During the opening session for the 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, Dr. Montgomery will offer an overview of how humanity has thought about and treated soils from the dawn of agriculture to the modern era. Soil degradation has plagued many ancient societies and although the problem remains significant today, it is perhaps the least appreciated environmental crisis that humanity faces in the coming century. David will discuss the need to and the potential for reversing the trend of soil degradation, drawing from restoring life to our urban lot in Seattle, to the experiences of ancient societies and modern progressive farmers. While soil restoration, by itself, will not solve the world’s major environmental problems, it could significantly help address the pressing problems of climate change, feeding a post-oil world, and public health issues. Delegates will take away an enhanced appreciation for the potential benefits and feasibility of global soil restoration and its importance for humanity in the coming centuries.