Soil, Carbon, and Climate Change
Ryland Englehart, Molly Haviland, Jimmy Sinton, and Dr. Elaine Ingham, came together to discuss ways to save the soil and protect our climate. The burning of fossil fuels, the release of methane gas, and the increasing amount of CO2 in our atmosphere create the dangerous warming conditions that are driving climate change. Its all about Carbon Sequestration.
There is good news though. We can improve “carbon sequestration.” This will take the carbon from the air and move it to the soil. We’ll have to combine this with actions to support the microorganisms that feed plant growth and soil health. If we do these things we could change the carbon equation in the Earth’s favor in as little as three years. But it will take a worldwide effort.
Most of us don’t pay any attention to soil quality. In fact, if we were to bring it up in discussion with most people, they would turn the subject to their favorite sports teams or the Kardashians.
The low quality and loss of our topsoil is a threat that is even more immediate than the warming of our environment. Even for people who have an interest in gardening or farming, the extent of their knowledge about the soil is summed up by the letters “NPK” – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
What the public doesn’t know is there are at least 42 other essential elements in the soil. All these elements are critical to the nutrient quality of our food. Most of them have been depleted.
Carbon sequestration provides a mechanism to return carbon back to the soil. Excess carbon in our environment has created a tremendous threat for global warming. Emission controls and various forms of legislation will not be enough to turn the tide. We need to build better soil through better biology and to bring the carbon back to that soil.
Improved soil will improve food yields and the nutrients of those foods. Everyone can play a role in this. Whether you have a lawn, a garden, an orchard, or a field, improving the microbiology of your soil will lead to healthier grass, plants, fruits and vegetables.
Making Change Happen
It will take everyone’s efforts because the opposition is strong. The opposition is strong. Large chemical and biotech companies have a hold on universities and the research done there. They also influence our educational system and consumer awareness. It will have to be like the earlier fight against Big Tobacco.
A lot of the change will be driven by consumer demand. A positive sign is that we already see a huge shift in sales from packaged to unpackaged foods.
Besides a change in consumer awareness and getting people to vote with their wallets, we must bring the knowledge of soil management to schools and to the small farmer.
One misconception is that it’s too late. That our soil is devoid of nutrients. The fact is, the nutrients are already in the soil but they have to become plant available. We have to increase the amount of microorganisms in our soil to make that happen. This will lead to an enzymatic process that changes the inorganic matter of rocks and crystals to organic matter that plants can then feed off of.
When you have a living soil our food, air, and water all improve.