Keepers Of The Thermostat: How Farmers & Ranchers Can Be Climate Heroes

NIAB Seminar Tent

In this session, Itzkan will discuss how, over tens of millions of years, grasslands have acted as a literal “thermostat” of the climate, keeping the temperature of the planet relatively steady despite multiple opportunities for it to run to extremes — becoming either an “Ice House Earth” such as Mars, or a “Hot House Earth” such as Venus. Neither scenario happened; the reason why is because of grasslands’ extraordinary ability to regulate carbon flows between the atmosphere and the soil. Starting from this historical perspective, Itzkan will present the science on carbon drawdown in soils via regenerative grazing and cropping. The discussion will include why the world needs more ruminants, not fewer, and that holistic management must be utilized to assure optimal ecological benefit as well as to eliminate subsidies and deforestation. Additionally, Itzkan, who is twice cited in the 2017 anti-animal agriculture report, Grazed and Confused, will discuss the deficiencies of that work and present newer science on Holistic Planned Grazing, aka Adaptive Multi-paddock “AMP” Grazing, which makes clear the distinction between deleterious and regenerative approaches of grazing management, and demonstrates the significant soil carbon drawdown potential of the latter (averaging 2.74 MgC/ha/yr).