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Walter Jehne: Cooling the Climate

An Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

Hint: it's not all about CO2 !

Global warming is a reality.

Many people feel it‘s urgent to reach the goal of the 2015 Paris Accord and stop temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels — so do an increasing number of political and business leaders. This year the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, and the British Parliament, all declared aClimate Emergency. The renewables industry is growing fast in spite of the opposition.

We need to start cooling the planet, and soon: within the next ten years.

Yes, we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere day after day.

No, the dominant greenhouse gas is not carbon dioxide, it’s not even methane. CO2 governs about 20% of the greenhouse effect. That's all.

So what is going on, and what can we do about it?

Australia is systematically being made arid and hot by unwise agricultural and land management practices. Chief among these is tree clearing, which breaks the hydrological link, the link between soil and rain. Rain does notfollow the plough, that's an old myth — it follows the trees.

To cool the planet we must work with the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapour. Water governs 95% of the heat dynamics of our planet. We’ve been ignoring its role in climate control for far too long.

Walter Jehne will explain practical ways to restore the hydrological cooling system AND restore the “soil carbon sponge” AND draw down massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere AND regenerate our soils AND enhance agricultural productivity.


Renewables Innovation Hub, Ground Floor, 19–23 Moore Street, Turner, Canberra


$15 full price, $8 concession


Walter Jehne is a retired scientist with a specialist back­ground in soil micro-biology and plant ecology. He has worked in Australia and overseas, and retired from the CSIRO some 15 years ago to concentrate on regenerating Australia's landscape and improving its agricultural and pastoral sectors. He is also a member of The Mulloon Institute’s Science Advisory Council.

He is passionate about educating farmers, policymakers and others about the “soil carbon sponge” and its crucial role in reversing and mitigating flooding, drought, wildfires, and searing global temperatures. He shows how we can safely cool the climate and restore essential biodiversity by repairing our disrupted hydrological cycles. We thus return excess carbon to the soils, where it can build a sponge that soaks up water and revives the biosphere.

His ideas are gaining international attention. In 2017 he took part in an invitation-only United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization conference in Paris aimed at bringing soil into the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Later this year he has been invited to India to present at a conference on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), a promising method of farming which uses no-till, no-chemical methods and only local materials to regenerate the soils.