The Carbon Farming Solution

The Carbon Farming Solution

A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security

Book - 2016
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With carbon farming, agriculture ceases to be part of the climate problem and becomes a critical part of the solution

Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture--specifically, the subset of practices known as "carbon farming"--can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform.

Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in above-ground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissions--and in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment-- carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the "magic number" of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Toensmeier''s book is the first to bring together these powerful strategies in one place, including in-depth analysis of the available research and, where research is lacking, a discussion of what it will take to get us there.

Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, grazing systems such as silvopasture are easily replicable, don''t require significant changes to human diet, and--given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture--can be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, agroforestry practices and perennial crops present the best opportunities for sequestration. While many of these systems are challenging to establish and manage, and would require us to change our diets to new and largely unfamiliar perennial crops, they also offer huge potential that has been almost entirely ignored by climate crusaders.

Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded land--all while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Just as importantly to a livable future, these crops and practices can contribute to broader social goals such as women''s empowerment, food sovereignty, and climate justice.

The Carbon Farming Solution does not present a prescription for how cropland should be used and is not, first and foremost, a how-to manual, although following up on references in a given section will frequently provide such information. Instead, The Carbon Farming Solution is--at its root--a toolkit. It is the most complete collection of climate-friendly crops and practices currently available. With this toolkit, farmers, communities, and governments large and small, can successfully launch carbon farming projects with the most appropriate crops and practices to their climate, locale, and socioeconomic needs.

Toensmeier''s ultimate goal is to place carbon farming firmly in the center of the climate solutions platform, alongside clean solar and wind energy. With The Carbon Farming Solution, Toensmeier wants to change the discussion, impact policy decisions, and steer mitigation funds to the research, projects, and people around the world who envision a future where agriculture becomes the protagonist in this fraught, urgent, and unprecedented drama of our time. Citizens, farmers, and funders will be inspired to use the tools presented in this important new book to transform degraded lands around the world into productive carbon-storing landscapes.

Publisher: White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing, [2016]
ISBN: 9781603585712
Branch Call Number: 630.2516
Characteristics: xii, 480 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Additional Contributors: Herren, Hans Rudolf 1947-


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Apr 19, 2019

The climate emergency we're entering is arriving faster than expected. We have baked in further damage from feedback loops that are just kicking in. And we're only making it worse by stalling, expanding oil sands and fracking. To head off world famine and mass extinction we must rapidly draw massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere. And the only affordable and scalable carbon sequestering method is through the natural world, primarily plants.

The Carbon Farming Solution is a complex book that could serve as a very extensive reference guide. Its author is a world expert. Feeding the planet sustainably seems to be his life mission and this is a key contribution.

Yet all we need to know about this critical topic can never be packed into a single book. Technology and world conditions are rapidly changing. I'm so glad the library brought this book in and hope it will keep updating us with further books on, for example, marine permaculture developments and the carbon-absorbing plant engineering underway at places such as California's Salk Institute. We're in such a race against time.

Jan 12, 2019

These ideas should be widely known by public and accepted by all farmers, gardeners and agribusiness. Most suggestions are made for a tropical climate which indicates a great need to develop similar practices in our climate.


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