January 2016

Book Profile: Two Percent Solutions for the Planet


Two Percent Solutions for the Planet
50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech, Nature-Based Practices for Combatting Hunger, Drought, and Climate Change
By Courtney White, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015, 240 pages

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet profiles 50 innovative practices that soak up carbon dioxide in soils, reduce energy use, sustainably intensify food production and increase water quality. The “two percent” refers to the amount of new carbon in the soil needed to reap a wide variety of ecological and economic benefits; the percentage of the nation’s population who are farmers and ranchers; and the low financial cost (in terms of GDP) needed to get this work done.

As White explained in Grass, Soil, Hope, a highly efficient carbon cycle captures, stores, releases and recaptures biochemical energy, mitigating climate change, increasing water-storage capacities in soil and making green plants grow. Best of all, we don’t have to invent anything new; a wide variety of innovative ideas and methods that put carbon back into the soil have been field tested and proven to be practical and profitable. They’re mostly low-tech, too, relying on natural resources such as sunlight, green plants, animals, compost, beavers, creeks and more.

In Two Percent Solutions, White expands the “regenerative toolbox” to include holistic grazing, edible forests, biochar, weed-eating livestock, food co-ops, keyline plowing, restoration agriculture, bioenergy, aquaponics, animal power, bees, bears, wildlife corridors, rainwater harvesting, native seeds and various other projects across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. These short, engaging success stories will help readers connect the dots between diverse, exciting and pragmatic practices and inspire them, energized by the news that solutions abound.



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