This is part of a fascinating book that Grist has been serializing since last several days. Rare peek into clarity of thought that Stephen brings.


Editor’s note: Welcome to Grist’s presentation of Alex Steffen’s new book Carbon Zero. We’ll be posting a new chapter every day till we’re done — here’s the full table of contents. And this post will tell you a little more about the project. If you like what you read, you can orderCarbon Zero from Amazon.

Sustenance: Bringing cities and nature together

Everything in the human world originates in nature: Everything around us is made of parts that are either mined or grown. Most of our attention, when it comes to climate, is on the mined — particularly on the effects of burning mined fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and gas. And these fossil-fuel emissions are by far the biggest danger we face, and so focusing on them makes sense.

Yet dirty energy is not the only source of greenhouse gases. Other climate emissions are created when we grow things…

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