Carbon Cycle Literacy

The climate-beneficial carbon cycle solutions championed by CCI cannot be successfully scaled unless CCI’s development partners and allies—including ranchers, conservation, and climate agencies—clearly understand the fundamentals of the carbon cycle, its relationship to soil and climate change, and the direct implications for our global climate. In response, CCI developed and implemented a “Carbon Cycle 1.0” education and outreach strategy to promote carbon cycle literacy, targeting key constituencies, decision-makers, and thought leaders in the fields of climate change and sustainable agriculture.

To support this strategy, we have also developed flexible educational and communications tools. Working in partnership with Fibershed, CCI will significantly expand the scale and scope of our strategic education and communication work in 2016-2017.

Literacy Impact

Establishing carbon cycle literacy in our key constituencies has enabled CCI to:

  • Build working partnerships with ranchers, farmers, and producer associations interested in adopting carbon-beneficial practices and nurture their understanding of the benefits of managing farms and rangelands for carbon increases;
  • Shift the paradigm among trusted thought leaders in ecological agriculture and climate to make carbon a central organizing principle and mission; and,
  • Build the carbon literacy and leadership of public officials and resource agencies at county, regional, state and national levels to champion carbon farming and to support the expansion of technical assistance and economic incentives.

The Carbon Cycle Literacy Project will build on these early successes and facilitate public education efforts.

Opportunities and Barriers

Carbon cycle literacy is still greatly lacking in the general population and among many elected officials and resource agencies tasked with mitigating climate change. CCI and partners will employ the following strategies to increase carbon cycle literacy:

  • Communicate the scientific and land management underpinnings of carbon farming and ranching (using the Marin Carbon Project as a working model) to resource and watershed managers, producers, thought leaders, and other targeted constituencies, delivering a toolkit of maps, documents, graphics, and online media;
  • Enhance CCI’s strategic web-based presence for communicating our work and messaging to targeted audiences and constituencies;
  • Develop a robust training module with technical assistance for agricultural producer communities to be able to implement carbon farm plans;
  • Identify and train partner spokespersons for CCI’s carbon farming literacy and messaging, building upon our highly effective “Carbon 101” presentation.

Videos of CCI Staff lectures at the 2013 Fibershed Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

John Wick – Sky to Skin: a Vision for Climate Beneficial Clothing

Dr. Jeff Creque – Discussion of the New Demonstration of Carbon Farming; results of five years of soil carbon research

Torri Estrada – The policy vision for funding carbon sequestration on grazed lands