When farmers make the news in relation to climate issues like droughts, floods or extreme heat, they are often described in opposition to both environmentalists and, sometimes, scientists alike.
But such a depiction doesn’t tell the full story of the many ways that some farmers and ranchers are adapting to the changing climate, embracing new approaches that reduce greenhouse gases, increase water quality and sustainably contribute to and improve America’s food supply.
In his new book, Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, Courtney White, co-founder and executive director of the Santa Fe-based Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit that works to find common ground between the worlds of conservation and agriculture, features 50 different examples of farmers and ranchers who are having success doing just that.
The percentage in the title, White explains, refers not only to the number of Americans who are farmers, but also to the low cost associated with the promising approaches he is spotlighting. His goal is that the other 98 percent of us will sit up and take note that real progress on seemingly daunting challenges like California’s drought is not only possible, but already taking place.
The Huffington Post recently spoke with White.
HuffPost: What led you to covering this subject matter and why did you choose to focus on examples of solutions?
White: What I was seeing was a tremendous amount of innovation and entrepreneurial stuff on the ground that solved food issues and water issues, sustainable practices that we now call regenerative agriculture, but I was not seeing those stories in the media. I decided to take a run at it myself. The goal of this project was to try and chronicle or profile 50 different regenerative, sustainable, exciting practices I saw on the ground, not theoretical things, and try and make them interesting to get the word out to folks who don’t normally follow these issues very closely. The folks I profiled in this book have been at this for decades now working on these things.