Courtney White on Climate Solutions in the Soil /17

Carbon has become synonymous with “the problem,” but all terrestrial life is based on carbon, and figuring out the carbon cycle is a prerequisite to taking effective climate action. As a continuation of our exploration of restoration agriculture with Mark Shepard, we discuss grassland ecosystems and their capacity to pull massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the ground—representing a real, promising solution to our planetary crisis. Globally, 99% of grasslands are drought-stricken, overgrazed, and weakened by exotic species invasions. With some subtle adjustments to cattle management and some basic awareness of the carbon cycle, we can make a large dent in greenhouse emissions. Imagine what we can do with some more radical changes! Courtney White, formerly a frontline environmental activist and author of Grass, Soil, Hope, is tapping this extraordinary potential by bringing “carbon ranching” to the American Southwest through his work with the Quivira Coalition.