How biochar works
A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Biochar is a carbon-rich product obtained from the pyrolysis of biomass. As the central element of a new and highly promising integrated soil management technique it is capable of halting slash-and-burn farming in the humid tropics by making nutrient-poor, acidic soils productive. As such it offers one of the few sustainable strategies to halt deforestation while simultaneously eliminating hunger amongst subsistence farmers at the forest margins. Biochar doubles as a stable carbon sink, making it a key tool in the climate fight.
Older readers will remember the original "Green Revolution" in agriculture, i.e. using petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides. This led to "Silent Spring" and terrible consequences for both animals and humans.