Written by Savory Global Network Coordinator, Abbey Smith
Author Judith D. Schwartz met with a group of Savory Champions on July 17 to discuss her books Water in Plain Sight and Cows Save the Planet. She returned the evening before the meeting from Switzerland, where she participated in the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security.
She shared her insights and impressions from the event, which were positive and hopeful.
When people talk about water and water issues, they look to the sky, Judith said. The dialogue, thanks to Judith, is now focusing more on land and the land’s ability to hold the water that falls from the sky. Consider the idea that drought is not a function of precipitation. It seems simple but it changes the way we think about land management and water policy. The work to restore land’s ability to make use of water is based in biology instead of engineering, Judith argues. Her latest book, Water in Plain Sight, profiles these biological solutions across the world. She chronicles complex systems that are accessible and inexpensive. This allows the reader to envision a better world–one that at least exhibits a functional water cycle. In her graceful, direct, accessible writing style, Judith explains concepts like Holistic Planned Grazing, climate change and how to get all your drinking water from dew (should the need arise).
“Environmental news is inherently bad news,” Judith said to the Savory Champions. The focus is on the problem and the solutions are based in technology–expensive, impractical–leaving the reader to believe that there are no real answers. This group knows there is more to the story. Savory Champions support and advocate for Holistic Management (and specifically livestock as a critically important land management tool) as a solution problems stemming from global land degradation. Judith thanked the Savory Champions for their important work in helping others understand the important link between healthy soil (and its ability to hold water), animals and humans.
Judith shared the “story behind the story” with the Savory Champions group. She talked about her time in Zimbabwe at the Africa Center for Holistic Management. She described the work and personality of the people she met (and who are profiled) in Water in Plain Sight. The Champions asked Judith questions about her books and work. They thanked her for providing such rich and well-researched resources that help Champions explain the simple solution of a functional ecosystem–and the cost to all of us when these processes break down. Judith invited the Savory Champions to reach out to her and collaborate on this important work.
To join the Savory Champions program, please sign up here.