Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming.
The granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a chef led her the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism. She discovered that there is a vast kingdom of creatures under our feet—billions of microorganisms in a tablespoon of soil—that take the carbon dioxide that plants pull from the atmosphere and turn it into life-giving soil carbon. Ohlson introduces visionary scientists, farmers, foodies, ranchers, and landscapers, whose work shows that earth can be healed and offers the hope that seemingly intractable problems like climate change, air and water pollution, food quality, and even obesity have the same low-tech solution.
Ohlson’s fascinating journey to understand the hidden dynamics of the natural world—brought to life through vivid storytelling and crisp, engaging analysis will inspire everyone to rethink the potential of the ground beneath their feet, as well as the landscapes around them, and to figure out how they can make a difference.