Grass, Soil, Hope

A Journey Through Carbon Country

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585451

Category: Science

Page: 244

View: 9979

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Explores the impact an increase in the carbon content in soil would have on greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and offers ways to accomplish this.

Grass, Soil, Hope

A Journey Through Carbon Country

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 160358546X

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 272

View: 7893

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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.

Revolution on the Range

The Rise of a New Ranch in the American West

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1610914031

Category: Nature

Page: 247

View: 3500

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In Revolution on the Range, Courtney White challenges the conventional wisdom that those who wanted to work the land and those who wanted to protect it had fundamentally different—and irreconcilable—values. He argues that ranchers and environmentalists have more in common than they’ve typically admitted: a love of wildlife, a deep respect for nature, and a strong allergic reaction to suburbanization. The real conflict has not been over ethics, but approaches. As ranchers and environmentalists find common cause, they’re discovering new ways to live on—and preserve—the land they both love. Revolution on the Range is the story of that journey, and a heartening vision of the new American West.

Cows Save the Planet

And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Author: Judith Schwartz

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603584331

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 240

View: 7647

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In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

The Age of Consequences

A Chronicle of Concern and Hope

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1619025000

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 9858

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Our planet is approaching a critical environmental juncture. Across the globe we continue to deplete the five pools of carbon – soil, wood, coal, oil, and natural gas – at an unsustainable rate. We’ve burned up half the planet’s known reserves of oil – one trillion barrels – in less than a century. When these sources of energy-rich carbon go into severe decline, as they surely will, society will follow. Former archeologist and Sierra Club activist Courtney White calls this moment the Age of Consequences—a time when the worrying consequences of our environmental actions– or inaction – have begun to raise unavoidable and difficult questions. How should we respond? What are effective (and realistic) solutions? In exploring these questions, White draws on his formidable experience as an environmentalist and activist as well as his experience as a father to two children living through this vital moment in time. As a result, The Age of Consequences is a book of ideas and action, but it is also a chronicle of personal experience. Readers follow White as he travels the country --- from Kansas to Los Angeles, New York City, Italy, France, Yellowstone, and New England.

The Soil Will Save Us

How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet

Author: Kristin Ohlson

Publisher: Rodale

ISBN: 1609615549

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 7883

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Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a local chef led her to the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism and the discovery of the only significant way to remove carbon dioxide from the air—an ecological approach that tends not only to plants and animals but also to the vast population of underground microorganisms that fix carbon in the soil. Ohlson introduces the visionaries—scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers—who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil, which solves myriad problems: drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet

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

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603586180

Category: Nature

Page: 240

View: 6946

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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.

Defending Beef

The Case for Sustainable Meat Production

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585362

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 274

View: 8502

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For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists that livestock--goats, sheep, and others, but especially cattle--are Public Enemy Number One. They erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization bolstered the credibility of this notion with its 2007 report that declared livestock to be the single largest contributor to human-generated climate-change emissions. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly. In her new book, Defending Beef, environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for the Earth. The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production. And while no single book could definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth's growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world's future food system looks like, livestock can and must be part of the solution.

Organic No-Till Farming

Author: Jeffrey Moyer

Publisher: Acres USA

ISBN: 9781601730176

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 204

View: 7708

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Organic No-Till Farming offers a map to the Holy Grail of organic farming - a system that limits tillage, reduces labor, and improves soil structure. Based on the latest research by pioneering agriculturalists, this book arms you with new technologies and tools based on sound biological principles, making it possible to reduce and even eliminate tillage. Jeff Moyer's clear and comprehensive guided tour of organic no-till is based on using soil biology to power the system. Field-tested over many seasons, these methods make cover crops into a source of fertility as well as a tool for weed management. As traditional tillage turns into rotational tillage, natural soil biology is maximized and synthetic inputs are minimized. Combining the best aspects of no-till and satisfying the requirements of USDA organic regulations, the system laid out in this book "provides great potential for agricultural change," Moyer writes, "through the use of cover crops and reduction of synthetic herbicides, while giving organic farmers what they need in terms of weed management and soil building practices." For organic farmers who want to refine their practices and conventional farmers interested in new ideas, Organic No-Till Farming is indispensable.

Dirt to Soil

One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Author: Gabe Brown

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603587632

Category: Integrated agricultural systems

Page: 240

View: 2632

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Gabe Brown didn't set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown--in an effort to simply survive--began experimenting with new practices he'd learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture. Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life--starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time. In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge--restoring the soil. The Brown's Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown's Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers. The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land--more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. "The greatest roadblock to solving a problem," Brown says, "is the human mind."

Call of the Reed Warbler

A New Agriculture, A New Earth

Author: Charles Massy

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603588132

Category: Food supply

Page: 528

View: 5172

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In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution--a true underground insurgency--can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Using his personal experience as a touchstone--from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health--Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way. At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope. It's not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.

Food and Place

A Critical Exploration

Author: Pascale Joassart-Marcelli,Fernando J. Bosco

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 9781442266513

Category: Cooking

Page: 296

View: 4922

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This text provides a comprehensive exploration of food from the unique perspective of place. It shows that our experiences with food are deeply influenced by their cultural, social, economic, and political contexts. Critically engaged and connected to current activist and academic debates, Food and Place will be an essential resource for students across the social sciences.

Sustainability

Approaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power

Author: Julie Sze

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 147987034X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 5180

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A critical resource for approaching sustainability across the disciplines Sustainability and social justice remain elusive even though each is unattainable without the other. Across the industrialized West and the Global South, unsustainable practices and social inequities exacerbate one another. How do social justice and sustainability connect? What does sustainability mean and, most importantly, how can we achieve it with justice? This volume tackles these questions, placing social justice and interdisciplinary approaches at the center of efforts for a more sustainable world. Contributors present empirical case studies that illustrate how sustainability can take place without contributing to social inequality. From indigenous land rights, climate conflict, militarization and urban drought resilience, the book offers examples of ways in which sustainability and social justice strengthen one another. Through an understanding of history, diverse cultural traditions, and complexity in relation to race, class, and gender, this volume demonstrates ways in which sustainability can help to shape better and more robust solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Blending methods from the humanities, environmental sciences and the humanistic social sciences, this book offers an essential guide for the next generation of global citizens.

The Carbon Farming Solution

A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security

Author: Eric Toensmeier

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585729

Category: Science

Page: 512

View: 2945

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With carbon farming, agriculture ceases to be part of the climate problem and becomes a critical part of the solution Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture—specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”—can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform. Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissions—and in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment— carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the “magic number” of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Toensmeier’s book is the first to bring together these powerful strategies in one place, including in-depth analysis of the available research and, where research is lacking, a discussion of what it will take to get us there. Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, grazing systems such as silvopasture are easily replicable, don’t require significant changes to human diet, and—given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture—can be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, agroforestry practices and perennial crops present the best opportunities for sequestration. While many of these systems are challenging to establish and manage, and would require us to change our diets to new and largely unfamiliar perennial crops, they also offer huge potential that has been almost entirely ignored by climate crusaders. Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded land—all while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Just as importantly to a livable future, these crops and practices can contribute to broader social goals such as women’s empowerment, food sovereignty, and climate justice. The Carbon Farming Solution does not present a prescription for how cropland should be used and is not, first and foremost, a how-to manual, although following up on references in a given section will frequently provide such information. Instead, The Carbon Farming Solution is—at its root—a toolkit. It is the most complete collection of climate-friendly crops and practices currently available. With this toolkit, farmers, communities, and governments large and small, can successfully launch carbon farming projects with the most appropriate crops and practices to their climate, locale, and socioeconomic needs. Toensmeier’s ultimate goal is to place carbon farming firmly in the center of the climate solutions platform, alongside clean solar and wind energy. With The Carbon Farming Solution, Toensmeier wants to change the discussion, impact policy decisions, and steer mitigation funds to the research, projects, and people around the world who envision a future where agriculture becomes the protagonist in this fraught, urgent, and unprecedented drama of our time. Citizens, farmers, and funders will be inspired to use the tools presented in this important new book to transform degraded lands around the world into productive carbon-storing landscapes.

The West without Water

What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow

Author: B. Lynn Ingram,Frances Malamud-Roam

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520954807

Category: Nature

Page: 280

View: 7791

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The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.

Food Sovereignty, Agroecology and Biocultural Diversity

Constructing and contesting knowledge

Author: Michel Pimbert

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317354974

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 360

View: 8221

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Contestations over knowledge – and who controls its production – are a key focus of social movements and other actors that promote food sovereignty, agroecology and biocultural diversity. This book critically examines the kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing needed for food sovereignty, agroecology and biocultural diversity. ‘Food sovereignty’ is understood here as a transformative process that seeks to recreate the democratic realm and regenerate a diversity of autonomous food systems based on agroecology, biocultural diversity, equity, social justice and ecological sustainability. It is shown that alternatives to the current model of development require radically different knowledges and epistemologies from that on offer today in mainstream institutions (including universities, policy think tanks and donor organisations). To achieve food sovereignty, agroecology and biocultural diversity there is a need to re-imagine and construct knowledge for diversity, decentralisation, dynamic adaptation, and democracy. The authors critically explore the changes in organisations, research paradigms, and professional practice that could help transform and co-create knowledge for a new modernity based on plural definitions of wellbeing. Particular attention is given to institutional, pedagogical, and methodological innovations that can enhance cognitive justice by giving hitherto excluded citizens more power and agency in the construction of knowledge. The book thus contributes to the democratisation of knowledge and power in the domain of food, environment and society.

Growing a Revolution

Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

Author: David R. Montgomery

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393356090

Category: Soil biology

Page: 320

View: 7453

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An inspiring vision for restoring the soil that feeds us all and turns agriculture into a solution for environmental crises.

Let There Be Water

Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World

Author: Seth M. Siegel

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1466885440

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 9448

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New York Times and Los Angeles Times Bestseller! As every day brings urgent reports of growing water shortages around the world, there is no time to lose in the search for solutions. The U.S. government predicts that forty of our fifty states-and 60 percent of the earth's land surface-will soon face alarming gaps between available water and the growing demand for it. Without action, food prices will rise, economic growth will slow, and political instability is likely to follow. Let There Be Water illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the United States and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities. Even with 60 percent of its country made of desert, Israel has not only solved its water problem; it also had an abundance of water. Israel even supplies water to its neighbors-the Palestinians and the Kingdom of Jordan-every day. Based on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews, Let There Be Water reveals the methods and techniques of the often offbeat inventors who enabled Israel to lead the world in cutting-edge water technology. Let There Be Water also tells unknown stories of how cooperation on water systems can forge diplomatic ties and promote unity. Remarkably, not long ago, now-hostile Iran relied on Israel to manage its water systems, and access to Israel's water know-how helped to warm China's frosty relations with Israel. Beautifully written, Seth M. Siegel's Let There Be Water is and inspiring account of the vision and sacrifice by a nation and people that have long made water security a top priority. Despite scant natural water resources, a rapidly growing population and economy, and often hostile neighbors, Israel has consistently jumped ahead of the water innovation-curve to assure a dynamic, vital future for itself. Every town, every country, and every reader can benefit from learning what Israel did to overcome daunting challenges and transform itself from a parched land into a water superpower.