Perhaps you have noticed that climate change is now the mother of all looming threats. And perhaps, like me, you have had the same thought over and over again during recent years: I don’t think I am doing enough, I don’t think we are doing enough. And deep down, you know this thought is accurate. We should all be reacting more quickly, more comprehensively, and more effectively.
If you have a decent understanding of climate change, you know that the problem is that we have whacked the carbon cycle all out of whack. We have pumped a bunch of ancient carbon into the atmosphere by burning it to heat and cool our spaces, and to run our cars and machines. Most everyone knows we need to stop burning fossil fuels because rising global temperatures are already causing all hell to break loose.
Just quitting fossil fuels sounds hard enough, but that’s not all! So much carbon is already up there that we need to quickly start pulling it back out of the atmosphere and sequestering it somewhere else. Sound difficult? Guess what, it’s not, it’s going to be fun, and it will be truly fruitful!
And that is what this blog is all about – it’s about collectively learning how to sequester carbon in our yards, our town, and our planet.
Sequestering carbon as near to where you sleep at night and as far afield as you can has some wonderful benefits. As soil carbon increases, soil fertility increases. Biodiversity increases. Water becomes more plentiful. Food grows on trees. The birds go nuts, and birdsong is your constant companion. Etcetera!
We have a regular-sized lot here at the house in urban Albuquerque that we have dubbed the Mothership. My husband and I bought the house with my mum, who is in her 80’s, when her heath broke down. The picture accompanying this post is the house before we moved in, January 2020. As you may notice, the landscaping style was “moonscape with tree” in the front yard, and the side yard was “anywhere USA lawn and evergreen shrubs.” The unique back yard was “moonscape with cracked pavement.” It seemed the most recent owners had a strange policy of keeping all carbon out of the soil.
In my next few posts I will be getting a soil carbon test and sharing the experience and the results. I will then do every experiment that I can dream up to increase the soil carbon level, and I will show you the experiments and the results. Everything I recommend that you do will be something I have tried. We can analyze our results together.
Here are my current goals for the Mothership yard project:
- Sequester as much carbon in the soil of my yard as I can
- Share with others what I am doing and the results
- Grow an abundance of food in the newly re-carbonating soil
- Exponentially increase the biodiversity in my yard
- Rely on the rain as much as possible, and the city water as little as possible
- Enjoy the fun, health benefits, and beauty of living in a fruitful, food forest
I hope you will join me in this journey! Sign up for our newsletter here! Be sure to go to your email, find our confirmation email (if not in your inbox it may have gone to spam or trash) and confirm!
9 thoughts on “Introduction”
What a great start. Very blogworthy informative first person hey I’m in this to learn sharing. Really well written. I’m already a fan. Thanks for asking me to sign up!
Aw, thanks! So glad you like it!
I’m so excited about the blog, learning lots already. 🙂 I may chime in along the way with questions about how I might sequester my own little bit of carbon here on my 4th floor urban apartment balcony – will be grateful for any suggestions you may have or reading you can recommend. Go Sandra!
That’s an interesting question! Maybe by doing what Sepp Holgren suggests for patios – making planters that include a log, which reaches into the water below the pot, and then keeps the soil in the pot moist. I think I sent you a pic of that page maybe?
I just looked him up online and will read more about it, thanks for the tip. Rock on!
Hope you don’t mind but i’m going to take issue with two parts of this introductory sentence:
“Perhaps you have noticed that climate change is now the mother of all looming threats.”
I would suggest that wildlife habitat loss, and a political and economic system based on extraction of resources underlies climate change. Folks who focus mostly or exclusively on technological solutions might frame it this way, though I’m not sure if this is what you’re doing until I read more about your blog.
Much like environmentalists who focus on political solutions try to dismiss technological solutions. As a bit of a veteran of the environmental moment i’ve experienced fragmentation over this sort of thing for years.
As far as whether it’s a looming crisis, well of course, no. And again, no offense in my saying this. But I’m not just picking on semantics – promise.
Buckminister Fuller stated, in response to an audience question at a lecture i attended by the great futurist and designer approx 45 years ago – that we had, then, approx 35 years left to turn things around.
We’re deeply in this crisis now. And to me, racism and ecocide are pretty much the same thing. An attitude of dominance based on pre-19th century thinking.
A recent ancestor of the great activist, Greta Thunberg, was Svante Arrhenius, the founder or a co-founder of Physical Chemistry (physics and chemistry combined). He modeled the relationship between atmospheric carbon and warming of the earth’s surface in the last decade of the 1800’s and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this in 1903.
The so-called Keeling Curve is one of the most gently sloping, consistetnly and steadily increasing graphs ever presented, and it is based on Arrhenius’ work. It’s perhaps the most fundamental chart in the field of global climate change, even more so than the so-called “hockey stick.”
In a 6-minute interview on YouTube by the YEARS Project of pre-eminent environment + climate + politics blogger David Roberts (formerly of Grist.org0, he was asked if the current political system stands in the way of taking care of climate change, and he laughed and said, yes.
He said that what Biden has written down to solve the extremely of-this-moment crisis would get the job done, but the current political system needs change, so that legislation to match Biden’s written goals can be enacted
The scale of the problem requires a response at this scale. The interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv4gL0s49mo.
This being said, Deb Haaland now being confirmed as Interior Secretary, and Michael Regan as new USEPA Director are both very encouraging.
And, what we do at the individual and community level is also significant, in that it helps restore our relationship to seasons, and soil, and how food grows, and what we really need to sustain ourselves cooperatively and collaboratively at family and community levels.
Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments. How true that the crisis is not looming and cannot be unlinked from our economic system and from racism.
Someone asked me recently in a very friendly but equally abrupt phone call if i’m into politics as much as local community-based organic gardening, hugelkultur, and permaculture – and i said yes.
Given the opportunity to elaborate, i would have added political economics, social enterprise, impact investing, and global scientific collaboration.
But I really love the name of this blog – Carbon Capture for the Rest of Us. Besides, in the words of the late, great Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, “all politics is local.”
So is all life, from our communities to that microbe-rich tablespoon of soil.
Last night, I attended an amazing online international conversation about why we need -both- high-tech carbon capture -and- global scale reforestation (not just one or the other … i’ll talk about this on my own blog soon).
We also really need to help each other transition, on the ground, in the air we breathe, in the hands we hold, the kisses we kiss, and the songs we sing, in our cities, and suburbs, and high desert farms.
We can do this!
Congratulations on the wonderful start and opening blog posts of Carbon Capture for the Rest of Us!”
sorry, not Capture or Rapture … Sequestration!
rhymes with Fenestration, one of my fav words!