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Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?

The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals.

Scientists maintain that a mere 2 perce
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 23rd 2014 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company
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Megan Thompson No, the author does discuss carbon sequestration through grass-raised animal pasturing and biofuels, among other things.
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May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: & other climate fighting groups
Recommended to Joan by: Suha Chari
Suha from recommended this book to me and I found it fascinating. The thesis is that soil sequestration of carbon could be significant enough to have a substantial impact on climate change as well as dealing with feeding many more people who will be born in this century. The author makes a credible case for his thesis although the last chapter in particular is an unproven extrapolation of some of the ideas presented in this book. Fundamentally, he shows that by improving our soil and d ...more
Eric Jensen
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
An important and exciting book detailing the potential and techniques for carbon sequestration in our soil, which can positively impact global warming as well as support sustainable food production models. I was particularly inspired by the discussions of the 'young agrarian' movement; The Greenhorns, urban rooftop farming, the National Young Farmers Coalition, etc.
Vishal Katariya
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: farming, climate
Wonderful book about the power of sequestering carbon in the soil.
Patrick Walsh
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in environmental issues, and climate change in particular.
This book is a pleasure to read. The title suggests that the material might be dry, but Courtney White's writing keeps the reader engaged. The journey metaphor, though hard to follow at some points, manages to create a usable framework for the several stories.

The central conceit, and not to be overlooked as the reader takes the journey, is that building, restoring, and maintaining healthy soil is an essential component of global ecology. A two percent increase in soil carbon could offset "a larg
Gina Rheault
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book focuses on the carbon cycle vs the more familiar hydrologic cycle. Carbon is either in the air, inthe ground, or in living things. We have too much in the air from so many decades and centuries of taking it from the earth and releasing it into the air. The author proposes to transfer carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere to the soil by radically re-thinking conventional farming and ranching, that tend to release carbon rather than returning it to the soil.

Focusing on the carbon cycle as it
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening, food
Grass, Soil, Hope is an accessible book about the real hope we have to raise a new generation of farmers who can reverse climate change, sequester carbon, restore land and clean up pollution. The author takes you through a series of topics that showcase new practices that are proving to be effective in restoring soil and improving productivity to our land. Both scientific evidence and practical case studies are showing real possibilities for sequestering carbon and healing pasture and cropland. ...more
Sara Van Dyck
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are many proposals for reducing global warming: Cap and Trade! Underground storage! Sulfur compounds spewed into the atmosphere!

White offers examples of a less-dramatic way, a low-tech approach, using plants to sequester carbon in the soil. This doesn’t require huge expenditures, political will that’s not available, or dubious techno-fixes. The effectiveness of the soil-carbon technique needs more exploration, but the projects he profiles are being tested around the country in the field, n
Ellen Harrington-kane
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a really fantastic book. First of all--I am not a farmer or a rancher, but this book made me WANT to be. Secondly, the ideas put forth were laid out in such a way that a non-farmer such as myself could actually understand.

Since reading this book, I have a new plan for my backyard garden in the spring, I plan to visit an urban farm in the spring, and will spend the winter learning more. My hope is to use some of this knowledge as I engage with the Lakota people through Re-Member.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
What drew me to the book was the mere possibility that a major chunk of carbon emmissions could be offset by using fairly low tech agricultural and land management techniques. By using photosynthesis to draw carbon dioxide out of the air and into the soil, carbon now becomes a resource, enriching topsoil. I came away convinced that carbon sequestration is the key to minimizing climate change.
Fred Dameron
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many books, articles and lectures talk about the gloom and doom of climate, land use, water use, carbon etc, the hope part is the best part of this work. Ms. White shows where the hope is and how we ALL need to look at the Hope and emulate it. Whether it's rebuilding creeks, using better land management practices for open rang, using traditional farming practices instead of forcing eastern crops in the west, limiting water use in agriculture and, of course sequestering carbon. I've been worki ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the matter in this book...I highly believe we can save our soil and our world with change like that outlined in the book.

However, I found it exceedingly hard to read...I've read several books on these same subjects and this one was simply difficult to get through...I haven't been able to put my finger on why.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is a LOT of information packed into this book, and reading it made my head spin a bit. BUT, I love that it is hopeful and presents real solutions for our crisis, ones that are proving they are viable in real time. Fascinating read!
Alan Bates
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who would have thought about grass and dirt would be so interesting. It talks about sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration and restoring nature while keeping the land productive. This is a very hopeful book.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that should change how we do agriculture. Also a good read.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I needed this.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good read, though I worry parts of it are overly-optimistic in nature.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this like your life and the life of your children depend on it. We can’t let money win out over common sense. Large agribusiness says fertilizers, heavy tilling, pesticides, and monocultures are the only way to feed the world. The very heavy price for that type of food production is our environment.
Read Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White and see if any ideas that he has gathered are not majestically brilliant and then talk about the book, its ideas can feed the world with good clean fair
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
excellent introduction to carbon sequestration on small land holdings and so much more.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book succeeds in providing inspirational and informative narratives of agricultural and landscape renewal pioneers storing carbon in the soil, one of the greatest opportunities for dealing with climate change. It is at its strongest in crisp and short sections that develop as their characters reveal more, but occasionally becomes confused and lost when there isn't as clear a narrative throughline (I'm looking at you, chapter on New Orleans). Overall, I learned a few good things and felt gre ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
good golly this has to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. First hopeful thing I've read about the climate change crisis. it explains the long and twisty road we have been on that has led to our CO2 abundance, and presents a simple but long term remedy. should be required reading for everyone, especially the climate deny-ers. Five stars.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's amazing to me that the kind of developments highlighted in this book are not more commonplace. Carbon sequestration in the soil, achieved through fairly low-tech agricultural and land management / restoration projects can have such a positive effect on our air and the ability of our soils to produce good food.
Lisa Daleiden-brugman
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This non-fiction book touched upon so many buzzy topics in environmental sustainability! It was fascinating to see how they are all tied to the carbon cycle. Needless to say, I am going to be using a lot of my compost this spring. Learned a lot and engagingly written.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Good ideas, bland presentation
Norman Baxter
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book with workable, real world solutions to the problem of excessive CO2 in the atmosphere.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting reading. Glad to know that there are people who are working on real solutions to the problems we face.
Naomi Irene
rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2016
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2019
Margaret Everett
rated it it was ok
Oct 05, 2014
Jim Kahn
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Sep 15, 2014
Jeroen WATTE
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Nov 03, 2018
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