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What are other ways we can take an astonishing solution (livestock) to reverse climate change (once caused by that very solution)?

Allan Savory took the unthinkable idea of using the "problem" to solve the problem, using livestock to reverse the desertification once caused by the livestock itself. Is it possible to use fossil fuels to reverse greenhouse gasses? How about fertilizers to reduce water nitrification? Do you think these solutions are possible?

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    Mar 12 2013: I love the way this question is framed, using the "problem" to solve the "problem". That is quite clever. Thank you Jacqueline.
  • Mar 9 2013: forgot to point out that eco-cement is not only better but cheaper to produce than the regular variety of cement which is Portland cement.
  • Mar 9 2013: Here's another one with promise ~ "eco-cement" ~ !!! Cement production is one of the dirtiest industrial processes on the planet - it produces nearly 9% of global CO2.
    It is not widely appreciated that the most substantial process of carbon sequestration on the planet is accomplished biologically by myriad marine organisms making their shells which latter are produced from calcium & magnesium ions in sea water & CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) TAKEN FROM THE AIR AS IT IS FIRST ABSORBED BY SEA WATER. WHEN THE ORGANISMS DIE, THEIR SHELLS DISINTEGRATE & SINK TO THE SEA-FLOOR & FORM CARBONATE SEDIMENTS SUCH AS LIMESTONE, WHICH ARE SAFE CARBON TRAPS which sequester the stuff for sometimes millions of years - see the white cliffs of Dover, England.
    "Eco-cement" (& the concretes made with it) are not only better (stronger more elastic, also bond with wood), BUT ARE CARBON NEGATIVE BECAUSE THEY ABSORB MORE CARBON DIOXIDE THAN THEY PRODUCE.
    THESE CARBON-NEGATIVE CEMENTS & CONCRETES ARE CALLED "ECO-CEMENTS" because they mimic one of nature's ways of of taking CO2 out of the biosphere & sequestering in this instance in carbonate shells.
    This year China & India will use 40 times the amount of cement // concrete used in the USA.
    Both of these nations are beginning to realise that if global warming continues they will pay a particularly high price. Each rely on snow & glacial melt water from the Himalayas - which are now diminishing at an ever accelerating pace. "eco-cement" could be just one of their solutions, as it could be for everyone. And biochar !!!! And Allan's desert greening.
  • Mar 6 2013: Jacqueline - I saw the Ted talk after the comment. It is outstanding, but better rotation methods have been gaining acceptance. One thing we will unfortunately encounter is that many people are always part of the problem - not the solution. We have a human fertility cult in America, or we sould be richer and have fewer people and fewer problems.
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    Mar 5 2013: Here's what little I know:

    It's the wild west out there in biochar land

    The main problem is the one you stated "I had never heard of biochar before"

    "Biochar Solutions" (Morgan Williams company- the one which did the Hope Mine in the previous link) is one of the finalists for the Branson Carbon Capture prize- so yes it's a viable solution. His company has a biochar franchise- you buy the equipment from him and then run your own pyrolizer franchise. It's not a proven money maker (another big problem)

    There are a bunch of DIY pyrolizers on youtube (mostly using coffee cans or oil drums) These are fun for the home gardener but don't begin to solve the big problem of beetle kill pine, wood waste or traditional agricultural burning. It's likely your local garden center either has small quantities of biochar for sale or can point you in the right direction. There are also plenty of internet sites where you can buy it in small quantities (again very $$$).

    The most hopeful solution I've found so far is a startup in the Washington area which is making a portable pyrolizer. This is the one which makes sense to me- take the kiln to the "feedstock" not the other way around. It seems like the same type of solution as mosquito nets for malaria- don't spend the money on a huge stationary plant but take the oven direct to the woodpile.
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      Mar 5 2013: Interesting, I to had never heard of it. Thanks.
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        Mar 5 2013: Jacqueline and Don

        This exactly what I mean by "stovepiping" by both the permaculture and the public sector. There are multiple solutions out there and they could dovetail nicely into each other if we just stop protecting our individual turf and get on with it.....


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    Mar 5 2013: Let's be clear on the difference between charcoal and coal.

    If it's purification you're looking for.....

    Take a looksee at what was accomplished with biochar on slag a few years ago. Turn slag into soil.

    We have a lot of beetle kill and we need to capture that carbon before it goes back into the atmosphere with a big forest fire. A 5% biochar addition to mulch yielded exceptional results at the Hope mine (the youtube link). There was also an impressive study done for the Biosphere project where the air was purified using a "filter" of 3 cubic meters of dirt.
    • Mar 5 2013: I had never heard of biochar before, but it seems like a sustainable solution, tackling both soil fertility and carbon pollution. Is this a realistic solution to implement on a larger scale? The few research plots they are testing seem pretty small. Also, is this product available for homeowners to improve their lawn/garden fertility, while knowingly or unknowingly improving the environment at the same time?
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    Mar 5 2013: Coal is a great air and water filter, so maybe use coal in giant filters before burning it for energy may help?


    How about fertilizers to reduce water nitrification?
    Look up benefits to compost tea, a health lawn is good for water, CO2 capture and is better looking.
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      Mar 5 2013: Biochar. You skip that mining step all together.
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        Mar 5 2013: I did say “help”, by no means would I suggest it would be a solution.
        To make it financially attractive how about using coal for home, hospital, etc air filtering then add coal to the current recycling system. AI you put our used filters in your recycle bin and it goes to a coal power plant or preferable as soil biochar as I think you’re suggesting.

        It’s uncanning you mentioned mining, for it triggered old memoirs I have of me and my dad going fishing at former strip coal mines that where turned into cattle grassing land with good little known fishing ponds. Good memoirs, thanks for triggering them.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 5 2013: Thank you for posting the link to that fascinating and important video.

    As an American, I can speak as one. In America, the most watched (by far) news channel is FOX. Every time the grave threat of global warming is mentioned, there is a refusal to discuss how this will impact us no matter who or what is causing it. Viewers are never told that this will impact the ability of Americans to survive - just as it has impacted other parts of the world. Most people don't know that much of the USA is really a desert, and that the desert is growing as quickly as the glaciers in Glacier National Park are melting.

    I am stunned that the national conversation is limited to what is to blame (Nature or man) and it never turns to what it means to our survival, regardless of who or what is causing it. There is a large block of Americans who believe that they and their families will be raptured before hunger and thirst enters their own homes. Because of this, they refuse to even acknowledge the threat. Those who are not raptured deserve what they will get (their thinking), so there is no need to limit any damage or even conserve (which is odd for those who call themselves conservatives).

    My question is one of how we can get this message heard without having billions of dollars to buy air-time on those networks that will allow such a video to be aired.
    • Mar 5 2013: I think the first step is moving away from what you pointed out- the argument about what/who is to blame, and instead move towards acceptance. For even those who do not believe we are the cause of it, or even that the problem is something so dangerous it deserves the name of Global Warming, cannot deny that our earth is in need of some help. (Or maybe that's just me being hopeful?) If we got the help of big companies making big moves (not necessarily big sacrifices), taking social responsibility, maybe more people would follow. There are facets to a solution out there, like this live stock strategy, that are making real change, that if we did even minimal reporting on it on stations like FOX, do you think more people would begin to believe that there is hope for meaningful change and sustainability?
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        Gail .

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        Mar 5 2013: Absolutely. FOX news aficionados are good little sheeple. They will say, do, and believe whatever they are told to - as long as they can link it to someone to hate or something to fear. (Preferably, how the Democrats caused something to fear)
        • Mar 5 2013: Is it possible to use bad for good? To demonize, say Democrats, in order to get people on board for sustainable change? Or would that just backfire and leave us back where we started, only with more hatred and reluctance?
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        Gail .

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        Mar 5 2013: No, because as soon as you inflame Democrats with lies, they will react in equally childish ways. That's how political leaders convince the people to vote for the continuation of the corruption. Both sides have sheeple who follow their fears. The American educational system exists in order to teach people how to NOT-think, and our fiscal system rewards sheeple for being sheeple.

        We need to think outside of the box.
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        Gail .

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        Mar 6 2013: FOX News (shown in the attached link as FNC (Fox News Corp) is consistently the most highly watched news-type program in America in every time slot. You certainly can't expect popular CBS Sit-coms to have in-depth discussions about these types of things.

        (Here is a rundown for 3/4 - but all rundowns for the past couple of years show the same thing. Numbers are showing thousands of viewers.)

        FNC 1,195
        CNN 362
        MSNBC 470
        CNBC 159
        FBN 68
        HLN 439

        FNC 2,182
        CNN 545
        MSNBC 893
        CNBC 134
        FBN 70
        HLN 638

        Net Morning programs (6-9 AM)
        FNC FOX & Friends 1,152
        CNN Early Start/Starting Point 193
        MSNBC Morning Joe 397
        CNBC Squawk Box 174
        HLN Morning Express w/ Meade 282

        FOX (FNC) certainly is the main-stream news media that they complain so bitterly about.
  • Mar 5 2013: you are right in saying grazing methods can help some problems.
    • Mar 5 2013: What other methods do you think are attainable in helping these problems?