Grass seems a very common plant. Yet it is exceptionally important to the well-being of Planet Earth. Rough grasslands and grass pastures cover about 68% of the world’s agricultural soils. What can grass power do for Planet Earth?
Grass cover can prevent soil erosion by wind or water, and can limit greenhouse gas emissions. If grass is maintained as a perennial and not clipped too short, it will develop a strong root structure that can hold soil, enable vigorous soil life, absorb much rainfall, retain moisture for plant use in dry periods, inhibit flooding in rainy seasons, facilitate clear streams, and reduce formation of ocean dead zones.
Grass gains more power when cattle are added to grasslands or pastures under a system of daily rotational grazing. This system, called management intensive grazing (MIG), mimics historic large-herd migrations across natural grasslands. Grass is even more powerful if clover or other legume is added and if no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are applied to the pasture or grasslands. Then, many important benefits can accrue: increased photosynthesis and carbon sequestration, improved soil fertility, increased forage production, cleaner/fresher air and water, improved health for farmer, farm family, community, and for the consumer of grass-fed beef.
- Two major, exceptionally important, publications support these concepts:
US publication: “FARMING WITH GRASS,” Soil and Water Conservation Society.
- UN publication: “WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable for Food Security in a Changing Climate” Hard copy, 321 p. United Nations Publications, (703) 661-1571. Or may be viewed on line:
Please continue your visit of our blog, which includes power point slides that cover the major points about “Grass Power and Climate Change.” We welcome your comments.
3 thoughts on “WELCOME TO GRASS POWER”
Hi Marti and David —
I’m sure you monitor these comments and decide what will be posted. I was going to send you a regular email but might as well comment right here. By the way, had a fine visit with Pat yesterday.
Your website is excellent. Shows an awful lot of hard work and an amazing amount of technical specificity quite beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals like me.
Last night on local TV station KTSF I happened to see a short video on rotational grazing which fits right in with your advocacy. You probably have seen it and know all about Notes from the Field, but in case not here are the URLs for both:
Keep up the good work. The world may be saved from extinction yet!
Jerry, Very good to hear from you! Pat told me she had a wonderful visit with you two. Glad/hope you’re going well.
Thanks for the feedback on the site. Yes, Mom has put a good deal of thought and much effort into this activity. I monitor the comments; most are Spam. I will ensure that she sees your two links.
My best regards to Stephanie, David
Soil Biology is our only way to rapidly and massively draw down CO2 from the air to offset our ongoing and past carbon emissions, It Could safely and naturally restore the hydrological cycles by increasing biogenic aerosols and cloud albedo that could readily cool the planet by the 3 watts/m2 needed to offset the now locked in greenhouse warming effects and avoid the Storms of Our Grandchildren.
A combination of Best Management Practices, (BMPs), for Agriculture, Grazing & Forestry with bioenergy systems which build soil carbon can deliver the giga-tons of carbon necessary into the soil sink bank. 
Ag BMPs; 1 GtC
New Forest & BMPs; 1 GtC
Pyrolitic Bioenergy, Cooking Stoves; 0.83 MtCO2e
Industrial Pyrolitic Bioenergy; 2 GtC
Holistic Grazing; 2+ GtC
Over 6 GtC,
So soils & biota can do more than half the 10 GtC reduction job.
Simple Extrapolations to show the potential Climate & Soil Impacts;
Based on the “Son of A Billion Ton” biomass resource study by ORNL.
Total 2030 Biomass Harvest in the US; 1.6 Billion Tons
If All was processed by CoolPlanet Bioenergy Systems, into carbon negative fuels,
(1 ton yielding 50 gallons & 1/3 ton biochar), the total Yield would be;
80 Billion Gallons of tank ready fuel , (The US uses 130 Billion gallons/yr),
528 Million Tons of Biochar , (Surface Area; 400 Square Meters/Gram),
One Ton has a surface area of 90,000 Acres!, 140 square miles!!
528 Million Tons of Biochar equals 74 Billion Square Miles, or 375 times the Entire Surface of the Earth!, or 1.85 GtCO2e, (34% of US annual emissions)
It would require just 8,000 distributed CP-Biorefineries. (each producing 10 Mgal/yr)
According to Dr Hansen’s formula for assessing national CO2 liabilities,
The US CO2 reduction fraction is;
26.3 PPM = 207GtCO2 = 56 GtC
Clean Biomass cooking is no small thing.
The World Bank Study;
Biochar Systems for Smallholders in Developing Countries: Leveraging Current Knowledge and Exploring Future Potential for Climate-Smart Agriculture
A very exacting analysis of biomass usage & sources, energy & emissions. Also for Onion farmers in Senegal and Peanut farmers in Vietnam.
Extrapolation made from the Kenya cook stove study, assuming 250M TLUDs, (Top-Lite Up Draft) Cook Stoves for the roughly 1 billion folks world wide now using open burning. A TLUD per Household of 4, producing 0.52 tons char/Household/yr, X 250M = 130 Mt Char/yr Sequestration of 130 Million tons of Biochar per year, could be achieved just from cooking.
In terms of CO2e, these 250M Households reduce 825M Tons of CO2e annually. The cascading pulmonary health benefits for woman & children is the very thick icing on this 0.825 GtCO2e Soil Carbon Cake.
Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future
Emerging land use practices rapidly increase soil organic matter