Carbon Sequestration

Define what Carbon Sequestration is, at a high level first, all forms/ideas.....

Soil carbon absorption, or “sequestration,” is the process of moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil. Through photosynthesis, plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and transfer that carbon below ground via roots and to the soil surface. Plantings, creating windbreaks, mulching, composting and rotating grazing are some of the methods that promote carbon absorption in the soil.  

The Marin Project mission is to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation.  The Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD) is farming a "new" crop: carbon.  “When you improve the health of the soil it acts like a sponge,” said Nancy Scolari, who heads the MRCD.   “So it can hold carbon. It can hold more water, which drains into aquifers.”  The MRCD project sites have shown that “when you spread compost, it’s only a half-inch thick,” said Scolari. “Just that small amount makes a difference.

According to Su Corbaley, project manager for the coastal conservancy, “carbon farming has many economic and environmental benefits." “It increases rangeland production up to 70 percent.”(It) improves resilience to climate change. It increases soil health,” she said. “(It) reduces runoff rates and enhances riparian and aquatic habitats for fisheries ... in addition to providing bird and fish habitat, and improving water quality conditions in streams that enter into our oceans.”

I think there are ideas to take CO2 from coal plants and convert it to liquid and pump it down into the core of the earth: one article here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/Solutions/Reject-false-solutions/Reject-carbon-capture--storage/

Why this is important: a lot of people will have read an article from Green Peace that says carbon sequestration is bad and dismiss your idea of sequestration not knowing the difference between pumping liquid CO2 down into the crust and sequestering carbon naturally by increasing organic matters in soils. Need a clear easy explanation or comparison.

Maybe explain it as think of the world having a problem with creating too much trash. In this example think of trash as CO2. So we decide we need to store (or sequester) the trash somewhere. You can gather a large amount of trash and dig a big hole and pile dirt and rocks on it, i.e. modern day landfills (in carbon sequestration this practice is known as CCS or Carbon Capture and Storage). CCS is relatively new, largely unproven, untested and not gaining momentum. The 'natural' way to deal with our trash is to recycle, reduce, and reuse. Think of Carbon Farming and the holistic farming practices explained here as reusing and recycling carbon back into the earth. We're not just purifying carbon and pumping it back into the earth, we're building an entire ecosystem underground that is built out of the carbon that it pulls out of the atmoshere.

How does this happen. Explain that the organic matter (also explain organic matter) is made up of and lives? off of carbon. Maybe the organic matter is just made up of carbon. As you develop soil, plant matter, microbes, worms, whatever grow and are made of carbon. They are supplied the carbon through the atmosphere. Maybe use some sort of picture like the one below.

Why is it Important

Next, you will want to prove that by growing a few worms you can convince your reader how you're going to be able to reduce the CO2 by 100ppm which is equivalent to 781 gigatons or 781,000,000,000 tons of CO2. Easy, there are 2,700GT of CO2 currently stored in soils worldwide and if we increase that to 3,481GT (2,700 + 781) which is only a 29% increase, we would be back to pre-IR levels of CO2. If this were a Wall Street CEO trying to grow top line revenue by 29% he could probably do this in 2-3 years so why can't we increase the OM of soils 29% in the same time period.

In fact, the average OM in soils is roughly 1% (I just made this # up I have no idea) and through our methods you can actually achieve OM levels in the 3-5% range which is a 300-500% increase, much more than the 29% needed to reach our goal of reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere by 100ppm.

This is Important --> A lot of the problem of getting people on board to do anything is convincing them to believe that there is actually a solution that can make a difference. And the biggest problem in doing this is making it simple, but then also having enough information to be credible. That's why having a page that resembles what Wikipedia is can be a valuable approach for you. You want to build a network or web of different pages that explain things in greater detail so that if someone reads your Simple Math page or What is Carbon Farming page they can drill down into other pages and quickly learn about areas that they previously didn't know about. And essentially your website (or collection of webpages) tells your story in a (and I've used this before) way that a choose your own adventure book reads. .0001% of people will want to read a 500 page novel front to back on Carbon Farming or Holistic Management, but if you have kids in school writing a report, or people bored at work, or farmers trying to learn what this 'new' thing is all about, and you're at the top of the Google search, they may come in and spend 2-3 minutes. If they like the way you've laid things out they may even come back!