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Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
 
 
Author
Judith D. Schwartz. Gretel Ehrlich, foreword.
Publisher Chelsea Green  
Format paperback
ISBN 9781603584326
Pages/Publication Date 220/2013
Daedalus Item Code 38731
List Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $11.95
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Description
Could cows really save our planet? Such a preposterous-sounding idea makes much more sense when you view our current ecological predicament with an eye to soil, says veteran freelance journalist Judith Schwartz. Here she challenges conventional thinking about a number of environmental, economic, and societal crises, arguing that everything from climate change and drought to biodiversity loss and malnutrition could be improved or even reversed through better management of our soil as a vital ecosystem in its own right.

"Judith Schwartz takes us on a fascinating, John McPhee–style journey into the world of soil rehabilitation. The eclectic group of farmers, ranchers, researchers, and environmentalists she visits have one thing in common: they all believe in the importance of organic matter in the soil for solving our most pressing environmental issues. Some of the innovative techniques they use to increase the vitality of their soil include no-tillage, using deep-rooted perennial grasses, cover crops, mulching, and, surprisingly, grazing large herds of animals according to a program called 'holistic management.' Imagine, a book about soil that's a real page turner."—Larry Korn

"The earth beneath our feet is something most of us acknowledge is important for raising crops and nourishing lawns, yet few of us realize just how vital it is to our planet's overall health. Inviting readers to roll up their pant legs and wade with her into the dirt, veteran journalist Schwartz reveals a wealth of detail about soil's beneficial properties and presents a compelling case that proper soil management can end escalating worldwide desertification and slow, or even arrest, global warming. While these assertions may sound surprising, Schwartz collects abundant testimony from leading-edge soil scientists and activists, such as noted Zimbabwe biologist and rancher Allan Savory, whose sophisticated sheep- and cow-herding methods in several countries have completely restored arid grasslands in less than a decade. She also highlights evidence from little-known studies demonstrating that soil restoration techniques can sequester about a billion tons of atmospheric carbon per year, potentially neutralizing damaging greenhouse gases. A well-written and persuasive manifesto for healing earth's environmental woes with one of its most underappreciated resources."—Booklist

 
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