– ix –
Going to Ground
go to ground
by disaster or war, when weneed to restore ourselves, look natural beauty in the ace, and nourishourselves by growing ood; we go to ground to seek solace. Now, as wend ourselves acing a grave threat to civilization—the global emer-gency o climate change, desertication, and habitat destruction—we would be wise to go to ground to nd how we might survive.
in this sense represents not only basic sanity, but actual soiland all the lie-giving processes that emanate rom it. Nature is matrix and embrace. Photosynthesis is oundational, our only true wealth. Without it, we devolve. Poor land leads to poverty, hunger, socialunrest, cultural deprivation, inhumanity, and war. So we must wonder why the biological health o the planet is not our number-one priority.In our careless, destructive, and proprietary ways, we have ignoredthe biological requirements o the living planet, and as a result o ourneglect and abuse ground has become, alternately, a hot plate, a des-ert, a crumbling sea cli, and a foodplain. Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the cli-mate crisis around. This amazing book, wide reaching in its research,oers nothing less than solutions or healing the planet. Almost thirty years ago I was asked by
magazine to writeabout visionary thinkers in the American West. One o those I chose was wildlie biologist, game rancher, and restoration ecologist AllanSavory, now in his midseventies and ounder o the Savory Institute, who gures prominently throughout this book.Savory, at age twenty, was put in charge o wildlie in a large part o Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). In those years he began puzzling over the root causes o habitat destruction, and the needs o wildlie,domestic livestock, and humans living together on the land.