Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 16 – Brett KenCairn discusses the “Ecosystems Summit 2018”
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 16 - Brett KenCairn discusses the "Ecosystems Summit 2018"


Brett Ken Cairn, Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainability and Resilience with the City of Boulder, Colorado, discusses the innovative approach to community engagement and activation in response to climate change and environmental degradation. The Ecosystems Summit 2018, with a focus on stewardship of Soil, Trees, Water and Bees, provides many actions and activities that families, households and neighborhoods can engage with to enhance health, well-being, stewardship and sustainability. The framework is part of a broader network of communities around the world, and is designed to provide value to people all over – especially through the live-streaming and on-line resources being made available. The event is Friday, Nov. 16th – don’t miss it! More information and live-streaming / video resource links can be found at yonearth.org/ecosystems. The Ecosystems Summit is sponsored by the City of Boulder, EcoCycle, the Y on Earth Community, Earth Coast Productions, Boulder County, Boulder.Earth, the WILD Foundation, Mad Agriculture, and the University of Colorado – Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Community.


[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://yonearth.org/ecosystems’ target=’_self’ size=’big’ align=’aligncenter’]REGISTER FOR THE SUMMIT[/thrive_link]


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Hi friends, welcome to another episode of the YonEarth Communities Stewardship and

Sustainability Podcast Series.

I’m so excited that today we have the opportunity to speak with Brett Ken Cairn, hi Brett,

hello Aaron, great to see you, and we’re going to be talking about some of the

amazing and powerful things we can be doing in our own homes and our own communities

that help improve our health and wellbeing while improving the stewardship and sustainability

in our areas and are going to be talking about an upcoming ecosystems summit being hosted

in Boulder, Colorado on Friday, November 16th, 2018, so we really hope those of you who

are able to join us for that event will do so.

Brett is the Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainability and Resilience at the City of Boulder, and

is the leading force and coordinating force behind this upcoming ecosystem summit.

Before coming to the City of Boulder, Brett has worked as a founder and leader with several

non-profit and social ventures, and these range from sustainable force degree initiatives

to work with indigenous community development projects and programs to working with veterans,

returning from war zones and going into domestic work with green jobs.

And you can tell that Brett comes at this with a very broad and deep understanding of the

challenges and the opportunities that we have right before us, and Brett, welcome to

the podcast.

It’s so exciting to be able to talk with you today, and it’s always great to be around

the work that you’re doing here.


Well, I just want to dive in here and ask you, please tell us what is the ecosystem summit

all about?

Well, I think most of us know that all is not necessarily well in the natural world.

I guess I wouldn’t say natural world, because that often gives the distinction of some

place that we’re not.

It’s all a part of the living world, of course, which we’re part.

But oftentimes we’re very focused on what’s happening only with us as humans, and there

are some challenges out there in the living world that we need to really pay attention to.

Here in our own community, we know, for example, that pollinators are having a real big problem.

I think last year, the beekeepers found that something like 60 or 70% of their populations

were lost in the high collapse.

We have those kinds of issues in the aquatic communities, the invertebrates, especially,

we’re seeing fewer songbirds.

There are those challenges.

There are also, though, really enormous opportunities.

I think, as a person who spends most of his time reading about, trying to think about

and worry about what’s happening with climate change, one of the most exciting and hopeful

areas to me are the places where, when we’re turning towards the living world and saying,

we need some help, and how can we help you?

It really responds.

We can talk about that a little bit more.

This event on November 16th is really a way of bringing together both information so

that people understand where we are at and what we need to start paying attention to over

time, but also where we can act and where we can move together.

So, my understanding is it will not only give us this information, but it also will

give us in our own homes and our own neighborhoods a whole bunch of things we can then do.

That’s absolutely right.

I think one of the most corrosive factors in the world today is this belief that nobody

really cares, nobody’s taking action, therefore, why should I act?

When, in fact, around us are literally thousands of efforts taking place in our community.

And so, one of the exciting things that people will have a chance to learn about at this

event are dozens of those things taking place locally, so that if you have some sense that

you want to participate, there will be places to plug in, or if you have your own unique

initiative that you want to promote, that’s an opportunity there to.

A great opportunity.

There will be tabling opportunities, networking opportunities, that’s fabulous.

Another sort of layer of stitching the fabric of community around these issues.

That’s right.


So, I understand the ecosystem summit has these four areas of focus, bees, trees, soil,

and water.

That’s right.

And I thought just to celebrate and demonstrate for fun, and probably because we might also

get a little thirsty while we’re talking, it would be nice to have a little fresh, clean


This is spring water from one of the springs here in the area flowing through the mountains,

which is what an incredible gift and treasure that we have the opportunity to connect with,

and Brett just want to do a little cheers here, my friend, to all the work you’re doing,

and made these efforts help our world, our communities, and help each of us heal as we

go forward.

Thank you.

Cheers to you as well.

Oh, that’s nice.

You know, Aaron, this is the second time that you’ve offered water to me.

This one that I could drink, the other time that was for water from my garden, that was

also quite empowered.

So thank you.



Well, I think this is a particularly good year.

It is indeed.



So, yeah, when we were in your garden a few months back, we did a biodynamic soilster

working with those soil preps that, you know, I love working with, and we’ll be at the

ecosystem summit, sharing some of these different ways people in their own homes and yards can

do similar simple and fun activities that are great to do with kids with folks of all


I’m wondering if you could share with us some of the specific opportunities and initiatives

that will be at the ecosystem summit represented there that people will have the opportunity

to plug into and participate in.

Yeah, absolutely.

So, as you mentioned, there are these four areas, and we’ve been involved in a process

this year.

In fact, this year, we kind of dubbed the year of ecosystems in our climate work really

climate, of course, is climate change is not a problem, it’s a symptom.

So it’s really the reflection that our human systems are not really congruent to maintaining

the world and a balance that we like to live in.

So when we were trying to think through what the major areas of action are around how you

address and stabilize climate, we really came up with initially three major areas.

So energy systems change, obviously.

We have to stop emitting carbon, we need to stop burning fossil fuels.

That’s the one that our community has been probably most active in and has been a real

leader in.

The second is ecosystems and how we can essentially re-invigorate and regenerate the capabilities

of the living world to take carbon back out of the atmosphere, as well as to buffer and

give us some protection against the change that’s now inevitable and is coming.

So ecosystems was the second, and then how we use the resources that come from the earth

is the third.

And we can’t just keep extracting, using, disposing, we have to move towards some kind of a

circular economy.

So we took those three things out into the community as we were working on ratifying

our most recent plan, and we said, what do you think?

Isn’t this exciting?

We found this way to bucket all the things that we could do from not eating meat to

riding your bicycle to getting solar panels, and of course, it was well received, except

we did get this feedback that, oh yeah, you’d missed this one area, which is social justice

and equity.

So we added that as the fourth.

But then we said to council, when we had it approved, we said, look, this is big, it’s


There’s a lot in each one.

How about we take a year and we focus on each one.

So 2017, we focused on energy.

2018, we’re focusing on ecosystems.

2019, we’re actually going to work on the gnarly issue of the consumption economy.

And then throughout all of this, we’ll be talking about how we make this transition

and adjust an equitable way.

But in the context of ecosystems, we started to, we started essentially a conversation

this year with the city staff across the entire organization and all the people who work

on environment, saying like, what are the key issues?

What are the key opportunities?

We started that same conversation with the advisory boards to the city, the parks board,

the open space board, the environmental advisory board and others.

And then this summit is really the third part of that where we’re bringing that conversation

and all that’s happened so far to the community.

So in terms of the specifics though and where there are opportunities for action, one

of the, we’ve essentially again, sort of boiled down the issues into maybe three or four

broad areas.

One is land cover.

We have some serious problems in terms of what’s happening to our forests, both our wild

forests and our urban forests.

As you know, the emerald ash borer arrived in Boulder, first place west of the Mississippi.

It’s going to remove all the ash trees as it has across all the places in the east that

it’s been through.

That’s about 20 to 25% of the canopy of our forests.

So imagine that we’re going into a hotter time with less canopy.

So how do we respond to that?

And so one of the exciting initiatives again, it’s the issue that the opportunity, there’s

a whole new tree trust in our community.

So through the parks and the play foundation, a new organization has started called the

tree trust and they’re just getting their legs underneath them and they’ll be there and

they’ll be a chance for people to plug into that work to how we work on our urban forests.



So pollinators, when we talked about the issue for honeybees, that honey bee issue, when

you hear about the beekeepers having challenges, people ought to just know that that’s only

the sort of most visible aspect of this problem.

There are three or 400 different types of native pollinators that keep all of the other

living beings around us going and they’re also in serious decline.

So that’s the issue.

The opportunity is this amazing grass roots movement that has started in Boulder and

it’s now spreading nationwide to create pollinator gardens and to work with ways that we can

create habitat for bees and pollinators.

And so, in fact, right near the Rayback Collective, they’ve just installed a new pollinator garden.

It’s a template for what people can do in their yards and it’s actually quite interesting

that in many places around the country now, urban landscapes are becoming the place where

we maintain habitat when it’s being lost in the areas around.

So it’s enormously important and more significant than we would think to do simple things to

just like plant pollinator plants in your garden.

Effectively, cities become islands and arcs for biodiversity in certain respects.

That’s right.

And so, part of one of the unique contributions that Boulder and Boulder County can make

in that sort of a context is that because of the foresight of our predecessors 20 or

30 or 40 years ago when the open space was starting to be acquired, we actually have

this capability of creating connected habitats from the urban core out into the wildland so

that there can be this flow, which is what, of course, the living world needs to maintain

its genetic diversity and its biodiversity, et cetera.

So that’s another exciting area of opportunity.

With the bees and one of the specific organizations I’m familiar with called Bee Safe Neighborhoods,

my understanding is that these are proliferating around the country now possibly even worldwide,

where groups of homes and neighborhoods are choosing to avoid the poisonous chemicals

and plant the forage and other plants, flowers, herbs, so forth that are beneficial to the

pollinators and that if you get a critical mass of households wanting to take those steps,

the entire community, the entire neighborhood becomes one of these Bee Safe sanctuaries.

My understanding is we’re seeing hundreds of these now propagating all around the U.S. at least.

Yeah, I think that’s another aspect of this world that we now live in, which is that things can,

as they say, go viral way faster than we thought.

I do want to bring forward something I know that you talk about a lot and which is so important,

which is that the pollinators are the indicator, but the problem is chemical use.

And we are being encouraged at almost every turn to just run down to Home Depot and buy a gallon

of this or that and deal with your dandelions or deal with your Japanese beetles,

or little knowing that this, just in the last 10 years, this new class of neonictonoids

which they’re using are so incredibly disruptive and so potent that they’re decimating these species.

And so we’re starting to find evidence of those chemicals in Boulder Creek.

And it’s not coming from the public lands because we don’t use them.

They’re coming from the private lands where we’re just in our backyards putting stuff on

and not knowing that it’s being washed into the waterways.

So I think that’s, again, a part of the awareness the opportunity is, again,

there are enormous opportunities to create living vital landscapes that don’t require

that kind of chemical intervention by doing things that are actually also enriching our health.

So I’ll just go to the third area which is around soils.

It’s, you know, one that you and I have connected around a lot.

I am more and more convinced that this is kind of the ground, literally, of the whole process.

And just to say something around a project that started, so Boulder County and the city of Boulder

started working about a year ago to launch a soil sequestration project.

So as we know, most people don’t really, in the conversation about climate,

they don’t recognize that not only do we have to reduce our emissions essentially to zero,

but that even doing that will not be sufficient to stabilize climate.

And that what’s necessary now is to take a lot of carbon back out of the atmosphere.

And put it back in the ground where it belongs.

Well, that’s, that’s, yes, exactly.

Let’s hopefully we do it that way because you, as you and I know, there are lots of people out there

who are proposing a gazillion dollar projects to build, you know, technologies that will, blah, blah, blah.

When, in fact, we could just turn to the things that have been living for two and a half billion years off of taking carbon out of the atmosphere.

The technology that it exists here on this miraculous planet or the best spaceship you could ever imagine is so intelligent and resilient.

And as you say, it has taken millions, billions of years to evolve to this point of intelligence and sophistication.

And we might, you know, to use one of my favorite terms humble that of course comes from the same Latin root as our word humus, meaning soil.

We might humble ourselves a little bit and including some of our friends in places like Silicon Valley and elsewhere and recognize that as you’re saying Brett.

The natural living biosphere knows what to do and has the capabilities and we have an opportunity to collaborate as stewards.

And sure, we’re going to continue developing technologies to help mitigate many of these challenges we face.

However, it seems to me that if we’re not for sure getting really good at this collaborative stewardship work in harmony and reverence with natural living systems, we may not, we may not end up where we want to.

And the fact that these systems know what to do is amazing. I mean, my gosh, what a blessing.

Yeah, absolutely. I think we have been subject to a way of oversimplifying what the soil is.

And especially in how we relate to soil as primarily this medium that grows things that we want.

Not recognizing that the things that we’re getting are really the fruits of a whole very, very vast and complex community below the ground.

And so we’re starting to understand that more now and we have a project going on on a bolder open space agricultural property that was so degraded because of a variety of factors past use, climate change, the impacts of imbalances of prairie dogs to vegetation and around that it was, it is rapidly becoming desert.

In fact, we lost the entire top soil. We lost the total a horizon. There are these big wind events that you’ve probably seen. Sometimes it comes through massive winds. There’s a wind in 2016 that basically blew three inches of soil off that ground blew it east.

We know that because there’s a north south fence line that was buried in that top soil that the organic farm just to the east of our property had two inches of soil blown onto its ground, which didn’t help them at all.

And it was because of this imbalance and because we weren’t able to find ways to work with those soils and rebuild them. And so we’ve started a project out there working in part with that adjacent, adjacent organic farmer.

And just in the last four months of our work, it’s already coming back. It’s just, it’s so encouraging to see.

And so we have extensive research going on now. We’re going to look at how much carbon we’re building. We’re ultimately planning to try to build up a sort of scientifically verifiable methodology so that perhaps we can actually get carbon credits for doing that agricultural regeneration.

I shouldn’t say agricultural that soil regeneration. Right.

Where in agriculture, the benefits of that are just sort of a byproduct of actually building a healthy vital community.

I love that. Yeah. So that covers the bees, the trees, the soil. And you hit on this earlier, but I just want to make sure we have a chance to talk more about it, the water. What, what’s happening with the water?

Well, I think there are many levels, you might even say elevations of this issue. So I’ll go to the upper elevation, our watershed.

So again, we live with the benefits of the foresight of the founders of the community who 100 years ago bought the upper watershed to protect the water for the community.

And for many years, we thought, well, that means our water is safe because actually that watershed is literally above tree line.

But as we now know, again, with the impacts of climate change, a certain National Academy of Sciences study said that for every one degree increase in temperature Celsius, it increases the fire likelihood 600%.

We’ve already gone up almost one degree Celsius. So and we’re seeing this, you know, more fires, more intense, more frequent.

So now we have vulnerabilities because of course, even if it’s in the lower in the fire, the watershed, all that area then starts to move after the fires, you know, the soils start to move, it starts to.

So we have a lot of work to do there to think about how do we keep water in those landscapes? How do we reduce fire hazard? How do we respond quickly after there has been a fire?

Yes. So that’s the upper elevations.

In the sort of city level elevations, we have all the conservation work that we’ve been doing for years. We’ve done a great job on the indoor water conservation.

Now we need to start thinking about how we use water outside.

And so our irrigation systems, frankly, are very primitive. And they need to get on schedule with what the weather is doing, with what the soils need.

And we need to build the soils in ways that they don’t need as much water. And then we need to look at that sort of broader elevation where in this world that’s getting warmer.

And as you probably know, in Boulder, our days over 95 degrees, on average through the whole 1900s up to 2000, we’re about four days over 95.

So you talk to the natives and they say, yes, always cool here. We didn’t have air conditioning. We didn’t need it.

We’re now at eight. It’s doubled since 2000. We’re on track to double again, probably by 2025 to 2030.

And then double again on top of that. So that by mid-century, probably it’s almost baked in that by mid-century, we’re going to be at 30 plus days over 95 each summer.

In that kind of a context, now remember, we’re also losing canopy. We’ve got to figure out ways how to keep water in the landscape.

Because when we know is that the intensity of heat extremes in cities is all about how much water is or isn’t in their surrounding landscapes.

So when we build soil using biochar, using natural system regeneration, we actually increase the capacity of holding water in that landscape.

And so that’s one of the things that I think all of us now can be thinking about and working on.

Yeah, it’s incredible. One of the things I’m really excited about with this connection between soil, water, soil, pollinator, soil entries is that we can be doing these soil building activities right in our own landscape.

Right in our own homes and backyard and community parks and gardens. Can you tell us a little about the plans for ways people can engage with that effort with their own homes and yards and so on.

Yeah, we’re, we’ll be at the, at the event on November 16th, we’ll be launching. We don’t have the perfect name for it yet, but it’s essentially a citizen’s soil initiative where we’re going to be supporting anybody who’s interested in.

Learning how to use a simple protocol to gather a soil sample, send that off, get the basic initial results for here’s where your soils are now.

And then a menu of different treatment opportunities that they can apply and that could be on a square meter, it could be on a whole yard.

And then a method of being able to continue to sample over time and seeing what affects those treatments are having.

So we have literally hundreds of people excited about participating in this and it will be a part of essentially, in my view, one of the better aspects of big data in the sense that imagine all that information starts to come in and we know what your initial soil is, we know what treatments you’ve done, we can then see the results and you start to see here’s what seems to be working to create that improved carbon capture of that increased biological activity.

And then you can start to say, okay, if you want to do this here is the results that show you how to move that along, that is actually participating in a larger national network where that’s taking place because there are literally hundreds of thousands of people excited and interested in doing exactly what you’re talking about, which is small steps that are aggregating into large steps.

This is so exciting. So I can imagine come next spring hundreds of families, households right in this area, getting ready to get out there and take the soil samples and apply those amendments, whether it’s compost biochar, even possibly biodynamic.


And boy, you’ll get some side effects like getting outside, yeah, doing this with your kids and your grandkids, your grandparents, your neighbors.

Oh, and let’s talk about the other side effect.


The nutrient density of the food that we eat.

So an organization, I think that you are aware of that I encourage everyone to go visit the bio nutrient food association.

So bio nutrient food association, they have this sort of simple, but I think radical premise, which is if you want people to care about something, you need to do something that’s relevant to them immediately and personally.

Yeah, so we all eat a lot of us love to eat a lot of us want to eat very healthy food.

What we often don’t realize is that even when we try our best and are very conscious about getting food that we think is actually nutritious, it isn’t because of the practices that were used or the condition of the soils in the place that that food was grown.

And so they are engaged in this very exciting work to actually develop methodologies for testing individual items like a carrot, an apple, a piece of broccoli, and being able to get immediate feedback, the nutrient density of this food is X and I know on some scale that that’s good or not so good.

And that they’re actually developing a handheld item about the size of your cell phone.

You can literally carry into a grocery store and scan something and see and the point is not necessarily just that you can do this thing, but now we actually can tie that nutrient density back to the practices that we’re using so that we can figure out how to make that food extremely healthy.

And so that’s a part of this effort is as we grow the vitality and the health of that soil, we’re growing our own health and vitality.

Right, I love that. I love that, Brett. One of the things I really enjoyed discussing in the book YonEarth is a story about Mark Gutridge, one of the great organic farmers right here in the area who runs a CSA community supported agriculture program affecting hundreds of families.

And you know his carrots probably cost a little more than you might find in the grocery store, but of course you buy carrots by weight often most of what’s making that weight is water and the nutrient is some small percentage of that.

So although his carrots make cost a bit more into terms of the actual nutrition of his versus the nutrition of what I might be getting at the store, his are a screening deal.

They actually are a much better economic proposition when we begin to see it for the reality that it is.

The real value we’re trying to buy when we buy our food.

Another example of that would be the farm that’s right to the east of the property we’re doing our soil test project on McColley farms.

They produce chicken, they produce a whole series of fermented foods.

Their foods have this vitality and nutrient density because of the practices that they’re actually enacting on their land.

Yeah, so I think it’s what we have maybe thought of it as kind of trite that all support local agriculture and that’s a good thing.

No, it’s actually a really good thing.

I mean, it’s actually one of the best investments that you can make in your own self.

Yeah, absolutely.

Well, let me just pause here and just remind folks that this is a wonderful episode of the YonEarth Communities Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast Series.

And I’m so thrilled that we have Brett can care in here with us.

The Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainability and Resilience at the City of Boulder.

And one of the things we want to make sure you all know about is that coming up quite soon, Friday, November 16th, 2018, we have an all-day ecosystem summit right here in Boulder, Colorado.

If you can join us, please come.

We’ll be focused on these trees, soil, and water and things we can do in our own yards and our own neighborhoods around those issues.

To get more information to register, you can go to yonearth.org slash ecosystems.

That’s E-C-O-S-Y-S-T-E-M-S.

And that will get you to some of the other pages like the City of Boulder pages, etc., where there’s a lot of information as well as how to register and join us.

And I also want to mention that we have several really wonderful organizations that are part of this collaboration.

E-C-O-S-Y-C-O, and I want to come back to them in just a minute.

It’s at Boulder.Earth, Boulder County, the Wild Foundation, the University of Colorado Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities,

and of course, Earth Coast Productions, our very own Artem Nikolkov, and his team will be there providing video and potentially streaming services as well.

So it’s going to be an incredible day with a lot of action items, a lot of really enriching relationships, information, and inspiration to take back to your home with you.

And also want to mention that some of the work being done by Matt Agriculture, Phil Taylor, and his team is very much a part of this conversation and these efforts as well.

So that’s winearth.org slash ecosystems. Now, for those of you who might be interested in checking out any of the Y on Earth e-books and audio book products, be sure to use the code podcast to get a little discount on those and hope you enjoy those.

So Brett, I wanted to come back and talk a little about eco-cycle and the way in which they are so valuable in this stitching together of community fabric with this network that they’ve built, and maybe you could talk about that a little bit.

And another part of the remarkable legacy of our community, many folks probably don’t know because it’s just become so part of the Boulder life that recycling not so long ago wasn’t a common thing.

In fact, the community of Boulder was one of the first communities in the country to have a curbside recycling program run entirely by volunteers in old school buses driving around picking things up.

So from that humble, but very beautiful start, we have this very vital, now multi-faceted organization eco-cycle that does many things. They actually are contracted to run the big separation recycling facility out on 55 or 65.

They do the charm pick up of all the hard to recycle materials. They have a compost and compost tea operation. So they have really been one of the leaders in this whole issue of how we use resources and how we use resources more wisely.

And they’ve come to recognize that a major next step in this process is soil also. So this fall, they’ve launched this soil initiative that will have several different aspects.

For one, Dan Mage at eco-cycle was really one of the big drivers behind getting the county’s soil sequestration study program going. And that’s out on the agricultural lands.

And then Dan and his sister Marty, who’s also the eco-cycle are the ones that are kind of helping to lead the development of this citizen soil initiative through their network of what used to be called block leaders are now eco-leaders, which there are literally hundreds of.

So we actually are working up a mock up for a yard sign of a sort of urban carbon farm will say like I’m a carbon farmer and that will be for those households that are actually working on this program. So it’s super fun.

So they’re just a fantastic partner. Another partner we should definitely mention is you’ve already done is Phil Taylor and Matt Agriculture.

You know, a real a real leader and visionary in this field working, especially in that context of working lands. So with ranchers and farmers, Phil’s been in close connection to California where a lot of this early work around the marine carbon farming project has taken place.

And through that work and coordinating with those folks, he’s actually helping to lead the development of the first carbon farm plans in Colorado’s history.

So these are plans that will be submitted to the natural resource conservation service, which is a federal agency that provides support for conservation farming around the country.

It’s a really exciting development because ultimately it might open the door to practices that farmers are using to build so carbon qualifying for investment from these programs.

So extremely important work and a big shout out to Phil and all this stuff.

Yeah, Phil’s doing great work. I’m wondering speaking of the opportunities that are presented through the network with Ecocycle and others here in the community.

What do you think people will leave EcoSystem Summit able to do? Like what will they be now prepared and equipped to do?

Well, I think the first aspect is this ground of both awareness and knowledge. So I think we all come to these conversations with partial knowledge and partial awareness.

And so hopefully people will leave with a little more knowledge and a little more awareness of what the issues are, what the opportunities are.

And perhaps most important, this scan of the landscape of our social community to say, wow, I did had no idea that people were working on the tree issue.

Now I know who they are and where to go. I’ve talked to some of them. I might be have already signed up to start coordinating with them.

So there’ll be I think a dozen or more of those kinds of organizations there that will be able to connect to.

And I do just want to say again that it’s also a space where as a community of many innovators, if there are folks who have initiatives that are already underway or ideas about things that they believe could be effective and have an impact, there’ll be a space created in that summit for them to stand up, say what they’re interested in and say if you’re interested in talking about that, come over here.

So, but I do want to say and you’re being as often characteristically humble, I want to acknowledge that you’re a part of this program as well.

And for those who are watching this and who are considering spending a day with us, one of the places that I would strongly encourage you to tune in for is the lunchtime in which we have three inspirational speakers or speakers groups talking about in one case bees, trees and soil.

And so I’ll start with trees. So David Haskell, remarkable ecologist, beautiful writer, his most recent book, The Song of the Trees, is a sort of meditation on particular trees in various landscapes around the world.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous book. So he’ll be speaking briefly.

The People’s Pollinator Action Network, Peepan, will have a group of folks ranging from high school students, college students and others talking about their remarkable work they’re doing.

And then our very own Aaron Perry will be talking about the soils and how they can really rally ourselves there.

Yeah, it will be a lot of fun. You know, at one of the recent planning meetings that we were at and a lot of work goes into putting something like this together.

So hats off to you, Brett, for making all this happen and bringing all of us together.

I was absolutely blown away because here we are with our artist friend, Yvonne Coslina, who happens to live right here in the community.

We’re creating a series of children’s books and we’re now launching the first set, which is five different books.

As a matter of fact, we are running a Kickstarter on that and you can get some great deals and packages and so on.

So check that out if you’re interested. But the thing that struck me in our meeting when I heard that the topics are going to be

bees and pollinators, trees, water and soil.

I was like, whoa, because the first five books in this series are celebrating soil, celebrating honey bee, celebrating water, celebrating trees and celebrating community.

And that was not some sort of a conspiracy, which by the way, I love that term conspiracy. It means to breathe together.

So yes, and what’s so potent about this framework, Brett, that you are bringing us together with is it gives us a way to act that affects so many aspects of our living environments, our social and economic systems, our own personal health and well-being.

And we can do this with the youngest of children. We can do this with our elders. It’s awesome. Really is awesome.

And I have a sneaking suspicion. We’re going to have a heck of a lot of fun with this too.

I think so. I mean, for those who might be considering coming you ought to sign up soon. We actually have 141 registrations already, which is like, so it’s sort of way beyond what we originally expected.

No, I agree. And I love that notion that we’re part of a conspiracy, a conspiracy to reconnect ourselves as a living part of a larger system. So I’m all in.

Yes, beautiful. Perhaps it’s even a radical conspiracy, right? This word radical, I remember long ago thinking, what does this word actually mean? And I looked it up and it comes to us from this Latin rap’s radics, which is the same route we get the word radish from. And it means of the roots.

So you can see, however, time that perhaps underground movements that were kind of underground like roots would be, got turned into what we think of now as radical. But in the true historical sense of that word, I think this really is kind of a radical conspiracy.

Yeah, I think the other thing that I want to be really radical about here is to radically focus on why this is relevant and valuable to us here and now.

Not conceptually or morally, but personally vitality wise, community connection wise, local economy wise, the reasons that we need to take action on this symptom that’s called climate change are the things that are actually about whether we can live well and healthy here and now.

So by rebuilding our soils, we make literally the environment that we’re living in more healthy, the things that we’re eating are more healthy. As we figure out ways to regenerate the soil and that we create an economy around that, we build an economy that actually supports a whole bunch of the kinds of folks we want to live in community with.

You know, when we figure out how we’re going to actually save water, we actually create ways to enable our whole community to be healthier.

So I just think we’ve gotten a little bit too focused on this notion of the sky is falling, the world is ending, we’ve got to stop climate change, therefore reduce emissions, which is this huge abstraction.

Whereas if we just turn to say what do we need to do to create health and vitality around us, it actually turns out that most of those things are the things that help reduce emissions, you know, stabilize climate.

Beautiful. It’s really, really beautiful way of putting it and engaging with this beautiful planet we happen to be living on.

Well, Brett, thank you so much for joining us and I’m absolutely thrilled we have the opportunity to share this episode out there.

Far and wide, not only for folks who might be able to join us in person at this upcoming event, but also folks who might be able to tune in for live streaming and or some of the videos that will be available after.

And we know that folks and communities all over the world are taking these kinds of steps and what a joy that we all get to collaborate together worldwide, acting locally in ways that we’ll be doing with this ecosystem summit.

So let me just say here and into the YonEarth Community, community is what we’re most in need of now.

It is the most fundamental building block to regenerate and rebuild this world of events.

So I honor all of you and I’m excited to be working with all of you in all this.

Awesome. Thank you, Brett. Thank you.

Thank you.

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