# Terra Preta Soil Technology

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All across Africa, there are infestations of Aquatic weeds. These are the real driving force in desertification. They quadruple evapotranspiration and clog waterways of all sorts. In particular, the Typha Australis infestation of the Lake Chad basin is the dessication machine drying out the Sahel. Typha is one of the most productive plants in the world, and one of the hardiest. Its clearance from Lake Chad and it surroundings will be a never ending process, but one that can be run at a profit in food and fuel and biochar for terra preta. The topsoil that the cattails have produced can also be used to restore desert land. Typha, and the other weeds are great CO2 sequesterers, too. but for every molecule of CO2 they absorb, they absorb one of H2O (making carbohydrate) and transpire many more. The plant has a habit of collecting pollutants, so not just any can be eaten. What isn't fit for human consumption can be brewed into ethanol, or pyrolized into charcoal for fuel and biochar.

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Good information. Thank you, Steve. Welcome to SFN.

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• 4 months later...

Biochar Soil Technology.....Husbandry of whole new orders of life

Biotic Carbon, the carbon transformed by life, should never be combusted, oxidized and destroyed. It deserves more respect, reverence even, and understanding to use it back to the soil where 2/3 of excess atmospheric carbon originally came from.

We all know we are carbon-centered life, we seldom think about the complex web of recycled bio-carbon which is the true center of life. A cradle to cradle, mutually co-evolved biosphere reaching into every crack and crevice on Earth.

It's hard for most to revere microbes and fungus, but from our toes to our gums (onward), their balanced ecology is our health. The greater earth and soils are just as dependent, at much longer time scales. Our farming for over 10,000 years has been responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. This soil carbon, converted to carbon dioxide, Methane & Nitrous oxide began a slow stable warming that now accelerates with burning of fossil fuel.

Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw;

"Feed the Soil Not the Plants" becomes;

"Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !".

Free Carbon Condominiums with carboxyl group fats in the pantry and hydroxyl alcohol in the mini bar.

Build it and the Wee-Beasties will come.

As one microbiologist said on the Biochar list; "Microbes like to sit down when they eat".

By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders of life.

This is what I try to get across to Farmers, as to how I feel about the act of returning carbon to the soil. An act of pertinence and thankfulness for the civilization we have created. Farmers are the Soil Sink Bankers, once carbon has a price, they will be laughing all the way to it.

Dr. Scherr's report includes biochar. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6124

I think we will be seeing much greater media attention for land management & biochar as reports like her's come out linking the roll of agriculture and climate.

Unlike CCS which only reduces emissions, biochar systems draw down CO2 every energy cycle, closing a circle back to support the soil food web. The "capture" collectors are up and running, the "storage" sink is in operation under our feet. Pyrolysis conversion plants are the only infrastructure we need to build out.

Another significant aspect of bichar and aerosols are the low cost ($3) Biomass cook stoves that produce char but no respiratory disease. http://terrapretapot.org/ and village level systems http://biocharfund.org/ with the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF). The Biochar Fund recently won$300K for these systems citing these priorities;

(1) Hunger amongst the world's poorest people, the subsistence farmers of Sub-Saharan Africa,

(2) Deforestation resulting from a reliance on slash-and-burn farming,

(3) Energy poverty and a lack of access to clean, renewable energy, and

(4) Climate change.

This ordering of priorities is a compelling mantra against the Biofuel Watch UK group who have consistently misrepresented Biochar research work.

Major Endorsements:

Senator / Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has done the most to nurse this biofuels system in his Biochar provisions in the 07 & 08 farm bill,

http://www.biochar-international.org/newinformationevents/newlegislation.html

NASA's Dr. James Hansen Global warming solutions paper and letter to the G-8 conference, placing Biochar / Land management the central technology for carbon negative energy systems.

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

Dr. James Lovelock (Gaia hypothesis) says Biochar is "The only hope for mankind"

Charles Mann ("1491") in the Sept. National Geographic has a wonderful soils article which places Terra Preta / Biochar soils center stage.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text

Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards Committee. Hosted by Monsanto, this group of diverse interests has been hammering out issues of definition, validation and protocol. The past week, this group have been pressing soil sequestration's roll for climate legislation to congress.

http://www.novecta.com/documents/Carbon-Standard.pdf

Along these lines internationally, the work of the IBI fostering the application by 20 countries for UN recognition of soil carbon as a sink with biochar as a clean development mechanism will open the door for programs across the globe.

http://www.biochar-international.org/biocharpolicy.html.

Reports:

This new Congressional Research Service report (by analyst Kelsi Bracmort) is the best short summary I have seen so far - both technical and policy oriented.

This is the single most comprehensive report to date, covering more of the Asian and Australian work;

http://www.csiro.au/files/files/poei.pdf

Biochar data base;

TP-REPP

http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node

Search the REF Share database with your particular quires;

Given the current "Crisis" atmosphere concerning energy, soil sustainability, food vs. Biofuels, and Climate Change what other subject addresses them all?

This is a Nano technology for the soil that represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.

Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

Cheers,

Erich

Erich J. Knight

University of California Riverside advisory board member

Shenandoah Gardens (Owner)

1047 Dave Barry Rd.

McGaheysville, VA. 22840

540 289 9750

Co-Administrator, Biochar Data base & Discussion list TP-REPP

North American Biochar Conference

I will be speaking at the first North American Biochar Conference, at CU in Boulder , about my efforts to network the many disciplines and organizations researching and implementing biochar systems.

Keynote speaker Secretary Tom Vilsack & Dr. Susan Solomon (NOAA's head atmospheric scientist) at.

My attendence is thanks to the folks at EcoTechnologies Group .

( http://www.ecotechnologies.com/index.html , they have also fully funded my field trials with the Rodale Institute & JMU)

ASA Conference, Nov 1-5th, (Laird, Novak, the usual suspects );

http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2009am/webprogrampreliminary/Session5675.html

There is real magic coming out of the Asian Biochar conference.

15 ear per stalk corn with 250% yield increase,

Sacred Trees and chickens raised from near death

Multiple confirmations of 80% - 90% reduction of soil GHG emissions

The abstracts of the conference are at

http://www.anzbiochar.org/2009presentations.html

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• 7 months later...

I love when someone becomes passionate about a subject to devote such time and organization of resources. Thank you!

I am interested in maybe trying to give this a twist.

I would be interested in innoculation, incubation, isolation, inspection and identification of purified cultures for microbiological research and development.

Is there a way to add terra pretta to hydroponic systems?

I have not had time to dig into your database. Later when I have time I'll be back and try to answer my questions. I figure you might benefit also... lol

Thanks,

Brandon

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• 2 weeks later...

I'm in 6th grade and have been studying about biochar...Ireally want to do my science fair project on this subject. Any suggestions on how to set up a classroom experiment? I thought about growing tomatoes? Ideas ..sugestions greatly welcome:) Thanks!!!

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Soil Carbon Dream & Soil Carbon Commandments

A major focus of my work is coming to fruition, a soil C Standard.

The next step in this process will be nominations for elections to seat a Soil C Board, a supreme court, if you will, under USDA / EPA oversight, to validate / certify practice & protocols for systems that build soil C.

A dream I've had for years ( see Paraphrased speech below ) to base the coming carbon economy firmly on the foundation of top soils. My read of the agronomic history of civilization shows that the Kayopo Amazon Indians and the Egyptians were the only ones to maintain fertility for the long haul, millennium scales. Egypt has now forsaken their geologic advantage by building the Aswan dam, and are stuck, with the rest of us, in the soil C mining, NPK rat race to the bottom.

The Ag Soil Carbon standard is in the second phase of review by the AMS / ARC branch at USDA.

After initial review, approval is expected in this month. Contact Gary Delong . Novecta - Charting a New Direction in Agriculture 515-334-7305 office

Read over the work so far;

http://www.novecta.com/documents/Carbon-Standard.pdf

In my efforts to have Biochar included I have recruited several to join the list, briefed the entire committee about char when issues concerning N2O & CH4 soil GHG emissions were raised, fully briefed a couple members when they replied individually to my "Reply all" briefs.

Erich J. Knight

Chairman; Markets and Business Opportunities Review Committee

US BiocharConference, at Iowa State University, June 27-30

2010 U.S. Biochar Initiative Conference -- Welcome/home

EcoTechnologies Group

Shenandoah Gardens (Owner)

1047 Dave Barry Rd.

McGaheysville, VA. 22840

540 289 9750

Co-Administrator, Biochar Data base & Discussion list TP-REPP

The Terra Preta Prayer

Our Carbon who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name

By kingdom come, thy will be done, IN the Earth to make it Heaven.

It will give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our atmospheric trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against the Kyoto protocols

And lead us not into fossil fuel temptation, but deliver us from it's evil

low as we walk through the valley of the shadow of Global Warming,

I will feel no evil, your Bio-fuels and fertile microbes will comfort me,

For thine is the fungal kingdom,

and the microbe power,

and the Sequestration Glory,

For ever and ever (well at least 2000 years)

AMEN

Erich

Soil Carbon Commandments:

1) Thou shalt not have any other Molecule before Me

2) Thou shall not make wrongful use of the name of Biochar, It will not acquit anyone who mis-charactorizes it's name

3) Observe the Fallow days and keep them, as Sustainability commands thou

4) Honor your Micro Flora & Fauna , as the Soil Carbon commands you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that High Soil Carbon has given you.

5) Thou shall not murder the Soil Food Web

6) Neither shall thou adulterate the Soils with Toxicity

7) Neither shall thou steal Biomass from the Soil Food Web

8) Neither shall thou bear false witness against your neighbors Biochar, or about Thy own

9) Neither shall thou covet your neighbor's Fertility

10) Neither shall thou desire your neighbor's house, or field, or Pyrolysis Reactor, or farm implements, or anything that belongs to your neighbor, as thou may Create thy Own

Soil Carbon Dream

I have a dream that one day we live in a nation where progress will not be judged by the production yields of our fields, but by the color of their soils and by the Carbon content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, a suite of earth sensing satellites will level the playing field, giving every farmer a full account of carbon he sequesters. That Soil Carbon is given as the final arbiter, the common currency, accountant and Judge of Stewardship on our lands.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made forest, the rough soils will be made fertile, and the crooked Carbon Marketeers will be made straight, and the glory of Soil Sequestration shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see a Mutually assured Sustainability.

This is our hope.

My apologies to Dr. King, but I think he would understand my passion

Erich

Edited by Erich
Consecutive posts merged.
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USA Todaydated February 11, 2010 had a front page article on Biochar

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• 3 months later...

To me, in the long run, the final arbiter / accountancy / measure of sustainability will be soil carbon content. Once this royal road is constructed, traffic cops ( Carbon Board ) in place, the truth of land-management and Biochar systems will be self-evident.

A dream I've had for years is to base the coming carbon economy firmly on the foundation of top soils. My read of the agronomic history of civilization shows that the Kayopo Amazon Indians and the Egyptians were the only ones to maintain fertility for the long haul, millennium scales. Egypt has now forsaken their geologic advantage by building the Aswan dam, and are stuck, with the rest of us, in the soil C mining, NPK rat race to the bottom. The meta-analysis of Syn-N and soil Carbon content show our dilemma;

http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/36/6/1821

and

http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/38/6/2295

The Ag Soil Carbon standard is in final review by the AMS branch at USDA.

Contact Gary Delong . http://www.novecta.com 515-334-7305

Read over the work so far;

http://www.novecta.com/documents/Carbon-Standard.pdf

In my efforts to have Biochar's potential included, I have recruited several to join the list, briefed the entire committee about char when issues concerning N2O & CH4 soil GHG emissions were raised, fully briefed a couple of the 50 members when they replied individually to my "Reply all" briefs. The members cover the full spectrum of Ag interest.

With the Obama administration funding an inter-departmental climate effort of NASA, NOAA, USDA, & EPA, and now even the CIA is opening the data coffers, then soil carbon sensors may be less than 5 years away. I'm told by the Jet Propulsion Lab mission specialists responsible for the suite of earth sensing satellites, that they will be reading soil carbon using multiple proxy measurements in 5 years. Reading soil moisture to 3 foot dept in two year with SMAP, Reading GHG emissions and biomass from the tree tops down next year when the Orbital Carbon Observer (OCO, get it:) is rebooted, to 1 Ha resolution and don't even ask about the various spectrometric; lasers, UV, IR, lidars, temperature sensors, interferometry etc.

Then, any farmer can click "Google Carbon maps" to see the soil carbon accounted to his good work, a level playing field to be a soil sink banker.

The Moon Pie in the sky funding should be served to JPL

Since we have filled the air , filling the seas to full, Soil is the Only Beneficial place left.

Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

Hope to see you at ISU for the 2010 US Biochar Conference

Dr. Robert Brown <rcbrown@iastate.edu>, and the team in Ames Iowa are planing the next national biochar conference. The Conference will be June 27-30 in Ames Iowa Hosted by Iowa State University.

http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010.html

WorldStoves in Haiti;

The Biochar Fund deserves your attention and support.

Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon

http://scitizen.com/screens/blogPage/viewBlog/sw_viewBlog.php?idTheme=14&idContribution=3011

NSF Awards $600K to BREAD: Biochar Inoculants for Enabling Smallholder Agriculture http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0965336 Thanks for your efforts. Erich Erich J. Knight Chairman; Markets and Business Opportunities Review Committee US BiocharConference, at Iowa State University, June 27-30 http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010.html EcoTechnologies Group Technical Adviser http://www.ecotechnologies.com/index.html Shenandoah Gardens (Owner) 1047 Dave Barry Rd. McGaheysville, VA. 22840 540 289 9750 Co-Administrator, Biochar Data base & Discussion list TP-REPP http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites • 1 month later... Dear Char Colleagues, What a whirlwind at ISU, What a lab that the$22M of Conoco oil money built, and the 40 Acres of field trials, just overwhelming.

My opening plenary was well received, particularly the closing humorist sermon on a Carbon Based Religion. The plenary speakers I recruited were the talk of the conference; Gary DeLong on Soil Carbon Standards, and Laurens Rademakers of the Biochar Fund http://biocharfund.org/ (his Talk not posted yet)

My failures included;

Not getting Kyle Howell to speak on WalMart's Sustainability Index, or getting NASA-JPL to speak on Remote carbon sensor technology.

It was exciting to meet and inspiring to talk with people like Josiah Hunt and Trip Allen. Two men with the energy and knowledge to drive this market. Josiah, a passionate compost driven landscaper, (like myself) , His curiosity for the mysteries of the rhizosphere is palatable and lead to collaborations with U of H Microbiologist & agronomist. Trip, with equal energy and a clear whole ecology vision for southern California has "Biocharm" on the market; http://www.biocharm.com/

Jeff Wallin shared a totally integrated ecological system for a Mahogany tree Farm / Pyrolysis plant / Tropical Ag & live stock Farm. Including Char feed rations, Small Hydro Power and Aquaculture. The most holistic thinking I have seen for any Biochar project.

Kelpie Wilson; Biochar educator par excellence.

Every Science teacher in the country should have been there.

Laurens Rademakers; Biochar King of the Congo;

ISU was so wise to have Laurens as the closing plenary speaker. So evocative, I left the hall tears streaming down my face thinking about the exponential growth potential across Africa.

At the Iowa House, late into the evenings, spending time telling stories of his and my experiences in Africa, I found a most brilliant man. A culturally comprehensive understanding of the continent, His solutions cascade like rain and will fill each Hamlet & Community in turn. Bottom line; He doubled the income for thousands of subsistence farmers!

He gave me a hard time one night, in passing, about my superlative words on some of my postings where I said It was only time between him and a Nobel. Well, I recanted then, but after his powerfully moving presentation, Now I reinstate it. Every mile saved walking for deforesting wood, Evey tree saved and every clean breath taken, lightens the load and helps to preserve this society and wonderful cultural legacy of pastoral & farming community.

On my reflection of our discussions, I would add some other titles; "Whole Congo Ecologist", or "Socioeconomic Shaman" healing soil and self-esteem in the infrastructural chaos of Congo, or "Char Czar" We amend, We seed, We rule.

The next step is for village Pyrolitic electricity and Bio-Oil river transport.

Presentations at ISU;

http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010/conference-agenda/agenda-overview.html, and click on the title of the session you want.

Thanks for all of your efforts.

Erich

Erich J. Knight

Chairman; Markets and Business Review Committee

US BiocharConference, at Iowa State University, June 27-30

http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010.html

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• 2 weeks later...

To me, in the long run, the final arbiter / accountancy / measure of sustainability will be soil carbon content. Once this royal road is constructed, traffic cops ( Carbon Board ) in place, the truth of land-management and Biochar systems will be self-evident.

A dream I've had for years is to base the coming carbon economy firmly on the foundation of top soils. My read of the agronomic history of civilization shows that the Kayopo Amazon Indians and the Egyptians were the only ones to maintain fertility for the long haul, millennium scales. Egypt has now forsaken their geologic advantage by building the Aswan dam, and are stuck, with the rest of us, in the soil C mining, NPK rat race to the bottom. The meta-analysis of Syn-N and soil Carbon content show our dilemma;

http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/36/6/1821

and

http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/38/6/2295

The Ag Soil Carbon standard is in final review by the AMS branch at USDA.

Contact Gary Delong . http://www.novecta.com 515-334-7305

Read over the work so far;

http://www.novecta.com/documents/Carbon-Standard.pdf

In my efforts to have Biochar's potential included, I have recruited several to join the list, briefed the entire committee about char when issues concerning N2O & CH4 soil GHG emissions were raised, fully briefed a couple of the 50 members when they replied individually to my "Reply all" briefs. The members cover the full spectrum of Ag interest.

With the Obama administration funding an inter-departmental climate effort of NASA, NOAA, USDA, & EPA, and now even the CIA is opening the data coffers, then soil carbon sensors may be less than 5 years away. I'm told by the Jet Propulsion Lab mission specialists responsible for the suite of earth sensing satellites, that they will be reading soil carbon using multiple proxy measurements in 5 years. Reading soil moisture to 3 foot dept in two year with SMAP, Reading GHG emissions and biomass from the tree tops down next year when the Orbital Carbon Observer (OCO, get it:) is rebooted, to 1 Ha resolution and don't even ask about the various spectrometric; lasers, UV, IR, lidars, temperature sensors, interferometry etc.

Then, any farmer can click "Google Carbon maps" to see the soil carbon accounted to his good work, a level playing field to be a soil sink banker.

The Moon Pie in the sky funding should be served to JPL

Since we have filled the air , filling the seas to full, Soil is the Only Beneficial place left.

Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

Hope to see you at ISU for the 2010 US Biochar Conference

Dr. Robert Brown <rcbrown@iastate.edu>, and the team in Ames Iowa are planing the next national biochar conference. The Conference will be June 27-30 in Ames Iowa Hosted by Iowa State University.

http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010.html

WorldStoves in Haiti;

The Biochar Fund deserves your attention and support.

Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon

http://scitizen.com/screens/blogPage/viewBlog/sw_viewBlog.php?idTheme=14&idContribution=3011

NSF Awards $600K to BREAD: Biochar Inoculants for Enabling Smallholder Agriculture http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0965336 Thanks for your efforts. Erich Erich J. Knight Chairman; Markets and Business Opportunities Review Committee US BiocharConference, at Iowa State University, June 27-30 http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010.html EcoTechnologies Group Technical Adviser http://www.ecotechnologies.com/index.html Shenandoah Gardens (Owner) 1047 Dave Barry Rd. McGaheysville, VA. 22840 540 289 9750 Co-Administrator, Biochar Data base & Discussion list TP-REPP http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node I love your thread! I hope this becomes a reality. I believe that this planet belongs to the microbial world and that they built everything that we are and everything that we can observe in nature. No longer a religious person that believes in the interpretation of the bible of my childhood. The story of Genesis and how it is worded gives me the interpretation of how microbes explain their creation of life. ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites • 2 months later... Recent NATURE STUDY; Sustainable bio char to mitigate global climate change Not talked about in this otherwise comprehensive study are the climate and whole ecological implications of new , higher value, applications of chars. First, the in situ remediation of a vast variety of toxic agents in soils and sediments. Biochar Sorption of Contaminants; Dr. Lima's work; Specialized Characterization Methods for Biochar http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/events/biochar2010/conference-agenda/agenda-overview/breakout-session-4/production-and-characterization.html And at USDA; The Ultimate Trash To Treasure: *ARS Research Turns Poultry Waste into Toxin-grabbing Char http://www.ars.usda.gov/IS/AR/archive/jul05/char0705.htm Second, the uses as a feed ration for livestock to reduce GHG emissions and increase disease resistance. Third, Recent work by C. Steiner showing a 52% reduction of NH3 loss when char is used as a composting accelerator. This will have profound value added consequences for the commercial composting industry by reduction of their GHG emissions and the sale of compost as a nitrogen fertilizer. Global Clean Stove Initutive: Another significant aspect of low cost Biomass cook stoves, that produce char, is removal of BC aerosols and no respiratory disease emissions. At Scale, replacing "Three Stone" stoves the health benefits would equal eradication of Malaria & Aids combined. The Biochar Fund : Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon The broad smiles of 1500 subsistence farmers say it all ( that, and the size of the Biochar corn root balls ) http://biocharfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=75 State Dept. Release; 100 million clean-burning stoves in kitchens around the world. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/09/147494.htm WorldStoves in Haiti; http://www.charcoalproject.org/2010/05/a-man-a-stove-a-mission/ NSF Awards$1.6 million in grants;

BREAD: Biochar Inoculants for Enabling Smallholder Agriculture

http://iapnews.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/cornell-university-wins-biocharstove-research-grants/

Major Endorsements:

Senator / Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has done the most to nurse this biofuels system in his Biochar provisions in the 07 & 08 farm bill,

http://www.biochar-international.org/newinformationevents/newlegislation.html

NASA's Dr. James Hansen Global warming solutions paper places Biochar / Land management the central technology for carbon negative energy systems.

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

Dr. James Lovelock (Gaia hypothesis) says Biochar is "The only hope for mankind"

Charles Mann ("1491") in the Sept. National Geographic has a wonderful soils article which places Terra Preta / Biochar soils center stage.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text

Al Gore got the CO2 absorption thing wrong, ( at NABC Vilsack did same), but his focus on Soil Carbon is right on;

http://www.newsweek.com/id/220552/page/3

Tony Blair & Richard Branson in the UK and conservative party opposition leader John Turnbull and Abbott in Oz.

Reports:

2010 US Biochar Conference;

For those looking for an overview of biochar and its benefits, These authors have done a very nice job of distilling a great deal of information about biochar and applying it to the US context:

US Focused Biochar report: Assessment of Biochar's Benefits for the USA

http://www.biochar-us.org/pdf%20files/biochar_report_lowres.pdf

This PNAS report (by a Nobel lariat) should cause the Royal Society to rethink their report that criticized Biochar systems sequestration potential;

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Reducing abrupt climate change risk using

the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory

actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/10/09/0902568106.full.pdf+html

Research:

NASA’s Space Archaeology; \$364K Terra Preta Program

http://archaeoloyexcavations.blogspot.com/2010/08/time-traveling-via-satellite.html

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• 1 month later...

The Biochar Revolution

http://biochar-books.com/The_Biochar_Revolution

Review: The Biochar Revolution: Transforming Agriculture and Environment, ed. Paul Taylor

The General rule covering emerging technology, that the "Latest book is the best book" is obfuscated by both the near simultaneous publication of The Biochar Revolution with The Biochar Solution and the complementary content of each work.

The Biochar Revolution reads like a encyclopedic companion and testimonial.

Dr. Taylor has the best people in academia & industry, as well as the grassroots, hands-on journeymen, as authors. Their personal travails and triumphs in development and applications of biochar soil technologies are inspiring. In the collaborative traditions of Astrophysics, Dr. Taylor's day job, these authoritative innovators allow you to view this cohesive whole system of sustainable carbon management.

The Australians are years ahead in broad field trials with many crops and in addition, have conservative political support of soil carbon sequestration. Paul opens a window on their consistent findings of increased yields, nutrient efficiency and major reductions in soil green house gas emissions.

Dr. Taylor has focused his cosmic perspective to the crisis our carbon based life has created with the mis-allocation of carbon. He lays out a path for carbon's re-allocation that garners high agricultural yields, biofuels, and generous climate dividends.

For the backyard shade tree mechanic to the sustainable energy entrepreneur, important lessons can be learned here. Simple to complex testing of biochars and soils, biological conditioning and formulations of chars are explained along with small scale home made pyrolitic cook stoves. The attention to the menagerie of clean biomass cook stoves for the developing world is prescient of the recent state department, CDC & DOE support of the UN Global Clean Stove Initiative for 100 million stoves.

Since carbon is the center of life , this work holds interest for everyone.

Erich J. Knight

2010 US BiocharConference, at Iowa State University

Kelpie Wilson, author, journalist and IBI Communications Editor has this to say about The Biochar Revolution;

Review: The Biochar Revolution: Transforming Agriculture and Environment, ed. Paul Taylor

I want to call this book: “Biochar, the Missing Manual.” This compendium of practical how-to articles on the art and science of biochar bridges the current gap between research and implementation of biochar systems. While basic research on the mechanisms of biochar-soil interactions proceeds at research institutions around the globe, farmers, blacksmiths, colliers and crafty inventors of all sorts have jumped into the business of biochar production and utilization. The Biochar Revolution collects the results and best practical advice that these entrepreneurs have to offer to the biochar community.

In the book you will read about the challenges of designing low-emissions biochar production systems from small-scale stoves to farm-scale pyrolyzers. Another section of the book is devoted to explaining simple tests to characterize biochar and methods for conducting valid field trials. Biochar producers show how they add minerals and nutrients to maximize the effectiveness of biochar, and seasoned biochar business operators share the rudiments of their business plans including information on feedstocks, flow rates and financing.

Because biochar is rooted in an ancient, proven practice, farmers feel empowered to experiment and are beginning to accumulate and document their results. But because biochar is new to science, it is not always possible to account for these results in a predictable fashion. We are fortunate to have a vibrant, grassroots movement of biochar practitioners who are so generous in sharing their results with us. When practice and theory advance to the point where they meet in the middle, then we will truly see a biochar revolution.

-Kelpie Wilson, author, journalist and IBI Communications Editor

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• 2 months later...

The soils in tropical regions have always been depauperate. Most of the carbon have been bound in the biomass above. Laterite soils are always like that..thats why there formed. We have biodiversity because they have too.

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