Why Soil Carbon Coalition? The most powerful and creative planetary force.

The Soil Carbon Coalition is a nonprofit organization working to advance the practice, and spread awareness of the opportunity, of turning atmospheric carbon into water-holding, fertility-enhancing soil organic matter and humus. We are doing this by identifying the successes of local leadership via time-series monitoring, with open data. We want to help facilitate a shared and shareable intelligence on landscape function, so that communities can take informed responsibility for soil health and the function of their watersheds.

As Vernadsky realized about 100 years ago, life (powered by photosynthesis and carbon cycling) is the most potent geologic force. Carbon cycling (which heavily influences water cycling) underlies almost all of our biggest challenges. Many now realize that humans have become a principal influence on carbon and water cycling, but our influence has been largely inadvertent, and often (e.g. changes in soil carbon in specific places) outside our awareness.

Our challenge, our opportunity, is to learn how to manage carbon and water cycling (landscape function or biological work) for the good of the whole at a variety of scales. But many of our methods, tools, and systems for learning are not

Keith Berns (Greencover Seed) on rebuilding the nation's soils

From the 3rd Southern Soil Health Conference. What leaders are needed, what workers are needed, and what tools are needed to rebuild the nation's soils.

Walter Jehne: Restoring water cycles to naturally cool climate

Walter Jehne, former CSIRO Climate Scientist and Microbiologist, founder of Healthy Soils Australia, explains the role of water in climate change and climate mitigation at an intensive workshop at Lake Morey Resort in Vermont, USA (November 2016). Water is the largest greenhouse gas and yet climate models have not fully included it because 1) it is considered too hard to model and 2) it is not considered possible for humans to influence. Jehne shows how we CAN work with hydrological cycles and the soil sponge to naturally, safely cool the climate, but only if we get started right away.

U.S. crop insurance

Losses covered by federally subsidized U.S. crop insurance have declined substantially in the last three years. See table, and maps of indemnities by county:

Crop insurance indemnities, 2014 crop year

Crop insurance indemnities, 2015 crop year

Crop insurance indemnities, 2016 crop year

Total crop insurance indemnities, 2014-2016 crop years

December 2016


Soil health and structure is the background and center of gravity for most of our big issues, including water, agricultural productivity, local economies, and resiliency to extreme weather events. Here Todd McPeak, Peter Donovan, and Jay Fuhrer are testing water infiltration in one of Todd's hayfield/pastures in North Dakota. Photo by Didi Pershouse

Thanks to all of you who have supported us in 2016, we've been working this past year on ways to make it easier for you to participate in growing a shared, local intelligence on soil health and watershed function.

We invite you to try one or more of the following.

Gabe Brown at TEDx Grand Forks

Rancher-to-rancher day at Sierra Foothill Conservancy near Prather, California

The Rancher-to-Rancher day at Table Mountain with Sierra Foothill Conservancy on March 19, 2016 was one of the best. Kent Reeves had arranged this with Billy Freeman, their cattle and grazing manager. We had great weather for an outdoor day, and the place was lush and beautiful with lots of grass and flowers.

Shifting soil paradigms

This 3-minute video is the intro to a series of videos on soil health. By Buz Kloot who works in South Carolina.

Soil aggregates and infiltration: an analogy

Using flour, bread, and water, Emaline shows how rainwater and flooding affect unaggregated (poorly structured) soils vs. aggregated (living) soils. This is part of the Climate, Water, Soil & Hope project created by Didi Pershouse of the Soil Carbon Coalition. Our goal is to grow and support leaders who know how to collaborate with the power of biological work. To donate to our project, see button on this page, or for more information contact

Water cycle

Much conventional thinking about the environment tends to separate "parts" of the same whole. In dealing with water problems, for example, we tend to focus on symptoms -- such as flooding, erosion, and riparian conditions -- rather than causes, which are almost always related to the function of the water cycle.

Pages

Subscribe to Soil Carbon Coalition RSS