Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth

By Albert Bates, Kathleen Draper

An 800-CEO-READ "Editor's Choice" March 2019

How We Can Harness Carbon to Help Solve the Climate Crisis

In order to rescue ourselves from climate catastrophe, we need to radically alter how humans live on Earth. We have to go from spending carbon to banking it. We have to put back the trees, wetlands, and corals. We have to regrow the soil and turn back the desert. We have to save whales, wombats, and wolves. We have to reverse the flow of greenhouse gases and send them in exactly the opposite direction: down, not up. We have to flip the carbon cycle and run it backwards. For such a revolutionary transformation we'll need civilization 2.0.

A secret unlocked by the ancients of the Amazon for its ability to transform impoverished tropical soils into terra preta--fertile black earths--points the way. The indigenous custom of converting organic materials into long lasting carbon has enjoyed a reawakening in recent decades as the quest for more sustainable farming methods has grown. Yet the benefits of this carbonized material, now called biochar, extend far beyond the soil. Pyrolyzing carbon has the power to restore a natural balance by unmining the coal and undrilling the oil and gas. Employed to its full potential, it can run the carbon cycle in reverse and remake Earth as a garden planet.

Burn looks beyond renewable biomass or carbon capture energy systems to offer a bigger and bolder vision for the next phase of human progress, moving carbon from wasted sources:

  • into soils and agricultural systems to rebalance the carbon, nitrogen, and related cycles; enhance nutrient density in food; rebuild topsoil; and condition urban and agricultural lands to withstand flooding and drought
  • to cleanse water by carbon filtration and trophic cascades within the world's rivers, oceans, and wetlands
  • to shift urban infrastructures such as buildings, roads, bridges, and ports, incorporating drawdown materials and components, replacing steel, concrete, polymers, and composites with biological carbon
  • to drive economic reorganization by incentivizing carbon drawdown

Fully developed, this approach costs nothing--to the contrary, it can save companies money or provide new revenue streams. It contains the seeds of a new, circular economy in which energy, natural resources, and human ingenuity enter a virtuous cycle of improvement. Burn offers bold new solutions to climate change that can begin right now.



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EXCERPTS: Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth

Posted April 11, 2019, 9:45 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
In this excerpt, Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper explain the benefits of biochar in Animal Nutraceuticals, and in building soil that increases yields without the deployment of chemical fertilizer. Read more

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth

Posted March 1, 2019, 3:30 PM with category of Innovation & Creativity
Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper's new book explains how we can rebuild our economy and reverse climate change by reversing the flow of our carbon economy. Read more




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ISBN: 9781603587839

About the Hardcover

Publisher Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Publish date 02/26/2019
Pages 288
ISBN-13 9781603587839
ISBN-10 1603587837
Language English

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