Show Notes



Jim Chats with...

Rob de Laet

Episode 002

July 17, 2023

Cooling Climate Chaos

Rob is known as the guy who is busy cooling the planet.

After building a successful Eco-Tourism business, Rob sold the business and purchased a valley in a deforested portion of the Brazilian rainforest to focus on doing what he can to reverse Climate Change.

He lived in the rainforest for about 10 years focused on working with the Guajajara, an indigenous people in Brazil, to rewild, reforest, and regenerate that land. He also organized the planting of a million trees.

In this Eco Scale Radio episode, we discuss many things Rob is doing to cool the planet, including rebuilding coastal forests and the water ecosystem to naturally export heat into space.

The process is called a Biotic Pump. It’s similar to the way a heat pump pulls heat out of a house.

Who is Rob de Laet?

Rob is a philosopher, climate activist, rewilding a damaged part of the Brazilian rainforest.

As member of the Eco Restoration Alliance, Rob is developing the Cooling Climate Chaos project together with Peter Bunyard and others, to reverse the climate crisis fast.

Rob is also working from James Lovelock's living planet perspective to restore the Earth’s metabolisms through the regeneration of the water cycles and biosphere.

What is Ron doing now?

  • Working with indigenous people to reforest the rain forest in Brazil

  • A eco-services project in Indonesia to help companies clean up their environmental actions.

  • Writing a book with Peter Barnyard and Eliza Collin.

  • Writing a paper with Peter Barnyard and Eliza Collin which they plans to be submitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations in the fall of 2023. It’s a blueprint Rob refers to as “How To UnCook Your Planet”

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Guest Resources

Rob De Laet’s LinkedIn Profile - the guy who is busy cooling the planet.

Future of the Amazon Foundation - The Future of the Amazon Foundation focuses on specific climate action with regards to climate tipping points - first and foremost to avert the immediate danger of the dieback of the largest rainforest in the world.

What is a Biotic Pump - Wikipedia's description.

Value Bombs

1) A large coastal forest acts like a Biotic Pump which exports heat into space, similar to a heat pump in a house.

2) The role of the sea-surface microlayer (SML) and the impact that plastics is having on the SML.

3) If we regenerate eco-systems of the world, we can increase evapotransformation, cloud formation, and export heat into space.

4) The Problem we are dealing with:
The climate is a living system. It is a system of systems. Those systems are damaged.

The Solution:
We need to work with nature to nudge it in certain strategic ways to help it build up a healthy biosphere.

5) Sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere is bullocks. You can’t do it at a price that is reasonable and it doesn’t have the co-benefits of restoring the water cycles including co-benefits for people living and working on the land.

6) We need to organize a digital platform where all those working on regeneration can network, support each other, and exchange best practices.

7) All restoration efforts needs to be designed.


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Show Notes - Episode Outline

How did Rob become a climate activist?

CO2 in the atmosphere is not the largest problem we face

What are Rob’s priorities for reversing climate change?

Rob’s experience and lessons learned in Brazil.

Forests act as biological heat pumps

Benefits of regenerating ecosystems of the world

Benefits of biodiversity of trees and species

At a fourth grader level, what is the problem and solution for climate change?

Benefits of the Biotic Pump

Dung beetles and Tornados in the US

Nature has systems to balance temperature extremes

Impact of mammals and insects and biomass

Moisture streams

Solution: The best way to stabilize the climate

Benefits of increasing the living biomass

How do you measure a successful restoration?

Climate change milestones and recommended actions

What project is Rob most proud of?

What’s a mistake we should avoid in trying to reverse climate change?

What should we do instead?

Organize a digital platform where regenerators can work together, support each other, and exchange best practices

Eco-restoration needs to be designed

Benefits of inoculating soil with the right fungi

Two Problems in the Climate Chaos: 1. Too much atmospheric carbon. 2. Disruption of the water cycles in soil, oceans, and atmosphere

Ways to mop up carbon (algae blooms and kelp forests)

Co-benefits of algae blooms

More about the Biotic Pump

Monsoons and spongy soils.

Deforestation’s impact on soil quality (Drought/flood cycle)

What can entrepreneurs do to help reverse climate change

Our culture’s relationship with nature

The need to relearn what indigenous people know (that we belong in nature)

The need to rewild our cities

The Sea surface Microlayer (SML)


Particulates and aerosols in the atmosphere

The One Takeaway

Where to go to learn more about Rob de Laet

Hash Tags

























Books Mentioned in This Interview

Limits to Growth by Donella H. Meadows

Second Nature by Michael Pollan

People Mentioned in This Interview

Peter Bunyard - LinkedIn Profile, paper on Biotic Pump

Eliza Collin - LinkedIn Profile


James Lovelock (father of the Gaia Theory) How to fix the hole in the ozone - LinkedIn Article

Russ George – Working on behalf of Nature Bringing Back The Fish - LinkedIn Profile, Russ's Blog

Toby Kiers - LinkedIn Profile

Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN) - LinkedIn Profile

Peter Fiekowsky (author of: Climate Restoration) - LinkedIn Profile

Rodger Savory (not Rodger Leaky) – a soil geek focused on:

Natalie Fleming - Can dung beetles in the west save the Midwest from tornadoes?

James Hansen’s speech to senate - On June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified to the U.S. Senate stating the greenhouse effect had been detected, indicating that the climate was in fact changing. Hansen was also arrested on this day in 2009 during a protest against mountaintop removal mining at Massey Energy Company.

The Guajajara are an indigenous people in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. They are one of the most numerous indigenous groups in Brazil, with an estimated 13,100 individuals living on indigenous land.


Howard Dryden – Sea-Surface MicroLayer (SML) and Microplastics - LinkedIn Profile, GOES website

More Details About Sea-surface MicroLayer

Boundary layers between different environmental compartments represent critical interfaces for biological, chemical and physical processes.

The Sea-surface MicroLayer (uppermost 1-1000 microm layer) forms the boundary layer interface between the atmosphere and ocean. Environmental processes are controlled by the SML, and it is known to play a key role in the global distribution of anthropogenic pollutants. Due to its unique chemical composition, the upper organic film of the SML represents both a sink and a source for a range of pollutants including chlorinated hydrocarbons, organotin compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy metals. These pollutants can be enriched in the SML by up to 500 times relative to concentrations occurring in the underlying bulk water column. The

SML is also a unique ecosystem, serving as an important habitat for fish eggs and larvae. Concentration ranges and enrichment factors of pollutants in the SML in different areas of the world's oceans have been critically reviewed, together with available toxicity data for marine biota found within the SML.

Overall, the SML is highly contaminated in many urban and industrialized areas of the world, resulting in severe ecotoxicological impacts. Such impacts may lead to drastic effects on the marine food web and to fishery recruitment in coastal waters. Studies of the toxicity of fish eggs and larvae exposed to the SML contaminants have shown that the SML in polluted areas leads to significantly higher rates of mortality and abnormality of fish embryos and larvae.


Rodger Savory NOT Roger Leaky

Correction: In the interview Rob mistakenly referred to “Roger Leaky” as the person using cattle to regenerate land in Colorado.

The person’s actual name is Rodger Savory. Refer to the article about the interview with Rodger Savory - experiments in Colorado regenerating land – uses chickens and cattle to trample the hardened baked soil.

Their hoof imprints become micro water management, which allows water to reach the seeds under the baked soil. You do a few more tricks and within a year you see a revived biology.


Mongoose NOT Muskrats

Correction: In the interview I make reference to Muskrats being brought to Hawaii to control the overpopulation of rats in Hawaii. Actually they brought in Mongoose not Muskrats.

The mongooses found in Hawai'i are native to India and were originally introduced to Hawai'i Island in 1883 by the sugar industry to control rats in sugarcane fields on Maui, Moloka'i and O'ahu.

“Instead of ridding the cane fields of rats, the mongoose began destroying some of Hawaii's most native species and fauna.”  

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