A documentary video website of how people can bring some big ideas down to action in their personal lives.
The first “Big Idea” is Terra Preta. This is not as exotic as it looks and in fact it links practical and available solutions to 3 global problems:
- Climate change and global warming
- Hunger and starvation
- One of the 4 main causes of death for children under 5 years old — and often their mothers — through poisons from indoor-cooking smoke.
Comments or questions are welcome.
Before we start on our adventure, let’s watch one, a movie made by the BBC about El Dorado, the Lost City of Gold in the Amazon. Sit back and watch the show in full-screen by clicking the small box on the extreme right side at the bottom of the player.
To give some perspective on the scale and location of terra preta sites, here is a link to a map of sites.
As of now, terra preta has come out of the closet of history and scientists and has been recognized as a mitigant for climate change and for enhancing agricuture. A growing list of links and resources is on this website.
Significant current research on Terra Preta is conducted at Cornell University by a team headed by Dr. Johannes Lehmann.
An example of biochar on the farm:
At a recent workshop on biochar at the Pony Farm in Temple, NH, one of the presenters, Hugh McLaughlin, gave some history and ideas about the actual formation of the Black Earth. First, most of it was not black. There was Terra Mulata, a brown earth.
Hugh refers to the book, 1491 – New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. It is worth the read!