Climate Champion, Manny Pacquiao, Shape-Shifting Mammals And Birds, Earthships Creator Michael Reynolds, Eartthships?!

by | Jan 10, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Climate Champion, Manny Pacquiao, Shape-Shifting Mammals And Birds, Earthships Creator Michael Reynolds, Eartthships?!



Climate change warrior inspiration comes from all corners of the globe. Today The Climate Daily reports on Philippine Senator and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao’s desire to…

(Wait, wait, you’re not talking about the Manny Pacquio? The “PacMan”, the one regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers because he’s the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing and has won twelve major world titles?)

Why yes, yes I am. Pacquiao retired from boxing in 2010 and entered politics in his native Philippines upon winning election to the Philippine Kamara (House of Representatives) representing the Sarangani congressional district. He’s been a senator since 2016.

He’s currently running to become that country’s next president. Just last week, Pacquiao asked for the creation of a “super-agency” to manage the country’s disaster response and government’s climate change policies. The lawmaker made the suggestion of upgrading the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) into an executive department.

In a statement, he said, “I grew up in Mindanao and we never really experienced strong typhoons. Water is a blessing for our Mindanao people. Only now are we really experiencing such strong storms,” he said. The current Philippine government has already proposed a Department of Disaster Resilience and a Climate Change Commission. Pacquiao says the two should be combined to “ensure perceptive and proactive government action on all forms of disasters, natural or otherwise.”

Pacquiao went on to say he believes climate change caused by global warming has turned Mindanao into a “typhoon alley” from November to December and suggested planting more trees as he blamed the country’s vulnerability to strong typhoons to illegal logging and mining operations.

Why does Pacquiao’s statement matter to us? the creation of an independent “super-agency” which will manage not only the country’s disaster response and disaster resilience but also the government’s climate change policies is an idea that, if enacted in the U.S. could speed the changes we need to make.

DEEPER DIVE: Wikipedia, GMANetwork, Politics.Com.PH



We humans sometimes forget we’re not the only animals on the planet affected by climate change. All animals are. And some are already speeding up evolution to adapt. A study published last fall by Sara Ryding, Marcel Klaassen, Glenn J. Tattersall, Janet L. Gardner and Matthew R.E. Symonds of the Deakin University in Australia details how animals are changing shapes in response to global warming.

When animals overheat, birds use their beaks and mammals use their ears to disperse the warmth. … Sara Ryding a bird researcher, said: “Shapeshifting does not mean that animals are coping with climate change and that all is fine. It just means they are evolving to survive it“–

She went on to say scientists aren’t sure what the other ecological consequences of these changes are, or indeed that all species are capable of changing and surviving. Researchers have also reported tail length increases in wood mice, and tail and leg size increases in masked shrews. Bats in warm climates were shown to have increased wing size.

Why does this matter to us? Warm-blooded animals are changing beaks, legs and ears to adapt to hotter climate and better regulate temperature BUT the climate change that we have created is heaping a whole lot of pressure on animals. While some species will adapt, others will not.

So for all you animal and bird lovers out there, combat climate change, not for yourself, but for the kitties and the cockatoos.

DEEPER DIVE: Trends in Ecology & Evolution,  Science Daily, Phys.Org



Michael Reynolds is an odd fellow. He’s founder and creator of the concept of Earthships, the odd-looking, self-sustaining domiciles once derided for their “made from trash motif” but now lauded and highly sought after by the eco-cognoscenti. Reynolds migrated to Taos, New Mexico in 1969, from Louisville, KY by way of the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture.

He began his quest to build sustainable homes in 1972. Reynolds decided to name his new style of architecture “Earthship Biotecture” after he had an epiphany that any object could be utilized— a pop bottle could be used for insulation or an old tire could become a powerful and durable thermal mass when it was filled with soil. In building design, thermal mass is a property of the mass of a building which enables it to store heat, providing “inertia” against temperature fluctuations.

For example, when outside temperatures are fluctuating throughout the day, a large thermal mass within the insulated portion of a house can serve to “flatten out” the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler. This design element is the reason why Earthships can be lived in in any climate on the planet when built properly.

Reynolds is also known for creating two self-sufficient communities in northern New Mexico –the Rural Earthship Alternative Community Habitat (REACH) and the 1,100 acre Social Transformation Alternative Republic (STAR).

Because of new emphasis on climate change, the visionary Reynolds has been elevated as a prophet of the green movement. A 2007 documentary, Garbage Warrior, glorifies his life and work. In the film, Reynolds describes one of his new homes,”There’s nothing coming into this house, no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used … We’re sitting on 6,000 gallons of water, growing food, sewage internalized, 70 degrees [21° C] year-round … What these kinds of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands … A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store.”

And to see more of these remarkable Earthships, click on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this story at

DEEPER DIVE: Hacking the Earthship, BioTecture, WindChasers, OffGridWorld, Kiwi Earthship, Wikipedia, Thermal Mass



And speaking of Earthships, an Earthship is a house that’s built out of recycled and natural materials. It’s a house that can make its own energy, grow its own food and recycle its own water made out of the things that society throws away—cardboard boxes, beer bottles and automobile tires.

And this is why Earthships matter to us: Earthships operate using six green-building principles governing heating and cooling, solar electricity, water collection, sewage treatment, food production, and the use of natural and recycled materials. We found at least four examples of successful Earthships in windy, wet locales: in Kansas, on the Coromandel Peninsula of the New Zealand’s North Island, near Lake Erie in Ontario, and in Alberta, Canada.

Craig Cook, who with his wife Connie built the first Ontario Earthship said, “An Earthship will perform as well in Canada as it does anywhere else if you build it properly.” He went on to point out that every Earthship built, has to be built for that specific environment. And to see more of these remarkable Earthships, click on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this story at

Oh and shout out to Mr. Key for hipping me to Earthships!

DEEPER DIVE: WindChasers, OffGridWorld, Kiwi Earthship