At times, we humans live on this planet as if we are in a Robert Heinlein science fiction novel, soaring through the infinite garbage yard of outer space with a longing for simpler days when a field of grass was sufficient. If Global Warming has done anything, it has delivered the bill for taking the earth for granted. Paying the bill, we are now squarely told, is going to require self-discipline.

Al Gore’s Noble Prize-winning efforts have rightly placed a great deal of emphasis in reducing our carbon emissions. But even if we quickly exert all the self-discipline required by that avenue, we still won’t be able to pay the bill – and it will keep growing.

That’s because Global Warming is not exclusively caused by what we’ve pumped into the sky. It’s also caused by what we’ve done to the land.

Left alone, the earth has its own cooling system – one that is as old as the hills. In fact, it is the hills. Nothing – not even trees – stores carbon faster and more efficiently than rich topsoil, which becomes dust in the wind with overgrazing, poor land management, and modern agricultural practices.

As our population swells and we lose millions of tons of topsoil, the earth loses its natural carbon sink.

But we can help the earth get it back. Carbon farming, which includes planned grazing that mimics the presence of a predator, is a cooling technology that restores our grasslands, creating broadacres of surface area of carbon-hungry blades of grass that are more than happy to chew up our climate crisis. In return for helping the earth reinvigorate its carbon-starved topsoil, we get permanent agricultural production.

Farmers wise enough to implement carbon farming won’t merely be considered “cool” or cutting edge, but will be enriching their lands. It doesn’t require self-discipline either. If anything, it requires a bit of well-placed selfishness.

Do you want to live in a cool country? Would you like to be a cool world leader? How about marketing some very cool agricultural products or becoming rich in “cool” (carbon) credits, selling them by the square meter?

Politically, Global Warming can clean a nation’s slate. It gives the so-named rogue states and axis of evil, tyrants, and nuclear threats a chance to become respected global players. If Kaddafi wants to reinvigorate his image in a heartbeat, he might drop the PR tactics and hire a permaculture designer, aligning himself as the enemy of our common enemy, Global Warming. That is, if Libya can use any rich topsoil.

The earth is willing to cover our bill if we’re willing to help ourselves. Since we aren’t overly fond of self-discipline when it comes to emitting carbon, let’s at least harness our long-term greed in the right direction. In positively facing Global Warming, a new permanent agricultural industry capable of generating enormous wealth for humanity is just around the corner. In making the turn, the only things we lose are the antiquated ways of land custodianship and any chance that we will miss the earth we once knew.

Author's Bio: 

Sankara Saranam is the author of God Without Religion and the founder of Cool Planet Technology.

Darren J. Doherty (Australia) is a certified Farm Planner & Trainer who has designed & developed over 1200 broadacre properties worldwide.