Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 3, 2021 by author and journalist Noreen Wise
Earth Month is finally here… again. Hurray! Let’s get our ducks in a row so that we can maximize the enthusiasm and excitement that comes from so many of us in our communities focused on making progress with the aggressive habitat restoration goals we’ve set for ourselves and our towns.
Earth Day began in 1970 when Nixon was President and our atmospheric carbon level was only 325.68 PPM. Imagine. It’s absolutely mind-bending that carbon levels could explode so significantly in 51 short years. Today the atmospheric carbon level is a staggering 420 PPM. An unfathomable number, especially when compared to the pre-Industrial Revolution carbon level of 280 which dates back to 1760. The accelerated pace of the rising carbon level is what has so many scientists concerned. One hundred and ninety years to climb approximately 46 points from 280 to 325.68. But only 51 years to skyrocket 94 points. If that’s not a huge wake-up call, then we have to get much more creative with public messaging so we can overcome the towering obstacle of willful ignorance.
The heart of the matter. The accelerated rise in atmospheric carbon levels cannot go unchecked. The impact of global warming on low lying areas acround the globe, that are now submerged, as well as agricultural regions that can no longer produce the necessary crop yields when plagued by the staggering heat and extended droughts, is life-disrupting. Migration to safe ground has already begun. We see this at our own southern border as families from Central America send their children to the United States border crossings in the hopes they will be allowed in and given hope for a brighter future.
Every single one of us has to do our individual part in reducing our carbon footprints so that we can get the atmospheric carbon level back down under 400 PPM — hopefully down to 375 — as quickly as we saw it rise. Blind indifference to the suffering we’re causing others is the reason why foreign countries have begun taking action against the US.
There are two sides of the coin to lowering our carbon footprints. Cutting carbon emissions on one side (solar energy, EV cars, circular economy), and storing more carbon in our yards and our communities, by boosting soil health and restoring our habitat, on the other.
What’s the solution? Healthy soil is Gallant Gold Media’s primary focus during Earth Month. Soil health will enable soil to be a massive carbon reservoir that can eliminate a significant amount of atmospheric carbon. But this level of carbon storage is only achievable if we each do our little bit.
Healthy soil is filled with life, with microbes, and is easy to spot due to its very dark, rich chocolate brown color. The healthier the soil, the more carbon it can store. Healthy soil has a high-water infiltration rate, and thus holds more water for a longer period of time, which is a great benefit during the long, hot, dry warm weather months. Healthy soil also maintains a cooler temperature which is equally as beneficial during our long, hot dry spells. Our food supply is threatened unless we can offset the negative impact of heat on our crops.
Compost and red wiggler composting worms are both vital in maintaining healthy soil in our communities. All homeowners and land owners should take advantage of these vital tools to improve the soil on our properties.
Next Steps during Earth Month:
- Home composting is an absolute MUST. Your neighbors are composting, are you? Compost added to the soil in our yards and communities quickly boosts soil health.
- Red wiggler worms are soil engineers. Their castings enrich soil health very efficiently, boosting soil microbes at a rapid pace, resulting in a positive impact above and below the surface. The can be easily purchased and sent to you at home. Red wigglers make awesome pets.
- Keep the soil covered to lock in the moisture and carbon. If possible, plant a mix of diverse cover crops for the yard.
- Never plow/till your yard. All the stored carbon will be released.
- Plant diversity is critical. Not only does it contribute to soil health, but it blocks pests, which dramatically reduces the need for pesticides. (Pesticides kill microbes and diminishes soil health.)
Good luck. Have fun. And be sure to check back for more carbon sequestration tips.
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