Jim Laurie is a Biologist, Futurist, and co-founder of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. He believes that our species can thrive if we can rapidly shift to a symbiotic world view and restore the world’s great ecosystems.
Jim got his BA in Biology from Rice University, and his MS in Future Studies from the University of Houston. He worked in the chemical industry in Texas where he was the laboratory technical trainer.
In 1988, Jim met John Todd, a visionary biologist at the New Alchemy Institute. Learning from John and evolutionary biologist, Lynn Margulis, Jim built several biodiverse ecosystems to clean toxic wastewater at the chemical plant. Self-organizing ecologies of microbes linked with plants, and animals made it possible to break down ammonia, chloroform, and BPA to very low levels. In 1995, Jim moved to Vermont to manage the Vermont Living Machine designed by John Todd and funded by EPA. This research project cleaned 80,000 gallons of sewage per day in a biodiverse greenhouse.
While living in Texas, Jim also met Allan Savory, a biologist from Zimbabwe and New Mexico who was helping ranchers reverse desertification with his Holistic Management process. These ranchers were tripling herd sizes and moving herds frequently on degraded lands. Proper timing created healthy grasslands built on rich soils where rain water could easily infiltrate and improve the water cycle.
Jim also volunteered at the International Wolf Center to learn about Wolves and Bears and the Northern Minnesota Forest. In 2005, he studied Redwood Forests and Salmon runs in Northern California on the Eel River. Paul Stamets wrote “Mycelium Running” that year and Jim built a small lab in Maryland to grow mushrooms and learn about fungi.
These foundations of ecological thinking helped create Biodiversity for a Livable Climate in 2014. Climate change had become a major concern, but few realized the importance of biodiversity. The Bio4climate Team has since been determined to make ecological restoration of grasslands, wetlands, forests, and regenerative agriculture a centerpiece for future planning. Jim wrote “Scenario 300” in 2017 challenging humans to restore 12 billion acres globally by 2061.
Jim loves teaching and spreading the message of biodiversity and restoration. He started with homeschool biology classes for teenagers and the “Homeschool Symbiosis Team” students have spoken at many Bio4climate events. He is now teaching Biodiversity Courses by Zoom to a world wide audience of all ages.