Climate solutions: herding livestock

March 9th, 2013 | Posted by Joep in Carbon Positive | Food | Inspiration | Our Future | Victory Scenario | Water

Herding livestock on 50% of the worlds pastures and areas where we are seeing desertification can help families in providing for themselves, restore water tables and rivers, increase organic matter in the soil, sequester carbon dioxide in the soil and prevent release of methane to an extent that will take the atmospheric CO2 below pre-industrial levels, hence save us from global warming. Really?

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

It is all about how we manage our livestock. Our current way of  animal husbandry is always in every case destructive, and contributes to climate change and desertification. Savory agrees that there is a right and wrong way, but makes a case that with the right practices, ruminants can become a powerful tool for healing damaged land and sequestering carbon. If you have not visited one of our local farmers that are providing our stores with grass-fed beef, go on a road trip. When the buffalo roamed the Great Plains, the top soil was about 6 foot deep and fertile; now we have reduced that to mere inches. Watch this video from Allan Savory titled “How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change”.  It includes case studies of his hard learned approach (it took killing 40,000 elephants to see that he was wrong) and how it is transforming millions of acres on different continents around the world. This has to be part of our Victory Scenario.

Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world. Full bio »


Learn more

If you want to learn more about holisitc land management practices, here are a few points resources to get started:

Holistic Management Resource List (including scholarly citations, popular articles, and videos)

Research Paper Summaries Germane to Holistic Management

Land Restoration in Arid Regions with Holistic Management

Land Restoration in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico, with Holistic Management

Case Studies & Related

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