Arts

In Order to Heal the Earth, We Must Take Care of its Soil First

The Documentary that Provides a Simple Solution to Climate Change

By: Brooke Price

“Kiss the Ground” discusses how to recover the Earth’s resources. Credit: eshop.macsales.com

“Kiss the Ground” is a new Netflix documentary that addresses the ongoing climate change crisis, and how people can help lessen its impact. The main way that could help reduce the impacts of climate change is by taking care of the Earth’s soil.

One of the topics that the documentary covered was how keeping the soil healthy can greatly reduce the impacts of climate change and allow the Earth to thrive. 

Soil acts as a carbon sink and absorbs the carbon dioxide, or CO2, in our atmosphere and converts it to carbon. Once the carbon is produced in the soil, it can be fed to microorganisms which can produce healthier soil. 

Agricultural processes such as plowing have detrimental effects on the soil. Plowing goes deep into the soil and overturns everything. 

This process greatly disrupts the soil and releases large amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere, which increase the temperature of the atmosphere and heat it up. Excess CO2 in the atmosphere is a driving force of climate change.

Tilling is a better way of overturning the soil without producing such a large influx of CO2. During tilling, only the topsoil is overturned, which releases a smaller amount of CO2 when compared to plowing. 

However, if soil is not tilled by any farming processes and is left alone, it stores more water. This can increase the microbial growth, which leads to more plant growth and can generate more local rainfall. These continuous processes are part of regeneration where soil will continually be restored.

In addition to keeping our soil healthy, the documentary also suggests planting more plants in order to reduce climate change. When numerous plants are planted, they perform photosynthesis where they absorb the CO2 in the atmosphere and use water to convert the greenhouse gas into oxygen. 

An acre of soil draws in 10 tons of carbon, and if more plants are planted on this land, more oxygen and water can be produced.   

The more plants there are to absorb the CO2 in our atmosphere, the more oxygen that will be produced and the less CO2 will be present in our atmosphere, which will reduce the rapid heating up of our atmosphere.

Feedlots can also impact climate change. Feedlots emit greenhouse gases and the soil these lots are on are severely dry. 

Since these lots experience desertification and contain no plants to absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere, or precipitation, more CO2 is emitted from these lots and evaporation is common since there is no vegetation to absorb CO2 and water.

Composting is another way to reduce the impacts of climate change. Food scraps can be made into compost and used on local farms, which helps the land retain water.

“Kiss the Ground” was directed and produced by Josh and Rebecca Tickell, environmental authors and filmmakers. In an interview with Awards Radar, they discussed why they made their documentary.

The Tickells mentioned that they have been “making environmentally themed films together for 13 years, and we’ve made 14 environmental films together,” and that “Kiss the Ground” is a continuation of all of their work.

They also mentioned how difficult it was to make a scientific documentary interesting and appealing to audiences. “One of the most challenging parts was having it be more than just a science lecture. How can we convey all of this information in a way that’s really entertaining and engaging, an adventure almost? That’s how it became this global adventure, looking at how people are using all of these different regenerative techniques. And yes, fortunately, some of those people also happen to be celebrities…”

Many celebrities make appearances in the documentary, such as Woody Harrelson, who narrates the documentary, and other appearances include “The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder, model Gisele Bündchen, and NFL quarterback Tom Brady. These celebrities voice their passions for maintaining a healthy planet.

“Kiss the Ground” is an entertaining documentary that makes viewers aware of how they can help heal the Earth by taking care of its soil first.

 

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