“One of the best kept secrets in the world today is that the solution to global warming and the climate crisis (as well as poverty and deteriorating public health) lies right under our feet.”Ronnie Cummins
Can we heal the soil, save the climate and change our food habits?
Ute Scheub and Stefan Schwarzer believe we can. In their book Die Humusrevolution (The Humus Revolution, 2017) we can read that monoculture, agrochemicals and CO2 emissions are destroying the planet, and if we don’t do something fast, then we’ll all starve to death.
This grim message is not new. Humus pioneers were seriously concerned about the disastrous development of modern (agri)culture over 60 years ago and their language was clear and strong. Here are some book titles with publication dates:
1940 — Look to the Land, by Lord Northbourne (1896-1982).
1943 — An Alternative to Death, by the Earl of Portsmouth (1891-1984).
1950 — Die Letzte Chance für eine Zukunft ohne Not (The Last Chance for a Future without Misery) by Annie Francé-Harrar (1886-1971).
These authors were humus-prophets. They predicted what was going to happen because they understood the soil.
Now we have reached the miserable situation which Lord Northbourne, the Earl of Portsmouth and Annie Francé-Harrar desperately tried to prevent. So what’s new about Die Humusrevolution?
Ute Scheub and Stefan Schwarzer are not prophets — they are ‘earth-regenerators’. Their book is about the fight between David and Goliath, not the biblical one that happened 1000s of years ago, but the current one which affects all of us. At first sight, it looks as if this is a battle between the ‘smart little people’ who want to eat healthy food, who love nature and want to care for the land on one side, and the ‘giant idiots’ who are destroying our environment on the other.
As you read on, you realise that this battle between ‘us little earth-regenerators’ and ‘them global planet-destroyers’ cannot be a direct confrontation. The authors have documented how effective it can be when those who care about regenerating the soil simply start doing something towards it, connect with each other and weave a strong grassroots network across the globe.
By the way, human earth-regenerators can learn a lot about the power of symbiosis from the billions of micro-earth-regenerators that populate our soils. Together we are more than the sum of us individuals. That’s what makes David stronger than Goliath in the end.
The Humus Revolution includes a manifesto and it contains a quote by Ronnie Cummins (director of the Organic Consumers Association of America). In June 2015, Cummins called for a »massive grassroots army of earth-regenerators: 3 billion small farmers, villagers, ranchers, shepherds, forest dwellers, urban gardeners and indigenous communities — assisted by several billions of conscious consumers and urban activists.«
Ute Scheub and Stefan Schwarzer are reminding us that we are the ones we have been waiting for. Their book is anything but ‘Job’s news’. On the contrary, the core message is the most encouraging one we’ve heard in a long time: »Regeneration is possible — locally, regionally, nationally and globally. What are we waiting for?«
(Die Humusrevolution is currently only available in German)