Cows Save The Planet

Cows Save The Planet

by Judith D. Schwartz, 212 pages, 6x9, softcover. The standard answer to global warming is burn less fossil fuel. No doubt good advice, but the biggest cause of excessive carbon dioxide is abused soil. “In the past 150 years between 50 and 80 percent of the organic carbon in the topsoil has gone airborne.” Putting that carbon back would drastically reduce our carbon dioxide problem. As deep-rooted plants grow, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, they help soil microorganisms thrive. When spared killing chemicals, the microorganisms create organic carbon, rebuilding the soil so that it can grow nutrient-rich crops, turning deserts back into grasslands. Forests bring back the rain and temper the climate. Carbon-rich soils absorb water so it can feed the plants instead of running off and creating floods and rising sea levels. Cows have been unfairly accused of producing too much methane and contributing greatly to rising CO2 levels. When managed properly, allowed to graze on the grasses they evolved alongside, ruminants can change desolate rangelands into drought-tolerant regions with carbon-rich soils high in species diversity. Schwartz takes us from Vermont to Australia to Africa, North Dakota and Slovakia, combining the science of rebuilding depleted soils with the personal stories of the researchers, ranchers, farmers and filmmakers who are showing us the way to restore our planet. -Susan Kiralis

9534 Cows Save The Planet
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