Unmaking the Deserts, Rethinking Climate Change, Bringing Back Biodiversity, and Restoring Nutrients to our Food
Cows saving the planet? Why not? An idea that sounds preposterous begins to make sense when you take a soil’s-eye view of our current ecological predicament.
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problemsclimate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesityour ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Where do cows fit in?
Cattle, like all grazing creatures, can, if appropriately managed, restore land and help build soil. Rebuilding soil is only one aspect of this important, paradigm-shifting book. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil“green water”in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility.
Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil’s pivotal role in our ecology and economy and an antidote to those awash in despairing environmental news. It is also an important call to action on behalf of the soiland, by extension, those of us who benefit from it.
Earth healing underfoot? Biodiversity underground? Cattle as a carbon-sequestering force? All these real options and much more, explored by eminent journalist Judith D. Schwartz in her new book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
About the Author
Judith D. Schwartz http://www.judithdschwartz.com/ is a longtime freelance writer whose work has appeared in venues from Glamour and Redbook to The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times. She is the author of several books, including Tell Me No Lies: How to Face the Truth and Build a Loving Marriage (coauthored) and The Therapist’s New Clothes. She has an MA in counseling psychology and an MS from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She lives with her family in Southern Vermont.
Articles by Judith D. Schwartz
Just Planting Trees Won’t Stop March of Desert, Pacific Standard, June 17, 2012
Turning the Clock Back on Desertification, Christian Science Monitor, October 24, 2011
Greener Pastures, Conservation, June 2011
How to Save the Grassland: Bring in More Cattle, Time.com, September 7, 2010
This Import Might Save American Jobs, Miller-McCune, December, 2009
What Jane Jacobs Can Teach Us About the Economy, Miller-McCune, October, 2009
Can “Slow Investing” Remake America’s Food Industry?, Time.com, September 11, 2009
Dollars with Good Sense: DIY Cash, Yes! Magazine, June 2009
Communities Plan for a Low Energy Future (Transition), Christian Science Monitor, September 11, 2008
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Pub Date: May 20, 2013
Retail Price: US $17.95 / Canada $20.95
Category: Nature & Environment
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