INTERVIEW WITH Dr. Reese Halter (Earth Dr.)
(Eco-stress physiologist specialising in Earth's life support systems; conservation biologist, an award-winning broadcaster and prolific writer)
“Vast areas under the sea and on land are dead from extreme heat and droughts. It's a matter of our survival to protect the living pockets of our mother, Nature, in order to survive the coming decade(s)"
Nature gives us air, water, food and land for all animals and plants. Man is destroying Nature at an unprecedented rate. Razing forests, poisoning agricultural soils and all waterways with man-made deadly chemicals and petroleum-based plastics. Less than a quarter of all ancient forests remain. 44,000 floating slaughterhouses are non-stop vacuuming the oceans of all life. Fossil fuels have destroyed the climate. Today, there are more consumers than producers on Earth. The sixth mass extinction is accelerating at least 1,000 times faster than the previous five others.
Together we must all protect what remains of Nature from total annihilation. Remembering the sagacious words of Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. Educating the children is the key for man's survival. Dr. Jane Goodall reminds us that, “Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved”.
Dr. Reese Halter is an eco-stress physiologist. He specialises in earth's life support systems. With four decades of science and broadcasting experience, we caught up with him for an in-depth interview from California.
Subscribe to Long Term Economy Blog to discover and be updated on all the articles and news about sustainability and Long Term Economy made by our bloggers.
Subscribe to Long Term Economy newsletter and/or become part of the Long Term Economy movement.
INTERVIEW - (September 2018)
Subject: Significance of Sustainable Conservation of Natural Resources
- Man is destroying everything and polluting the biosphere at a rate never before witnessed. Man produces 250 billion metric tons of poisons per year.
- Fracking is poisoning fresh water globally. Fresh water is the lifeblood of our planet. Millions of tons of discarded fisheries nets and hunting kills 400,000 cetaceans annually.
- Burning fossil fuels have caused oxygen levels in the atmosphere to plummet. No oxygen, no life. Oceans warm and absorb more carbon dioxide (from burning fossil fuels) they have become 30% more acidic since 1950. Fossil fuel heat in the oceans is driving our unstable climate. Marine heatwaves have killed at least 50% of all coral reefs.
- Every minute 24/7/365, 138 acres, or, 69 football fields a minute of ancient forest are being ransacked and demolished. We are losing some species 10,000 times faster than the previous 5 other mass extinctions. It's a cosmic catastrophe driven by man.
- Plastics are choking at least one million sea creatures a year. Those plastics are perfect sponges for all the ocean poisons, which have contaminated all sea life and affect the foodchain by consumption of creatures from ocean.
- Bees are central to agriculture and feeding 7.6 billion procreating humans. Bees pollinate 75 percent of the world’s major food crops.
- I podcast with Earthcast SOS (YouTube channel NaturesBluePrint) and record short videos (Earth Calling SOS).
- Change begins with each of us. Be kind to all animals because they are our brothers and sisters. Protect all remaining ancient forests from chainsaws. Less is more. Grow your own food.
“Nature represents 1.1 billion years of reproductive evolutionary biology.
Nature is time tested… …It’s a flawless blueprint for man to follow.”
1. Question: Dear Dr. Reese Halter, welcome to the interview. What is your mission? Why is it so important?
I am an ecological stress physiologist studying Earth's life support systems. My mission is to protect our mother, Nature. She is awesome and in unprecedented duress. Nature represents 1.1 billion years of reproductive evolutionary biology. Nature is time tested. Everything is interdependent. There is no such thing as waste nor unemployment in Nature. It’s a flawless blueprint for man to follow.
Dr. Reese Halter hugging an ancient sequoia in the Sierra Nevada, California
Man is destroying everything and polluting the biosphere at a rate never before witnessed in the illustrious history of 4.5 billion on Earth. Man produces 250 billion metric tons of poisons per year. All life on Earth contains poisons now. Fossil fuel air pollution contaminates and smothers 95% of all towns and cities. We are breathing poisons 24/7/365. Children in cities now face the risk of Alzheimer's disease and suicide from breathing fossil fuel pollution. In a recent study, my colleagues found that 99.5% of 203 autopsies from Mexico City, ages ranging from 11 months to 40 years old, possessed the telltales of Alzheimer's in their brainstems from breathing toxic fossil fuel air. The scientists concluded that those children and young adults also faced an elevated risk of suicide.
Fracking for subsidized, climate-destroying fossil fuels is poisoning fresh water globally (on land and in the sea) at an accelerated rate. This is insanity. Fresh water is the lifeblood of our planet. Fresh water is every child's birthright.
Deadly non-stop pulses of deafening sound from seismic airgun surveys.
The whales play a vital role as farmers of the sea…
but all cetaceans are in grave danger of extinction
Seismic surveys scouring the seabed for more deadly fossil fuels are blasting 240 decibels every 10 seconds, non-stop 24/7 for weeks and months on end. This lunacy kills larval sea life in the plush mats of phytoplankton, the basis of the entire marine food web. Seismic surveys deafen cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). A deaf cetacean is a dead cetacean. Already, millions of tons of discarded fisheries nets and hunting kills 400,000 cetaceans annually. That means all cetaceans are in grave danger of extinction. The whales play a vital role as farmers of the sea. Their flocculent fecal plumes are rich in iron and nitrogen, which fertilize the phytoplankton. 300 zettajoules of fossil fuel heat stored in the oceans has prevented cold water currents from rising and carrying iron and nitrogen. As a result the oceans are missing 40% of the phytoplankton. The whales are attempting to re-grow the missing phytoplankton. Phytoplankton provides each of us with almost 2 out of every three breaths of oxygen. Burning fossil fuels have caused oxygen levels in the atmosphere to plummet. No oxygen, no life.
Fossil fuel heat in the open oceans has also created massive zones with little (if any) oxygen. More life is crammed into a smaller living space and it's stressing and killing more sea creatures. As the oceans warm and absorb more carbon dioxide (from burning fossil fuels) they have become 30% more acidic since 1950. An acidic ocean melts calcium carbonate the backbone of seashells and coral reefs. Already 54% of free-swimming snails, or, pteropods, off the west coast of United States have deformed, or, melted, shells.
Measurements from Scripps Oxygen Program
Free-swimming snail shells are now melting because the ocean has turned acidic from burning fossil fuels.
Each year, fisheries are killing a minimum 10 trillion forms of sea life…
…and Marine heatwaves have killed at least 50% of all coral reefs.
Each year, fisheries are killing a minimum 10 trillion forms of sea life. That's enough to annually fill 122 Empire State buildings (in New York City at 105 stories) stuffed with dead sea creatures. Fisheries are destroying an area of the sea floor and the cold coral gardens atop of seamounts (under water Mountains) 150 times greater than clearing ancient forest each year. In three or four thousand years the cold coral gardens on the seamounts will finally recover. A couple billion legal and illegal hooks attached to 13 million miles of longlines are enough to encircle the equator 522 times. Man is killing and polluting everything in the oceans.
Man is chainsawing and bulldozing 138 acres of priceless ancient masterpiece forests, or, 69 football fields a minute, 24/7/36. They are the finest and longest living carbon dioxide warehouses to have ever evolved on Earth. Ancient forests are climate stabilizers that create rain clouds and white clouds, reflecting incoming solar radiation back to space. Essentially, ancient forests are Nature's perfect giant air conditioners. They are also vital as homes for animals, partners in these exquisite complex terrestrial communities. They provide one third of all cities with their drinking water. Ancient forests also provide more than one of every three breaths of oxygen for 7.6 billion people. In addition, ancient forests contain potent cancer, pain and heart medicines. Ancient forest air is filled with powerful free medicines. Stand next to a big tree for 15 minutes a day and breathe! That ancient forest air boosts the human autoimmune system, in particular human natural killer cells (in white blood cells) by as much as 40 percent, which protects the body from accumulating damaged DNA and uncontrolled cell growth, or, cancer.
Autumn in the Carolinian forests of eastern North America
Fossil fuel heat in the oceans is driving our unstable climate. Marine heatwaves have killed at least 50% of all coral reefs. Coral reefs are crucial habitat for one third of all sea life. In Nature, when you lose your home, you die. Fossil fuel heat is amplifying hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, firestorms, heatwaves, droughts, insect epidemics and it's killing animals and forests at an unprecedented rate. Today on Earth, there are vast areas on land and under the sea dead from fossil fuel heatwaves.
Our planet is burning up with man-induced hell-fires! We must all change, or, we too, will perish. There are so many habits that each of us can easily change. For a starter, we can refuse to go into debt. Live with LESS, grow our own food (in raised beds or pots and plant lots of food bearing trees) and embrace whole food, plant-based diets. Go vegan and welcome compassion into your life. Animal agriculture contributes more climate-destroying greenhouse gases than the entire combustion of the global transportation sector. We have run out of arable land and water to grow plants in order to feed animals for the disease-causing animal agriculture industry. Have you read my colleague Dr Michael Greger’s book How Not To Die? Read it because your health demands it.
a) About 50 percent of the Great Barrier Reef along Gulf of is dead from two consecutive long-lasting marine heatwaves (2016 & 2017)
b) 18,000 acres of dead mangroves Carpentaria, Australia
Since 1950, 70% of all sea birds have disappeared…
We are losing some species 10,000 times faster than the previous 5 other mass extinctions.
2. Question: In your book “Save Nature Now’’, you seem to stress on the word “now” – why?
Save Nature Now is my tenth book and it details the accelerated destruction of our mother, Nature. The book offers a blueprint both globally and locally to turn this around. Since 1950, 70% of all sea birds have disappeared. Since 1970, North America has lost 1.5 billion land birds. Globally, 52 percent of all 577 raptor species (eagles, hawks, kites, vultures, owls) are in decline and 60% of all land animals have vanished. 90% of some of the shark species are gone. Poachers and a couple billion hooks along with millions of tons of ghost nets are killing 100 million sharks each year. Sharks have swum the seas for 400 million years and unless globally we act now they are doomed to extinction.
Each year 50 million sharks are indiscriminately caught by fisheries (and another 50 million are poached).
We are losing some species 10,000 times faster than the previous 5 other mass extinctions. It's a cosmic catastrophe driven by man. Each year, 70 billion animals are slaughtered in the horrid subsidized animal agriculture industry. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium runoff from these factory farms and fields, and human sewage have created more than 520 dead zones with little, or, no, oxygen along continental coastlines. And they are expanding. Man is devouring planet Earth and all its natural resources, animals, plants, soils and poisoning ground water and including an estimated 51 trillion pieces of subsidized petroleum-based plastics in the oceans. Plastics are choking at least one million sea creatures a year. Those plastics are perfect sponges for all the ocean poisons, which have contaminated ALL sea life. If you eat anything from the ocean those poisons biologically magnify up the food chain in some cases by a million times.
There is an immediate urgency to stop looting our planet right now because it's our only home. Change begins with each of us and what we consume, and how we consume it. We cannot continue this lunacy. Our mother and all her life support systems are blinking red alert and some are already dead. We have to make a choice and be relentless in protecting the remaining pockets of Nature in order to survive the coming decade(s).
In April (2018), a sperm whale off the coast of Spain suffocated on 64 pounds of plastics including bags, nets, ropes and a jerry can.
3. Question: Going on with “Save Nature Now” In this book you talk about the 6th Mass Extinction. What is it and how will it affect humanity?
We are in the midst of a human-driven accelerated mass extinction. We are losing life 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the previous 5 other mass extinctions. Man is killing and poisoning everything. At this current accelerate rate of marauding there will be nothing left for anything to live on Earth because we are cooking and poisoning everything to death. I support the direct-action conservation movement Sea Shepherd because they are protecting our brothers and sisters, the sea turtles, the sharks, the rays, the dolphins, the porpoises and the whales. People protect what they love. The way to save Nature is to love Nature. That’s why I wrote my eleventh book entitled Love! Nature. It’s a collection of 78 awe-inspiring stories celebrating 25 years of excellence in journalism.
Dr.Reese Halter addressing the Global Lion, Rhino, Elephant March in Los Angeles (2014)
Bees pollinate 75 percent of the world’s major food crops. Bees clothe us with our cotton.
Bees produce 2.2 billion pounds of honey and 44 million pounds of beeswax annually.
4. Question: Let’s now talk about your book: “The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination”. What kind of economic aspects are treated in this book?
Some 20,000 species of bees pollinate 336,000 kinds of flowering plants, or, the lion's share of all flowering plants. I love bees. The Incomparable Honeybee examines bees and explains their importance. Bees are central to agriculture and feeding 7.6 billion procreating humans. Bees pollinate 75 percent of the world’s major food crops. Bees clothe us with our cotton. Bees produce 2.2 billion pounds of honey and 44 million pounds of beeswax annually. Bee venom is used as an antidote for pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia. Honeybees make waterproof glue called propolis. This is used to treat oral herpes and as a co-treatment for prostate cancer. Bees directly contribute $577 billion annually to the world economy.
Bees, like humans, actively choose to focus their attention. That’s what the Queensland Brain Institute concluded when they implanted electrodes into the brains of bees, then tethered them so they couldn’t fly away. They then placed the bees on an air suspended ball, which they could steer by walking to control the movement of blinking lights on a screen. Bees perform what is known as top-down learning. They are focused learners. Many animals are only capable of reacting to something external, like a bright light or noise. It’s referred to as bottom-up learning. Remarkably, bees respond, just like we do, rather than react.
a) A honeybee collecting pollen from a wildflower, Santa Monica Mountains, California.
b) A honeybee entering a wildflower in the Hollywood Hills, Californi
Did you know that honeybees can count and be trained? Or, those bees can recognize an individual human face? Some bees, like people, are thrill seekers. Other bees, just like some people, get sad. People and honeybees share a lot in common including voting and mourning the loss of a loved one. I spent decades with my dad watching bees. I had a lot of fun writing “The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination”. The health of bees is vital to our survival. Over the past 15 years, more than 1 trillion honeybees have died from man-made poisons.
Dr Reese Halter with a couple million honeybees in the ancient leatherwood forests of western Tasmania, Australia.
5. Question: What are Earth Calling SOS and Earthcast SOS?
In addition to studying Earth’s life support systems, I communicate daily. I podcast with Earthcast SOS (YouTube channel NaturesBlueprint) and record short videos (Earth Calling SOS). I write regularly online for Slanted Media, and I am a contributor with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Organic Gardener magazine as well as 774 Melbourne's Overnights. Earth Calling SOS also published my last three books: Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save Our Oceans, Save Nature Now and Love! Nature.
Broadcasting from the Indian Ocean with Sea Shepherd aboard their rigid inflatable vessel known as Bruce the Rib.
6. Question: How can people help you in your projects?
There’s lots of ways people can contribute to my work:
- Visit DrReese.com and make a donation, which allows me to make more videos and podcasts.
- Or purchase my books and discover how you can make a difference.
- Tell your friends and family about protecting our planet. There's no better way to make an impact than to become an active advocate yourself.
- Have a look around in the library on DrReese.com
- Follow me on Twitter @RelentlessReese
- Invite me to speak at your event.
- Join me and thousands of other people each Saturday from around the world for #SaturdayPlasticPatrol
- Pickup three pieces of plastics; take a picture and post online #SaturdayPlasticPatrol
Each day, 500 million disposable petroleum-based plastic bottles are consumed in the U.S.
Much of the world suffers from daily anxiety brought on by sociopathic consumption and
a false notion that buying a product will make you happy. It’s nonsense.
7. Question: We live in a world where short term economic thinking prevails over Nature and social stability. What do you think are the main incompatibilities of the current economic system with protecting Nature?
The destruction of Nature is death by a trillion cuts. We cannot continue. Much of the world suffers from daily anxiety brought on by sociopathic consumption and a false notion that buying a product will make you happy. It’s nonsense. A walk in a park, or next to a river, or lake or seashore, or in the woods, is what makes us healthy and empathetic as well as aware of the fact that we are but a strand in the glorious web of life on our planet.
Do you remember the last time you watched a sunrise, sunset or full moon rising? If so, chances are while reading this you are grinning. Have you ever heard an owl hooting at 4 AM, or a loon on a lake calling for its mate at sundown, or a coyote, wolf or dingo howling their communication? When was the last time you picked a fresh apple from a tree, or watched a bee pollinate a flower, or a spider weave its intricate web, or tasted the scent of the air after a rainfall?
If man does not reconnect to our mother, Nature, and quickly repair her, our colonization of this planet is through in the ensuing decade(s). There’s no question that if we don’t stop killing all forms of life we, too, are done. The only unknown is precisely how quickly it will all unravel.
Sunup along Will Rogers State Beach, Palisades, California
Spring bloom is southern California
We need humility. We require courage and leadership, marrying the wisdom of the
Indigenous Elders with breathtaking technology…
A zero combustion global economy is the only way forward.
8. Question: What is your message for young adults and children around the world?
Change begins with each of us. Generations of adults have destroyed the planet, now you must become the caretakers of our home. It’s the biggest challenge in 7 million years of our history as humans. Right now is the greatest fight, the fight of survival that we have ever faced.
We need humility. We require courage and leadership, marrying the wisdom of the Indigenous Elders with breathtaking technology. Reduce fossil fuel emissions now. End annual fossil fuel subsidies ($5.3 trillion) immediately. A zero combustion global economy is the only way forward. We have the technologies (solar concentrated farms generating supercritical steam with lithium-ion battery storage facilities), the labor force and the money to build them, and walk away from fossil fuel poisons. We lack political leadership to break free from corporations and oligarchs in order to protect Nature and the remaining life support systems. Join the resistance. Be relentless. Go vegan. Embrace compassion. Be kind to all animals because they are our brothers and sisters. Protect all remaining ancient forests from chainsaws. Less is more. Grow your own food. Plant food-bearing trees. Hug a tree. “We are all one’’, Love is the solution. Love Nature!
Lithium-ion battery storage and supercritical steam from solar concentrated stations are ready to roll-out and provide all the energy for towns and cities, globally.
Subscribe to Long Term Economy Blog
to discover and be updated on all the articles and news about sustainability and Long Term Economy made by our bloggers.
Become a Long Term Economy Supporter!!
Long Term Economy is a non profit organization aiming at improving the wellbeing in a long-term perspective by preserving the natural, cultural and social capital.