Sacred Soil: Biochar and the Regeneration of the Earth

Sacred Soil: Biochar and the Regeneration of the Earth


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A fascinating description of how utilizing the biochar embedded in terra preta, the recently rediscovered sacred soil of the pre-Columbian peoples of the Amazon rainforest, can cut our dependency on petrochemicals, restore the health of our soils, remove carbon from our overheating atmosphere, and restore the planet to pre-industrial levels of atmospheric carbon by 2050. The authors show that the rediscovery of terra preta is an opportunity to move beyond the West’s tradition of plunder and genocide of the native civilizations of the Americas by offering an invitation to embrace the deeper mystery of the indigenous methods of inquiry and to participate in an animate cosmos that gave rise to such a powerful soil technology. Sacred Soil, in recognizing the need for biocultural regeneration, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the phenomenon of biochar soils, utilizing mythopoeic, historical, anthropological, and scientific perspectives to embrace the deep past, the vexed present, and the prospectus for our future. Coming at this crucial juncture in human history, the potential resting in biochar is also an open doorway into the indigenous ways of knowing that enabled the pre-Columbian Amazonian high civilizations to support a population of millions while leaving their lands more fertile than when they arose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623171186
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 07/18/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,262,721
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

ROBERT TINDALL, MA, is a classical guitarist, a long-time student of Zen Buddhism, an inveterate traveler, and the author of The Jaguar that Roams the Mind and The
Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience. Tindall works as a professor of literature, and divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Peru. He leads journeys into the Amazon rainforest and to the Andean archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar to encounter the healing traditions there.
FRÉDÉRIQUE APFFEL-MARGLIN, PhD, is emerita professor of anthropology at Smith College and director and founder of the Sachamama Center for Biocultural Regeneration in the Peruvian Upper Amazon. She was a research associate at the World Institute for Development Economics Research. She has authored and edited thirteen books and published some sixty articles and book chapters, including The Spirit of Regeneration: Andean Culture Confronting Western Notions of Development and Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World.
DAVID SHEARER, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of Full Circle Biochar, a clean technology company developing biochar products for global agricultural and carbon sequestration applications. He was chief scientist at California Environmental Associates and principal environmental scientist at AeroVironment Inc., where he worked in next-generation transportation, energy, carbon mitigation, and information technology. Dr. Shearer has a PhD in environmental epidemiology and a MS in environmental microbiology from the University of California.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Shepherd Boy, You Have Tasted the Mouth of an Amazon 1

Chapter 2 What Is Terra Preta? 11

Chapter 3 Managing the Environment, or Co-creating It? 105

Chapter 4 Imagining a Cosmocentric Economy 133

Chapter 5 Regenerating Terra Preta: Healing Our World and Ourselves 151

Chapter 6 The Context and Science of Biochar 173

Chapter 7 Reclaiming Turtle Island 195

Notes 211

Index 227

About the Authors 239

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