The great majority of people – including scientists – are in no doubt about Climate Change affecting our planet and man-made Global Warming as the main cause of the changes we see. In spite of this, one cannot avoid hearing the opinions of the so-called climate deniers voicing their opinions through all kinds of media, because they are backed by entities with great interests in continuing burning fossil fuels. Huge funds have been invested in infrastructure designed for continuing doing this, and the investors want profits from these investments.
These voices create doubts among many people and are used as excuse for little or no action by some of those in power. The scary facts about Global Warming is that it is happening in any case. The only question is how fast our planet will heat up. Inaction or direct obstruction is therefore a sure way to make matters worse. As so often is the case, the billions of people in the poor part of the world will be hit the worst by Global Warming, as they have been through yet a year of never- before-seen temperatures, droughts, wildfires or floods.
The Gaia-Movement is taking the consequence of this fact, and sees the main issue as helping people to adapt to the coming changes, while at the same time attempting to mitigate global warming where possible.
It will be necessary to concentrate funds and forces in selected areas to create sufficient impact. This means experimenting with innovative ways of organizing people, production and lives with the result of people adapting and not only surviving but moving forward in spite of all odds. The examples must then be spread to other communities around the pioneering ones. Conventional ways will not be sufficient to break paths through the challenging times.
Read about the projects of The Gaia-Movement in our 2014-15 Annual Report
Read more about the various Gaia projects and also terminated projects by choosing from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Why adapting to Climate Change is needed
As virtually any farmer worldwide will tell you, and as the great majority of scientists tell us, there is no doubt that we need to prepare for more difficult times. This means we need to adapt to a hotter world with more unpredictable weather and a world where many people will have less freshwater available. As you can read on the following pages, the Gaia-Movement contributes to such adaptation within these areas:
One way to prepare for agricultural production in a warmer world is to go from monoculture of annual crops to agroforestry systems where various crops are grown together and some of these are shrubs or trees. Such agroforestry systems are better suited to overcome droughts, strong winds or heavy downpours.
New food crops and crop varieties
It will be necessary to experiment with new crops and new varieties of known crops to be able to produce food in the future. The best of the existing varieties have to be selected and multiplied, and new varieties will need to be developed. The farming practices best suited for the local area must be found, recipes developed and people need to get used to eating differently. This long-term process must start now.
Better water management
Many parts of the world will experience shortages of freshwater. We will need affordable systems to use water efficiently for food production and we will need local communities to decide what they must do to preserve their local water resources.
A healthy and living soil is essential for crop production – especially under difficult circumstances. We must provide the soil with food for all its microorganisms in the form of compost and other organic material, and we must reduce soil erosion with contours, vetiver grass, bamboo, trees, etc.
Why mitigate Global Warming
Much is needed to reduce the impact of Global Warming and although no substantial reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases will take place as long as there are strong economic interests in continuing the burning of fossil fuels, we need to promote activities that reduce such emissions. As you can read on the following pages, the Gaia-Movement contributes to such mitigation:
Carbon neutral energy systems
A number of energy systems are carbon neutral – meaning that they do not contribute CO2 or other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
On of the most efficient ways to store carbon and thus reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is by planting trees and ensuring that degraded natural areas are protected from being cut down or burned and instead become covered by healthy vegetation.
Biogas is produced when organic material ferments inside a container, and this gas can then be burned for cooking, for sterilizing clinic instruments or added to the fuel that powers a generator, thus reducing emissions.
Solar energy is abundant in most countries of the Third World, and due to falling prices it is now in many places cheaper to produce electricity from solar panels than from a generator run by fossil fuels.
Fuel saving stoves
Less firewood or charcoal is used when burned in a fuel-saving stove. This therefore reduces the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere, while also improving the local tree cover.