Cows Save The Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Cows Save The Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603584326
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 05/08/2013
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 264,138
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Judith D. Schwartz is a journalist whose recent work looks at soil as a hub for multiple environmental, economic, and social challenges and solutions. She writes on this theme for numerous publications and speaks at venues around the world. Her 2013 book Cows Save the Planet was awarded a Nautilus Book Award Silver Prize for Sustainability and was among Booklist’s Top 10 Books on Sustainability in 2014. A graduate of the Columbia Journalism School and Brown University, she lives in Vermont.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction 1

1 Ground Zero for Carbon Dioxide Reduction Is the Ground 11

2 Carbon Trading: Nature's Version 30

3 The Making and Unmaking of Deserts-The Grazing Paradox 51

4 The Return of Lost Water 74

5 Beyond Eat Your Vegetables 95

6 The More the Merrier: Biodiversity Starts in the Soil 117

7 The Soil Grab 137

8 Floods, Drought, and the Grasslands, LLC, Experiment 159

9 The Soil Standard 183

Acknowledgments 207

Notes 209

Bibliography 211

Index 213

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Cows Save The Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book to digest, if you like to eat!