To keep our soils

Patrick Donovan says, “The ecological issue of the future is not between extraction and ‘protection’. It is between bare soil and covered.” Allan Savory noted that the problem of climate change, and that of desertification, were two sides of the same coin: ecosystem malfunction.

Suppose we cut fossil fuel emissions to zero by dawn tomorrow.
Could we put a stop to global warming?

Then what’s a solution to global warming?

“When we’re in the pasture, the field, or the garden, we’re standing on it”, says Donovan.

“Even in its presently depleted state, the soil holds more carbon than the atmosphere plus all the world’s vegetation combined. Soil organic matter (which is mostly carbon) can last for centuries—barring exposure to the elements, tillage, harsh chemical applications, or significant warming.

“Unlike carbon dioxide burial, organic carbon in the soil enhances every aspect of our life-support system: water-holding capacity and drought resistance, water quality, biodiversity including underground and marine, human health, true fertility, viable rural communities, and the stability of the soil itself.”

Soil erosion in the USA“Soil erosion and degradation are so severe world-wide, that it threatens our agricultural base.”, says Dr J Floor Anthoni in New Zealand.

“Because soil degradation and erosion happen so slowly, they seldom give rise to immediate action. In fact, it is hardly noticed….

“Soil appears to be here forever. It is nearly impossible to imagine that this unnoticeable rate of loss is many times that of natural formation.

“Had artificial fertilizers not been available, soil degradation would have been noticed much earlier, but these miracle cures appear to be able to compensate for declining fertility.

“Only by looking at the larger picture, does the severity of soil loss become clear.”

See this exploration of an Earth Without Dirt.