Secrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen RaySecrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen Ray

52: Solving the Soil Crisis: Navigating the Gap Between Research and Action with Adam O'Toole

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Soil is a crucial component of many ecosystems, and healthy soils are necessary for the growth of plants, the provision of food and clean water, and the regulation of climate. However, it seems that the bureaucrats and funders of the research and development work are frustrated with the lack of progress made by the research community in solving the problem despite decades of research on soil erosion, soil carbon, soil aggregation, soil fertility, and soil biology. There is likely a gap between the research and the implementation of solutions on the ground. To focus on the soil as a part of their mission is likely due to the interconnectedness of soil health with other environmental and societal issues.

The European Commission has invested significant funding into a "soil mission" as part of its five main missions for the next decade. These missions include adapting to climate change, finding a cure for cancer, creating sustainable cities, protecting oceans and waterways and clean water, and saving soils. The soil mission aims to address the problem of soil degradation and loss, which is a significant environmental and economic concern. The specific plans and actions of the soil mission are not specified, but it likely involves research and development, conservation and restoration efforts, and promoting sustainable land use practices. 


Who is Adam O'Toole?

Adam O'Toole is a soil scientist and communicator working for the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy. He did his Ph.D. research on the Agronomic and Environmental Effects of Biochar under Norwegian conditions. He is currently involved in a European-wide project called Prepsoil which is educating Europeans about the importance of taking care of soils. This is part of a wider initiative called the European Soil Mission which has the ambition to establish 100 living labs where farmers, researchers, and innovators devise, test, and demonstrate methods that can lead to healthier soils in Europe.






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Secrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen Ray

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