Spontaneous Soil Summit at Tufts University Reception
February 22, 2018 – MEDFORD, Massachusetts – Vice President Al Gore recently spoke with two Soil4Climate representatives at a reception at Tufts University. At the February 7th event, William “Bill” Moomaw, Tufts University professor and Soil4Climate Advisory Board member, and Josephine “Josie” Watson, Tufts senior and Soil4Climate Student Representative, presented to Gore a packet containing information on Soil4Climate as well as articles and research pertaining to soil as a climate solution.
Commenting on the occasion, Professor Moomaw said, “Al Gore’s leadership on climate change has been second to none. The inclusion of soil carbon drawdown in his Climate Reality training of climate educators has helped spread awareness of soil’s role in climate mitigation.”
“Al Gore’s leadership on climate change has been second to none. The inclusion of soil carbon drawdown in his Climate Reality training of climate educators has helped spread awareness of soil’s role in climate mitigation.” – Dr. Bill Moomaw
On a preternaturally-warm 70°F/21°C February day in suburban Boston, Josie Watson commented, “As a college student concerned about changing weather patterns and increasing water scarcity, it’s obvious we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and get the excess CO2 out of the air. Regenerative agriculture offers a hopeful, safe, and practical way to draw down billions of tons of carbon while improving food and water security throughout the world.”
Although not widely known within the climate activism community, Al Gore has been a steady proponent of soil as a climate solution. As a judge in Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million contest launched in 2007 to identity a cost-effective and scalable way to draw down a large enough amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reverse climate change, Gore is very much aware of the need to remove CO2 from the air to assure a future climate compatible with civilization.
Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” features a chapter on soil restoration as a climate mitigation strategy authored by Rattan Lal, Director of Ohio State University’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and widely considered the preeminent soil scientist on the planet. A Newsweek review of the book quoted Gore as saying “[soil carbon sequestration] could cut 50 parts per million of CO2 from the atmosphere over the next 50 years.”
Gore was taught about global warming during his undergraduate years at Harvard by none other than the legendary Roger Revelle, “Grandfather of the Greenhouse Effect,” who, some 15 years later, inspired Lal’s research into soil carbon drawdown. The momentous first meeting of Revelle and Lal, two giants of science, is chronicled in Soil4Climate Advisory Board member Kristin Ohlson’s informative and inspiring book, “The Soil Will Save Us.”
Among the items presented to Gore were:
- Hope Below Our Feet: Soil As a Climate Solution – A policy brief coauthored by researchers at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute and Soil4Climate
- Using Soil to Fight Climate Change – An op-ed coauthored by Bill McKibben and Soil4Climate
- The Agriculture of Hope: Climate Farmers of North America – An article written by Soil4Climate
- Conventional Farming Ruined The Soil On Our Farm – Here’s How We Saved It – An article by regenerative farmer and Soil4Climate Advisory Board member Jesse McDougall
- The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint in North America – A 2016 paper on the climate benefits of well-managed grazing
This event was part of Tisch College’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The photo of (l to r) Josie Watson, Bill Moomaw, and Al Gore, taken by Alonso Nichols for Tufts University, is used with permission.
Soil4Climate, a U.S.-based nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, advocates for regenerative cropping and grazing practices to improve soil fertility, increase the bionutrient density of food, restore wildlife habitat, prevent flooding, return flow to dried-up rivers, and revitalize pastoral communities while sequestering atmospheric carbon.
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