Natural Based Solutions, the Silver Buckshot Against the Climate Crisis
A Recap of Al Gore’s Climate Underground Meeting
By Keith Heidecorn
Last month I attended the invitation-only Climate Underground meeting at former VP Al Gore’s family farm, Caney Fork Farms (Carthage, TN). The inaugural meeting hosted ~300 of the top emerging leaders in the field of regenerative agriculture and soil carbon sequestration, including professors, activists, entrepreneurs, chefs, congresswomen, community leaders and more. All were there to discuss ways to collaborate and advance sustainable practices from farm to fork. Over the two days, I listened to talks and panels which broadened my knowledge base on regenerative agriculture and ways to use natural-based solutions to combat climate change.
Here’s what I learned:
The idea of using soil carbon sequestration to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and put it to good use in the soil is not a new concept. Dr. Rattan Lal, Director of Ohio State’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, is one of the pioneers in the field and has been working to educate policy members, scientists, and the public for many years on the matter (Washington Post). However, awareness is increasing in the importance of healthy soils high in carbon content (organic matter) as a factor in combating climate change. This is because carbon sequestration in soils has the potential to sequester on average 2.45 Petagrams (Pg) of Carbon/year and the terrestrial biosphere by 2100 has a potential to sequester 333 Pg (157 ppm CO2) (Lal,2018).
By having more carbon in agricultural soil systems leads to more resilient food systems due to the increased water and nutrient-holding capacity. This then creates a more virtuous cycle by providing an increase in the amount of nutritious food to communities which in turn helps us feed an ever-growing population.
“After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future world depends.” (Wallace Stevens). In the fight against the climate crisis there is no silver bullet; however, natural-based solutions are an important part of the silver buckshot if we are going to make a difference. I am proud of the work we are doing at Locus AG, where we are continually striving to improve agriculture systems by providing soil “probiotics” which are natural, non-GMO, and put carbon back into the ground, where it belongs.
Thank you again to former VP Al Gore and his staff at Caney Fork Farms for putting on a wonderful event and further igniting my passion to use natural based solutions to fight climate change!