Getting Atmospheric Carbon Down to 350 PPM

John Wick has a ranch in Nicasio, a town just north of San Fransisco. When he bought the ranch in 1998, writes Nathanael Johnson in the magazine, Grist, "he didn't want anything to do with agriculture...He liked birds and wild things, not hulking domestic bovines that frequently met him on his own porch. So he got rid of the cattle in hopes of creating wilderness.

"But Jeff Creque, an ecologist that Wick had hired, suggested that the land might be healthier if it were grazed. And indeed, after a couple years of strictly controlled grazing, he saw a huge increase in wildlife. His meadowlark population rose from five to over a hundred. Eagles showed up. Predators moved in. As Wick spoke, a bobcat kitten appeared outside the window and came gamboling toward the house."

“We have 3.5 billion hectares of grasslands [globally],” Wick said. “The most conservative estimate shows that if we do this with 2.7 billion hectares it would get atmospheric carbon down to 350” parts per million, which is what global warming scientists ay we need to aim for. “There is the capacity to do this while producing food, fuel and fiber. And helping wildlife.”

When domestic herbivores are grazed in the right way, the vast grasslands of earth can sequester tremendous amounts of carbon and create far more food for wildlife without needing any chemical input like fertilizers or pesticides.

Read more: What is Holistic Management?

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