FAQ - What is Geotherapy & its role in climate change mitigation?

#1  What is Geotherapy?

#2  What role does Geotherapy play in climate change mitigation?

#3  What data are available on the role of agricultural and forestry approaches to climate change mitigation?


"As a system of thought, geotherapy has a bio-philosophical basis. It views Earth as a deregulated system that requires treatment to assure its survival and health. Geotherapy can, of course, be considered a form of adaptation. It focuses on deciding what ought to be done to encourage Earth to survive and become healthy. Since some kinds of survival are better than others, it is necessary to make explicit choices,"  wrote Dr. Richard Grantham, 1992.

#1  Grantham (1922-2009) was a European evolutionary biologist and environmentalist writing from the I’lnstitut d’Evolution Moleculaire at Universite Claude Bernard Lyon in France.  Geotherapy appears to have been first coined in 1991, depicting Grantham's philosophical realization that life on earth required healing action from the human family and that to do so was an explicit choice.  

Since the 1990s, geotherapy has evolved into a broad approach to include the many kinds of eco-restoration.  Many credit Thomas J. Goreau, Ronal W. Larson, and Joanna Campe for putting the term Geotherapy on the map in 2014 with the release of their book "Geotherapy:  Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase." 






#2  That same year, an editorial on Geoengineering in the European Tribune argued:

 "In the last couple of years, a joint Harvard and MIT group has been meeting to discuss this topic and the enormous intellectual effort devoted to rather simplistic solutions to complex systems problems is astonishing to me, especially since there seems to be such a great reluctance to engage on the systems issues.  Recently, some friends and colleagues have begun trying to remedy the situation, focusing on the global carbon cycle and, in particular, soil carbon."   

Among several intriguing research avenues, the editorial drew special attention to the research conference series sponsored by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, which included:

2015  https://bio4climate.org/conferences/cambridge/  

2015  https://bio4climate.org/conferences/washington-dc/  

2015  https://bio4climate.org/conferences/tufts-2015-restoring-water-cycles/

2016  http://bio4climate.org/conferences/harvard-conference-april-30-2016/ 

2016  http://bio4climate.org/oceans-2016/ 

2017  https://bio4climate.org/conferences/landscape-heroes-carbon-water-and-biodiversity/

2017  http://bio4climate.org/scenario-300/




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#2  Some researchers in the U.S. and many international teams note that there are significant opportunities to mitigate climate change through approaches taken in how land is used, especially for agriculture and forestry.  While some debate the magnitude of the potential impact, there appears to be promising data that attention to this sector can make a notable contribution.  To the extent that the challenge of mitigating climate change is too huge and too complex to be adequately addressed by a magic bullet, any failure to give serious attention to these data seems seriously flawed.  In "Modelling forest carbon stock changes as affected by harvest and natural disturbances. II. EU-level analysis" by Roberto Pilli, Giacomo Grassi, Werner A. Kurz, Jose V. Moris, and Raúl Abad Viñas [Carbon Balance and Management, 2016, 11:20,  DOI: 10.1186/s13021-016-0059-4, wrote:

"Forests and the forest sector may play an important role in mitigating climate change. The Paris Agreement and the recent legislative proposal to include the land use sector in the EU 2030 climate targets reflect this expectation...  The aim of this paper is to provide a tool at EU level for verifying the EU GHGI and for simulating specific policy and forest management scenarios."  

"To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive study of its kind at EU level, i.e., including all the forest pools HWP and natural disturbances, and a comparison with the EU GHGI. The results provide the basis for possible future policy-relevant applications of this model, e.g., as a tool to support GHGIs (e.g., on accounting for natural disturbances) and to verify the EU GHGI, and for the simulation of specific scenarios at EU level.

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