our nourishing of pastures of grass on Earth is killing ocean pastures.
Now of course don’t forget, Mother Nature is watching and don’t think she is always all smiles and happy times, she can be a real bitch.
Our destroying of Mother Nature’s Cloud Pastures will end up getting us, meaning we rather delicate humans and our ilk, evicted.
Well we are not really evicted, yet, Mother Nature, our planetlord/lady will surely deign to allow us to live out our tenancy/lives, abbreviated as we may make it. Our destruction of this blue planets ocean cloud forests will, rather sooner than later, result in the collapse of rainfall everywhere. And when the terrestrial pastures and forests on Earth, aka our mammalian home, dwindles under the coming centuries of drought few of our kind will survive. In that end will be the proof that our fossil fool age will have been our demise. The question might be if a fool falls in a desert and there is no one there to hear them fall did they ever really exist.
But there is hope, there is a CURE.
Simply put, we know how, and so we simply must restore our ocean cloud pastures. In doing so out of those pastures a great Genesis will arise as every form of life. It is the full and complex biodiversity of life that makes all pastures sustainable, and pastures at sea and pastures on land are married together in an eternal bond, that yin and yang of rain and dust that simply proves Mother knows best.
You will find everywhere on this blog of mine plenty of reading with abundant reference to peer reviewed literature and my interpretation for the lay and scientist alike of those oft times challenging technobabble references.
In the world of climate science and politics there are words, phrases, and memes that help some understand and stay on track. Everywhere on this blog you will find those words and such here’s some search terms to put into that handy search box on this and every page.
Albedo, climate change, desertification, cloud forest, ocean pasture, cloudiness, drought, ….
I hope you the reader will join me and here’s a request. Add to the comments below your suggested reading links on the theme and memes here of the vital potency of ocean biogenic processes in controlling our planetary climate. Your contributions of practical technological solutions whether of my sort, the eco-restoration nature knows best methods, or the real techno-geek methods that might also have practical merit.
If all of the above left your head spinning here’s a musical version that will make it all understandable, as told by 40 million salmon, it’s the perfect fish story.
Enjoy the show
40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong
To watch more of my musical stage show here’s the link.