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Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth by [Albert Bates, Kathleen Draper]
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Burn: Using Fire to Cool the Earth Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“A brilliant, climatic coup that uplifts biochar to an entirely new level of substance and urgency!”―Paul Hawken

“We’re in a climate emergency, and we need to be using an awful lot of different approaches―here’s one that definitely deserves to be explored in full.”―Bill McKibben, author of Falter

Burn advances the discussion from fantasies of biochar-based agriculture to normative proposals for many ways the material could theoretically be used as an environmentally attractive, economically competitive resource in many sectors of society. The book opens new avenues of thought, and it will be a valuable reference in the coming decade in helping us to assess the inevitable cascade of ever bigger, riskier, costlier, and zanier proposals for carbon withdrawal.”―Dennis Meadows, 2018 laureate, The Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto

“For anyone interested in solutions to climate change, this book is absolutely essential reading. It represents the latest, most innovative thinking and experimentation on removing carbon from the atmosphere. What’s delightfully startling is the authors’ detailed, example-laden argument that we can use carbon to regenerate landscapes while also producing an astounding array of products―from concrete to plastics to batteries to paper―that function better by incorporating the universe’s most versatile element. Written in a clear, entertaining style, Burn is an incendiary contribution.”―Richard Heinberg, senior fellow, Post Carbon Institute

“I cannot recommend this book highly enough for going deep into the science of a potentially revolutionary technology that could be capable of stopping dangerous climate change in its tracks. For anyone who wants to know how societies can transform the very fabric of how we run our industries so that we protect and enhance our environment, not destroy it―while contributing to thriving economies―this is literally the manual. It is, in short, a window into the future we could build together. So read it, and start building.”―Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, system shift columnist, Motherboard; editor-in-chief, INSURGE Intelligence; research fellow, The Schumacher Institute

“What if we could make carbon our ally, instead of our enemy, in preserving this planet? This deeply detailed book is about far more than the ancient, carbon-fixing Amazonian soil technology called terra preta. Practically everything humans do, Burn shows, could reimburse the Earth for the carbon we’ve exhumed, leaving civilization far cleaner and healthier―and with a chance for a future.”―Alan Weisman, author of Countdown, The World Without Us, and Gaviotas

“Carbon, the most promiscuous of elements, can be our ruination or by better management, our salvation. Burn is a clear, accessible, and luminescent blueprint for the latter. It really is a must-read.”―David Orr, author of Dangerous Years

“Carbon is the element that likes to hold hands and collaborate. We can learn a lot from carbon if we stop demonizing it. Burn does an exceptional job telling the vital story of how carbon can address the interconnected crises in waste, energy, food, soil, water, and, most pressingly, climate. This book plays a critical role in educating us to reorient with carbon math, reimagine the role of carbon cascades, and redesign the carbon cycle.”―Amanda Joy Ravenhill, executive director, Buckminster Fuller Institute

“Reading Albert Bates is always a delight. He challenges us in his humorous, outside-the-box style with deep, practical, and original carbon insights based on years of experience as one of the world’s leading permaculture experts. His solutions are low-cost, scalable, and doable―right on.”―Ross Jackson, chair of Gaia Trust, Denmark; author of Occupy World Street

“This book is a big deal. It argues persuasively that carbon has been vilified for far too long. Biochar, a hard, crystal-like form of carbon, can reanimate tired soils and help to mop up vast amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. The authors speak as seasoned scientists as well as practitioners, and their arsenal of arguments offers more than a glimpse of hope in a world threatened with climate doom. If there is a way out, here is a bunch of keys to the door at the end of the tunnel.”―Herbert Girardet, cofounder, World Future Council; executive council member, Club of Rome

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Albert Bates is one of the founders of the intentional community and ecovillage movements. A lawyer, scientist, and teacher, he has taught village design, appropriate technology, and permaculture to students from more than sixty countries. His books include Climate in Crisis; The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook; The Biochar Solution; and The Paris Agreement.

Kathleen Draper has been deeply involved in many areas of biochar research, communication, and outreach for the past six years. She routinely collaborates with biochar experts from around the globe as the Chairman of the International Biochar Initiative (IBI), moderator for IBI’s biochar education webinar series, and the US Director of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence. She has lectured on biochar in several countries and provides consulting services to companies entering the biochar industry. She is editor of the online review, The Biochar Journal.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B07NBHQ31K
  • Publisher : Chelsea Green Publishing (February 26, 2019)
  • Publication date : February 26, 2019
  • Language : English
  • File size : 14516 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Print length : 303 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
45 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2019
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By Little Wolf on April 29, 2019
My firm Advanced Alternative Energy ( has developed a novel new approach to turning back induced climate change and saving humanity and thousands of other species from extinction. I applaud the authors Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper. It's a must read for those who care about the planet (God's creation) themselves and their descendants.
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Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars A Crucial, Paradigm-Shifting Book
Reviewed in Australia on February 5, 2020
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Harald Bier
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive information about biochar and its potential - way beyond soils.
Reviewed in Germany on October 25, 2019
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hannes junginger
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth reading
Reviewed in Germany on September 1, 2019
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Donna Balzer
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Reviewed in Canada on October 27, 2020
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Chris S.
5.0 out of 5 stars BURN: Using Fire to Cool the Earth - a book full of technology approaches with charcoal
Reviewed in Germany on December 19, 2019
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