First, some quick context for my wild and crazy idea: We need to do two big things in the world to put the brakes on climate change: 1) rapidly transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to stop adding more carbon pollution to the air; and 2) scale up “biocarbon” by allying with nature to suck up excess carbon pollution and bring CO2 in the atmosphere back down to an acceptable level (350 parts per million). Healthy soils can play a powerful role in the biocarbon solution, and scientists are discovering that a whole lot of biocarbon action is happening in the soil wherever mycorrhizal fungi are thriving.
Because mycorrhizal fungi are so cool, I want Seattle to take the dirt and conduct the largest project in world history to propagate mycorrhizal fungi soil ecology. The region’s top experts will be brought in to design the soil inoculation process. Perhaps the soil will be mixed with compost produced from local organic residue streams to add life and organic vitality. The experts will screen landscapers and landscape projects, who will receive the inoculated soil for free, based on a goal of maximizing the areal extent of healthy mycelial soil networks across King County. Ph.D. students will be enlisted to monitor and report on the results for at least 10 years going forward. Seattle will issue a global challenge to all other cities in fungi-friendly climates to out-mycelium us, and will host an annual citywide mushroom picnic focused on local climate-smart food systems.
Rhys Roth director of strategic innovation, Climate Solutions
Make a Point
Use the Viaduct replacement tunnel dirt to build giant Easter Island statues as a nod to civilization in decline, as evidenced by the city’s decision to dig the tunnel in the first place.
Anonymous tunnel critic