July 9, 2018 - Thetford, Vermont - Gary Rucinski, a Ph.D. physicist running for Congress in Massachusetts’ 4th District on a platform to reverse global warming, said recently that the restoration of degraded grasslands worldwide is essential to tackling climate change, because of the large quantity of atmospheric carbon that would be captured by soil. This CO2 “drawdown” can be achieved, according to Rucinski, through adoption of innovative cropping and grazing practices he referred to, respectively, as “permaculture” and “holistic range management.”
Rucinski stated, “We still have photosynthesis and biology available to us as … technologies that Mother Nature has honed over the last three and half billion years, that we can use to sequester the excess carbon load that’s in the atmosphere today and put it back into soils.”
"Primarily the opportunity is on about 15 billion acres worldwide of degraded grasslands ..."
“Primarily the opportunity is on about 15 billion acres worldwide of degraded grasslands, where if we simply reintroduce grazing herds and manage them properly, we will be building topsoil, we will be restoring wetlands, and we will be growing grass and building soil in order to allow carbon sequestration to happen naturally,” said Rucinski.
Making the case that land restoration and a revenue-neutral carbon tax, another policy goal he has advocated, both offer economic as well as environmental benefits, Rucinski said, “We need to get ranchers generally to be aware of the fact that this is a financial win for them because they make due with fewer inputs, they get higher quality beef, and they can sell that at higher prices. So, again, just like the revenue-neutral carbon tax … getting ranchers and farmers to use permaculture and holistic range management is also a win-win-win for everybody involved.”
Rucinski’s comments came during a July 6th livestream interview by Soil4Climate cofounder, Seth Itzkan, in the Facebook group of Soil4Climate Inc.
A 2016 paper in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation showed that well-managed grazing in North America could sequester 790 million tons of atmospheric carbon each year. According to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Calculator, this is equivalent to the annual emissions of 620 million passenger vehicles, more than twice the U.S. passenger vehicle population.
Rucinski is formally Northeast Director of Citizens Climate Lobby. His opponent in the Democratic primary is incumbent Joe Kennedy III.
A video of Rucinski’s comments quoted above (3 minutes) is at
A video of the full Rucinski interview (50 minutes) is at
Soil4Climate, a U.S.-based nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, advocates for regenerative cropping and grazing practices to improve soil fertility, increase the bionutrient density of food, restore wildlife habitat, prevent flooding, replenish dried-up lakes and rivers, and revitalize pastoral communities while sequestering atmospheric carbon.