Chelsea Green Publishing

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet

Pages:240 pages
Book Art:Color photos, charts, graphs, and illustrations
Size: 7 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603586177
Pub. Date October 08, 2015

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech, Nature-Based Practices for Combatting Hunger, Drought, and Climate Change

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
October 08, 2015

$24.95

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet profiles fifty innovative practices that soak up carbon dioxide in soils, reduce energy use, sustainably intensify food production, and increase water quality. The “two percent” refers to: the amount of new carbon in the soil needed to reap a wide variety of ecological and economic benefits; the percentage of the nation’s population who are farmers and ranchers; and the low financial cost (in terms of GDP) needed to get this work done.

As White explained in Grass, Soil, Hope, a highly efficient carbon cycle captures, stores, releases, and recaptures biochemical energy, mitigating climate change, increasing water storage capacities in soil, and making green plants grow. Best of all, we don’t have to invent anything new—a wide variety of innovative ideas and methods that put carbon back into the soil have been field-tested and proven to be practical and profitable. They’re mostly low-tech, too, relying on natural resources such as sunlight, green plants, animals, compost, beavers, creeks, and more.

In Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, White expands what he calls the “regenerative toolbox,” to include holistic grazing, edible forests, biochar, weed-eating livestock, food co-ops, keyline plowing, restoration agriculture, bioenergy, aquaponics, animal power, Farm Hack, bees, bears, wildlife corridors, rainwater harvesting, native seeds, and various other projects from across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Australia. These short, engaging success stories will help readers connect the dots between diverse, exciting, and pragmatic practices, and inspire them to dig deeper into each individual story and concept, energized by the news that solutions do exist.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Foreword Reviews-

"Two Percent Solutions for the Planet takes a clever approach to environmental problems. Rather than look at overarching solutions, Courtney White compiles fifty examples of effective, relatively small-scale success stories from around the world—all of which have made a positive impact on the environment and climate. In one example, he looks at the use of beetles to quickly turn manure into fertilizer. He describes an Australian farm’s experience grazing cattle alongside sheep, replenishing the land while simultaneously raising the animals on a healthy grass diet. Another project involved using natural materials like sticks and stones to improve a creek’s flow. The fifty examples show a nice range of innovative solutions that can be replicated, with results that benefit the planet as well as a specific farm, ranch, or other piece of land. The book’s title comes from the notion that all these solutions could be implemented for a tiny fraction of GDP, and each of the fifty examples includes links and resources for additional information about how to implement them."

Shelf Awareness-

"Eliminating pesticides, sequestering carbon, making healthy food available to the poor and harvesting rainwater are some of the many positive goals of the 50 regenerative practices Quivira Coalition co-founder Courtney White (The Age of Consequences) outlines in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet. White organizes these green ideas into five sections--ranching, farming, technology, restoration and wildness--includes pictures and charts to help illustrate and provides information on how readers can learn more about each concept. The common theme underlying them all, however, is 'nature knows best.' Including organic no-till, year-round farming, flerds (the co-existence of range animals) and 'poop 'n’ stomp' (using livestock to regrow grass), the solutions return the work to natural processes. White believes, 'sometimes innovation isn't a thing, a practice, or a new technology, but simply a different way of looking at the world.’  While Two Percent Solutions for the Planet would make an excellent resource for any agri-science program, it's also an enlightening reading experience for city dwellers and others far from agrarian lifestyles. Understanding processes described in the book can inform buying decisions, community involvement, even backyard gardening practices--all of which can help combat some of the world's most pressing environmental issues while simultaneously treating the planet with kindness and respect. Two Percent Solutions for the Planet is easy to understand, fascinating and enjoyably educational. Whether readers are entrenched in agricultural business or simply interested in sustainability, there's plenty to glean from White's collection of innovative practices.”

Publishers Weekly-

"In this brief work, White (The Age of Consequences), conservationist and cofounder of the Quivira Coalition, sketches 50 strategies for improving the environment and fighting hunger. Few of these strategies are aimed at the planet’s urbanized majority; while chapters dealing with rooftop gardens or aquaponics may inspire city-dwellers, most of the four-page chapters give short overviews of tactics that will primarily be useful to farmers, ranchers, and policymakers who deal directly with the land. White repeatedly refers to the writings of Aldo Leopold and is also fond of creek reclamation specialist Bill Zeedyk, who urges those attempting to restore watersheds to 'think like a creek.' White stresses the importance of improving the quality of watercourses and the ability of soil to retain carbon, thus mitigating climate change. The section ‘Wildness' addresses a range of wildlife, including such different creatures as the dung beetle and the beaver. Since each solution receives swift treatment, White isn’t able to give detailed instructions, but each segment includes online and print resources for further reference. White offers a good starting place for agriculturalists looking for ways to improve their farms and ranches, as well as the larger environment. Color photos.”

“Courtney White chronicles a new and critically important sphere of knowledge: a world of soil, sun, sky, and animals where good people regenerate the earth in ancient and novel ways. Reading about the environment rarely brings one as many smiles and as much joy as Two Percent Solutions for the Planet.”--Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest; coauthor of Natural Capitalism

“Courtney White has written one of the most important books for our time about how to reverse climate change and nourish the world with abundant, healthy food. Most importantly, he describes proven,  ‘shovel-ready’ solutions that progressive ranchers and farmers are doing every day. There is no need to spend billions of dollars on new, unproven technologies such as carbon capture and geoengineering. For a fraction of the cost, the world easily could scale up the regenerative practices profiled in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet. Too good to be true? Read this book and make up your own mind.”--André Leu, president of IFOAM-Organics International and author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides

“The problems that humanity faces today are the sum total of billions of small missteps. Courtney White focuses on the solutions that will arise from billions of small right steps, and the most important step is the next one that each of us takes. We may never convince seven billion souls to plant one tree at a time, over and over for the rest of their lives, but each one of us can make that commitment if we choose. Two Percent Solutions for the Planet shows us a broad pattern for healing the earth that is elegant in its simplicity. We can reforest our world, restore grasslands, sequester carbon, build soil, purify water, provide wildlife habitat, feed humanity, and improve health and nutrition while creating the ecological abundance of the future. Bravo, Courtney!”--Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture

“Courtney White’s Two Percent Solutions for the Planet features good sense paired with 50 solutions to our planet’s ills, especially those related to carbon. While each solution could be a book in itself, these short profiles may well be the way many people first discover that such solutions are in the offing. It’s a brilliant way to inform readers so that they’ll prick up their ears when they encounter possible actions based on solutions such as these. This accessible, hope-filled, and beautifully crafted book should be in every school—if not simply everywhere.”--Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy

"Courtney White takes a sharp turn away from despair over climate disruption and toward the inexorable logic of ecosystem restoration—working with nature to bring the carbon and water cycles back into balance, thereby addressing the central challenges of our time. Along the way he introduces readers to a spirited cast of farmers, ranchers, thinkers, and tinkerers. The lively profiles of innovators show us what’s possible; Courtney’s narration tells us why this matters. I dare anyone to read this book and not come away feeling hopeful and energized!”--Judith D. Schwartz, author of Cows Save the Planet

“This book is Courtney White’s most important work. It is the best practical guide to how we can begin to address the significant, unavoidable challenges awaiting us in our not-too-distant future. Two Percent Solutions for the Planet inspires us to address these challenges creatively, especially with respect to our food and agriculture future, and to do it in cooperation with nature in ways that also heal the planet. The solutions Courtney describes are not just ideas but are demonstrated strategies already being implemented by creative farmers, ranchers, ecologists, and designers. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in practical ways to restore the planet’s health while experiencing a flourishing life.”--Frederick Kirschenmann, author of Cultivating An Ecological Conscience: Essays From a Farmer Philosopher

"The two percents really add up in this glorious presentation of how to make ranching, agriculture, and the great outdoors a major force for addressing our gravest threat: climate change. Courtney White truly knows these solutions, having helped pioneer them as leader of a coalition of ranchers and conservationists."--Gus Speth, author of Angels by the River and former dean at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

“Taking soil seriously offers real leverage in the climate change battle. For those who eat (or raise) meat, Two Percent Solutions for the Planet offers fascinating new insights about animal agriculture. For those who eat lower on the food chain, Courtney White details dozens of other ways to help restore the degraded landscapes that, sadly, dominate much of our planet.”--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

“An excellent read and source of ideas for farmers anywhere. With agriculture today producing twenty times as much dead, eroding soil as food required per human each year, it is time to return to farmer creativity. Courtney White’s book shows us how creative and observant farmers and ranchers are finding solutions to many of the most challenging problems we face.”--Allan Savory, president of Savory Institute and chairman of the Africa Centre for Holistic Management

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney White

Courtney White is the author of Grass, Soil, Hope. A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, White dropped out of the “conflict industry” in 1997 to cofound the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, and others around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in western working landscapes. He is the author of Revolution on the Range, The Age of Consequences, and The Indelible West, a collection of black-and-white photographs with a foreword by Wallace Stegner. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his family and a backyard full of chickens.

AUTHOR EVENTS

December 05, 2017

Courtney White at ACRES USA Conference

ACRES USA Conference, Columbus, OH | Courtney White

See all Events by this Author

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR

Grass, Soil, Hope

Grass, Soil, Hope

By Courtney White

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 planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all 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.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Grass, Soil, Hope

Courtney White, Michael Pollan

Paperback $19.95

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Courtney White: "Two Percent Solutions" Chelsea Green

Courtney White: "Two Percent Solutions" Chelsea Green

Quivira Coalition Conference 2012

How Farming Is Evolving To Focus On Sustainability

Farmers Are Embracing Sustainability — You Just Aren’t Hearing About It

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Dazzle Gradually

Dazzle Gradually

By Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan

At the crossroads of philosophy and science, the sometimes-dry topics of evolution and ecology come alive in this new collection of essays--many never before anthologized. Learn how technology may be a sort of second nature, how the systemic human fungus Candida albicans can lead to cravings for carrot cake and beer, how the presence of life may be why there's water on Earth, and many other fascinating facts.

The essay "Metametazoa" presents perspectives on biology in a philosophical context, demonstrating how the intellectual librarian, pornographer, and political agitator Georges Bataille was influenced by Russian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky and how this led to his notion of the absence of meaning in the face of the sun--which later influenced Jacques Derrida, thereby establishing a causal chain of influence from the hard sciences to topics as abstract as deconstruction and post-modernism.

In "Spirochetes Awake" the bizarre connection between syphilis and genius in the life of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The astonishing similarities of the Acquired-Immune-Deficiency-Syndrome symptoms with those of chronic spirochete infection, it is argued, contrast sharply with the lack of evidence that "HIV is the cause of AIDS". Throughout these readings we are dazzled by the intimacy and necessity of relationships between us and our other planetmates. In our ignorance as "civilized" people we dismiss, disdain, and deny our kinship with the only productive life forms that sustain this living planet.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Dazzle Gradually

Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan, Roald Hoffman

Paperback $25.00

Gene Everlasting

Gene Everlasting

By Gene Logsdon

Author Gene Logsdon—whom Wendell Berry once called “the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have”—has a notion: That it is a little easier for gardeners and farmers to accept death than the rest of the populace. Why? Because every day, farmers and gardeners help plants and animals begin life and help plants and animals end life. They are intimately attuned to the food chain. They understand how all living things are seated around a dining table, eating while being eaten. They realize that all of nature is in flux.

Gene Everlasting contains Logsdon’s reflections, by turns both humorous and heart-wrenching, on nature, death, and eternity, all from a contrary farmer’s perspective. He recounts joys and tragedies from his childhood in the 1930s and ‘40s spent on an Ohio farm, through adulthood and child-raising, all the way up to his recent bout with cancer, always with an eye toward the lessons that farming has taught him about life and its mysteries.

Whether his subject is parsnips, pigweed, immortality, irises, green burial, buzzards, or compound interest, Logsdon generously applies as much heart and wit to his words as he does care and expertise to his fields. 

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Gene Everlasting

Gene Logsdon

Paperback $17.95

A Cafecito Story / El cuento del cafecito

A Cafecito Story / El cuento del cafecito

By Julia Alvarez and Bill Eichner and Belkis Ramirez

A Cafecito Story is a story of love, coffee, birds and hope. It is a beautifully written eco-fable by best-selling author Julia Alvarez. Based on her and her husband's experiences trying to reclaim a small coffee farm in her native Dominican Republic, A Cafecito Story shows how the return to the traditional methods of shade-grown coffee can rehabilitate and rejuvenate the landscape and human culture, while at the same time preserving vital winter habitat for threatened songbirds.

Not a political or environmental polemic, A Cafecito Story is instead a poetic, modern fable about human beings at their best. The challenge of producing coffee is a remarkable test of our ability to live more sustainably, caring for the land, growers, and consumers in an enlightened and just way. Written with Julia Alvarez's deft touch, this is a story that stimulates while it comforts, waking the mind and warming the soul like the first cup of morning coffee. Indeed, this story is best read with a strong cup of organic, shade-grown, fresh-brewed coffee.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

A Cafecito Story / El cuento del cafecito

Julia Alvarez, Bill Eichner, Belkis Ramirez, Daisy Cocco de Filippis

Paperback $12.95

The Uses of Wild Plants

The Uses of Wild Plants

By Frank Tozer

A must-have for foragers, botanists, herbalists, gardeners, permaculturists, and anyone who wants to learn more about wild plants, this insightful guide provides interesting and valuable uses for more than 1200 species in 500 genera of wild plants found throughout North America and beyond.

The Uses of Wild Plants provides a survey of how plants have been used for food, drink, medicine, fuel, clothing, intoxicants, and more throughout history. Each listing includes a detailed description and drawing to aid in identifying these valuable plants in your garden and in the wild.

Greenthumbs will learn cultivation techniques for the most significant of these plants, and their uses in the garden. Tozer foresees a future where plants are an integral part of an ecologically sustainable society. They will provide renewable sources of energy, fertilizer, chemicals, building materials, and more, and will give us the means to clean our waterways and groundwater, desalinate soil, recover valuable nutrients from waste, and maybe even help to slow global warming.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Uses of Wild Plants

Frank Tozer

Paperback $24.95