Old-school farming methods could save the planet

“The soil has been playing a mighty role in our climate ever since we've been a planet,” Ohlson says. It's full of carbon fuel that helps plants and microorganisms thrive, but today's industrial farming methods rip up the soil and release huge amounts of that carbon into the air.

Ohlson argues that returning to no-till farming practices, which leave the soil undisturbed and carbon trapped underground, will help reverse climate change and solve other pressing environmental issues at the same time. "Everything we want for our planet above the soil line depends on the activity of those microorganisms below," she says.

“Plants take carbon dioxide out of the air,” Ohlson explains. “They convert that into a carbon fuel for themselves, but they share 40 percent of that carbon fuel with the soil microorganisms. The soil microorganisms take that carbon fuel, and they eat it and they grow with it and they make a glue with it to create habitat down in the soil. All those activities fix carbon in the soil.”

But when humans came along, Ohlson says, we started “messing up nature” — with agriculture, burning forests, plowing up the soil and changing the behavior of animals on the land. Worse, we started releasing all the carbon in the soil.

Source : pri.org