Cows Save the Planet

And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

By Judith Schwartz; Gretel Ehrlich (Foreword by)
(Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Paperback, 9781603584326, 220pp.)

Publication Date: May 2013

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Description

In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil.

Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil "green water" in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility.

Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.




About the Author
Judith Schwartz began her career as a teacher of early childhood in a suburban New York community, during which time she earned her Master's degree in early childhood education from Hunter College. Shortly thereafter, with a teaching fellowship, she enrolled full-time in a doctoral program at New York University in early childhood education. Upon completion of her degree, she joined the faculty of the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Queens College, City University of New York, where she now holds the rank of Professor. During her tenure at Queens College, Dr. Schwartz has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of research, literacy, language arts, and language development, and has supervised student teachers involved in preschool through the intermediate grades. She has published many articles in the areas of early language development and literacy and has edited and contributed to books on teaching the language arts.

Judith D. Schwartz is a longtime freelance writer whose work has appeared in venues from Glamour and Redbook to The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times. She is the author of several books, including Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth, Tell Me No Lies: How to Face the Truth and Build a Loving Marriage (coauthored) and The Therapist's New Clothes. She has an MA in counseling psychology and an MS from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She lives with her family in Southern Vermont.
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