When scientists and environmentalists talk climate change, doom and gloom is often the main topic. Scientific American reported last spring that the earth was essentially at or close to the “point of no return,” in terms of carbon emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in 2009 that unless drastic action was taken between 2015 and 2020, it would be too late to save the ice caps, let alone polar bears, coastal infrastructure and the temperate, predictable weather patterns we know and love.

So it’s not every day you hear an environmentalist declare we can actually reverse global warming.

Steven Hoffman, managing director of the Boulder-based environmental marketing group Compass Natural and an avid environmentalist with ties to Regeneration International, visited the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21 Global Climate Summit) in Paris this year, where the reversal of global warming through soil regeneration was a major focus.

“People keep talking about reducing carbon emissions and getting to carbon neutral, but that’s not enough anymore,” Hoffman says. “We’re already heating, so we need to take the excess from the atmosphere. A lot of people want to make new technology that can help solve our previous technology problems.”

Hoffman says the conversation around carbon emissions usually centers on personal consumption and oil use, even though 50 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions comes from agriculture.

“Yes, we need to increase renewable energy, but that’s only half the equation. All of the carbon in the air used to be in the ground, and industrial-scale agriculture is responsible. If you ignore that, you’re missing the practical, easily applied solution that we can address immediately.”

That solution, regenerative farming, focuses on increasing organic matter in the soil, which would up the amount of carbon in the soil. “We could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic-management practices,” reported the white paper “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change,” published by Rodale Institute, a nonprofit agricultural research group.

“Organic farming nurtures the living soil,” Hoffman explains. “Plants draw carbon from the air to their roots, where it’s sequestered in soil and used by microbes, worms and other organisms.”

Regenerative-farming practices are a focused, stricter subset of organic farming. They include conservation tillage, maintaining biodiversity, composting, mulching, planting cover crops, rotating crops, and no tolerance for synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that disturb soil life.