Two percent solutions for the planet 50 low-cost, low-tech, nature-based practices for combatting hunger, drought, and climate change

Courtney White, 1960-

Book - 2015

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 363.7/White Checked In
White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing [2015]
Physical Description
227 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Courtney White, 1960- (author)
Corporate Author
Quivira Coalition (-)
  • Ranching. Livestock ballet ; Healing ground ; Why grassfed ; Feeding billions ; Weed eaters ; The low-stress way ; Herding wisdom ; The flerd ; Animal power ; The mobile matanza
  • Farming. Organic no-till ; Party talk ; Year-round farming ; Pasture cropping ; Sustainable by tradition ; The gleaning ; Up on the rooftop ; Nature's café ; Cooperative behavior ; Redefining local
  • Technology. Agrivoltism ; The MoGro ; Farm hack ; Microsize it ; Bigfoot ; Local clothes ; A modern wonder ; Black gold ; Night soil 2.0 ; Doubling up
  • Restoration. Agroforestry ; Restoration agriculture ; Cultivating abundance ; Every house a spring ; Thinking like a creek ; Form + function ; Sweet spots ; Growing topsoil ; Poop 'n' stomp ; Beyond resilience
  • Wildness. The bee's knees ; Meet the beetles ; Beavers as carbon engineers ; Bats need water too ; For the birds ; Bear with us ; A burning question ; Connectivity ; Positive change ; Completing the circle.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this brief work, White (The Age of Consequences), conservationist and cofounder of the Quivira Coalition, sketches 50 strategies for improving the environment and fighting hunger. Few of these strategies are aimed at the planet's urbanized majority; while chapters dealing with rooftop gardens or aquaponics may inspire city-dwellers, most of the four-page chapters give short overviews of tactics that will primarily be useful to farmers, ranchers, and policymakers who deal directly with the land. White repeatedly refers to the writings of Aldo Leopold and is also fond of creek reclamation specialist Bill Zeedyk, who urges those attempting to restore watersheds to "think like a creek." White stresses the importance of improving the quality of watercourses and the ability of soil to retain carbon, thus mitigating climate change. The section "Wildness" addresses a range of wildlife, including such different creatures as the dung beetle and the beaver. Since each solution receives swift treatment, White isn't able to give detailed instructions, but each segment includes online and print resources for further reference. White offers a good starting place for agriculturalists looking for ways to improve their farms and ranches, as well as the larger environment. Color photos. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Presents techniques designed to soak up carbon dioxide in soils, lower energy use, sustainably intensify food production, and increase water quality, outlining true stories that describe the success of these methods.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

White draws on his experience helping cattle ranchers and conservationists work together and on the research and experience of others to describe ways to stop degrading the environment without resorting to high technology and huge projects. In sections on ranching, farming, technology, restoration, and wildness, he discusses the wisdom of grassfed, herding, pasture cropping, agrivoltism, local clothes, night soil, cultivating abundance, growing topsoil, beavers as carbon engineers, and completing the circle. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Two Percent Solutions for the Planet profiles fifty innovative practices that soak up carbon dioxide in soils, reduce energy use, sustainably intensify food production, and increase water quality. The “two percent” refers to: the amount of new carbon in the soil needed to reap a wide variety of ecological and economic benefits; the percentage of the nation’s population who are farmers and ranchers; and the low financial cost (in terms of GDP) needed to get this work done. As White explained in Grass, Soil, Hope, a highly efficient carbon cycle captures, stores, releases, and recaptures biochemical energy, mitigating climate change, increasing water storage capacities in soil, and making green plants grow. Best of all, we don’t have to invent anything new—a wide variety of innovative ideas and methods that put carbon back into the soil have been field-tested and proven to be practical and profitable. They’re mostly low-tech, too, relying on natural resources such as sunlight, green plants, animals, compost, beavers, creeks, and more. In Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, White expands what he calls the “regenerative toolbox,” to include holistic grazing, edible forests, biochar, weed-eating livestock, food co-ops, keyline plowing, restoration agriculture, bioenergy, aquaponics, animal power, Farm Hack, bees, bears, wildlife corridors, rainwater harvesting, native seeds, and various other projects from across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Australia. These short, engaging success stories will help readers connect the dots between diverse, exciting, and pragmatic practices, and inspire them to dig deeper into each individual story and concept, energized by the news that solutions do exist.