December 5, 2015
Beyond the many wonderful and clever climate technologies is an enduring truth we can easily overlook: photosynthesis.
When we pick up an armful of leaves, we hold 100 million stomata, the mouth of every plant, apertures that take in CO2 to make sugars and exhale O2. CO2 minus O2 is carbon. Plants want the excess carbon that is in the atmosphere, and they want to place it back in the soil because it allows plants to thrive.
Life creates life. They will bring carbon back home where it belongs. CO2 derived sugars make food for us, for mammals. insects, bees, creatures, and birds, and they make food for the soil.
When we support plants to nourish the soil, when we do not harm the soil with our plows and pesticides, when humanity stops, slows down and recognizes that heaven is beneath our feet, that we stand on extraordinary life forms buried beneath us, and that the soil will gladly drink up CO2 from the atmosphere to reverse climate change, we then understand why wise people have kneeled and kissed the ground.
Soil is good, soil is great, soil is sacred, and at this perilous moment in human civilization, soil and plants will tell us what to do. Let’s listen.
Words by Paul Hawken