A conversation with Marcel de Berg, founder of Green Water Cools, about the cooling potential of green water, avoiding regrets and focusing a bit of our attention and resources on restoring water cycles, biodiversity, and more.
After 25.000 hours of research Marcel concluded that the cooling potential of green water fare out paces the less heating of CO2 reductions. So why don’t we switch on this massive airco cooler? What is holding back the systems investors, the investors pension funds, insurance companies, etc. that rely on a thriving global system which seems to be under threat? What language do we need to use to get institutional investors onboard? Not shaming, or trying to convince them to stop focussing on carbon, but maybe offering them a free climate insurance, just in case carbon isn’t the only important part of the atmosphere and just in case green water can cool down the planet. Let’s make sure we don’t have regrets and focus a bit of our attention and resources on restoring water cycles and biodiversity. And even if that didn’t cool down the planet, it will have stored a lot of carbon!
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
This episode is part of the Water Cycles series, supported by The Nest, where we interview the dreamers and doers who are using the latest technology to figure out where to intervene first. They are making or trying to make the investment and return calculations. so what is missing, what is holding us back? Maybe we lack the imagination to back them and try regeneration at scale.
WATER IS A MORE IMPORTANT COOLING FACTOR THAN THE HEAT OF CARBON
We have a passive and a very active air conditioning system, which comes from organic aerosols that are produced by life in the soil and biodiversity that produce the organic aerosols that formed the nuclei. And if you don’t have life in the soil, you don’t have enough biodiversity, you’re missing one essential building block, performing water droplets, forming fairly reflective clouds, therefore, you have less cooling capacity of Earth.
”He [Lester] said our civilisation went down and not due to too much CO2 but due to water. And he said it’s not about the drinking water that is causing the problem. But it’s the long- distance transport of water to nature. This was the first time I heard about that angle.” – Marcel de Berg
”He said I’ve got a hypothesis that the humans by destroying nature have caused temperature rise. That was starting off a large journey. Because I said, I believe you, and he gets also information on a very quantum level about water vapour going back to water and then energy has been released, etc. I said I believe you. But when I now go to the financial sector, they will call me a lunatic. And because nobody’s thinking about that, so that was six years ago. And then before I knew it, I was playing chess on 14 different boards, because it’s really a holistic view.” – Marcel de Berg
IT’S NOT ONLY CARBON
With the knowledge we now have on the role of biodiversity, the loss of biodiversity causes an increase in temperature. When you bring back the biodiversity, we will lower the temperature.
”You have to be very careful when you say it’s not only carbon, you can become a climate denier. […] It’s very simple when you have one choice to make. Are we going to restore nature, yes or no? If you’re going to restore nature, and we are right, nature is also a cooling effect, then it’s hallelujah. Because when you restore nature, you reach your climate goals much faster, cheaper, more social perspective and less risk. So, hallelujah. If we are not right, there’s no harm done whatsoever, because during that process, if sequestered harvest a lot of carbon. So there’s no downside.” – Marcel de Berg
”If you look from a global perspective, Africa, and of course also the Amazon, is sitting on huge cooling power because it’s a fairly large desert area, there was a lot of forest in it, and you can restore a lot of forests. […] But it’s not connected to the oceans. So, you work together and then you lower the asset risks for institutional investors for the global world. But then what happens if you use development money for that? Then, first of all, you create social benefits over there. So, people are having a better income, better life.”- Marcel de Berg
WHILE TALKING TO INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS, MINIMISE REGRETS IS A CRUCIAL ANGLE
According to Marcel, the decision-makers have to make a paradigm shift and that’s the hardest thing. They need to get out of their comfort zone thinking that it’s all only about carbon dioxide and look into a minimising regrets approach. ‘We’re not certain 100%, but we’re also not 100% certain about carbon dioxide. You don’t want to gamble with the future.’
”If you have a mix of capital, and so it’s not only pension capital and insurance capital, but also family offices, […] if you’ve got governments on board, you’ve got agricultural sector on board, and bring those together, and you say, wait a minute, we can minimise our requests, let’s create a free climate insurance policy.” – Marcel de Berg
”And then we now have to compute the power. We know how things influence each other. And if we can integrate the economics, the social parts, and the nature elements and combine them, we can show what’s coming out of it. From a minimising regret perspective, we never have any regrets whatsoever. And of course, in the end, it’s always a social problem because somebody has to pay the bill. And underlying all those challenges nowadays is perhaps one element of inequality.” – Marcel de Berg
OTHER POINTS DISCUSSED
Koen and Marcel also talked about:
- What’s holding back institutional investors
- Doing investments in the value chain
- Risks and benefits of AI neural networks
- Neal Spackman – Why it is so difficult to get truly regenerative water and ecosystem restoring projects funded
- Alpha Lo – What if water is more important than carbon
- Millán Millán – Farm water at its proper scale
- Water Cycles series
- Walter Jehne, stop talking about carbon emissions and focus on restoring the water cycle
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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.