“Rattan Lal, the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, estimates that soil has the potential to sequester carbon at a rate of between 0.9 and 2.6 gigatons per year. That’s a small part of the 10 gigatons a year of current carbon emissions, but it’s still significant. Somewhat reassuringly, some scientists believe the estimate is low. . . .
“Mr. Durham’s farmers are learning a lesson that resonates throughout human interactions with the natural world: People reap more benefit from nature when they give up trying to vanquish it and instead see it clearly, as a demanding but indispensable ally. Because of carbon’s climate-change connection, we’ve been conditioned to think of it as the enemy, when in fact it’s as vital to life as water. The way to make amends is to put it back in the soil, where it belongs.”