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Regenerative Agriculture Is Key for a Sustainable Climate and Food System

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/12/regenerative-agriculture-key-sustainable-climate-and-food-system

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I would like a scientific study done of where all the CEOs that work for the poisoning companies-----of where these CEOs and families get their food.
I have a horrible feeling that they get their food from pristine fields—but sadly, I guess that they forget that the wind takes control away from them and their non polluted fields I do remember an insane story where a poisoner field sued a non poisoner field and for somehow allowing the wind to move the poisoners secret poisons onto the clean farm and the poisoner acted as if this was a theft! That is true insanity.
I would like the poisoners to have to eat the same food that they seek to sell to control the world—and not being allowed to eat pristinely themselves while they destroy the bees , the soil, the air and the water.

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Hurrah for healing the soil. Been growing food “organically” since the 70’s. And it not only supports and heals my body but the body of all the beings that thrive in that kind of soil to boot.

How can it not heal the whole system.

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Sustainable population is key to everything. Otherwise nothing else matters. The world is a finite resource.

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I wonder why it is that population is deemed such a problem when we already produce sufficient food for 10 billion or so people yet, almost a billion poor suffer from hunger.

Surely the issue is not too many people but one of distribution of what we can already produce.

And why is it that the focus is upon reducing the populations of the impoverished whose carbon footprint is miniscule to the over-consumption of the affluent developed nations, which raises the question of inequality rather than population numbers.

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I"ve had that thought too. I wonder.

I would like to see a county by county sustainability data base. How sustainable is your counties soil, air quality, water. How sustainable is your home? Is your home it’s own power source? What is your eatable landscaping?
Instead of big farm pyramid scheme how about a county by county lateral approach. I know my county could sustain me in an emergency and I would not have to live on corn alone.

On about Earth Day in 1970, Paul Ehrlich and his wife had written “The Population Bomb”. At that time the earth’s population was 4.3 billion. Now it is about 7.6 billion and counting. This number may not be sustainable. If it is, the 11 billion that it is headed for is not.

I perceive that older farmers are so beholden to the banks that they cannot afford to switch to regenerative farming. Who will stake out the young farmers t get them started?

Mostly the people who stake farmers want immediate returns. A lot of the best techniques for building and conserving soil involve perennial plants and start slow, returning better yields with time.

For these reasons, it is likely that most young people who will raise food will have to do so by building up smaller operations. A lot will have to be done with local residential gardens, much as was the case several generations ago.

We need our dedicated farms and farmers, too. But I don’t need a loan or a subsidy to plant a residential yard. to food and water it with greywater and what I catch from the roof.

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Indeed, Ehrich’s flawed analysis and failed prediction should give us all a reason to be cautious in making forecasts. Like those apocalyptic preachers who set dates for the end of the world and then need to re-calculate the day of judgement, over-population alarmists heralding the population doom, keep resetting the figures.

Is 11 billion now the unsustainable level? Even though there are vast regions of arable land in Africa still uncultivated?

Modern agricultural systems are capable of meeting the dietary needs of many more people, as this essay on regenerative agriculture explores.

A world eating a lot more veggies and a lot less meat might not the menu that many wish for, but it would clearly be one that would be capable of supporting a lot more people for a very long time.

It always surprises me how critics of Marx and Engels rarely pay heed to their writings on ecology, despite that they engaged in deep study of the topic.
Marx emphasized in Capital that the disruption of the soil cycle in industrialized capitalist agriculture constituted nothing less than “a rift” in the metabolic relation between human beings and nature.

“Capitalist production,” he wrote, “collects the population together in great centres, and causes the urban population to achieve an ever-greater preponderance. This has two results. On the one hand it concentrates the historical motive force of society; on the other hand, it disturbs the metabolic interaction between man and the earth, i.e. it prevents the return to the soil of its constituent elements consumed by man in the form of food and clothing; hence it hinders the operation of the eternal natural condition for the lasting fertility of the soil…But by destroying the circumstances surrounding this metabolism…it compels its systematic restoration as a regulative law of social production, and in a form adequate to the full development of the human race…All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil; all progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for a given time is progress towards ruining the more long-lasting sources of that fertility…Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the technique and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the original sources of all wealth—the soil and the worker.”

Marx argued that soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) were sent in the form of food and fiber sometimes hundreds and thousands of miles to the cities, where, instead of being recycled back to the land, these nutrients ended up polluting the urban centers, with disastrous results for human health.
“Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together,” Marx stated, “are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations as boni patres familias [good heads of the household].”

Engels wrote in The Housing Question:

“The abolition of the antithesis between town and country is no more and no less utopian than the abolition of the antithesis between capitalists and wage-workers. From day to day it is becoming more and more a practical demand of both industrial and agricultural production. No one has demanded this more energetically than Liebig in his writings on the chemistry of agriculture, in which his first demand has always been that man shall give back to the land what he receives from it, and in which he proves that only the existence of the towns, and in particular the big towns, prevents this. When one observes how here in London alone a greater quantity of manure than is produced in the whole kingdom of Saxony is poured away every day into the sea with an expenditure of enormous sums, and what colossal structures are necessary in order to prevent this manure from poisoning the whole of London, then the utopia of abolishing the distinction between town and country is given a remarkably practical basis.”

The division of town and country, the degradation of the soil, rural isolation and desolation, overcrowding in cities, urban wastes, industrial pollution, waste recycling in industry, the decline in nutrition and health, the crippling of workers, the squandering of natural resources (including fossil fuel in the form of coal), deforestation, floods, desertification, water shortages, climate change, conservation of energy, the dependence of species on changing environments, and famine were all issues of importance for Marx.

Marx demands the abolition of the capitalist relations of production so that the problem of natural limits can be managed without aggravating ecological disruptions: “the moral of the tale…is that the capitalist system runs counter to a rational agriculture, or that a rational agriculture is incompatible with the capitalist system.” What was required was the “the control of the associated producer” and “the land as permanent communal property, as the inalienable condition for the existence and reproduction of the chain of human generations.”

“The property in the soil is the original source of all wealth” - Marx

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Regenerative agriculture = precapitalist agriculture.

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Link to Ecdysis
And Lundgren hisself - great TED talk

You have to look at the big picture, the whole of the picture. more people driving cars, using water which will become a sacred commodity which is happening around the world. Over population demands more housing, more deforestation, turning agriculture land into subdivision.

Over population is at the heart of many issues i.e. how to provide them all with jobs when in fact the big boys are looking to robots. We don’t need more venture capitalists. Cities packed so tight and infighting for resources, urban areas becoming more dense. More highways and roads paving over paradise.
Just to name a few things.

I fully understand how capitalism drives over-consumption by turning us all into consumers…commodifying everything even people.

But don’t you wonder it strange that Bill Gates devotes so much funds to the undeveloped world’s population whose large families has a far less impact on the environment than even one single American or European. Or why Africa is the most riches parts of the world in terms of mineral wealthy that the West’s technology is reliant upon but mining corporations use every tax evasion dodge with the complicit cooperation of the bankers to defraud nearly every (albeit corrupted) African government and inflict misery the local population. Or wonder why cash-crops such as cut-flowers in Kenya gets the investment rather than food producing farmers. Or how the Gulf States are involved in a land grab in poor nations to secure its own food supplies and not the local peoples

It is the economical social system which is the heart of the issue, not the number of people. That is the bigger picture, and just like climate change, urbanization is a symptom, not the cause.

Ever wondered why a severe drought in the parts of America or Australia does not result in the starvation and deaths but in the vastly vacant regions of Africa it does or drives Central Americans on to the migration trail?

Ever wondered why a densely populated country like Netherlands is a food exporter even though it shares much of the geographical problems of Bangladesh - ie being below sea level.
Singapore’s over-crowding is very different from Mexico City’s
And it is all down to poverty, not numbers.

We won’t find the solution if we wrongly identify the problem. That is the point if we put the cart before the house and blame too many people rather that how we distribute the resources we actually do possess in sufficient quantities to feed and house all.

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Not exactly, though it certainly was closer. It was also pre-imperial agriculture, for the most part. And in some places pre-plow agriculture. A tremendous amount of the desertification of the Middle East, central Asia, North Africa, and parts of the coastline around the Mediterranean came because of people porting river-valley agricultural methods to hillsides and to relatively arid climates.

Thank you!

Capitalism breaks the carbon cycle.

Yes I do wonder about much of what you say and thank you for taking the time for your thorough, thoughtful comments. I have not wonder about why some countries people are starving and others aren’t. I will have to ponder but our planet can only absorb so
much destruction of forests, wetlands, amazon forests to provide land for housing, growing crops and graze cattle and other farm animals even though I believe we the people should be eating more of a plant based diet and sustainable farming practices