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Cows Save the Planet

And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
Narrated by: Judith D. Schwartz
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Environment
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

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 problems - climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity - there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil.

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, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

©2013 Judith D. Schwartz (P)2017 Chelsea Green Publishing

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  • Benjamin
  • 26-09-18

Wow!

I blew through this book in record time because it's fantastic. As a soil nut I added to my knowledge in her connection to the water cycle & meteorology. I really appreciated the reference to even more fathers of healthy soil understanding from the early 20th century that I hadn't heard of. Great minds as well that understood connections to our own health. I was left wondering if bison grazing sovereignty is our only choice at this point in civilization's experiment. Loved it, highly recommend it, especially if you feel you've learned all there is to know about soil and her connections to all life.

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  • John
  • 11-01-18

The story is incredible!

This story is worth sharing and inspired me to do what I can on my small property to manage soil better. I wish it included more info on currency and economic solutions, but the included discussion on Fiat currencies and alternative currencies was incredible.
The reader changes cadence from very slow at the beginning, to faster at the beginning and then slow again toward the end.....a small annoyance.

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  • Thomas E. Tudor
  • 14-11-19

Important, moreover instructive for survival

Soil is essential and too other ignored, abused and trashed. The absence of life cannot replenish the earth. What can literally eat carbon like a caterpillar eats a leaf, good soil literally scrubs the air clean of carbon and holds the rain like a sponge! With good soil we can ground our planet in a renewable garden of Eden. Grasslands potential for carbon storage can be achieved by using large herds of hooved animals.

The writer reads her own book, an adequate choice, but this book is more than worthy of a professional reader.

Worth the effort to listen to this choppy, slow paced, droning performance. Chooses the faster playback option.