Grantee/Partner News

Grass, Soil, Hope A Journey Through Carbon Country

June 30, 2014

Grantee News From Quivira Coalition:


by Courtney White

Foreword by Michael Pollan

“As anyone paying attention now knows, we will be facing numerous new challenges in our agriculture and food system in the near future. The most important ‘journey’ we all need to make in preparing for that future is, as Courtney White points out, to restore the biological health of our soil. The hopefulness in Courtney’s journey comes from his demonstration of the practical ways in which we can accomplish this task. Anyone interested in the future of food should read this remarkable, heartwarming book.”—Fred Kirschenmann, author, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher

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. Soil 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.

– See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/grass_soil_hope:paperback#sthash.PQomG0qT.dpuf

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