A Brief History of Agricultural Time
Our farming for over 10,000 years has been responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. This soil carbon, converted to carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide began a slow stable warming that now accelerates with burning of fossil fuel. The unintended consequence has been the flowering of our civilization. Our science has now realized the consequences and developed a more encompassing wisdom.
Modern Agriculture has evolved in the ability to remove the limitations to plant growth, from burning forest for ash fertilizers, to bison bones, to Guano islands, then in 1913, to crafty Germans figuring out how to suck nitrogen from the air to now with natural gas derived fertilizers. These chemical fertilizers have over come nutrient limits to growth for 100 years.
NPK and the "Green Revolution" in genetics have brought us to where we are, all made possible by basically mining soil carbon stocks. So we have now hit a carbon limit in two distinct ways. The first is continued loss of soil carbon content, the second is fossil carbon energy cost. The present farming system spends ten cents of fossil energy delivering one cent of food energy.
We can not go back, but we can go forward with our newly acquired wisdom. Wise land management, Conservation Agriculture and afforestation can build back our soil carbon, Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, living biomass & Glomalins ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/... ) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.
We can rectify the carbon cycle, and beyond that, biochar systems serve the same healing function for the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, toxicity in soils and sediments and as a feed additive cut the carbon foot print of livestock by 50%.
The Paleoclimate Record shows agricultural-geo-engineering is responsible for most of our excess greenhouse gases. The unintended consequence, the flowering of our civilization. Our science has now realized these consequences and has developed a more encompassing wisdom. Wise land management, afforestation and the thermal conversion of biomass can build back our soil carbon. Pyrolysis, Gasification and Hydro-Thermal Carbonization are known biofuel technologies, What is new are the concomitant benefits of biochars for Soil Carbon Sequestration; building soil biodiversity & nitrogen efficiency, for in situ remediation of toxic agents, and, as a feed supplement cutting the carbon foot print of livestock. Modern systems are closed-loop with no significant emissions. The general life cycle analysis is: every 1 ton of biomass yields 1/3 ton Biochar equal to 1 ton CO2e, plus biofuels equal to 1MWh exported electricity, so each energy cycle is 1/3 carbon negative.   
Beyond Rectifying the Carbon Cycle;
Biochar systems Integrate nutrient management, serving the same healing function for the Nitrogen and Phosphorous Cycles. A 50% reduction of NH3 loss when composting. Ag manure char absorbs phosphorus for nutrient credit income, CHP, Biomass Crop & energy grants and when carbon comes to account, another big credit. The compounding soil benefits; reduced nitrogen loss & soil Nitrous-oxide
emissions and a 17% increased water efficiency are documented in trials across soil types and climates. The production of ammonia and char from biomass and other third generation companies aiming for drop-in fuels, can free agriculture from fossil energy.  
The Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards are the royal road for the GHG Mitigation; This stakeholder effort with the USDA & EPA, Reviewed by both Congressional Ag Committees, who asked for expansion to ISO status, the goal now is to get the world on the same soil carbon page. 
Economic at all Scales;
Local economic stimulus is at all scales of development, from the Global Clean Cook Stove Initiative, to base load manure systems, to industrial biomass power production. Replacing "Three Stone" stoves with biomass stoves, the health effects equal the eradication of Malaria & AIDs combined. Delivering carbon credits to developing countries would further economic stimulus. 
Given the lack of leadership in pricing carbon, companies are taking charge. WalMart is sourcing local produce, training small farmers and presenting bold leadership with their Sustainability Index Program. Vendors now must supply full cradle-to-cradle life cycle analysis. They are now crunching that data to formulate true carbon footprint labeling, empowering consumer choice.
The Major Endorsements include:
Dr. Jim Hansen, Dr. James Lovelock,
Nobel laureates; Al Gore and Dr. Mario Molina,
Politicians; Tony Blair, Tony Abbott, Secretaries Salazar & Vilsack,
Environmentalist; Tim Flannery, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson & his Carbon War Room.
The photosynthetic "capture" collectors are up and running all around us, the "storage" sink is in operation just under our feet, conversion reactor are the only infrastructure we need to build out. Carbon, as the center of life, has high value to recapitalize our soils. Yielding nutrient dense foods and Biofuels, Paying Premiums of pollution abatement and toxic remediation and the growing Dividend created by the increasing biomass of a thriving soil community.
Since we have filled the air , filling the seas to full, soil is the only beneficial place left.
Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.
Thank you for your efforts.
A truly ground building announcement from CoolPlanet Biofuels;
Supported by BP, GE, Google & Conoco, a pyrolitic/catalytic system delivering high surface area Biochar and 3000 gallons of tank ready fuel per acre. (from 25 Ton/ac Miscanthus grass) at $1.20/Gal.
President Mike Cheiky presenting to a Google audience his company's plans for "Negative-Carbon" biofuels, soil improvement, and poverty reduction.
Leo Manzer, A DuPont Fellow, is on the Technical Advisory Board
Is it fossil fuel ?...or is it biofuel? ... only your radiocarbon
isotope tester knows for sure....
Wee-Beastie Real estate at Land Rush Prices;
The farm scale reactors are producing a high surface area biochar, 600 sq
meters / gram, Or, One ton of has a surface area of 148,000 Acres!!
Now for conversion fun: 148,000 Acres is equal to 230 square miles!!
Rockingham Co. VA. , where I live, is only 851 Sq. miles,
Now at the middle of research application rates of 1 lb/sq ft or 20
tons/acre, this yields 4,600 Sq miles of surface area per Acre. VA is
39,594 Sq miles. An eighth of Virginia in every acre.
What this suggest to me is a potential of sequestering virgin forest
amounts of carbon just in the soil alone, without counting the forest on
The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands of Years Ago http://www.springerlink.com/...
The Columbian encounter led to terrestrial biospheric carbon sequestration on the order of 2 to 5 GtC Climate Forcing.
The Columbian Encounter and the Little Ice Age: Abrupt Land Use Change, Fire, and Greenhouse Forcing - Annals of the Association of American Geographers
FAO on Conservation Agricultural:
"In general, soil carbon sequestration during the first decade of adoption of best conservation agricultural practices is 1.8 tons CO2 per hectare per year. On 5 billion hectares of agricultural land, this could represent one-third of the current annual global emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels (i.e., 27 Pg CO2 per year)." http://www.fao.org/...
Adding just 1 Ton of Biochar per hectare, (800 lbs / acre), would cover 100% Current Annual Fossil CO2 Emissions.
"Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential of Agricultural Land Management in the United States: A Synthesis of the Literature"
An extensive scientific literature review providing a side-by-side comparison of the biophysical greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of more than 40 agricultural land management activities in the United States.
Dr. Mario Molina, PNAS Report on Reducing abrupt climate change;
Recent NATURE STUDY;
Sustainable Biochar to Mitigate Global Climate Change
The future of biochar - Project Rainbow Bee Eater
USDA, looking at heavy metals; ARS Research Turns Poultry Waste into Toxin-grabbing Char
The in situ remediation of a vast variety of toxic agents in soils and sediments.
Biochar Sorption of Contaminants;
Both the Organic and Agricultural chemical schools of soil science recognize Biochar as a powerful tool to foster biodiversity and nitrogen efficiency in soils.
Recent work by C. Steiner, at U of GA, showing a 52% reduction of NH3 loss when char is used as a composting accelerator. This will have profound value added consequences for the commercial composting industry by reduction of their GHG emissions and the sale of compost as an organic nitrogen fertilizer. http://www.ibi2010.org/...
Biochar effects on soil biota – A review
Soil Biology and Biochemistry journal, a review of international work by Lehmann & Janice Thies; http://www.biochar-international.org/...
The NC Farm Center has large scale field application trials encompassing 16 acres on two farms in southeastern North Carolina.
Virginia Tech is in their 6 th year of field trials with the Carbon Char Group's "CharGrow" formulated bagged product.
The production of fossil fuel free ammonia & char from biomass (SynGest, http://www.syngest.com/ )
Many third generation companies are aiming for Drop-in, or fungible fuels. A leader in this sector, supported by GE, Google & Conoco is CoolPlanet Biofuels
Farm Fossil Fuel 7% Solution;
Their results also suggest that it could take anywhere from 50 to 70 acres for a farmer with 1,000 acres and an onsite crusher and biodiesel facility to grow enough canola to produce the fuel needed to run on-farm operations.
The Ag Soil Carbon Standard
The Ag Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards; approved by the USDA & EPA. Reviewed by both Congressional Ag Committees, who have asked for expansion of this Soil Carbon Standard to ISO status, the application was denied under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, it is now in rewrite for resubmission. I savor the idea that the whole world could be on the same soil carbon page and get farmers payed for their good soil-C works.
Read over the work so far;
Biochar can even accelerate Dr. Hansen's new plan for 100 GtC of afforestation, through utilizing this substantial new addition to today's land-based NPP of about 60 GtC/yr and Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, (living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.
"The Case for Young People and Nature: A Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future".
NASA’s EO-1 hyperspectral imagery data has been used to discern Amazonian black earth, or Terra Preta soils. The full complement of earth sensing satellites, using multiple proxy measurements of soil moisture to 3 feet depth, temperature & density , even reading GHG emissions, Dead & Alive biomass from the tree tops down at 1 hectare resolutions when the Orbital Carbon Observer 2 is aloft in 2013.
NASA’s Space Archaeology; $364K Terra Preta Program
Sowing Seeds With New Agricultural Carbon Accounting Tool Carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural activity in the United States can now be tracked with unprecedented resolution because of a method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory team led by Tristram West.
The Rapid Assessment of Carbon Project, Providing a Baseline Soil Carbon Survey is 60% complete
NRCS Soils Website: http://soils.usda.gov/
Soils Saves Seas, The new trump card in climate change will be ocean acidity, the new science now shows a simple direct linear relationship between the CO2 levels & acidity, building soil Carbon is the simple solution.
Hillary Makes a big Announcement with The Global Stove Initiative;
State Dept. Release;
100 million clean-burning stoves in kitchens around the world.
Biochar Work in Nine Developing Countries:
World Bank Study: The survey data from 150 biochar projects located in 38 developing countries is available now on the IBI website at: http://www.biochar-international.org/....
The IBI now has 33 biochar affiliates around the world -- including in China, India, Japan UK, US, Australia, Korea, Canada, Italy and Israel.
Note also that our Japanese colleagues in the Japan Biochar Association have a very long tradition of biochar use and have been developing "modern methods" over the last thirty years. A governmental act officially acknowledged charcoal as a "soil ameliorator" back in 1988 and have completed work using Biochar as an in situ sorbent of Cd, and starting work on heavy metal radio-isotopes.
PRO-NATURA INTERNATIONAL has the largest numbers of agroforestry soil-C & Biochar projects. Certainly the largest NGO, across the global south. They are very sensitive in both design and co-opting local social values for creating self perpetuated systems. Like the Exponential growth of biologic systems. http://pronatura.org/...
The Biochar Fund has doubled subsistence farmer's incomes;
Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon
The broad smiles of 1500 subsistence farmers say it all, that , and the size of the Biochar corn root balls
Bi-National Border Consortium Initiative,
Arturo Velez is developing this Agave-Derived Biofuels creation of a Bi-National Border Consortium to foster large-scale use of agave as an energy crop. Government agencies, private initiative, farmers/ranchers/foresters associations, academia/researchers, NGO and entrepreneurs are welcome to participate. He has contacted Soll Sussman, Coordinator of the Border Energy Forum, as well as the National Coordinators of the Border 2012 Binational Environmental Program.
The Western US States produce only ~0.3% of the total USA biomass production, but by planting 25 million hectares of agave on marginal dryland, these States could produce 1.6+ Billion tonnes of dry biomass every year, the same amount the whole US currently produces.
Cocao growers in Belize; http://www.carbongold.com/