This Moment In Time


When I purchased my first digital camera, back in 2006, I had an intuition that we lived in a unique moment in time so I began to take photographs as I traveled that were “time dependent” rather than “timeless” in an attempt to capture what I now call our Golden Hour. Hopefully, I’ve been able to create a portrait with these images of the tenor of our times. This collection is culled from these photographs and is an ongoing project.


The Story of Carbon

I wrote a blog from 2012 until 2016 on carbon, an amazing element that profoundly affects every facet of our lives. My principle goal was to explore the role soil carbon plays in regenerative agriculture and its potential to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide, but I quickly learned it has so many other values as well. Carbon is fundamental to life – and it’s a lot of fun too! I compiled the blog into a single document and offer it to readers in hopes you’ll come to appreciate this incredible element as much as I did.


Thinking Outside the Holocene: Paul Gauguin’s Question and Aldo Leopold’s Answer – a Lecture

This is a lecture I gave at the Quivira Coalition’s 11th Annual Conference, in 2012, which explored human origins, motivations, and future challenges. It is a talk provoked by Paul Gauguin’s famous painting on these topics and resolved (partially) by Aldo Leopold’s experiences and writings. I tried to express my hopeful feelings about the challenges we face during This Moment In Time.


The Threshold

This is a memoir yet to be written. It focuses on the years 2012-2015, when the world crossed a critical physical threshold for the first time in human history. I use this moment to reflect back on my life and the world I grew up in.


Threshold: (1) the sill of a doorway; the entrance to a house or building; (2) the point at which a psychological or physiological effect begins to be produced; the starting point of an adventure or experience; (3) the maximum point or upper limit at which a state or condition transitions into another state, usually permanently.     – Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary




Grass, Soil, Hope: a Journey through Carbon Country

Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food. Grass, Soil, Hope takes readers on an entertaining journey on how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole.


“Hope in a book about the environmental challenges we face in the 21st century is an audacious thing to promise, so I’m pleased to report that Courtney White delivers on it. He has written a stirringly hopeful book.”

Michael Pollan, from the Foreword


The Age of Consequences: a Chronicle of Concern and Hope

We live in what sustainability pioneer Wes Jackson calls “the most important moment in human history.” The various challenges confronting us are like a bright warning light in the dashboard of a speeding vehicle called Civilization, accompanied by an insistent buzzing sound. White calls this moment the Age of Consequences – a time when the worrying consequences of our hard partying over the past sixty years have begun to raise anguished questions. The book is a series of essays that blend headlines with personal narrative and observation, travel, research, and hopeful answers.


“White strikes a refreshing tone that will resonate with readers turned off by the superior or condescending attitudes of some environmentalist writers…Throughout, he balances abstract questions and ideas with tangible life experiences…Readers will be engaged by his frank and thoughtful discussion of our modern environment.”

Kirkus Review


Two Percent Solutions for the Planet: 50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech, Nature-Based Practices for Combating Hunger, Drought and Climate Change

This book profiles fifty innovative practices that soak up carbon dioxide in soils, reduce energy use, sustainably intensify food production, and increase water quality and quantity. Why “two percent”? It is an illustrative number meant to stimulate our imaginations. It refers to: the amount of new carbon in the soil needed to reap a wide variety of ecological and economic benefits; the percentage of the nation’s population who are farmers and ranchers; and the low financial cost needed to get this work done. Using photographs, graphics and short essays, the book is a great introduction for readers of all stripes.


“This book is Courtney White’s most important work. It is the best practical guide to how we can begin to address the significant, unavoidable challenges awaiting us in our not-too-distant future. It inspires us to address these challenges creatively, especially with respect to our food and agriculture future, and to do it in cooperation with nature in ways that also heal the planet.”

Frederick Kirschenmann, author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience