By Aaron William Perry, with Joanie Klar
Our village—The Village—is the most fertile ground of American culture: magnificent, gritty, thoughtful, proud.
Long before vogue terms like influencer or cultural creative entered popular parlance, generations of the most thoughtful, creative, and influential figures generated great turns in the evolution of our culture. Here, we walk atop the same well-worn cobbles trodden by Walt Whitman, Abe Lincoln, Anais Nin, Mark Twain, Upton Sinclair, Billie Holiday, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis. Here scholars fleeing violent regimes in Europe founded the New School. These cobbles echo memories of footsteps of bygone times. Today, Anderson Cooper lays his head after reporting the day’s news.
Our Village is hallowed ground.
Here, heroes wielding mighty pens have slain fierce dragons—dragons of slavery, suppression, racism, bigotry, and mean, nasty conformism.
Now we face a new dragon: an ecological crisis, a toxicity crisis, a climate crisis—an existential crisis of the highest degree. And, like all the nasty dragons we have slain before (defeating slavery, attaining women’s suffrage, achieving civil rights), this one, too, appears at first to be invincible.
But we have a secret weapon. We have David’s sling to Goliath’s fearsome might. We have the special sauce, the secret code, the lost word.
We have: THE SOIL.
And we have the HUMAN SPIRIT.
Here’s what we need to know:
Worldwide, soil is the greatest terrestrial carbon store—and it can hold much, much more. As soil regenerates, through beautifully complex natural processes with which we can conspire and collaborate, it (countless micro-organisms, along with all the plants and trees growing in it) inhales carbon from the atmosphere and deposits it back in the ground. This carbon—the wondrous element found in all life—is the key element regulating the thin sheath of atmosphere, our single, shared life-support system on this great spherical spaceship: Planet Earth. Carbon—in the molecules carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and others—is what acts like the blanket of the biosphere, trapping some of our sun’s constantly streaming heat energy, and keeping enough from escaping to space to maintain conditions conducive to life.
But we have loaded too much carbon in the atmosphere, and this dragon must be tamed!
By collaborating with the natural soil-building systems that are the foundation of life on land, we can amplify the carbon-sequestrating power of soil. A mere 10% increase in soil carbon world-wide is tantamount to sequestering ALL of the fossil carbon we have released into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution!
Compost • Purchase • Activate
Composting is essential. When we mindlessly discard food scraps, cardboard, and newspapers, they are buried in landfills, where they off-gas methane into the atmosphere. On the other hand, when they are composted instead, a virtuous cycle of soil-building (and carbon sequestration) is activated. And those old copies of WestView? Perfect for composting!
Purchasing certified organic, biodynamic and regenerative food, beverage and clothing products, we are further augmenting this essential soil-building imperative. It is the moral imperative of our time to wield this powerful weapon wisely and with stewardship and regeneration at the fore.
Activating soil is a quality-of-life enhancing practice that invites us to engage with the soil in our home, our houseplants, our gardens, our parks, and our village community. The benefits range from increased serotonin (the feel-good neurochemical) levels, to enhanced cognitive performance and even boosted immune system function.
It’s time to talk dirt and get dirty together!
Join us November 9th at 5:30pm at the Revelation Gallery (224 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014) for a special Biodynamic Soil Activation Ceremony experience with Aaron Perry, Joanie Klar, and friends!
For more information on soil regeneration visit yonearth.org. Use the exclusive code: WESTVIEWNEWS for a 50% discount on all of Aaron’s ebook and audiobook resources. If you join the Y on Earth Community’s Monthly Giving Program (yonearth.org/support) you will receive a special code for FREE DOWNLOADS of all of these resources—which you can share with friends, family and neighbors!
Aaron William Perry studied as a Gallatin Scholar at New York University in the mid-1990s, and is the author of Y on Earth: Get Smarter, Feel Better, Heal the Planet. The Founder of the Y on Earth Community, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to community mobilization for climate action, soil stewardship and culture of kindness (yonearth.org), Aaron is also the host of the Y on Earth Community’s Stewardship & Sustainability Video/Podcast series (yonearth.org/community-podcast).
Joanie Klar is a producer, activist, entrepreneur, and thought leader who resides in both New York and Colorado. She is on the Y on Earth Community’s Global Advisory Board, co-producer of Farmer’s Footprint with Dr. Zach Bush, served on the Board of Directors of John Denver’s Windstar Foundation, and helps lead soil stewardship and regeneration projects in New York, Colorado, and throughout the world.