Yes, the environment is taking it on the chin in many areas of the world. But there is one special group that you should know about is making some real environmental progress – and that is The Nature Conservancy. Here are some of the high points of what it calls its “natural climate solutions:”

    • It is working with fishing communities in Peru to reverse years of decline in their fisheries by instituting programs of size limits, catch limits and temporarily closing some areas to fishing.
    • Its experts and scientists are now joining with investors and high-tech entrepreneurs to find solutions for big environmental problems.
    • It worked with the City of New York to plant an additional million trees. Why is that important? Because the trees not only cool the air, but also soak up rainwater, thus helping to prevent flash flooding and reduce stormwater runoff by about 69 million cubic feet per year. And the additional trees will also remove an additional 51,000 tons of carbon and 1,100 tons of pollutants from the air each year. So trees are beautiful both inside and out! Now it is TNC’s goal is to plant 1 billion healthy trees across the world by 2025.
    • TNC has teamed up with the National Geographic Society and a commission that works with the governments in three countries to protect the waters of the Okavango Delta, which is one of Africa’s largest seasonal desert oases, by conserving upriver lands in the watershed to ensure the delta continues to receive enough water.
    • It is working with fishing communities in Oregon and Washington to experiment with new fish traps that are designed to catch abundant lingcod, but allow overfished yelloweye rockfish to swim free.
    • It has caused white posts to be placed in rural Wyoming where muledeer cross highways, thus warning the deer of danger by amplifying the headlights of oncoming vehicles. So far this has been shown as a low cost way to reduce fatalities both to the deer and to motorists.
    • TNC and its partners have developed a network of offshore nurseries that grow staghorn coral to replenish coral reefs in the Florida Keys and elsewhere in the world. As one of its lead scientists said: “We’ve grown from small field programs to really having a global footprint.”
    • Two years ago TNC inspired the fishing communities in Papua New Guinea to close access to certain areas thus allowing sea cucumbers to rejuvenate. Sea cucumbers are truly efficient at sucking up sand and silt like a vacuum, then they filter out the edible bits and poo out whatever is left. All of this leads to more productive seagrass beds, helps build coral reefs and creates buffers against localized ocean acidification, which results in more sustainable fisheries. In addition, TNC helped them form a coop, which allowed the fishing community to sell directly to the wholesalers, thereby increasing their earnings by about 150 percent.

So why talk about The Nature Conservancy in our series about Liberty?  Because this yet again demonstrates how the private sector is often so much more effective in obtaining good and sustainable results than are governments – environmentally and otherwise!

Five More Reasons Why English is Weird:

    • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    • Since there is no time like the present, she thought it was time to present the present.
    • A bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
    • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    • I did not object to the object.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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