Get Real Alliance

“Environmental care should be our way of life”
– David Munson Jr

Episode 3. Earth's Carbon Cycle

(Get Real intro music)

Munson Intro:

The carbon cycle is essential to all life on this Earth. Life can exist without

oxygen but not without carbon. There is a complex dance happening with

carbon from air, soil, plants, animals, oceans, and the Earth’s crust. The

cycle is a masterpiece of movement from the atmosphere to the Earth in an

automated and natural flow that goes unseen by the naked eye.

Interestingly, far more carbon exists in the soil than in the air, but it is a

balance that has been skewed by man reducing the soil’s carbon content


through bad practices. In farming, we have sadly seen the deterioration of

our soil as a result of mismanagement. A major reason CO₂ levels have

risen is the continuing expansion of the world’s deserts, reducing the

amount of carbon stored in the soil and plants. Not only are we losing our

fertile land by the day, but the downstream impact of the deterioration of

our minerals in the soil. Marine wetlands are huge sinks of carbon that are

being wiped out by man’s activities of dredging and filling. Restoration of

marine wetlands and shallow water areas is one part of the holistic solution

to rebalancing this cycle. The oceans occupy most of the Earth’s surface

and are also major players in the carbon cycle. Regardless of the beliefs

you may or may not have around the topic of climate change, it is important

to know that carbon is the key to advancing our way of life. There are

approaches to make carbon work for us and not against us.The cycle is

worldwide, but man can alter it by increasing photosynthesis and lowering

atmospheric CO2 levels dramatically. As such, the carbon cycle is not to be

feared but fine tuned to put the carbon where it will do the most good –

back in the soil and marine wetlands. Let’s Get Real about it!

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Did you know carbon is born in the death of stars? Yep and it creates a real

puzzle for scientists. They can’t explain mathematically why there’s so

much of this amazing stuff hanging out in the universe. That’s because the

energy required to forge carbon must be within 2 frequencies of light, only

forming in an unbelievably precise condition called triple alpha. This

phenomenon is called Hoyle resonance, named in honor of astrophysicist

Fred Hoyle, who was the first to argue for carbon’s stellar origins. Hoyle

concluded after 28 years of research that the fine tuning of this triple alpha

resonance pointed to a ‘super intellect’. Yeah, ya guessed it, like, as in

God. Ok, so granted carbon is the basis of all organic life, but coulda God

woulda God really put their signature or hashtag on Carbon itself? Kinda

brings a whole new resonance to the idea that God is Life!

Anyhow, explosive food for thought and now back to David.


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Coach Munson’s Climate Breakdown:

As the levels of CO2 increase and insulate the Earth, there is a concern for

increased temperatures, referred to as global warming. The truth is that

CO₂ levels fluctuate over time, and there is a significant impact of methane

from natural seeps and increasing water vapor levels. Curiously, the

growing deserts, although demineralized and lacking soil life, actually cool

the Earth, as they reflect much solar radiation back to space.

They are generally cloudless and have little water vapor to trap heat.

Converting a large desert to forest would not cool the Earth. Converting a

desert to forest or grassland would sharply lower CO₂ levels but would

increase average temperature due to increasing water vapor. This would

be a positive as we need a more moderate, stable climate. Carbon

emissions from the soil, a forest fire, or a volcano are harder to estimate or

pinpoint, unlike fossil fuel emissions. While man’s emissions definitely play

a role in the earth’s carbon cycle, there is real potential to cut our emissions

in half simply by phasing out coal plants. For this cycle in the long term, we

need to make greatly increased amounts and investments of renewable

biogas from waste of all types. As will be discussed later, biogas is an ideal

on demand backup for wind and solar photovoltaic, which are, by nature,

variable and intermittent. I believe there's greater potential for impact by

working with nature and rather than focusing solely on reducing man’s

emissions, or only playing defense, we can do so much more by playing

some offense. We have real tools to shift the course our planet's carbon

cycle and globally enhance natural carbon sequestration by implementing

better practices such as:

1. Carbonizing biomass from dying trees and crop waste residue into

bio charcoal or biochar. Biochar works like coal in reverse, meaning

nature mines the skies of CO2 by way of diverse plants, trees, even

algae, then we can carbonize that biomass to make useful eco-

friendly carbon that’s stable for millennia. Biochar creates a sponge


for water in the soil and holds nutrients, returning dead soil to life. It

can restore our national forests and create closed loop resources

within agriculture and many industries. We'll talk more on the

wonders of biochar in later episodes.

2. Harness the riches of rock dust to activate biology. Did you know the

rich topsoil of the Midwest was created from nothing but rock dust,

water, and photosynthesis after the last ice age? It is an amazing

thing that organisms can turn rock into soil. Combining rock dust

minerals with biochar is a powerful, practical way to prevent

desertification by restoring healthy soils, wetlands, oceans,

ecosystems, and economic returns.

3. Implement region specific reforestation and grassland revitalization

by integration of holistic grazing and other regenerative farming

practices like reduced tillage to increase carbon drawdown. This

increases soil organic matter, making more nutrient dense plants, as

well as animals for food. Managed and controlled grazing that works

in harmony with the grass can sequester many tons of carbon per

acre per year, whereas clean tillage grain farming is a net emitter of

carbon; more on this in our grasslands episode.

Combining and implementing these practices together we can GET REAL

in solving the CO2 issue measurably in a matter of a couple of decades by

changing the carbon cycle from increased emissions to major

sequestration. This will benefit man with improved soil productivity in the

near future, not decades from now. With billions of tons of soil lost and the

addition of a million new acres of desert each year, we can’t afford to wait.

Now let’s get real with experienced farmer and midwest biochar producer

Mr. Steve Gruhn on earth’s treasure -the carbon cycle. Steve, take it away!

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