I was never a huge fan of Al Gore in past years. I guess it was something about his claim to have invented the Internet... which was probably a quote taken out of context. However, there is one thing I have to give him credit for and it's BIG: his book Our Choice introduced me to biochar and all its incredible benefits.
Our Choice was Gore's follow up to his well known An Inconvenient Truth. While reading the book I had my own moment of "what the heck is bio-char?" But since it appeared in his book, I figured it must be a well-known term that I hadn't hear of until then. But, to my surprise, nobody I talked to way back in 2008 knew what it was either. They too had the same response--what the heck is biochar?
In case you are asking that same question right now, allow me to explain. In the simplest of terms, biochar is charcoal used to enhance soil instead of being burned as fuel. It has some incredible attributes, and best of all, it is a way to sequester carbon! I'd like to talk about that in much more detail in future posts, but we'll take things one step at a time for now. One of the goals of ASCO2 is to help make "biochar" a commonly known word.
Once I had a general understanding of what biochar was, I started to research and read whatever I could about it. I assumed there had to be some major detriments to making and using it--but I didn't find any. Still curious, I watched the documentary "The Secret of El Dorado". After that, well, I was hooked.
So I'd like to thank Al for introducing me to biochar. After posting this, I'm going to send Mr. Gore one of my BioCharlie biochar-making logs along with a message of thanks. I welcome all of you reading this to join me (and hopefully Al, too) in the noble hobby of making biochar ourselves in our own homes. Biochar is truly a grass roots effort in the ongoing and complex fight against climate change. However, I believe that a large amount of people making a small amount of biochar can make a big difference. Who's with me?
Yours in biochar-ing,
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Gore's book Our Choice pointed out some ways in which the climate change problem might be solved, with biochar being one piece of the puzzle.