The Soil Solution to Climate Change

SustainableWorld (2014)

Film Review

This informational film, based on the French 4 per 1,000 initiative, proposes an ancient form of carbon sequestration* as an alternative to risky technological methods of carbon sequestration. There is strong scientific consensus that to prevent catastrophic global warming, atmospheric CO2 levels must be reduced from 400 parts per million (ppm) to 350 ppm.

The 4 per 1,000 initiative encourages all UN member countries to increase the carbon in their soils by 0.4% per year by transitioning from industrial agriculture – which tends to strip soil of carbon – to more traditional practices that tend to replenish soil carbon (and simultaneously increase yields: see Organic and Sustainable Farming Increases Yields by 79% or More).

According to the filmmakers, adopting the French initiatiative would also reverse the planet’s rapid depletion of top soil. At present, 50-80% of the world’s top soil has been lost due to loss of carbon. We continue to lose roughly 24 billion tons of topsoil a year due to heavy plowing and use of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. All three practices kill important soil organisms responsible for replenishing soil carbon.

This systematic lost of carbon, the fibrous matter we find in soil, also destroys water quality – largely by facilitating run-off of these chemicals into our waterways. Healthy carbon-rich soils absorb and retain water like a sponge, helping to prevent both flooding and drought.

The film finishes by exploring organic farming techniques – increased use of cover cops, plant diversity and planned grazing – that assist plants in sequestering carbon.

For more information about the 4 per 1,000 initiative see Join the 4 per 1000 Initiative


*Carbon sequestration – a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

Comments
  1. futuret says:

    CLIMATE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CHANGING, SINCE THE PLANET WAS CREATED; THE PROBLEM HOWEVER, IS NOT WITH CO2, BUT WITH CARBON MONOXCIDE. WE INTAKE OXYGEN FROM THE PLANTS, AND WE GIVE THEM THE CO2 THAT THEY NEED. THIS IS A FANTASTIC PARTNERSHIP AND AN EXCELLENT TRADE OFF. WE DO HAVE VOLCANIC ACTIVITY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEANS, THAT RARELY ANYONE CONSIDERS. I SAY 1000% FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION EVERYWHERE, AND LESS CARS IN THE GARAGE. THE ONLY PEOPLE CAPABLE OF TRAVELING 100 MPH ARE THE (1) NASCAR DRIVERS, (2) EMERGENCY PERSONNEL, AND (3) LAW ENFORCEMENT; THE REST OF US DO NOT NEED 100 MPH. WALKABLE CITIES, AND CONNECTING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TOO. OBSERVE THE LANDSCAPE AND LEAVE THE DRIVING INTO THE HANDS THAT REALLY CAN DRIVE, SAVE LIVES TOO.

  2. The problem, futuret, is one of balance. Too much of any substance will throw any biological system out of balance. In the past 10,000 years humankind has enjoyed a really ideal climate for food production because the majority of the earth’s carbon was locked up in fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. We have spent the last 150 years changing this pure carbon to CO2 by rampantly burning fossil fuels.

    The effect of high CO2 levels (like other greenhouse gasses such as methane and nitrous oxide) is to trap heat and drastically change weather systems. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in the South Pacific, we are experiencing unprecedented cyclones, floods, landslides, freak snowstorms and droughts that are seriously affect food production.

    The other problem with high levels of atmospheric CO2 is that the oceans absorb it, which makes them really acid. This is rapidly killing of the tiny plant life that support fish stocks – this and over fishing is rapidly killing off the fish stocks that many cultures rely on for food.

  3. […] show the animals also significantly increase CO2 sequestration (capture and storage – see The Soil Solution to Climate Change) in areas where they have been […]

  4. […] Food production – at present we expend 12 fossil fuel calories for every calorie of food produce. In additions to our chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides (all derived from fossil fuels), we also use fossil fuels in food processing and packaging, to run farm machinery and to transport food halfway around the world. The transition in food production has already begun, with strong organic and buy local movements worldwide. Heinberg also supports the growing movement to use sustainable agriculture to sequester carbon ((carbon farming, aka the 4 per 1,000 initiative – see The Soil Solution to Climate Change). […]

  5. amaezed says:

    We need more co2 … climate conspiracy. Gets more $ from u…what a hoax. Trump is disbanding EPA…about time…http://haarp.net/

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