The Flush reminds us of the importance of saving our grasslands, perhaps the most effective yet overlooked tool for cleansing carbon emissions in our air. Grass is an amazing gift, acting as Earth’s washateria to remove carbon from the air, taking it down into the soil where it is used to grow the next cycle of grass and repeat the atmospheric cleansing. Contrast that with row farming where the carbon in the soil is actually exposed to and escapes into the atmosphere.
Instead, we have incentivized the plowing of the earth with the methane misadventure. More ground is plowed up than ever before for the growing of grains, mainly corn, to make gasoline or for feed for the nation’s feed yards and other CAFOs (confined animal feeding operation). Any reduction in plowing would be beneficial but turning even half of the corn grown for livestock or gasoline and returning that ground to grasslands would have a significant, measurable and positive impact. If that conversion also included well managed rotational grazing of cattle, pigs and chickens, we would have an environmental policy that worked with instead of against Mother Nature. And nobody protects and builds the planet better than her. She only awaits our invitation.
Is my hope simply pie in the sky idealism? Well, the same thing was said in the early days of organic farming which began in Austin, Texas with the advent of what we now know as Whole Foods. Today you cannot enter a conventional grocery store without finding organic fruits and vegetables, organic broth, organic this and organic that. The elimination of herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertilizers that would otherwise have been polluting our air, water, soil and bodies with the advent of organic farming techniques is monumental and ever-expanding. Grass should be the next frontier.
Let’s make it happen!