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'Grass, Soil, Hope' by Courtney White

5/1/2014 12:05:00 PM

Tags: climate change, greenhouse gasses, biodiversity, Chelsea Green Publishing

Grass Soil HopeGrass, Soil, Hope (Chelsea Green, 2014) tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges of climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?

An important answer lies in the soil. Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. Could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?

Yes, says author Courtney White. It is not only possible, it’s essential.

The key is carbon, because it is everywhere. It’s the soil beneath our feet, the plants that grow, the land we walk, the wildlife we watch, the livestock we raise, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the air we breathe. Without it we die; with the just right amounts we thrive; with too much we suffer.

Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere only requires plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration efforts that are low-tech and already being used by farmers, ranchers, and gardeners around the world. These efforts include 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, White shows how these efforts 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.

Buy this book from the Chelsea Green Bookstore.

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