Judith D Schwartz on why our current economic framework is completely inadequate for regeneration at scale

The landscapes around us are a reflection of our consciousness and wealth is found in our functional ecosystems. The author Judith D. Schwartz joins us once again to discuss her new book, The Reindeer Chronicles, wherein she dives deep into regeneration at a large scale. Looking at examples in Saudi Arabia, Spain, China and Mexico, she documents that it is absolutely possible to create abundant landscapes. This poses the question of why we aren’t doing that today everywhere. 


Is it true that many of us secretly don’t believe or can’t imagine that abundance is actually possible? We dive into all that in this exciting episode. 

The Reindeer Chronicles

The Reindeer Chronicles is a global tour of earth repair. It also serves as a tribute to some of the unsung heroes pushing the boundaries of ecological restoration. This goes to show that even the world’s most wounded places can be revived. Judith discusses what has motivated her into writing this book:

“One of the things that has motivated me was seeing incredible work that wasn’t being highlighted in the general public conversation. The other thing was the conversation about climate, the opportunities that we have just kind of left dormant. And the main thing is that so far in our conversations about climate, we have neglected the role of functioning, healthy ecosystems in climate regulation.” – Judith D Schwartz

Landscape Size Restoration is Possible

The restoration of the Loess Plateau in China is an extraordinary story that shows the incredible potential to restore large-scale damaged ecosystems. The inspiring story of John D. Liu has helped transform this plateau through the use of agroecology and agroforestry.

The story can serve as a reminder, looking at these gigantic projects of landscapers regeneration, that landscape restoration is absolutely possible.

“We’re talking about restoring landscapes and ecosystems. We know that it is possible. We know that there is this huge amount of work that needs to be done. It’s hard work sometimes, but it’s also joyful work because what can be more rewarding than watching land heal? We are land-based creatures. We evolved in ecosystems. We evolved in relation to our landscape. So there is a part of us that just hums to this kind of work.” – Judith D Schwartz

Abundant Mindset is Key

People are feeling disconnected from the landscape, as they deem these lands can no longer provide for them. Judith wants to change the mindset and help people rally around the landscapes by starting food programs, permaculture sites, and food forests. She wants to create opportunities wherein people can celebrate what we are abundant in regards to our environments rather than focusing on what we lack in.

“In the United States, we’re seeing billionaires and their wealth growing dramatically, even as the ordinary person is struggling more by the month. This is what I see as the end point of the scarcity mindset. It’s a mindset that you need to keep accumulating something because it is scarce. Wealth is scarce. ‘If I don’t build my wealth, someone else will.’ When you’re looking at things with a scarcity mindset, you’re actually depriving yourself of the opportunities to give and to share.” – Judith D Schwartz

Landscapes are a Reflection of our Consciousness

Judith aims for investors to understand from Reindeer Chronicles that wealth is in functioning ecosystems. Landscapes that we view as wastelands are actually opportunities and reflections of one’s consciousness. She reminds that in terms of land and the potential of biodiversity in land, there is so much wealth, one just needs to reestablish the connection within it.

“Landscapes are a reflection of our consciousness. I think that is a really powerful understanding. When you have a degraded landscape, we can’t help but feel a sense of scarcity and lack. Whereas, if we have a flourishing landscape, we’re more likely to feel a sense of peace and balance and a sense of connection with our surroundings.”  – Judith D Schwartz

Other Important Points Discussed

Koen and Judith also discussed in the episode:

  • What Judith would do if she were in charge of a $1 Billion investment portfolio tomorrow morning
  • What Judith believes to be true about regenerative agriculture that others don’t
  • How Judith believes we can further regenerate the landscape
  • What Judith was surprised the most through her research and travels for the Reindeer Chronicles

To know more about Judith D Schwartz and how you can help in the restoration of our landscapes, download and listen to this episode.


Judith D. Schwartz is an author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance. She takes a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems. She writes for numerous publications, including The American Prospect, The Guardian, Discover, Scientific American, and YaleE360. Her latest book, “The Reindeer Chronicles”, is a global tour of earth repair, featuring stops in Norway, Spain, Hawai’i, New Mexico, and beyond. 


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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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5 comments on “Judith D Schwartz on why our current economic framework is completely inadequate for regeneration at scale

  1. What Judith is talking about here makes , not just commonsense but very good sense. Both humans and animals thrive in a wooded or open parkland. We need to make a very important transition away from industrial agriculture to a system based on eco systems.. In the long term this will produce us and our animals more than enough food.

  2. Koenvanseijen says:

    Yes absolutely! Turns out to be a huge barrier, not being able to think and see abundance…

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