Soil Carbon Cowboys: Arizona State Professor and Filmmaker Showcases Drought-Resilient Soil Practices
Ranchers like Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis live in places that receive fewer than 20 inches of rainfall per year, but it hasn't spelled doom for their animals and crops.
They have figured out a way to reinvigorate their soil to allow rainwater to sink into the earth rather than run off. The men had their soil carbon capturing story told in a concise, 12-minute short film, Soil Carbon Cowboys, created by filmmaker Peter Byck, also a professor of practice at Arizona State University's School of Sustainability and its Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
"Why do I want to go out and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars every year on synthetic fertilizer when I can grow these crops for just the cost of the seed? They'll make the nitrogen for me and then my livestock will come around and eat these plants, convert it to dollars for me to sell," said Brown, a rancher from Bismarck, ND, which gets fewer than 17 inches of annual rainfall. "So, I'm getting all my fertilizer, basically for a profit because I'm making money off these crops."
Byck previously made Carbon Nation, a 2010 film centered on slowing down the growing carbon footprint. The film inspired two curriculums available to teachers all over within ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College.
Byck, also a senior scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, has further plans to research regenerative grazing to measure potential benefits like carbon sequestration, animal health, water infiltration and retention, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, insect, wildlife, fungi and bacteria populations and rancher well-being, according to the New America Foundation, which hosted Byck for an event a month ago. Take a look at his talk with Dr. Allen Williams, another rancher featured in Soil Carbon Cowboys who is also the the founding partner and president of Livestock Management Consultants and Grass Fed Beef. He is also chair of the Association of Family Farms.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.