Grass, Soil, Hope
A Journey Through Carbon Country
Foreword by Michael Pollan
"This is a book to read for many reasons: to learn about the Earth's carbon cycle; to glimpse ways 'conservation' is evolving, especially in the semi-arid West; and to understand the future of ranching and sustainable agriculture. It's also a book to read if you want to be infused with hope, and inspired to play a broader role in the face of climate change. For many of us who think about ways to create a more resilient world for future generations, it pays to think more about carbon. This book will get you started."
—Jonathan Overpeck, co-director, Institute of the Environment; professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson
Where people are fighting climate change and growing food with pasture cropping, permaculture, wetland restoration, rooftop farms, biodiesel, beer, and sweaty dancing.
This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?
The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planetís soils could offset a large percentage of greenhouse-gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?
Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long- term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.
Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low- tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.
In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co- benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.