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Holistic Management on Climate Change

Allan Savory’s work, based on his holistic land management approach, provides another line of thinking on climate change, addressing causes and proposing cures:

1) ”Following up with Allan Savory on using cattle to reverse desertification and global warming“ – by Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, is an informative piece that provides background, a Q&A, and a link to an Allan Savory video presentation.

2) From the Savory Institute website:
“In a natural context, constantly moving, healthy herds of large herbivores  [in the world’s grasslands, rangelands, and savannas], interacting with their associated predators, create the disturbance (grazing and animal impact) necessary to maintain healthy ecosystem processes. Their presence ensures the continuation of the carbon cycle (with the all-important step of ‘decay’ accelerated by the microbes in their digestive tracts), high levels of plant diversity, and a covered soil surface. Because the animals are constantly moving to new grazing, plants (between episodes of heavy grazing) have the chance to fully recover their above-ground leaf area and restore carbohydrate reserves in their crowns, roots, and stem bases. Holistic Management’s expertise is in re-creating/imitating these natural grazing patterns with domestic livestock, and regenerating the land in the process.

“After nearly fifty years of practice, we now have successful Holistic Management practitioners spread across the globe, from Canada to the tip of Patagonia, and from Zimbabwe to Australia to Montana.”

3) From his paper, “A Global Strategy For Addressing Global Climate Change” – Simplistic and counter intuitive as it may be, the fate of civilization today hangs on two slender threads — the correct management of livestock and the rapid development of benign energy to sustain cities and mass transport. Excessive emissions of carbon and other gases from fossil fuels are not the only causes of global climate change, nor are they the greatest cause of climate change, as popularly espoused. Humans began to change climate in ancient times through their actions that began to disrupt complex living communities, diminishing biodiversity and replacing the role of large herbivores and predators in the world’s savannas with fire. Ancient practices, continued to this day, ensured land degradation (desertification) and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and other gases from fires and soil breakdown. This process of environment destruction had destroyed many civilizations before coal and oil were discovered or widely used.

Essential as it is, stopping carbon emissions entirely will not alone solve the potential catastrophe facing humanity because a great part of what amounts to global environmental malfunction cannot be attributed to carbon emissions. If tomorrow we somehow achieved zero emissions from fossil fuels we still would not avert major catastrophe. Grassland and savanna burning would continue, desertification would continue to accelerate with soils increasingly unable to store either carbon or water and the climate would continue to change.

To avert disaster on a scale almost unimaginable a global strategy is required that addresses carbon emissions while effectively dealing with biodiversity loss and biomass burning to reverse desertification that is not caused by atmospheric carbon buildup.

This is an excerpt taken from a 20-page paper written by Allan Savory. This document covers the strategy for combating global climate change, how healthy land is crucial to the global issues we face today, and the urgent need to reduce biomass burning. The entire document can be found on the Savory Institute website along with additional articles and resources supporting the role Holistic Management can play in saving our planet.

See Allan Savory’s “Global Strategy For Addressing Global Climate Change“.

This entry was posted in Agriculture, Climate, Environment & Ecosystems, Land Use, Stewardship, Transitions, Unsustainable Energy.

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