The Biochar Debate: Charcoal's Potential to Reverse Climate Change and Build Soil Fertility

The Biochar Debate: Charcoal's Potential to Reverse Climate Change and Build Soil Fertility

Paperback Schumacher Briefings

By (author) James Bruges, Illustrated by David Friese-Greene

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Paperback $9.84
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
  • Format: Paperback | 120 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 13mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 17 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: VT
  • ISBN 10: 160358255X
  • ISBN 13: 9781603582551
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, colour illustrations, index, bibliography
  • Sales rank: 312,650

Product description

The Biochar Debate is the first book to introduce both the promise and concerns surrounding biochar (fine-grained charcoal used as a soil supplement) to nonspecialists. Charcoal making is an ancient technology. Recent discoveries suggest it may have a surprising role to play in combating global warming. This is because creating and burying biochar removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Furthermore, adding biochar to soil can increase the yield of food crops and the ability of soil to retain moisture, reducing need for synthetic fertilizers and demands on scarce fresh-water supplies. While explaining the excitement of biochar proponents, Bruges also gives voice to critics who argue that opening biochar production and use to global carbon-credit trading schemes could have disastrous outcomes, especially for the world's poorest people. The solution, Bruges explains, is to promote biochar through an alternative approach called the Carbon Maintenance Fee that avoids the dangers. This would establish positive incentives for businesses, farmers, and individuals to responsibly adopt biochar without threatening poor communities with displacement by foreign investors seeking to profit through seizure of cheap land. The Biochar Debate covers the essential issues from experimental and scientific aspects of biochar in the context of global warming to fairness and efficiency in the global economy to negotiations for the future of the Kyoto Protocol.

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Review quote

"A brilliant synthesis for everyone concerned with solutions to climate change, enhancement of our soils and the future of energy policy. An enjoyably readable introduction to the vital field of biochar. Highly recommended."--Hunter Lovins, founder and President, Natural Capitalism Solutions; cofounder, Rocky Mountain Institute; and co-author of Natural Capitalism