Cows saving the planet? An idea that sounds preposterous begins to make sense when you take a soil’s-eye view of our current ecological predicament. Journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems — climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition and obesity — our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Where do cows fit in? Cattle, like all grazing creatures, can, if appropriately managed, restore land and help build soil. Rebuilding soil is only one aspect of this important, paradigm-shifting book. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil’s pivotal role in our ecology and economy and an antidote to those awash in despairing environmental news. It is also an important call to action on behalf of the soil — and, by extension, those of us who benefit from it. Copyright 2013, softcover, 240 pages.