During Humanity Risings 12-day broadcast on COP 26, we learned about the importance of the Rain Forest. 

On the day of the Grand Finale Rob Laet wrote this impassioned email, and we have received permission to publish it as below. The relevance for cities is obvious – in order for us to breathe, we depend on the Amazon Rain Forest – and understanding its ecology helps us to appreciate the intricate web of life in which we live.

Dear Jim and Humanity Rising

You and Humanity Rising are a force to reckon with, thank you and all of you what you are doing. The governments of the world are past their expiry date, they just didn’t get the message yet as they have not gotten so many messages in the last few decades. COP26 releases us of the social contract with them as they do not serve the preservation of our children and life in general on our beautiful, living, intelligent Planet.
We, the adults and elders, need to step aside and be in service to the climate youth. They can form a movement of movements of regeneration in alliance with the Indigenous peoples and the global to lead the regeneration of our communities, of Nature and our Planet and maybe most of all heal our hearts from generations of trauma. We have the resources, we have the solutions, we should not wait for anyone because as Bill McKibben would say :

Winning this fight slowly equals losing it. 

My particular role is to support the regeneration of the Amazon Rainforest, starting at scale within years. I have worked 2,5 years to design a plan that makes that feasible.
If it is lost, we have lost; if we can make it there, we can make it anywhere.
For those who resonate with that short message, I humbly invite you to come and listen to this story that brings resources to the Indigenous people and rural poor in the area to regenerate with millions the tropical zones, sequesters carbon at huge scale and calms and cools the climate.

One last message:

the most important greenhouse gas is, as you know, not CO2 but water vapor. We do not focus on it, because water’s movements are complex and difficult to study especially in the sky. I leave you with this blog of Antonio Nobre, brother of the famous climate scientist and Nobel prize winner Carlos Nobre, who shows that the world is underestimating the cooling capacity of forests several fold over. In part we are barking up the wrong tree for solutions. Of course we need to decarbonize the economy as fast as possible, of course the energy transition needs to be accelerated, of course we need to make our food system carbon negative and localize it.

But do not underestimate the role of forest – we do so at our own peril.

Forests serving the climate

With Love & Gratitude,

Rob de Laet