Get Carbon Back in Soil

Fundamentally agriculture is not just about crop production. It is production of food and fiber from the world's land and water. Without agriculture we would not have computers, cell phones, churches, universities, or any of the trappings of civilization. Agriculture has made all that possible, but the manner in which we approach agriculture makes it the most destructive industry we have - more destructive than any extractive mining project - or anything else. Various forms of "regenerative agriculture" and particularly holistic grazing management is the ONLY solution to righting the health, environmental (and climate) crises.

Our Monetary System matters:

Our monetary system is of crucial importance for all of us and MOST especially to real reforms in agriculture/ The farm parity (par exchange) concept plays a key role.

Some groups involved in restoring carbon rich humus to our soils:

Regeneration International

Soil for climate

The Savory Institute

MOSES Organic New midwestern group seeking "to serve as the foundation for transitioning five core sectors of the food and agriculture system from the current industrial model to a regenerative model."

7 Minute video describing how to reverse desertification (and climate change).

17 minute video explaining why small farmers can save the world - and the climate - by getting carbon back in soil, using fifth grade science and the hard-won wisdom of small farmers. (Unfortunately they miss the need to reform the monetary system - not just "fair trade" projects.)

Some relevant studies:

The Role of Ruminants in Reducing Agriculture's Carbon Footprint in North American

Impacts of Soil Carbon Sequestration on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Midwestern USA Beef Finishing Systems

Emerging Land Use Practices Rapidly Increase Soil Organic Matter

Desert Dust Suppressing Precipitation: A Possible Feedback Loop

A Large Increas of methane emissions over the last decade are coming from fracking not livestock.

Articles:

Article with links: Giving Up Meat Won't Save the Planet - or You N.B. Author needs to learn about regenerative agriculture, within which properly managed livestock play an essential role. Hopefully some of her commenters are pointing her in the right direction.

Another article offered as "food for thought": Thinking of Going Vegan for the New Year - Think Again

Significant and real issues with Wind and Solar, in addition to unreliability and the inordinate amounts of land needed:

SOME environmental and public health issues associated with windmills: here and here

SOME environmental impacts of wind and solar: here . Also here and here.

Organizations against windfarms here. Poland recently banned wind farms in the face of strong opposition to windfarms by rural voters, all to be gone by 2035. Ontario, Canada still working on ban. Oklahoma to pause wind farm work to avoid potential law suit.

Wind farms (like solar "farms") can affect local weather patterns. This article about wind farms. This study about large solar plants. Stats show that wind and solar are not "more reliable" than coal & gas.

What about "New" Energy?

Here is one company discussed in Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy, now known as Vortex Hydro Energy and traded on the stock exchange. Here is an article covering Blacklight, now Brilliant Power, also discussed in Climate change.

Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change

For tons of high quality information on how weather modification and geoengineering projects affect agriculture and threaten our food supply, check out the website of the Agricultural Defense Coalition, put together by the late Rosalind Peterson.

Meanwhile consider that, as laid out in Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy, "the CO2 problem" is far more complex than we assume or have been led to believe. For ex: how would one define "the CO2 problem"? Does it take into account the effects of methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor? If so, how exactly? How might geoengineering (including cloud seeding) interfere with earth's systems and who benefits from such programs. (CLUE: It isn't the farmer even if farming is one stated reason for altering climate.)

Taking four GHGs one at a time, very briefly, starting with water vapor:

1) Water Vapor. The National Data Climate Center informs its readers that "the feedback loop in which water is involved is critically important to projecting future climate change, but as yet is still fairly poorly measured and understood." (Water vapor makes up the vast majority of atmospheric gases.)

2) Methane. Methane is said to have a global warming potential of 72 times that of CO2 as averaged over 20 years. Methane, as outlined in my book, is produced via oil, gas and coal extraction, via landfill sites and waste treatment sites, including those abominable concentrated feeding operations (CAFO's aka industrial agriculture) as well as via rice cultivation and biomass burning - yet cow farts were not too long ago banned in California, with absolutely no mention of the fracking operations going up all over the state!

3) Nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide has a global warming potential that is estimated to be 296 to 310 times that of CO2, and remains in the atmosphere for 100 years. A major source of nitrous oxide is chemical fertilizers (The nitrogen in chemical fertilizers has been shown to decrease soil carbon, a very threatening situation for all life on this planet). As one source tells us, man's influence on the nitrogen cycle is greater that on any of the other biogeochemical cycles and has nearly doubled since the pre-industrial era, with a myriad of effects on waters, soils, and the atmosphere. Interestingly (and alarmingly) earth's atmosphere is comprised of 78% nitrogen and only .038% CO2 (percentages exclude water vapor). So, it should be quite newsworthy that the nitrogen load has doubled since the pre-industrial, yet where is any mention of it?

4) Carbon dioxide or CO2. CO2 is not only essential for life on earth it is also well known for its "fertilization effect" as evidenced by the fact that algae grown as a biofuel needs fossil fuel plants nearby as a "fertilization" source. Similarly greenhouses typically maintain CO2 levels over 3 times the current 400 ppm. One 2009 study discussed in Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy showed that while warmer temps (presumably created by additional CO2 remaining in the atmosphere) will result in the increased availability of nutrients due to accelerated decomposition of plant material - this process is not enough to offset the reduced level of plant growth caused by previously unrecognized limitations. Lower levels of plant growth will then lead to increased CO2 over the next 100 years because smaller plants take in less CO2. NB: Our soils have been mined of carbon-rich Humus, the font of soil nutrients! We need to get carbon back in the soil!

Another study came to the shockingly obvious conclusion that since "the earth's climate system is a highly complex, non-linear system made up of sub-systems that are themselves highly non-linear, our singular focus on reduction of CO2 emission not only over-simplifies the policy questions raised by human GHG emissions, it also misunderstands the significance of the scientific questions."

We all might ask as I did in Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy: WHY do we NOT look to regenerative agriculture as the primary solution to our climate and environmental crisis, such as these now exist outside the many and sundry efforts at geoengineering?