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Do Elephant Footprints Counter our Carbon Stomp?

Did you know that if we don't reduce our carbon emissions by 2030, and the increasing amounts of carbon in the atmosphere being absorbed by seas, oceans, and lakes causing climate change, we will not be able to reverse these changes and they will get worse?

The world's first carbon emission plant was built in Iceland last year to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it underground. However, it only removes 4000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per year, about the same amount exuded by 300 Americans. So we would need millions of these ugly-looking metallic buildings across the world's landscape to make a difference.

Before you give up hope, let's consider keystone animals like elephants - the world's best gardeners. They are able to provide answers to counter climate change because as they feed:

- They clear forests so bigger trees can grow, and

- Their poop has seeds in it and a pad of fertilizer for even more trees o grow.

Rainforests can reduce carbon emission in the atmosphere by 3 billion tonnes, which is equivalent to Frances's total CO2 emission for 27 years!


The elephant population used to number 100 million but the population of elephants has been reduced worldwide to a tenth and they are now critically endangered.

Economist Ralph Cham director of the International Monetary Fund says we can only protect elephants and forests by putting a price tag on them

We can get $30,000 for their meat and tusks, but they are worth:

$2,000,000 for their services as keystone animals to remove carbon emissions

Thus we should rather look to natural places in the world that are doing a better job, for example, rainforests, that reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 100-300 million tonnes per year.

Fabbio Berzaghi, Ecologist and Environmental Scientist did a comparative research study in the Congo Basin looking at the decline in rainforests where elephants have gone extinct, compared to those where elephants still live. Results published in Nature Geoscience showed that the forests where the elephants were extinct had decreased by 7% in biomass, which amounts to a loss of 3 billion tonnes of carbon emission removal per year.

He used his results to collaborate with Ralph Cham who was at the time studying effective carbon emission services of the blue whale, showing the economic value of a dead whale as being $40,000 for oil and meat, compared to

$40 million alive as a carbon emission service

Governments and Corporates are already paying money towards planting trees and restoring wetlands but no one has invested in keystone animals who help grow forests. Ralph and Fabbio realized they had to come up with a value proposition for elephants to offer to economic markets so that they would buy into the protection of elephants.

A British Entrepreneur is suggesting a business plan:

Wahid Al Saggaf CEO of Rebalance Earth is suggesting cameras be placed strategically in forests, elephants IDed and data put on a private blockchain so individual carbon credits of each animal can be credited and paid for by the government, corporate buy-ins who see the value, to protect the animals and the forests.

This business plan could also be applied to other animals like the orangutans in Gabon, where instead of money gained from growing palm oil plants, the animals and forests could be protected as carbon emission service providers.


I am reflecting on whether it would be helpful to expand their work with a greater ecosystemic impact on animals and people.

I have felt heartsore to see the impact of climate change on a Masai village of 60 adults and children on the outskirts of Amboseli National Park, as well as the elephants who are dying from starvation.

The Masai, who we look to as conservationists who know how to live interdependently with the wildlife they share their existence with and for examples of enriched organizational culture and values, have been significantly impacted by increasing severity and longevity of droughts and delayed rains, worse than they have ever had to contend with in their history owing to climate change. In the past, they managed seasonal changes, but now droughts and delayed rains for the 5th year in a row are stretching their resources to the extent most people go to sleep hungry, and cow after dow is dying.

I hope that by using some of the same business plans integrated by Ralph, Fabbio, and Wahid this time with the elephants in Amboseli National Park to reduce de-forestation on the sides of Mount Kilimanjaro and the dramatic climate change caused by our ever-increasing carbon emissions, we could also grow sweet sorghum to feed man and beast.

Sweet sorghum is a plant that can provide:

- Food for people as it can be eaten like oatmeal or porridge

- Fodder for cattle

- Food for bees and chickens

- It is drought resistant, aids the combat of soil erosion, and can be grown in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. It can also thrive in arid areas

- Biofuel to combat deforestation

- Select varieties of sorghum bran have greater antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than well-known foods such as blueberries and pomegranates, and

- Sorghum syrup as a sweetener has more calories per tablespoon than sugar, and is about equal to honey

I would value those with knowledge in regenerative gardening and climate change to make comments:

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