From landscape design to global cooling

Go wash yourself!

How my connection with nature made me realize how nature contributes substantially to our climate through its cooling function.

Every cat learns it from his/her mother: are you in doubt, don’t you know what to do or are you just shy about something? Go wash up! Handy for cats but a bit inconvenient for us as most of the public space would then be taken up by bathrooms…

In my life I use a different problem strategy: going for a walk with apparently insoluble issues, regardless of which topic, life course, science, relationships. Get out and focus on what gives you peace of mind.

And so it happened that one good day I found myself in the tranquility of hills and forests, enjoying the sun and landscape and the whistling wind that at minus 10 degrees Celsius felt on my face like a blunt razor. Cold costs energy, the art is to find a sunny spot, out of the wind in the sun. Fortunately, a sturdy hedge was nearby so that I was comfortably stewed out of the wind in the sun while the freezing wind swept over the landscape.

Since I took the Permaculture design course thirty years ago, I wanted to ‘green the world’. Permaculture did offer a lot of experiential wisdom, but not the scientific basis to give substance to my urge to green. Until…

Branches swayed, the wind howled, the view was beautiful and the contents of my backpack were tantalizing and then the brain jumped: what if you calculated the effects of the hedge on the environment and applied it to landscapes?

No sooner said than done and after a long time of research, system development and system design, it gradually became clear that greening is crucial for the wind and water management, which in turn determine the quality of a local living climate.

And then the following question arises: if you can cool locally through greening and you make all landscapes green, will it become cooler worldwide?

If that works, then green must have an effect on the atmosphere via water management, so greenhouse gases are not the only determining factor for temperature development.

Just as many insights and just as many walks, stays in forests and fields, a great deal of literature research on a multitude of disciplines and systematic research support by Marcel de Berg led to insight into how forests create clouds through regulation of the water balance, which have a major influence on the temperature trend. on earth. (see Marcel’s journey)

For a long time in the conventional sustainability field I felt like a cat in a strange warehouse full of ‘deviant insights’ that could not count on a warm welcome. However, that is changing, recent scientific insights show that the role of forests in our climate is much greater than assumed and that the role of greenhouse gases is therefore more limited than previously thought.

The current warming appears to be the sum of a thickening greenhouse blanket and disruption of the global water balance due to forest clearing.

It is said that a lot of bathrooms have recently been built at research institutes and ministries, the current climate approach is not very successful, but it is better to get acquainted with the ‘Green Water Cools’ website, a refreshing pool of knowledge that leads to advancing insight, just in time to change our climate.

Go wash up! (Walking is also allowed).

What if ‘Green Water’ really cools? What if this is true, how would you like to get up every morning and look in the mirror? Do the ‘Green Water Cools’ challenge or start your own journey.

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