Thursday, June 6, 2013

More Mark Shepard

Nice to see Mark's book is finally out:

I've transcribed the last part of the video:

“A one percent increase in soil organic matter makes that soil able to absorb ten times more water. So a two percent increase; ten times ten is a hundred. A two percent increase in soil organic matter stores a hundred times more water; you can go through a drought and you’ll survive and be all right and grow that much more biomass, which just perpetuates the virtuous cycle.”

“All’s we have to do is increase the soil organic matter by two percent. The reason why I picked two percentage points: all of the world’s agricultural land, all we have to do is increase the soil organic matter by two percent, we bring the atmosphere down to preindustrial levels of CO2, easy. Keyline, plant the grass, graze wood animals, put in your woody crops, and then over time we get our first knock back with the grass, within 3 to 5 years we’ve got our 2 percent organic matter while not having any less food in the food chain, and then over time you develop these systems, we’re taking even more of the gasses out of the atmosphere. Let’s not tell everybody it’s easy, the whole doom-and-gloom fear industry might go broke.”

From the Amazon description of the book:

Around the globe most people get their calories from annual agriculture - plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs - in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.


  1. What do you make of his comments on co2 reduction? In contrast to guy mcpherson . . .

    1. I'm not enough of a scientist to evaluate competing claims. But you have to admire Mark's more proactive and positive attitude in contrast to McPherson's perceived defeatism. As Mark told us, you have to decide to dedicate your life to what you are for rather than what you are against. Even if it's ultimately a losing fight, it's better than going down without one. A successful alternative is always better than pointing out flaws.


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