Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Soil Will Save Us: A Review


I just finished reading The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson. Kristin Ohlson is a local Portland author. It's always fun to read something that was written by someone in your own community, isn't it? Makes it seem just a little more special.
This is a book about climate change. However, it is unlike any other book on climate change that I have read. This book doesn't talk about the demise of the planet, or how we need to all stop driving our cars tomorrow. This book addresses climate change from a new perspective; instead of the doom and gloom, it addresses how we can slow climate change without a lot of money or technology.
The Soil Will Save Us talks about the importance of global soils in sequestering and storing carbon from the atmosphere. And, according to Ohlson's research, a significant amount of our carbon emissions could be removed from the atmosphere by simply growing soil, and leaving that soil (and the microbes that call it home) undisturbed indefinitely.  She talks about the importance of grazing in maintaining soil productivity (not the first that I have read about this in recent months), the need for no-till farming practices, and how political policies that reimburse farmers for the carbon that their soil sequesters may be the wave of the future.
I am a soils nerd, so I, of course, loved the book. My one criticism is that it reads a bit like a novel, which for most, is probably great. However, for me, I felt that there was so much important information being said, yet in my mind I was having trouble compartmentalizing it and figuring out the main points to put to memory. I felt like I needed the chapters to be broken up into different sections, instead of one idea running into the next. Regardless, I enjoyed reading it.
Ohlson's book portrays hope for our future and her belief that we will be saved by the soil. I am not quite convinced enough to be as optimistic as her, but I can only hope that she is right.. and that the word will spread before it is too late. I personally think that in order to mitigate climate change, we will probably have to take action in so many ways on so many levels..... but I must admit that growing soil sound like the best solution I have heard of yet.
I am considering having my class read this next term for their literature review. It might be nice to give them something optimistic for once....
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