so who do you think has been paying off the so-called non-profit green organizations from discussing this most important issue? Watch COWSPIRACY, a great documentary that interviews the big muck-a-mucks in most of these groups and their stunned looks when the interviewer asks them about the pollution created by the raising of animals on the planet. Mind boggling. And how about the monies directed toward our so-called reps in DC who keep subsidizing the raising of animals for food?
Well, since we are already either destined to extinction within a couple to three decades... anyway... or well, maybe, a hair's breath before we are destined... we had better go ahead and do what ever the best practices are.... just incase we can save a few of our and OTHER SPECIES too..... to start over....
Oh, wait.... let's just wait till 2020 to give everyone a chance to catch up.... to be fair... okay.?
That is what I understand was decided at the great COP 21 .... so, what does that tell us...
The must do but how to conundrum. We should and we would if only we could!
The problem is further complicated by different people promoting their preferred solutions that might but not quite but they fight for them anyway.
Sure not raising animals would help but will we stop raising animals for food in the relatively near future? Seriously? Will most of the world stop eating meat anytime soon (make that soon enough to affect climate change?) Meanwhile the carbon already up there remains literally!
Meanwhile we could produce electricity from renewables so much faster and get completely off fossil fuels for the most part yet people find that harder to contemplate than the world suddenly going veggie!
Plus the inertia of data being disseminated into current discourse. For example iron filings dumped into the ocean (geoengineering) was favored by conservatives and some promoters as a quick fix. So two fat cats decided they knew better than did those cautious scientists and they went and dumped a whole bunch of iron powder into the ocean and fully expected to be hailed as can do heroes by one and all. However the event went catastrophically wrong and serious calamity was averted only because the experiment was conducted on a small scale instead of a huge scale. From that point on iron filings dumped into the ocean was no longer considered a viable geoencineering solution by anyone. Obviously the AP reporter didn't know of what he spoke of.
It is hard to keep track of everything these days isn't it? Or was simple mediocrity at play? Reading AP talk about being late to the table about climate change and the need to catch up by removing carbon from the atmosphere somehow, I wanted to ask the reporter "So where have you been all this time?"
This reporter isn't conversant with the reality at present or is it now the time where risky geoengineering schemes are going to be discussed as necessary.
What is necessary is for governments to switch to solar, wind, tidal and other renewables like geothermal etc to get us off fossil fuels thus removing the constant resupply of carbon injected into the atmosphere.
What is needed is for the world to pressure India and China to not add more coal while the world tries to get off coal and oil etc. No one wants India and China to not grow their economies but that could be accomplished using solar and wind not coal. The very notion that it is okay for the two population giants to add more coal plants is insanity since there are alternatives. This is simply conservatives refusing to believe that things must change.
It is good that people discuss the role of agriculture in climate change but it is equally insane to expect a major shift in cultural eating habits for our species to occur in twenty or thirty years.
We can prevent all new fossil fuel energy plants being built. We can switch energy production away from existing fossil fuel generation methods because the alternatives already exist. That can be accomplished in two or three decades. That is possible!
The only problem is the money!
Not that they cost more since they cost less but that alternatives don't make enough money for the corporate oligarchy. That is the real problem.
Fossil fuels make some people so much money!!!
Ultimately the question needs be asked... are we this insane that we favor short term profits for a few over long term survival for everybody?
Tune in ... because you are going to find out one way or the other.
Yes, Yes, Yes. Organic gardening/farming, agroecology , even backyard composting. I know all this kind of talk likely makes J I and Robert Rodale mighty proud. J I Rodale had a fervor to his work much like a prophet, only rooted in the soil.
The connection to soil as a way to store much more carbon is important, but there are many other reasons healthy organic soil is vitally important to the health of all living beings and systems on Earth.
The WISE Earth said....."for I have already solved this Carbon Issue long ago, my young human friends. For I have learned over the eons that carbon in air is Dang-aire. Yet Carbon in the Ground is best...for that is why I have buried Carbon deep in the ground (oil, coal, and shale), locked up for safe keeping. You have now learned the dangers and will reap the consequences of releasing this Carbon into the air.....But I will provide you a message that will be the solution to your crises, predicament and potential great un-doing...You Must Re-Lock up the Carbon back into the soil..... A very simple method.....
1. Extract no more.
2. Capture the Carbon in the atmosphere with Trees....compost their leaves into the soil....the Great Soil Bank......This is the key to your predicament....
But there was some dissent from the human creatures....
Trump Said, but we cannot make money from this method...
Bill Gates....but this does not use enough technology, it is too simple.
Hillary said...but the corporations will not be able to profit from this...
And Bernie said....sounds good to me....For Climate Change must be addressed in many ways, and this sounds like a great plan....
I expect our reps in DC to continue ignoring the enormous carbon footprint of industrial agriculture. What I don't understand is how green organizations can be so surprised when confronted with the facts. Also, I can't understand why adults aren't switching to a more plant-based diet for the sake of their children's future.
"A critical tool in the fight against global warming is right below our feet."
Hogwash! Circular logic based on faulty assumptions.
Modern farmers are really smart and are already doing it the best way. If this actually worked farmers would have adopted it within 3 years maximum.
This thinking has been around for 50 years and ignored by businessmen world wide.
Organic material in soil decomposes, slightly slower, releasing CO2 and other organic greenhouse gases. So what if we delay global warming 3 years? "Critical tool"??? REALLY?
I am ready for your rant that "corporate interests dictate farmer processes", or "modern farmers don't understand organic", or "pesticides and inorganic fertilizer are poisons" saying "I am a farmer, I know hundreds of farmers, not a single successful farmer I ever met was ignorant, a corporate lackey or spent a single dollar more on pesticides or fertilizer than he thought he needed and lots of things seem hazardous slightly but what is vastly more hazardous is to starve.."
Organic ignores a single truth. You grow one pound of anything, you ship that one pound of produce off your farm the fertilizer you used to grow it leaves that farm with that produce. Compost is just returning that fertilizer used to grow those composted plants to a usable state, proving that what you shipped to market has that P and PK in it and it is gone from your farm forever. No manufacture of Phosphorus or Potassium magically occurs in a compost pile any more than you can make gold out of lead using any farming process.
And to top it off, I see no indication that any nation is making or even planning to make greenhouse gas reductions severe enough to just do their part let alone enough to cause atmospheric concentrations to actually lower. Global warming is coming, please do not distract me planning for mitigation by suggesting falsely prevention is likely.
Organic produce is at least 50% higher in cost if quality remains the same. Who in their right mind would suggest that those who today survive on less than $3 a day spending most of their income on food, would like to eat half as much, or pay twice as much?(spoiler alert, I lived in a country where the vast majority of people were in this income range, organic gardening techniques are advertised and well known and mostly rejected as well).
But one unstated truth is that billions will starve and farmers will have to be very smart to prevent the death of some of those billions.
"More people" aren't talking about a fairly large number of things. It's a shame. It's lots of death.
Yes, organic agriculture uses less fossil fuel over a lifetime.
Yes, there are competing ways to put more carbon into the soil. One competitor is a once-a-year grazing system. When plants grow 6 feet high their root system grows 6 feet deep, and that's quite a bit of carbon underground. When an herbivore bites off the plant to 1 inch above the ground, the underground root system dies back to about 1 inch below the ground.
For that matter, we may be growing gigatons of algae in the desert (some species love salt water, by the way) in sealed algae bioreactors. We would be selling the biofuel and sequestering the gigatons of algae cell walls.
So, tell your big green organization to start actually talking about the future. Simple slogans are for children.
My guess is you are making that assertion against Greenpeace as well. If you are, then you are either ignorant of what Greenpeace is doing across the globe in the field of regenerating farming practices…pun intended…or you are just interested in spreading disinformation and to what end?
As it pertains to Greenpeace, where is the evidence of anyone accepting money from Big Ag to remain silent on agroecology? If such evidence is there, the fact that Greenpeace has an active campaign promoting ecological farming practices and active campaigns against industrial farming including promoting the reduction of meat in diets, is evidence that such pay offs aren't exactly working.
I think it is unfortunate that Cowspiracy has spawned a bunch of people posting in forums redirecting attacks away from the actual companies involved in industrial farming practices, and instead focusing their attack on organizations actually doing the right thing.
One reason that organic produce is more expensive is that our government subsidizes corporate agriculture. If you ate more vegetables and less meat, it wouldn't be more expensive. Meat-producing animals are not going to survive future heat waves unless they are kept in air-conditioned enclosures. Either way, the end product will be more expensive, which will be a good thing because everyone will be eating less of it. Finally, you know next to nothing about organic agriculture, soil science and botany. I'll listen to those who do.
Your ignorance of agriculture... and of the natural cycles of carbon nitrogen phosphorus and potassium... and of the cost and pricing and subsidy and incentive structure of industrial agriculture... is so deep... it's far deeper than a manure lagoon at a CAFO.
Thanks Ms. Fulton for linking to the new book from GRAIN, which has done fantastic work to promote facts about farming, farmers, and climate justice.
This shorter publication from one year ago, from GRAIN and La Via Campesina, is an excellent summary of many of the key facts about industrial ag vs. agroecology: The Solution to Climate Change is In Our Lands.
This does not fit big ags idea of pharming. No chemicals makes no sense to them, not enough profit and too much work. It is not about right or wrong safe or sorry it is about money.
heyjoe, I agree with you. Yes, carbon can be sequestered in the soil--but at a very low rate. Most plant material decomposes every year, releasing carbon dioxide into the air (a fact few on this board are aware of). The source of the carbon being put into the atmosphere by combustion is the great storehouse of fossil fuels deposited tens, if not hundreds of millions of years ago. What we are burning now comes from that time. It is unrealistic to think that soils can serve as a carbon sink to absorb all of the carbon put into the air by modern agricultural and industrial practices. It can't be done.
Who needs money? All we need is looooooooooovvvvve!!!!
Why aren't more people DOING it?
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Nonsense. You have obviously not studied soil carbon at all.
Yes fossil fuels are one of the two primary sources of anthropogenic carbon released to the atmosphere. Yes we should STOP pumping fossil carbon back into the atmosphere.
We should also STOP pumping carbon from soil and biomass into the atmosphere. Trillions of tons of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from soil and biomass by agriculture. Good agricultural practices can return much of that back to soil and biomass.
What is "unrealistic" is to pretend that putting these trillions of tons back into soil and biomass is pointless, or stupid, or unrealistic. Agroecology is ONE OF THE BASIC KEYS to changing human society to stop dis-integrating the ecology and attempt to restore balance to the climate system and the overall ecology.
Thank you for the mention of the Rodales--they were an integral part of my early adult education into organic gardening and composting--it brought a smile to my face!