My guess is that it's simply a lack of exposure to this idea that has kept it from being more widely adopted. That's why you can make a difference just by passing this information along, to friends as well as everyone involved in the governmental decision-making process.
For More Information
At the bottom of this posting is a list of a variety of related online resources. Become informed yourself, and share this information with others.
Holistic Management International
With Holistic Management we can increase rangeland health and turn the tide, reversing much of the environmental devastation that has occurred.
Already, more than 30 million acres worldwide are being managed holistically.
The earth’s ecosystem is stressed and malfunctioning due to dramatically diminished biodiversity, rapidly increasing worldwide desertification (land turning to desert), and global climate change. These are three legs of a single stool, not to be separated. This malfunctioning ecosystem has put the earth’s very breathing system at risk, among other adverse consequences, leaving the planet covered with damaged land that has lost its ability to remove sufficient amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.
There is a solution available to address the problem, one that has been overlooked.
This solution to the problem of the CO2 we have put in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and crop and forage residue is low-tech, low-cost and risk-free. It can be implemented with the resources we possess now. Most important, it is simple. With Holistic Management we can increase rangeland health and turn the tide, reversing much of the environmental devastation that has occurred.
Holistic Management®, which works in harmony with fundamental natural processes, is safe, secure, and offers great hope for a better future. The benefits of applying Holistic Management® Financial Planning, Grazing Planning, Land Planning and Biological Monitoring to the problem of climate change range from massively reducing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to ensuring food and water security to producing greater revenue than the cost of implementation.
Already, more than 30 million acres worldwide are being managed holistically.
Biodiversity, Desertification and Global Climate Change are all Interconnected.
How Much Environmental Benefit Can Be Expected from Reversing Desertification?
The earth's dry rangelands alone are estimated to constitute over 12 billion acres, and the medium to higher rainfall rangelands increases the area significantly. A small increase in soil organic matter over these billions of acres would remove billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere, store it, and go far toward restoring and permanently maintaining atmospheric balance. At the same time, any increase in soil organic matter enhances the soil's ability to store water.
For the earth's soils to once more sequester carbon as they formerly did it is essential to restore living soils with ever increasing organic matter and abundant life forms. When we accomplish that, both rangelands and croplands will remove billions of tons of atmospheric carbon and store it in organic matter for ages.
Non-cropland areas, commonly called rangelands, include grasslands, savannas, man-made deserts, national parks, ranches, pastoral areas and deciduous forests. By using grazing and animal impact on our planet’s vast rangelands to restore lands to health and increase organic matter in soils, we can reverse the desertification that has occurred. This has been demonstrated repeatedly for nearly fifty years in several countries.
Today, most agricultural soils are far from healthy, having lost much of their organic matter and structure due to the practices of industrial agriculture and other factors. Agricultural practices that mimic nature and restore soil health will remove and store carbon from the atmosphere risk-free. The knowledge to begin doing much of what is required is already available.
According to one NASA expert, every year, the equivalent of half of Africa, is burned at some point. This is the biomass burning that occurs in forests and grasslands around the world under traditional land management practices. Biomass burning releases CO2 into the atmosphere in amounts that may rival releases due to cars burning gasoline. In fact, 40% of CO2 annual production is biomass burning.
Holistic Management® vastly increases the productivity of land while significantly reducing any need for grassland burning by utilizing livestock and wildlife to maintain grasslands.
“Globally, ruminant livestock produce about 80 million metric tons of methane annually, accounting for about 28% of global methane emissions from human-related activities.”
– U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. March 21, 2007
Grazing cattle, by definition, are a leading cause of global climate change for two reasons: they cause desertification by overgrazing land; they add methane to the atmosphere.
Overgrazing results from traditional grazing management practices and deep-seated misconceptions about animal/plant relationships. While all herbivores add methane to the atmosphere, no studies have been performed that reflect methane production by animals on ranges under planned grazing management.
Desertification is caused by overstocking and overgrazing by livestock. This has been a deeply held belief among agriculturalists for centuries.
Desertification is the result of too few animals on the land, not too many. Healthy and significant levels of animal impact from animals simulating the behavior of wild herds on rangeland sets up a chain reaction of events that help heal the land, increase organic matter in the soil and remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store vast amounts of water.
Cattle, which produce methane, are responsible for more greenhouse gases than automobiles.
The research data vilifying cattle has been obtained from mainstream, industrial, feedlot agriculture operations. There is an enormous distinction between animals in factory settings overfed on grains they did not evolve to eat and animals grazing on ranges as they evolved to do. Reports blaming cattle for climate change have caused tremendous damage, and unnecessary confusion, by distracting the debate from some of the genuine contributors to global warming, as well as the crucial role cattle can play in solving the problem.
These experts tell a much different story than the widespread media reports about cattle that appeared in early 2007. Here are some unsensationalized perspectives on cattle that suggest methane research would produce different results if performed on land and cattle under Holistic Management®.
“Better grazing management and dietary supplementation have been identified as the most effective ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions from this sector because they improve animal nutrition and reproductive efficiency... Improved livestock management can also reduce atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide through the mechanism of soil carbon sequestration on grazing lands... The bottom line – improved livestock management – is good for the environment and makes dollars and sense.”
–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. March 21, 2007.
“Implementing proper grazing management practices to improve the quality of pastures increases animal productivity and has a significant effect on reducing CH4 emission from fermentation in the rumen."
–DeRamus, H. Alan, Terry C. Ct, Dean D. Giampola, and Peter C. Dickison. “Methane Emissions of Beef Cattle on Forages: Efficiency of Grazing Management Systems.” Journal of Environmental Quality Volume 32 (2003): 269-277.
“In many parts of the country, beef cattle are raised using a continuous stocking approach despite the numerous economic and environmental drawbacks of this technique. Continuous stocking is a management system where cattle have uninterrupted use of a unit of grazing land throughout the grazing season.. Because controlled grazing leads to more productive cows and greater liveweight gains per acre, producers can benefit from increased profits while reducing methane emissions per pound of beef produced. An additional benefit of controlled grazing is the increased ability of the pastures to act as a sink for carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. As pasture quality improves with controlled grazing, carbon builds up in the soil and plant biomass, reducing the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
–Agriculture Education, University of Missouri, comp. Global Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship by Ruminant Livestock Producers. Missouri: National Council for Agricultural Education, 1998.
“While methane emissions from enteric fermentation represent the transformation of carbon already in circulation between the earth and the atmosphere, burning fossil fuel always results in a net increase in greenhouse gases... In a high-forage system, you're fixing more carbon than you are leaching, so you're actually subtracting from the greenhouse effect... Best efficiency is found in the compromise between utilizing the most energy-efficient feed source (forage) while maintaining herd production high enough to gain reasonable feed conversion efficiency."
–Michael Main, Research Associate, Nova Scotia Agricultural College
1. Support Holistic Management® International’s outreach efforts to educate others about the need for animals to improve land health and sequester carbon.
2. Buy locally grown organic produce and grassfed meat & dairy.
3. Buy carbon credits for all your personal fuel emissions.
4. Vote with your dollars. Invest in products that conserve resources (water conserving appliances, on-demand water heaters, photovoltaics, etc.)
5. Support low-tech solutions for getting carbon out of the air and high-tech solutions for keeping new carbon from getting in the air.
6. Reduce your ecological footprint. Learn how at: www.ecologicalfootprint.org
7. Increase your ecological literacy. Learn how we can develop symbiotic relationships with Nature so all may thrive.
-- Read the latest reports on global warming here: Is Global Warming for Real?
-- Read about the environmental benefits of grassfarming here Grassfarming Can Help to Reverse Global Warming, and here Reversing Global Climate Change with Holistic Management
-- Read about how cows can be part of the global warming solution, and dispel some common myths about cows and methane. U.N. Blames Cows for Global Warming -- Unjustly
-- Read about the battle over raw milk here.
-- Go to my blog posting about soy, to learn about the health hazards associated with the consumption of soy foods. A tremendous amount of information about soy is available through the Weston A. Price Foundation, among others.
Monsanto's Harvest of Fear By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele Vanity Fair. May 2008 Issue. Monsanto already dominates America's food chain with its genetically modified seeds ...
-- Read about the Clintons and their ties to Monsanto at Our Food, Monsanto & the Clintons.