"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

There's A Way to Save Our Future. So Why Aren't More People Talking About It?


There's A Way to Save Our Future. So Why Aren't More People Talking About It?

"Organic regenerative agriculture and land use is the other half of the climate solution," says Katherine Paul of the Organic Consumers Association. (Photo: File)


 

 

Transitioning to organic regenerative agriculture practices 'offers the best, and perhaps our only, hope for averting a global warming disaster.'


"Instead of subsidizing a food and farming system that contributes to global warming while degenerating soils and local economies, we should start rewarding farmers and ranchers for restoring the soil's organic matter and drawing down carbon."

—Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association


A critical tool in the fight against global warming is right below our feet. So where is this "shovel-ready solution" amid all the talk of climate fixes in the wake of the COP21 summit in Paris?

An Associated Press article published Thursday, for example, professes to outline "methods to achieve negative emissions," wherein humans remove more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they put in it. The AP quotes scientists who say "it's clear" that the goals laid out in Paris "cannot be reached without negative emissions in the future, because the atmosphere is filling up with greenhouse gases so fast that it may already be too late to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C."

Among the solutions mentioned in the piece: "fertilizing the oceans with iron to make them absorb more carbon," "planting more forests," and "carbon capture technologies."

But there was no mention of agroecology, or regenerative agriculture—practices that work with nature, avoiding the damaging impacts of industrial agriculture, such as no-till farming, composting, planned grazing, and cover crops.

As Diana Donlon, food and climate director at the Center for Food Safety, said earlier this month to mark World Soil Day: "Through regenerative farming practices, we have the ability to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, where it is wreaking havoc, and store it in the soil, where it is greatly lacking and where it has multiple benefits for food, water and climate security."

For Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, omitting these practices from mainstream reporting, and not including them in the conversation about climate change, is a missed opportunity. 

"No talk of global warming solutions is complete without addressing agriculture—both its contribution to global warming and its potential for solving the crisis," she told Common Dreams on Thursday.

She noted that the world’s soils have lost 50–70 percent of their carbon stocks and fertility—a crisis largely attributed to modern chemical-intensive, factory-farm, GMO-based industrial agriculture. And she cited a recent report from GRAIN, which shows that when deforestation, transportation, synthetic fertilizer production, and wetlands destruction are factored in, Big Ag contributes more than 50 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

"We must restore the soil's potential to store carbon," Paul declared. "We must also, in addition to reducing emissions, draw down billions of tons of CO2 already in the atmosphere."


"Fortunately," she continued, "we have the tools to do this. Organic regenerative agriculture and land use is the other half of the climate solution."

Though some have said the COP21 talks were "a disaster for agroecology," Paul points to the French 4 per 1000 Initiative, through which governments can now incorporate carbon sequestration through organic agriculture into their climate plans. She urged the U.S. to follow France's lead.

"Instead of subsidizing a food and farming system that contributes to global warming while degenerating soils and local economies," she said, "we should start rewarding farmers and ranchers for restoring the soil's organic matter and drawing down carbon."

Yet a recent study looking at research-dollar allocation within the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed a dearth of funding for agroecological research and "an urgent need for additional public funding for systems-based agroecology and sustainable agriculture research."

Indeed, the future of the planet depends on it, Paul said. "Transitioning from industrial ag, a huge contributor to global warming, to organic regenerative offers the best, and perhaps our only, hope for averting a global warming disaster."


Soil Can Reverse Climate Change:

A Message of Hope

 


On September 24 last year, the Pope, after addressing a Joint Session of Congress on the environmental and moral crisis of climate change, will speak to one of the largest congregations at the National Mall since two million people attended President Obama’s inauguration. Shortly before he speaks, Larry Kopald, from The Carbon Underground, a not-for-profit organization, will deliver a message of hope to the crowd.

“For the first time a real solution to climate change has emerged. Studies from around the world are clearly showing that restoring the health of soil harmed by industrial farming techniques can not only sequester enough carbon to halt climate change, but has the potential to actually reverse it in our lifetime, all while feeding us abundant and healthy food. It’s literally a shovel-ready solution to the biggest crisis facing humanity.”

The Carbon Underground is part of a growing global coalition of research institutes, businesses, universities, religious organizations, and civil society organizations that are pointing to the new science showing how simply growing our food in a healthier manner, where soil is kept vibrant and alive, can draw down and store enough carbon to reverse climate change.

Martin Kirk, from the think-tank The Rules, said today, “This isn’t about waiting for some brilliant new technology to be invented. This is about using a technology tested and refined over hundreds of millions of years, called photosynthesis. It is quite literally a system for ensuring that life can flourish. The problem is that we are harming our soil so much that we’re effectively shutting this system down. We can wake it up again, starting today. The moral case for doing so is unimpeachable.”

Most people don’t know that between 40% and 50% of manmade carbon emissions are created by industrial agriculture and our food production systems. But we now know that what farming put into the atmosphere, farming can remove. "The ability of photosynthesis, leveraged with advanced farming and grazing practices, to return us to preindustrial levels of COs is now clear. This is the world we can hand to our children, if we act now," said Dr. Tim LaSalle, Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly.




Ronnie Cummins, from the Organic Consumer’s Association, goes on to say that “Regenerative farming proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that farms that use the regenerative model can not only feed the planet, they can help the return the whole planetary system to a state of safety and abundance.”

Why, then, haven’t most people heard about regenerative farming? That answer seems to fall into two categories. First, although new studies are pouring in, they are all relatively recent. Second, as the Pope states clearly in his encyclical, greed and special interests are preventing the progress we need to deal with the largest threat facing the planet.

But those special interests are increasingly marginalized, even among large businesses. Rick Ridgeway, Global Director of Sustainability at Patagonia, states that restoring the soil is not only a moral imperative, but also the smart business choice. “At Patagonia our mission is to 'use business to implement solutions to the environmental crisis'.  We had been pessimistic that, because of climate change, there may not be timely solutions that avoid the cliff. Not anymore--regenerative agriculture and grazing, with its promise of pulling carbon out of the air and putting back into ground, may allow us to avoid that cliff. As a solution, it is something Patagonia is fully behind.”

The perils of ignoring the evidence are simple: a continued loss of the topsoil, which will not only accelerate climate change but also threaten the food supply. “We have already lost as much as 60% of our topsoil through the use of mono-culture farming and chemicals,” says soil scientist Kris Nichols at the Rodale Institute. “According the UN, we have about 70 years of topsoil left if we don’t begin restoring it now. The good news is that by doing so we can safeguard the global food supply and also provide a solution to climate change.”

Organizers of the Pope’s visit invited The Carbon Underground to speak after recognizing that soil is, indeed, a solution to what the Pope calls “a moral crisis.”  Said Lise Van Sustern of the Moral Action on Climate, "While it is essential that people hear about the dire consequences of climate change in order to convince them of the urgent need to take action – it is equally important to show that there is every reason to be hopeful if we turn this worry into action. This story clearly and powerfully provides the actions on solutions that restore our hope."

The Carbon Underground’s Larry Kopald concluded, “Regenerative agriculture, when paired with a continued drive to reduce the amount of fresh carbon we put into the atmosphere by burning of fossil fuels, offers the only viable solution to climate change known to humanity. This solution is ours for the taking. So let’s take it.”




TheCarbonUnderground was created to be the umbrella organization responsible for organizing, communicating and educating the world about the powerful climate change-reversing ability of healthy soil, and for helping to create the transformation of enough farms and grasslands to restore a healthy climate.

Organization Link - Carbon Underground



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13 comments:

  1. Climate change? Yes, climates change... It's now 7 below zero, in the summer it can get to be 90 plus (F) The question is what is the motivation behind the private for profit government placing information about the so called dreaded climate change? Before it used to be about global warming and acid rain, now it's about climate change.... Soil is being stripped of nutrients and then nutrients are added back into the soil. Parts of the earth change from desert to agrarian... etc... It's a cycle and we're a part of that cycle. Could we do things more intelligently yes, of course but intelligence is a relative topic, is it not? I guess the question is, how do we make things perfect for everyone? LOL.... Sorry, we're on the wrong planet for things are perfectly imperfect here on earth, are they not? This entire climate debate is about finding a new sales pitch, finding new money by preparing people to pay more taxes for polluting.... It's really just another crock of shit!

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    1. Don't be fossil fooled - the anodyne term 'climate change' was introduced by a Big Oil and Big Coal-funded 'think tank' to replace the more accurate 'global warming' in their psyops campaign to fool people into thinking that fossil fool pollution is harmless.

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  2. I call it the quiet revolution. When I moved into the wooden house facing north, it was unliveable in during summer. So I grew bands of vegetation to interrupt the solar energy and convert it to organic carbon. First herbs such as wormwood, curry plant, lavender, lemon scented geraniums. Then vines. fast growing like jasmine and passion fruit. The trellises are coppiced cedars that form another band of organic carbon filters that are cut down each (now every 2nd) year - to let the sunlight in during winter. Add deciduous trees like apple then a banana and avocado and bay leaf strategically placed to shade in summer and let the sunlight in during winter. Lots of leafy herbs on the ground. Over 4 years the front yard has become a paradise of organic filters to the sun where it was previously a solar flare.

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    1. Your quiet work has always been an inspiration Colin. As a result much blasted cowland has now returned to cool rainforest glades out here in the wilds and the strams flow pure once more!

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  3. Al Gore- the global warming hero politician, also heavily promoted the NAFTA trade deal, the per-cursor and ground-laying trad deal for the latest NWO trade deal,called the TPP. NAFTA first opened the doors for corporations to sue sovereign nations.One can research these past law suits on the internet. Now Obama, "President of Climate Change" is sponsoring the TPP trade deal, which will make official and give legal authority to corporations the right to sue sovereign nations/states for "lost profits" -should said sovereign nation/state refuse entry of corporation. Al Gore had to have known that NAFTA would curtail any sovereign nation's attempts to comply with global warming/climate change curtailment through sovereign law , while at the same time promoting global warming theory. Due to public activism, last November, Obama prevented TransCanada from building the southern leg of Keystone XL pipeline through the US. The Keystone XL would have piped dirty, tar sand oil near a major freshwater aquifer, into Louisiana for processing, and then shipped to China for profit. Last Wednesday, TransCanada, in response, announced it would sue the United States for 15 billion dollars for lost profits. Obama had to have known this would happen, since he was pushing the trade deal (TPP) when he 'rejected" the pipeline. James Hanson, the former NASA scientist, and "father of climate change" was pushing hard for more nuclear energy plants at COP21, while Fukushima rages. Fukushima was not even mentioned officially at COP21, a supposed gathering of world leaders to discuss the health of our planet. The man who coined the term, "97% consensus" a term picked up by mainstream media and widely parroted, similar to the CIA created meme of "conspiracy theorist" is a self-employed cartoonist with a degree in physics named John Cook. The truth is there is no scientific consensus, a wee bit of research will reveal that truth. Why was the methane gas leak going on for 2 months before mainstream media even reported it? Why was the safety valve removed years ago? Why is fracking being allowed by our gov. whom pushes "climate change" meme in earthquake prone CA. Aliso Canyon, near the San Andreas fault line, especially during a global oil glut? Unknown to most, fracking under the best of conditions, releases enormous amounts of methane gas, known to be much more contributive to greenhouse gas effect, than CO2. Isn't there sufficient evidence to understand that deep-Earth fracking causes earthquakes? Yet gov-paid scientists continue to ignore the correlation. One can readily find articles proving activists and the community at large in Aliso Canyon were resisting the fracking of the area, years before the methane gas, leak? no explosion, and were consistently ignored by the local government.
    The true reason the global warming-climate change meme is pushed so hard by the corrupt corporate mainstream media and the gov employed scientists all clamoring for those lucrative gov. grants, is to usher in the United Nations Agenda 21. Now how many people who have been converted to the Church of Climate Change have ever even heard of Agenda 21, the "fix-it" plan for climate change?
    Democrats Against Agenda 21
    http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/
    Republicans Against Agenda 21
    https://www.facebook.com/Republicans-Against-UN-Agenda-21-227851094010564/
    Are Governments Attempting to Stop Citizens From Growing Their Own Food?
    http://www.permanentculturenow.com/are-governments-attempting-to-stop-citizens-from-growing-their-own-food/
    Banning Organic Farming & Regulating Home Gardening, HR 875 & S 425
    http://educate-yourself.org/cn/HR875andS425organicfarmingban13mar09.shtml

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    1. You make reference to so called sovereign STATES in your comments, FYM. There are no sovereign STATES left, oh maybe Iran, Syria, North Korea and a few others. STATES are simply corporations indebted to various privately owned central banks around the world. Get over the myth of money, which is the real incentive for placing BS information about global warming agendas. It's simple, if we want the reality of change based on FACTS which have never been repudiated by another fact, myth, assumption, entertaining value, speculation, and or OPINION, then get over these political LIES. Politics is just a way of telling socially acceptable fairy-tales that serve the so called 'self-proclaimed' elite group of money magicians. Global warming, this, that and the other thing.... Hey I have a novel idea, how about we collective ignore politicos, mock them and laugh our asses off at them, certainly never vote for them. Your vote doesn't matter a wit anyway, because the entire system is rigged against the voter. The system is privately owned, it's a private country club and your not in it. The idea of voting is set up to pacify you into believing that your opinion matters, I'm sorry... Your and my opinion matters NOT. I suggest that people learn what a FACT is, and stick to the FACTS as they relate to the REALITIES of problem solving. Politicians like Al Gore are nothing more than entertaining clowns. They hold no relevance in the field of climate because they simply don't have any of the FACTS. They're not scientists, they're perception and or opinion shapers that serve their Alice's Wonderland group of constituents who profit form make believe laws that we unwittingly accept at our own peril. Politicos don't serve you, they fuck you in the ass, with your permission and consent of course! LOL

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    2. A Dark Victory: How vested interests defeated climate science ~
      Some 20 years ago, climate scientists arrived at the conclusion that the vast acceleration in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution was causing the temperature of the Earth to rise. Almost all agreed that we were facing a genuine crisis. Some came to believe that we were facing a catastrophe deeper than any other in the history of the human species.

      James Hansen of NASA, perhaps the pre-eminent climate scientist in the world, argues in Storms of My Grandchildren that if over the coming decades and centuries we continue to exploit all the fossil fuels that have lain under the surface of the Earth for hundreds of millions of years – all the coal, oil, natural gas and tar sands that have been or are yet to be discovered – then inevitably all the polar ice on Earth will melt, raising the level of the oceans by 75 metres and turning the planet into an alien, barren and unrecognisable place. He contends we have already passed certain “tipping points”.

      So far nations and the international ‘community’ have failed conspicuously to rise to the challenge posed by these dangers. Since the Rio Earth Conference of 1992, which initiated the search for an international agreement, carbon dioxide emissions have risen by 40% or more. At Kyoto in 1997, a first, modest agreement was reached. It did nothing to prevent the pace of emissions increasing.

      [After] the failure of the Copenhagen conference in 2009 to find a replacement for Kyoto, there [was] no prospect of any new international agreement. Nothing was expected from the conference held at Rio in June on the 20th anniversary of the initial international gathering. Nothing was achieved. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker has captured perfectly the world’s response so far to the warning issued by climate scientists 20 years ago:

      “It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”...

      If a citizen was not convinced by this alone, three studies have been conducted that reveal an overwhelming core consensus. In 2004, Naomi Oreskes published in Science the result of her examination of the abstracts of every article in the world’s leading scientific journals published between 1993 and 2003 that was concerned with global climate change. There were 928 articles. Not one challenged the core consensus. In 2009, two scientists from the University of Chicago published in Eos the result of a survey they conducted among a group they called “Earth scientists”. They discovered that among those who called themselves climate scientists and who had published recently in the field, 97.4% agreed with the proposition that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”. And, in 2010, the eminent climate scientist Stephen Schneider revealed in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that 195 (97.5%) of the 200 most published climate scientists were convinced by the evidence of anthropogenic climate change...

      Continues @ http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/a-dark-victory-how-vested-interests.html
      By Robert Manne

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    3. Nothing will get done about these very real and or perceived problems, Illuminator. Again, we need a consensus of OPINION because the science is obviously corrupted under our current operating madness.

      We cannot leave it up to man to take care of these problems because the conditions he has accepted don't allow for reality based problem solving. OPINIONS trump reality within the political realm, agreed? So what we'll have is a continuation of conflicting self interests who base their assumption or opinions on profits.

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  4. Also, and without exception, those who promote global warming, er..I mean climate change...refuse to acknowledge the fact that we are being heavily sprayed with chemtrails, refuse to acknowledge HAARP, even refuse to acknowledge that geoengineering is a 70 year old science, now being taught at major universities such as Oxford. That's all "conspiracy theory". Yet we are supposed to accept climate change caused by CO2, which all life would perish without, is creating disastrous consequences for all humans unless we accept Agenda 21. Absolutely amazing how group-think, aided and abetted by mainstream corporate media,of "weapons of mass destruction" fame, can coral humans into accepting their own further enslavement. Huxley was right, given enough social engineering, humans will fight for their own enslavement, and not even know they are doing so.

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  5. Following along under laws established through NAFTA, which was promoted by Al Gore-big daddy of the global warming/climate change theory, who lives in a 5000 sq foot home, with a 1000 sq. foot bungalow, and had a 30,000 dollar utility bill, the same year "An Inconvenient Truth" was released:
    On May 8, 2015, Vermont became the first state to pass a law requiring genetically-modified (GM) foods to be labeled. The next week, Monsanto, along with the biggest food lobby in the world, responded by filing suit, claiming the new law violates the corporations’ right to free speech. (instead of Lost profits-which the TPP, if passed would change to "lost profits"). What does that tell us about the "climate change" theory which in truth is the cover for installing the NWO Agenda 21 globally, on the people? Please forgive the numerous posts, but I feel passionately about this very important issue. thanks!

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    1. Al Gore is very old news (unlike climate chaos). His only contribution to the debate was to popularise the issue before Big Oil's neoconmen stole the presidency from him - and all US citizens - and instituted their hyperpollution/war agenda. Don't be fossil fooled. Doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere in only a couple of centuries is a surefire method of destabilising the climate without any need to resort to so-called chemtrails. The simple fact of thousands of jets spewing normal aviation fuel and its 'byproducts' into the atmsphere is all you need to replicate 'geoengineering' and heavy metal pollution. Nothing needs to be added to the fuel!
      Agenda 21 and the TPP, heinous as they may be, are realy entirely separate issues. And unlike the TPP, those who actually READ Agenda 21 will find that it doesn't contain the most contentious articles which are attributed to it by the unwitting shock troops for Big Oil who spread its propaganda through the echo chamber of the internet.

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  6. Ok, I get your point Illuminator, but please elaborate.... What does "destabilising the climate," mean? Really, how does CO2 destabilize the climate and what are all the results, the pros and cons associated with the idea that doubling CO2 in the atmosphere actually has on the environment?

    Is it possible to come to a consensus about what the problem is? CO2 is a natural part of our ecosystem is it not? In fact every element manufactured here on earth is a part of the balancing act, is it not? I could argue that everything that we do is a natural act and is part of the equation and or balancing act here on earth... Doubling CO2 in the atmosphere may in fact benefit some forms of life, correct? Which forms of life would benefit and which forms of life would not? Now these are all value judgements correct? So some may value what others don't so I say it's impossible to come to any kind of universal consensus about this idea, and hence it's really just a bunch of poppycock to discuss.

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    1. Please see the Dark Victory comment and article above - or try breathing air with a couple of percent of CO2 in it sometime and see how long you survive.

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