The Biodiversity for a Livable Climate Resource Page
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Videos, websites, books and papers addressing a wide variety of issues in biodiversity, eco-restoration and holistic management of grasslands. Those particularly helpful for people new to various aspects of this discussion are marked with an asterisk.
- *National Geographic series “EARTH A New Wild” Season 1, Episode 02: “Plains”, featuring Allan Savory who discusses how the ideas underpinning his former elephant culling program in Zimbabwe were transformed into a ground-breaking theory of holistic land management and planned grazing that redefined the traditional practice of conservation.
- *Allan Savory’s e-book, The Grazing Revolution: A Radical Plan to Save the Earth, December 2013, telling the personal story of his long journey of discovery in managing holistically and restoring degrade lands worldwide, with lucid explanations of how it all works (only $1.99!).
- *Allan Savory’s milestone 2013 TED Talk, How to fight desertification and reverse climate change, addresses the “Perfect Storm” of the current global climate crisis by promoting a solution to the complex and widespread desertification problem: holistic land management and planned grazing. Using examples of soil regeneration in areas such as Zimbabwe and Patagonia, Savory illustrates how planned livestock grazing can profoundly restore barren desertified land to a lush, healthy grassland. Restoring grasslands in desertified areas across the earth has enormous potential to sequester atmospheric greenhouse gases and can play a major role in reversing the climate change trends.
- *Seth Itzkan’s 2012 TEDx talk, Reversing global warming with livestock? Sharing his experiences at the Africa Center for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, planned grazing educator Seth Itzkan describes the central role of animal grazing as a part of a healthy grassland ecosystem. By mimicking the patterns of mobile wild herds with livestock, we can – and already have – restored grasslands in desertified areas around the globe, allowing the land to store more carbon and water. By revitalizing the health of the water-carbon cycle with planned grazing, we can mitigate warming trends in some of the most vulnerable areas of the globe.
- *Savory Institute brief animated intro, Holistic Planned Grazing
- *Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands of Mexico, an inspiring video by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, which collaborates with private landowners to support working ranches to restore and improve grassland habitat for both livestock and birds and other wildlife.
- *Darren Doherty, End Global Warming
- Greg Judy, “The Healing Effects of Holistic High Density Grazing on Land, Livestock & People’s Lives” 12th Annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, 2011,
- Allan Savory, “Keeping Cattle: cause or cure for climate crisis?“, Feasta Lecture, Ireland, 2009,
- *Don Nelson, Maurice Robinette, others, “Beefing Up the Palouse“
- *Peter Byck on Bill Maher, 4/12/13. While the game might be over for reducing carbon emissions enough to achieve safe atmospheric levels, in this brief interview Carbon Nation filmmaker Peter Byck assures TV host Bill Maher that there is a way to draw carbon out of the atmosphere right now: strategic livestock grazing. By working with cattle and other land grazing species to replenish degraded land, we can capture enough carbon to restore the planet and mitigate climate change.
- *Prince Charles’ endorsement of Allan Savory, 2012. Brief and eloquent advocacy of Allan’s work.
- *Holistic Management at Work
- *Dan Dagget, The Right Way to be Green, a five-minute silent slideshow with text and stunning before and after photographs of “rested” and damaged bare land, returned to life using Holistic Planned Grazing.
- *Peter Byck, Soil Carbon Cowboys, a wonderful 12-minute video interviewing three farmers who discovered the profound difference that holistic planned grazing makes for their land, their lives, and the health of the planet.
Congressional hearing, June 25, 2014, by the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, Increasing Soil Carbon on Public Lands (testimony actually starts at 30:07). Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and our paper, Restoring Carbon Dioxide to Pre-Industrial Levels: Re-Establishing the Evolutionary Grassland-Grazer Relationship, are mentioned by name. Written testimony is also available: Ms. Tommie Martin, Supervisor, Gila County, AZ; Mr. Steven H. Rich, Salt Lake City, UT; Dr. Richard Teague, Texas AgriLife Research, Vernon, TX; Mr. John Wick, Co-Founder, Marin Carbon Project, Palo Alto, CA.
- * Post Tufts-2015 conference interviews on Emerald Planet TV. With Michal Kravcik, Precious Phiri, Jon Griggs, Adam Sacks, and with Jim Laurie.
Coral Reef and Tropical Forest Restoration
- *Reef Reborn 2013, using Bio-Rock technology developed by Tom Goreau, with remarkable before and after video footage of restored coral reefs.
- *Willie Smits, How to Restore a Rainforest, TED Talk, 2009. Smits has regenerated devastated rainforests in Borneo.
- *Las Gaviotas, regeneration of productive, sustainable biodiverse rainforest in rural Colombia, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xogJew_nlko. Demonstrates restoration of rainfall and fresh water and a wide variety of crops for local and regional use, as well as full local employment. Illustrates great potential for tropical forest regeneration and sequestration of massive quantities of atmospheric carbon.
- *Tony Lovell, “Soil Carbon: Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs,” TEDx Talk, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia, 2011,
- Graeme Sait at TEDx, Noosa, Australia: Humus – the essential ingredient
- Let’s Talk About Soil, 4/2013, from Global Soil Week http://www.globalsoilweek.org/, which is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam. Note: doesn’t consider biological creation of soils, which is essential to understanding Holistic Management.
- *In a 4-minute video sponsored by the Center for Food Safety, Michael Pollan presents an introduction to the power of soils in addressing climate. It’s conservative in its estimates by our standards, but raises important questions in easily understood language.
Fungi and Micro-organisms
- *Paul Stamets, “The Future is Fungi,” August 2013. Stamets is a pioneer mycologist. In this video he describes some of his many fascinating experiments and discoveries of how fungi are essential to and interconnected with other life forms on earth.
- Walter Jehne, Healthy Soils Australia Workshop, 2013
- American Planning Association, Washington Chapter, More Resilient Stormwater Systems: Green Stormwater Infrastructure, 2015
- *Leave It to Beavers, an excellent PBS Nature episode on the importance of beavers as a keystone species across the North American continent, especially in these times of climate-driven drought. Reintroduction of beavers is a significant part of the urgent eco-restoration that we humans must do, as a keystone species ourselves, worldwide.
- *Savory Institute, http://www.savoryinstitute.com
- *Remineralize the Earth, to return nutrients to soils worldwide, http://remineralize.org.
- *Australian HM practitioner Bruce Ward Legacy Trust, http://www.holisticresults.com.au/
- Australian soil scientist Christine Jones, http://amazingcarbon.com.
- Soil researcher Peter Donovan, http://soilcarboncoalition.org/
- *Chris Gill is a West Texas rancher who has been practicing Holistic Management for over a decade. He has written extensively about his experiences on his website, as well as in published articles, Doing What Works and Of Mule Deers & Paradigms (flip directly to page 4).
- *Judith D. Schwartz, 2013, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
- Kravcik, et al., The New Water Paradigm, http://www.vodnaparadigma.sk/indexen.php?web=./home/homeen.html (click “download” button, right click to save). Discussed in Judith Schwartz’s book, Cows Save the Planet (see above).
- Kristin Ohlson, 2014, The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet
- Toby Hemenway, 2015, The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience
- A list of favorite books recommended by our restoration ecologist, Jim Laurie: http://tinyurl.com/Jim-Laurie-Book-List
Papers & Reports
- Methane FAQ is a paper by Adam Sacks reviewing the history and dynamics of methane cycles, and putting ruminant methane in perspective. Given the action of methanotrophs (bacteria that break down methane) in healthy pastures, and relative to methane from other sources such as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), natural gas leaks, permafrost and methane clathrates, methane from ruminants raised on pasture is minimal. A September 2015 article in the LA Examiner provides a good overview for the general public, with references.
- Beyond Emissions Reductions by our research associate Jacqueline Sussman. A review of the literature explaining why reduction or even elimination of fossil fuel emissions, while necessary, is insufficient for addressing climate change. Includes a discussion of the importance of soils in removing carbon from the atmosphere.
- Upside (Drawdown) The Potential of Restorative Grazing to Mitigate Global Warming by Increasing Carbon Capture on Grasslands, by Seth J. Itzkan. An examination of the soil carbon literature and a re-assessment of conventional conclusions.
- *Food & Climate: Connecting The Dots, Choosing The Way Forward. An excellent and readable review from the Center for Food Safety on many aspects of the food system that affect climate, and how to manage them for sustainability and climate mitigation.
- *The Potential of Remineralization as a Global Movement by Joanna Campe. An excellent introduction to the potential of rock powders to address climate and ecosystem degradation.
- The Potential of Remineralization with Rock Mineral Fines to Transform Agriculture, Forests, Sustainable Biofuels Production, Sequester Carbon, and Stabilize the Climate by Joanna Campe, Dan Kittredge and Lee Klinger. A more detailed explanation of the potential of rock powders to reinvigorate depleted ecosystems and store massive amounts of atmospheric carbon by accelerating the weathering and biological processing of rock worldwide.
- *Visual examples of reversing desertification with Holistic Management
- *Seth Itzkan’s interview with Worldwatch’s Nourishing the Planet blog
- Key Research Paper Summaries Germane to Holistic Management
- Holistic Management Resource List
- Research compendium on Holistic Management
- Holistic Management case studies from around the world
- *Talking Points Regarding Savory – Seth Itzkan’s comprehensive response to routine arguments from Holistic Management skeptics.
- Water restoration
- Restoring Carbon Dioxide to Pre-Industrial Levels: Re-Establishing the Evolutionary Grassland-Grazer Relationship. A detailed review of Holistic Management from a scientific perspective, and its potential for reversing climate change. By Adam Sacks, Richard Teague, Fred Provenza, Seth Itzkan and Jim Laurie; in Geotherapy by Tom Goreau, Ronal Larson and Joanna Campe, Eds., published by CRC Press, 2015.
- Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future by award-winning paleobotanist Greg Retallack.
- Soil Solutions to Climate Problems by the Center for Food Safety