Betsy Taylor: “Finding Hope in Nature-Based Solutions”

November 2, 2022

(Conversation Recorded on October 5, 2022.)

In this episode, Nate is joined by environmental and social activist Betsy Taylor. She and Nate have a wide ranging conversation about climate, consumption, culture, nuclear war, agriculture and the future. How has the environmental movement evolved over the past couple decades and how has it interacted with other social change movements? Why is reconstructing our food system more important now than ever?

About Betsy Taylor

Betsy Taylor has long been an icon in the environmental and culture change fields. She founded the climate network OneSky which became 350.org, she ran the Center for a New American Dream and more recently Breakthrough Strategies. Recently, Betsy has moved to supporting the field of regenerative agriculture, promoting the potential of our lands to sequester carbon pollution while boosting food security and habitat protection.

Show Notes & Links to Learn More

00:38 – Betsy Taylor Info + Works

11:45Center for a New American Dream

14:52Tina Hobson + Education on saving energy and thoughtful consumption

15:39Behavior centered on the self is a product of energetic abundance

16:20Carbon Pulse

20:07Daughters for Earth

23:17Economic system is rooted in consumption and growth

23:45Rio Summit

23:55Bill Clinton’s task force on consumption and population

23:55Paul Hawken’s book, Shumacher books

24:32How many young people think the system isn’t working, how many BIPOC


28:06Fred Krupp

30:12Manchin + recent IRA

32:49 Philip Stern

33:10Globalization and Wealth Consolidation

33:25Recent Supreme Court rulings

34:33Secretary of States penalizing banks that won’t loan to fossil fuel companies

34:56Divestment in Fossil Fuels over the past few decades

35:05Proportion of renewables in electricity generation (~30%) vs energy consumption (~12%) most of which is hydroelectric power

35:58The entire system is based on fossil fuels

36:186% decline rate on global oil fields – equivalent to billions of people’s labor

38:25Renewables are growing faster than fossil fuel, but fossil fuels are still growing more, and the entire system is still growing just the same

39:17Economic growth is 99% tethered to energy

40:50Martin Scheringer TGS Episode

42:19IPCC reports, Jim Hansen and Michael Mann

45:36Paris Climate Accords

45:52We would need to bring down emission 40% by 2030 to stay below 2 degrees celsius

46:16⅓ of people have symptoms of long covid

46:53Jim Hanson

47:48Trump tried to limit Jim Hansen’s agency

48:45Emission drop in 2020, with resurgence in 2021

51:20Range of estimates of carbon sequestration from rebooting natural ecosystem processes

52:49Protect our Winters

52:58Youth initiative out of made about getting urban kids out on the land

53:42Tree cover reducing urban heat

56:05Capturing food and animal waste to create compost would massively increase carbon sequestration

47:27Whendee Silver on compost increasing sequestration

58:20No-till, cover crops, benefits of planting legumes, crop rotations, benefits of perennial deep rooted crops, Land Institute

59:20Food grown in healthy soil is more nutritious

1:00:38Jason Bradford TGS Episode

1:02:13400 million farms are <1 hectare

1:04:18 As carbon in the atmosphere increases, there is more plant growth, but it is higher in carbohydrates and less in nutrients

1:05:05Large agroecology movement in parts of Africa, Latin America, and SE Asia

1:05:5920 billion dollars towards regenerative agriculture promotion

1:06:55Bill Gates and agriculture

1:07:40Ayan Mahamoud TGS Podcast

1:08:35Resurgence of young people going into farming and agriculture

1:17:59Chuck Watson TGS Episode on nuclear war

1:18:39US modernizing nuclear arsenal


Teaser photo credit: By Tim McCabe / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24828971

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF) an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles. Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota.

Tags: environmental activism, regenerative agriculture