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.
This winter's remonitoring of California baseline carbon plots established in January-February 2011 showed most with little change, or slight losses. The highest gain was from a plot near Watsonville managed with holistic planned grazing by Joe Morris of TO Cattle Company (http://morrisgrassfed.com) which showed significant increases in all three layers sampled, with results viewable on the map of soil carbon change:
While there's increasing recognition of the soil carbon opportunity, effective policy or markets haven't arisen. It may be how we're thinking about it. We may be out of position.
Stan Boyd of South Dakota NRCS made a great little video about doing a simple, single-ring infiltration test on three different types of management. "[Infiltration] responds very rapidly to changes in management."