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Natural lawn mowers can benefit the carbon cycle

Australian Landline documentary on Christine Jones' efforts in soil carbon

On Feb 15 the Australian Landline program broadcast a documentary about Christine Jones and her efforts to promote awareness of the soil carbon opportunity.

Her message is simple: Rebuilding carbon-rich agricultural soils is the only real productive permanent solution to taking excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Ten steps to better management of our soils

Ohio State University soil scientist Rattan Lal writes, "We are dealing with 10 global issues at the moment: food security, availability of water, climate change, energy demand, waste disposal, extinction of biodiversity, soil degradation and desertification, poverty, political and ethnic instability, and rapid population increase. The solution to all of these lies in soil management. It doesn't mean that agriculture is the only solution, but it plays a major role in addressing these issues."

For the rest, including 10 recommended steps to better soil management, see

UNCCD executive secretary highlights link between land degradation and climate change

“The land can be… an opportunity to solve most of the ongoing global crises,” Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), told a news conference in New York.

“If we want to tackle climate change challenges, we must look to the untapped potential of the soil to sequester carbon,” said Mr. Gnacadja, calling it a “win-win” situation. “By doing that, we are improving biodiversity of the soil ecosystem and improving the productivity of the soil, therefore impacting the livelihoods of affected populations.”

The Wrong Trousers

Last year Steve Rayner and Gwyn Prins wrote a fine paper on climate change policy. Though the authors do not show awareness of the soil carbon opportunity, or of biological factors in the carbon cycle in general, the 41-page paper is a splendid takedown of the top-down carbon market approaches exemplified by the Kyoto protocol, and projects a framework into which the soil carbon opportunity fits nicely.

Rodale Institute on the soil carbon opportunity

The Rodale Institute has recently come out with a policy document titled "Regenerative Organic Farming: A Solution to Global Warming."

"Successful implementation of regenerative organic farming practices on a national basis will depend on two factors: a strong bottom-up demand for change, and a top-down shift in state and national policy to support farmers in this transition."

Download the report from http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20080425/gw6

Methane: ruminant livestock a minor player in atmospheric levels

Methane is an important greenhouse gas that contributes to global heating. But methane emissions from ruminant digestion play a minor part in atmospheric methane levels, according to a recent article published on the website of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Animal Production and Health branch.

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