#104 Aaron William Perry, Founder of the Y on Earth Community

Aaron William Perry is a consultant, executive advisor, and author with deep expertise in the renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and finance industries. He is the founder of the Y on Earth Community – a global non-profit that provides media resources and curated community and corporate events to mobilize community health and wellbeing in the context of global stewardship, regeneration, and sustainability. He is currently completing an epic novel and screenplay all about these momentous times that we’re living in. 

Bigger Than Us Episode 104

This transcription has been lightly edited for readability.

Host Raj Daniels  02:26

If you were asked to share something interesting about yourself, what would it be?

Aaron William Perry  02:39

That’s a great and open-ended question. I think one thing I would share is that my heritage is a mixture of both European ancestry and Native American ancestry. And because I am part German, and Celtic, English and Slovenian, and I am also Mohawk Indian, coming from the region of North America that we now call upstate New York, I have been able to dig into different cultural traditions, and develop an understanding of some of the challenges and opportunities we have in front of us in these times through a few different cultural lenses. And it has been, for me a great joy over the last 25 years to dig into cultural history, while also approaching and working on solutions for some of the technological challenges we’re facing, such as climate change, and have actually found a whole lot of information, knowledge, and I would say even wisdom coming through all of those different cultural threads.

Host Raj Daniels  03:52

That is really interesting. Now, excuse my ignorance. You said the Mohawk. Is that correct?

Aaron William Perry  03:58

Yes, the Mohawk people are part of the Iroquois Confederacy found in the upstate New York Region in the eastern Great Lakes region. And interestingly, Ben Franklin actually spent a good bit of time with my ancestors. And he discovered some mechanisms for governance that actually made their way into our constitution from the Mohawk people. One of great note is the War Powers coming from Congress. He learned from the Mohawk that it was the grandmother’s council who were the only ones in the society that had permission to determine whether to go to war. And, of course, we all probably know a few great grandmothers, and I don’t mean great like generational, but just wonderful women. And it seems grandmothers are not likely to go to war wantonly, but only would choose to do that when there is a grave threat. And so that was one of the mechanisms Ben Franklin borrowed and worked into the Constitution of this country. 

Host Raj Daniels  05:11

I’ve heard it said many a time that if more women ruled we would have less conflict.

Aaron William Perry  05:16

I’ve heard that a lot as well, Raj. And I gotta say, I think there’s probably a lot of truth and wisdom in that.

Host Raj Daniels  05:23

I agree. So you mentioned climate change. Can you give an overview of your organization Y on Earth?

Aaron William Perry  05:32

The Y on Earth Community is a nonprofit, educational organization based here in Colorado. We work with a network of ambassadors throughout the United States and even internationally, who are connected to the Yon Earth community, and who help provide the community mobilization strategies, techniques, and information in their communities. We also host and curate a variety of workshops and experiences. This happens with corporate partners, this happens at universities, this happens with faith and fraternal organizations, it happens through a number of different channels and networks in our society and is a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful way to reach folks.

And then we also provide a number of resources, including books, which are available in digital form. And my main book, which is called Y on Earth is available as an audiobook, as well as an ebook. And wanted to just mention, we created a code NEXUS10 for your audience to get a 10% discount if they would like to get any of our digital books or audiobooks, including Y on Earth including our Soil Stewardship Handbook. They can do that at yonearth.org and get that discount. And we’re working with a variety of scientists, of technical experts, of executives, and organizational leaders of indigenous leaders, youth activists, and community leaders, all coming at these challenges, like climate change, and biodiversity and habitat stewardship through different lenses, but converging on taking action, to help heal the planet and also ourselves in our communities as we go about that work. We’ve been at this for only a few years now, and are really excited about the momentum we have as an organization, and where we’re headed in terms of being able to provide even greater support and infrastructure to support our partners and our ambassadors and communities throughout the world.

I will mention, Raj, by no means is this intended to steal the spotlight, but we also host a podcast there. It’s fun for me to be on the other side of the mic here with you today, as ordinarily, I’m the one conducting the interview. So I really appreciate this opportunity to visit with you and your audience. I know how much work and effort goes into making these podcast conversations available. So thanks.

Host Raj Daniels  08:20

Well, I appreciate that. And I’m of the abundance mindset. So I believe there’s enough for everyone to go around. So I appreciate you saying that. I’d like you to highlight a few things. First, going back to Y on Earth. You mentioned education and training. Without mentioning clients or customers, can you perhaps shed some light on some of the results, Or the “ahas” that you’ve had once you’ve done these training sessions?

Aaron William Perry  08:47

Yes, absolutely. It’s actually one of the things that give me a great sense of joy and accomplishment, I’ll say. So often when I’m asked to come into a university to give us a symposium or asked to come into a corporate setting to provide insights and inspiration around anything as simple as a recycling program for a Fortune 500 company. What it does is it creates an opportunity for dialogue, and for sharing some information that might be outside of the typical lanes of some of the ways we think about some of these issues as a society.

Often when we’re talking about these sustainability challenges, as you know, there’s a heavy emphasis on the technical aspects of the challenges and we, of course, are celebrating the scientists, the engineers, the other technocrats who are developing all kinds of amazing innovative solutions. However, there’s also a substantial and really important cultural aspect to all of the challenges and opportunities we have right in front of us as not only a national society here in the United States but also a global community here on this planet. And so we’ll take the opportunity to weave in some of the cultural aspects which of course get more into human psychology and some of these, quote-unquote, softer sciences, that might make some of us a bit less comfortable than we’d be with the hard sciences. But through that, it provides an opening, a way for more of us to experience the hope, and the inspiration to say, by golly, there is so much we can do. And there’s so much I can do in my own life, my day to day life, in my home, in my neighborhood, at my place of work, my place of worship. It’s with those kinds of empowering messages that we see a lot of folks coming out of what might you know, otherwise be an ordinary educational or enrichment program with a new and heightened sense of passion and enthusiasm for making a real difference. And one of the central cores of all that we’re doing is soil. And I’d love and be happy to speak about why we focus on soil and why soil is so important to connecting all of these dots for people.

Host Raj Daniels  11:21

I would love for you to expand on soil.

Aaron William Perry  11:23

So when we’re thinking about climate change, we’re often thinking about needing to decarbonized energy, right? Hugely important. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have added some 245 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere, taking our levels of concentration from 280 parts per million to well over 400 parts per million. Now I have an accounting and finance background and can say that in any system, whether we’re looking at this through a scientific lens, or through a financial or market lens if we have a 40% change like that, that’s gonna have substantial impacts on the system. Indeed, that’s exactly what we’re seeing with our atmosphere.

Now, the other side of this decarbonization coin is the recarbonization of soil. And these are the strategies we have at our fingertips, to collaborate with the living biosphere and enhance and accelerate natural processes that have been going on this planet for billions of years, to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and put it back in the ground, we like to say where it belongs, it turns out that if we were to imagine, by analogy, the amount of carbon that we have put into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it would be equivalent to a coal train, a train with cars full of coal, wrapping around the equator of the planet, over 1000 times. 1017 times. That’s the amount of carbon in our lifetime we have the opportunity to get back in the ground and out of the atmosphere. And the good news is that so many of us in the regeneration movement are now deploying strategies at all scales, to accelerate that carbon sequestration process naturally working with the soil and with the plants.

We know that the fossil energy resources that we utilize the oil, the coal, the gas, that was all at one point, life, primarily plant life that was photosynthesizing incident solar radiation coming to the planet and storing it. And the earth has had a beautiful and some might even say miraculous way of maintaining certain levels of balance in climate over at least the last, you know, several hundred thousand years, which is the timeframe we’re concerned about as a species. And notwithstanding small ice ages and so on. Our extremes are relatively contained, especially in contrast to our neighboring planets, for example, where we see data night swings of many hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit. That, of course, would be untenable for and it’s the atmosphere that is providing that stabilizing effect.

And it’s the effects of the heat-trapping carbon molecules like carbon dioxide and even methane that are helping preserve the temperature band in which you know, it’s good to be human on the planet. And so working with the soil and the plants, we have the opportunity to accelerate growth. We also it turns out to have the opportunity to literally reverse desertification all around the planet. We know some of the most challenging human crises such as what we’re seeing in the Middle East, are related to not only climate disruption but also soil destabilization and degradation. This middle eastern part of the world is what we refer to as the Fertile Crescent, right? Just in biblical times, just a couple of thousand years ago, this was a fertile and lush region of the planet and it has been turned to desert.

You could say we as a species could be called the desert making species. We’ve been doing a lot of deserts making these last few thousand years. But with these regenerative strategies, we actually have the knowledge to know how to reverse those trends. And where we see deserts today, we can create lush, soil-rich ecologies in the near future. And we also know that when there are more foliage and soil returning to otherwise arid regions, that interacts with the atmosphere in such a manner as to increase precipitation, increased rainfall, and in some cases, snowfall. So there are all of these virtuous, positive feedback loops that occur when we’re doing the regenerative work. And one of the things that bring me incredible joy and hope with the folks I’ve networked with and have the opportunity to talk within the work we’re doing through the wider community is knowing some of the regenerative projects that are now scaling.

I want to mention an author, Judith Schwartz, whose book, The Reindeer Chronicles was just published by Chelsea Green publishers. In it, she documents several large scale regeneration projects in a variety of locations, including China, Saudi Arabia, Norway, New Mexico, where folks are doing this exact work with soil and plants to sequester carbon and to restore precipitation levels and restore heavily degraded landscapes. This also has the added benefit of creating greater social dialogue and in many cases, creates a level of hope for didn’t previously have that hope, that really transforms lives of people of all ages. And, you know, one of the things I love mentioning about the soil is that we have in our soils worldwide, some 2500 billion tonnes of carbon. That’s about 2.5 trillion tons of carbon. And a mere 10% increase in that soil carbon worldwide is equivalent to sequestering all of the carbon that we’ve released since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, a 10% increase. So the work we have ahead of us in the coming years and decades, from my vantage point is crystal clear. And the beauty is we get to deploy these solutions at all scales. This includes things we do in our own home, our own kitchen, our own yard, our own community gardens, as well as deploying technologies and policy that affects regional, national and international scales as well.

“…there’s so much I can do in my own life, my day to day life, in my home, in my neighborhood, at my place of work, my place of worship. It’s with those kinds of empowering messages that we see a lot of folks coming out of what might otherwise be an ordinary educational or enrichment program with a new and heightened sense of passion and enthusiasm for making a real difference.”

Host Raj Daniels  18:16

That’s pretty amazing. Now I see that Y on Earth also has an ambassador program. Can you share some information regarding that program? And how a person might get involved in that?

Aaron William Perry  18:26

Absolutely, yes, on the website, we have a page that says Become an Ambassador. And if you click into that and engage with our organization, that way, you’ll embark upon a journey of collaboration with our core team and with ambassadors worldwide. And we’re actually right now in the process of up-leveling our ambassador framework, so that we provide even more robust tools, with special video resources and documentation made available exclusively to ambassadors. So that with their own communities, their own companies and places of work, they’re able to be agents of change, by collaborating with folks in that way. And we also have on the website, a global resources map that shows locations of our ambassadors of collaborating organizations of farms that we work with, and we do a fair bit with the biodynamic agricultural movement. And our podcast guests, you’ll see there’s a pretty diverse geographic region that we’re already working with, and that is poised now to expand substantially.

One of the things we’re developing that’ll I think be deployed this winter is a badge achievement framework so that we can further document and celebrate the ways our ambassadors are making change in their own lives, in their own communities. And so we’ll have a variety of badges made available for folks as they’re unlocking different achievements. And this can range from doing a soil activation experience to installing a permaculture garden, to hosting a book club or discussion group. And again, with all of our digital resources, we have a lot of information and inspiring content to pull from and are helping to empower those folks to be agents of change in their community.

Host Raj Daniels  20:36

So I will put a link to that program in the show notes. So anyone that’s interested can sign up or at least get in touch with you. Now, Aaron, when we were speaking offline, you mentioned you’ve given 175 presentations in the last three years, which is a lot of presentations and speaking in symposiums. And you’ve got some interesting topics here on your website. There’s a lot to go through here. But I’m going to pick a few that I’m interested in myself, so selfish reasons. But I’d like you to elaborate if you don’t mind doing so. 

Aaron William Perry  21:07

Happy to. 

Host Raj Daniels  21:08

So, What Our Grandparents Knew, and Science Now Knows, Too. Can you share a little bit about that one?

Aaron William Perry  21:14

Absolutely. This is actually one of my favorites, for a few reasons. My grandfather, who just passed actually the same year that Y on Earth was published, 2017, passed at the age of 99 and a half. He was a child of the Great Depression. And after growing up in those unbelievably challenging circumstances, like so many in his generation, joined the military to fight fascism in Europe. And he was on a B-17 crew that flew out of Britain, over mainland continental Europe several times a couple of dozen times, and was finally shot down and ended up a prisoner of the Nazis and was actually on the black march, where many, many, many men died along the way. And this was toward the end of the war, as the Russians were closing in from the east and the American, French and British were closing in from the west and Canadians and other allies. And so the Germans marched these men who are on the verge of starvation, hundreds of miles, with no food really, too. And my grandfather survived that and came out of the war, weighing only 95 pounds, and went on to live a full life with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I remember, as a kid, he would garden all the time, he’s always up in his garden, and I went up there and you know, as probably a lad of seven, eight years old, and, you know, had energy bouncing off the walls, and I wanted to just throw the football and run around. And I remember looking in and saying to my Grandpa, “Grandpa, why do you garden so much?” And he looked me right in the eyes. And he said, “because it makes me feel good.” And the way he looked at me in the way he said, that stuck with me all these years.

Now, what he was speaking to is a set of phenomena we now know pretty well through the science and the science has to do with the microbiome. And in the last 10 to 20 years, we have made incredible advances in our detecting and optical abilities to see very, very small living organisms, which not only populate our bodies but also populate the soil. And we know in our bodies that we have trillions of microorganisms. In fact, most of the living cells in our bodies are not human. In DNA, they are other microorganisms. In the soil, it’s similar. We have trillions in a handful of healthy, robust organic soil, we have trillions of living organisms. And we know that interacting physically with our hands in the soil, these microorganisms actually cross our permeable skin membranes and enter into our bloodstreams and actually affect things like serotonin production, while also affecting things like our immune system, and even our cognitive performance. There’s a whole lot of exciting science around all of this. And so what my grandfather understood from his own experience, but didn’t yet know in terms of the science, is that he was actually treating his own PTSD, from the war from those horrific experiences by getting his hands in the soil on a basically daily basis. And we now know the science supports that in a strong way. We see all kinds of efforts around the country, working with vets, for example, returning from zones of conflict, to help them with their neurobiochemical regulation and balancing. And so this is where the soil becomes so central to what we’re doing.

Soil is something we can all interact with, at some level in our communities, even in our biggest cities, there’s a park close by there something we can connect with. Of course, we’re seeing more and more community gardens, which is a movement we support in a big way. And that transdermal penetration of the microorganisms into our bodies is so important to our health and well being you could say from a biological perspective that we’ve evolved as creatures of the soil, indeed, our language points to this. So in the Latin, right, we have this word humus, which is soil. And it comes from this root from which we also get the word human. And we get the word humor and humility also from the same root. So there’s some wisdom in there for us to unpack.

I remember I was speaking with a rabbi about this a few years back, and she said, “oh, well, in the Hebrew, the creation story speaks of Adam, or a dom, being created from the soil or the clay, the a da ma. And of course, with over 50% of the planet identifying with the Abrahamic tradition of faith, the Jewish, the Christian, and the Muslim, this is an important story and part of our language route for us to really understand what does it mean to be human on this planet. And as we begin to unpack our heritages, whether we’re coming from Europe, or North America, or Asia or Africa or anywhere on the planet, we will have in our tradition, our traditional lifeways, teachings, and instructions that have a lot to do with ecological stewardship in how we work with the soils and the plants in our region. And in our modern Western technological society, it’s one of the things that a lot of us have got a long, long way from, and it’s one of the great opportunities we have right now in our lives to re-engage with. And composting is one of the keys that we can all engage with immediately. And I’d love Raj to share why composting is so important to have if you don’t mind a couple more minutes of me rambling about

Host Raj Daniels  27:13

No, no, please go right ahead.

Aaron William Perry  27:15

Composting is really interesting. There’s a great resource called Drawdown that Paul Hawken, along with a whole number of scientists and global leaders published in the last couple of years. Drawdown looks at the top strategies we have for decarbonizing the atmosphere, restabilizing atmospheric levels of carbon, and provides a list of the top 15 strategies by total atmospheric reduction potential. Interestingly, the number one is refrigerant management, it actually isn’t a fossil energy.

Number two is onshore wind turbines, for example, number three is reduced food waste. And it turns out that food waste worldwide generates so much volume of greenhouse gases that if it were a nation, it would actually be the third most emitting nation after only the United States and China in terms of climate impact. The issue is when food is decomposing in landfills, it is decomposing in anaerobic conditions, meaning there is not much oxygen available. And you get a certain set of microorganisms known as methanogens that do that decomposition work. As they’re doing that metabolic work, they are emitting themselves methane, CH4, the basis of what we call natural gas. A very small molecule that easily escapes back up through the layers of landfill and even member membranes and coverings of landfill into the atmosphere. We call that fugitive gas emission, and CH4 methane is some 19 to 23 times as potent as greenhouse gas, a heat-trapping gas as carbon dioxide. And so one of the things we can all be doing right now is reducing the amount of additional methane loading in the atmosphere by choosing to compost all of our kitchen scraps as opposed to sending it to the landfill via the trash.

Now, what happens when we choose to compost instead, is not only are we avoiding additional loading of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, we’re actually contributing to the virtuous cycles of soil generation and when we’re feeding compost piles, we’re literally feeding communities have trillions of microorganisms who are themselves, creating more soil and when that compost is spread throughout the landscape, it is creating additional nutrient-rich conditions for the plants so that they are going to pull more carbon out of the atmosphere than they otherwise would through their respiration activities. And they’re going to create sugars after the photosynthesis converts that sunlight into molecular energy there, those sugars are going to get secreted into the soil, further feeding the communities of soil microorganisms and further enhancing this beneficial feedback loop that occurs in regeneration. So literally, in our own homes, from morning till night, from coffee grounds all the way to the carrot tops and what have you from our dinners in the evening. All that can be composted, and it’s one of the ways we can each participate even further directly in working to heal our climate, our planet, and the ecosystems in which we’re residing.

Host Raj Daniels  30:55

So a couple of thoughts, I am familiar with Drawdown, one of my favorites from the list is educating women and girls specifically, I think that that makes the top 10. And regarding the composting, our COO Roshan Vani started composting earlier this year, and I think the rest of the team is getting in on it. And you mentioned coffee grounds. So every morning I take my coffee grounds outside with water and I water my plants.

Aaron William Perry  31:22

Yes, that’s excellent in the roses in particular, like coffee grounds. Coffee grounds will affect the pH of soil. And with the acid-loving plants. They’re great to load up with coffee grounds, some of the others you might want to be a bit more sparing in the application. However, if you’re putting all this in the compost piles, the organisms in the compost piles themselves are going to transform and balance pH and other things. So yeah, it’s excellent you guys are doing that. I love hearing that Raj. It’s wonderful news.

….in our own homes, from morning till night, from coffee grounds all the way to the carrot tops and what have you from our dinners in the evening. All that can be composted, and it’s one of the ways we can each participate even further directly in working to heal our climate, our planet, and the ecosystems in which we’re residing.

Host Raj Daniels  31:55

We appreciate it. And out of respect for time, I’m going to pick one more from this list but I highly recommend people with this list restoring our oikos.

Aaron William Perry  32:09

Yeah, this is really one of my favorites. Oikos is a Greek word, ancient Greek word. And it means home. It implies community. In our homes back in the ancient Greek world, the front room would have been also called an Oikos. So it would refer to the entire house as well as the front room where we would receive neighbors and friends. And it has this sense of connectivity to others built into the meaning of the word. Interestingly, this is the root word, etymologically speaking, from which our word economy and our word ecology are derived. Oikos. So both economy and ecology are effectively the sciences of understanding and managing and stewarding our homes. And this can be extended to the planetary scale, of course.

This is one of the core themes explored in the book Y on Earth, which I really invite your audience to check out as I mentioned that code NEXUS10 will provide a 10% discount on the ebook version, as well as the audiobook version of Y on Earth and it will also give you a discount on our soil stewardship Handbook, which is our quick and dirty look at why soil matters in terms of our health and well being our neuro biochemistry and of course, climate stabilization. And then we also have a series of children’s books, celebrating soil, celebrating honeybees. And the newest celebrating water should be out in a few months. Those are also available as ebooks, so the code will work on all of those.

This theme of Oikos is so important because it really for me helps to stay grounded and rooted in the understanding that it is in my home and from there outward, that I can be the most powerful change-maker in the world. The more we can do to detoxify in our homes and to work in these soil cycles and to source organic and regenerative food and clothing products, the more we’re able as a nexus to help affect the kind of change rippling out through the mechanisms of the economy as well as our communities and social structures to help encourage and inspire others to make similar changes. So yes, Raj, I’m so happy you asked about Oikos and I talk about it quite a bit further in the book and the final chapter. It’s a book that covers these topics in 33 chapters. The final chapter is called culture and speaks to what you and I and many others have right before us in terms of opportunities for positive change in our world. And indeed, you and I right now are helping to transform culture through this very conversation.

Host Raj Daniels  35:02

Absolutely. Now, I’ve got a sense of who you are. But I’m going to ask the question because you mentioned, ancestors, you mentioned your grandfather, specifically, the crux of our conversation is the why behind what you do. Now, you obviously you’re very educated you researched well. But all this time, energy, and resources you’ve put behind Y on Earth? What’s your why, what drives you? What keeps you motivated?

Aaron William Perry  35:26

Thank you for asking that. Raj. That’s a wonderful question. My children are a big part of the answer. My daughter is not quite 23, she’s about a month out from her birthday. And a very gifted scientist, studying neuroscience and heading in the medical direction. And my son is 18, and he’s studying architecture and environmental design and is a very gifted designer. Knowing that what we’re doing now is going to have such tremendous influence on their futures and the futures of their children. That is a primary motivator for me.

Also, as a kid, a child into my teen years, I had some opportunities to have some extraordinary experiences in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. I talked about this a little bit in the introduction to the book, Y on Earth, on through high school and college working with folks in the sustainability arena, the economics arena, the energy sector, the agriculture sector, and even traditional ceremonial lifeways participating in a number of different sacred ceremonies, all of that has converged to inform me that it’s imperative I do what I can to help in what ways I can regarding these incredible challenges that we’re facing that might seem intractable, but probably actually aren’t. And that really understanding that as more and more of us awaken to the possibility of tremendous change in healing and regeneration in our world. It is that very phenomenon that creates a higher likelihood that we’re going to be able to get through some of these tremendous challenges that we’re facing. And so my motivation, my why, and I love the question, because the beginning of the book asks, What’s your Y? Has to do with those things.

In some of our native traditions, we talk about seven generations. This is a phrase that, you know, many of us are familiar with. And I remember over many years think, gosh, thinking about seven generations from now that seems so abstract, what you know, what a strange timeframe to focus on. And then one day, it just hit me that, oh, my gosh, I knew some of my great grandparents. If I’m fortunate enough to know some of my great-grandchildren, that is a span of seven generations. And so now to think ahead, that decisions we’re making now are going to affect not only are great-grandchildren but theirs as well, that’s thinking ahead seven generations. And that is part of the call, and imperative. I believe we can all awaken to, as we understand our place as human beings on this amazing planet earth, and our role as stewards in our ecosystems. And from a cultural perspective, Raj, it has become clear to me that that stewardship function really is at the core of our human beingness on earth, and that we can each choose to incorporate that more in our lives right now, and as a result, experience a much higher quality of life and also perhaps, greater meaning and joy and sense of peace and well being in our day to day.

The more we can do to detoxify in our homes and to work in these soil cycles and to source organic and regenerative food and clothing products, the more we’re able as a nexus to help affect the kind of change rippling out through the mechanisms of the economy as well as our communities and social structures to help encourage and inspire others to make similar changes.

Host Raj Daniels  39:10

Aaron. I think that’s a beautiful why. I want to switch gears here a little bit. 2025, what does the future hold for Y on Earth? 

Aaron William Perry  39:22

We’re, at that point in time, likely, working with thousands of ambassadors worldwide, and collaborating with a whole host of companies and organizations. To name a few. We’re already collaborating with Dr. Bronner’s with the Rodale Institute. And they’re part of an initiative with Patagonia and Demeter and others, launching a regenerative organic certification for food and agriculture.

One of the things folks don’t yet totally understand is that our carbon loading in the atmosphere is not just from the burning of fossil energy resources, but it’s also from the chemical poisoning of agricultural lands. We’ve been applying so many biocides to millions and millions and millions of otherwise fertile acres, that we’ve literally been burning off soil. And as those biological communities in the soil die off, more carbon is released into the atmosphere. So the healing of soils is central to where we’re heading in these next few years.

By 2025. It is possible Raj, that we will have taken the toxic chemicals out of agriculture, and will have learned to deploy beneficial biological microorganism cultures back into these millions of acres of breadbasket regions all around the world, including our Midwest, and restore those ecologies, thereby not only enhancing the quality and nutrition of the food but also diminishing the pollution runoff aggregating in the river delta is all around the world, we have dead zones at the mouths of most of the major rivers of the world at this point. And also restoring the virtuous cycles of carbon and plant carbon sequestration that helps stabilize climate.

We think in the next few years, we’re gonna see the will of the global community mobilized on such massive scale, that we’re going to experience and participate in regeneration activities at incredible magnitude, perhaps even challenging to envision and imagine right now. But that the key under all of this is not so much the technical challenges, but it’s really about culture and psychology and the mobilization of will through the channels of policy, and through the decision making in private companies and publicly traded corporations and other organizations. So that’s all a question of leadership, and of what we each choose in our own lives to take on and understanding our responsibilities as a human being.

Host Raj Daniels  42:11

If you could share some advice or words of wisdom with the audience, what would it be?

Aaron William Perry  42:30

Absolutely. I love this question, Raj. And in the soil stewardship Handbook, there’s actually a set of calls to action provided. I would say this, I would say, compost if you’re not already composting. If you haven’t already, look at detoxifying what you have in your kitchen, under the sink, your cleaning products, what you’re using in your bathrooms, and consider your connection with soil and with plants. And the way in which that interdependency allows your life to be possible here on this amazing planet. And to ask yourself, if the techniques and the strategies for healing our planet and our communities were available to you, would you choose to mobilize and take action with that knowledge?

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Raj Daniels