Why has virtually every COP21 media article repeated the mistaken idea that the only strategy to fight climate change is the failed one to stop burning fossil fuels?
Big Ag, the giants of the industrial agriculture industry, including Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, McDonald’s and the entire synthetic fertiliser industry—have miscounted and misrepresented America’s agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sadly, thanks to Big Ag’s backroom political dealings in Washington, DC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have agreed on the ludicrous statement that agriculture contributed only about 10 percent of U.S. GHG emissions in 2013, when in fact it was more than 25 percent.
When this erroneous conclusion is corrected and the formerly hidden facts are well understood by policy leaders and the public, we’ll be able to shift policies toward more regenerative, soil-honouring practices and then we’ll see sales of pesticides and chemical fertilisers plummet.
It’s plain to see why Monsanto and friends, via their high-level political appointees, influenced the U.S. and United Nations delegates at COP21. They eliminated agriculture and soils from the COP21 agenda and thus the final agreement—despite overwhelming evidence that soil sequestration (carbon farming) is the number one solution to stop the rise of CO2.
It is modern farming that is largely to blame
An article in the Washington Post (Barker & Pollan 4/12/15), describes how “a third of the carbon in the atmosphere today used to be in the soil and modern farming is largely to blame.” They point out that “practices such as the overuse of chemicals, excessive tilling and the use of heavy machinery disturb the soil’s organic matter, exposing carbon molecules to the air, where they combine with oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Put another way: Human activity has turned the living and fertile carbon system in our dirt into a toxic atmospheric gas.”
Luckily, There’s a Secret Weapon
“It’s possible to halt and even reverse this process,” the writers add, “through better agricultural policies and practices.” They go on to explain how “restoring carbon to the soil is not nearly as complicated as rethinking our transportation systems or replacing coal with renewable energy.”
Ronnie Cummins and Katherine Paul of the Organic Consumers Association pursued this same point in their recent piece How World Leaders Can Solve Global Warming with Regenerative Farming. They describe how the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) set out to achieve “a legally binding and universal agreement to make sure the Earth doesn’t get warmer than 2C above pre-industrial levels.”
“To meet that goal, the French government launched the 4/1000 Initiative which, distilled to simplest terms, says this: If, on a global scale, we increase the soil carbon content of the soil by .04 percent each year for the next 25 years, we can draw down a critical mass of excess carbon from the atmosphere and begin to reverse global warming.”
Is the French 4/1000 Initiative realistic?
Yes, even by conservative estimates. Industrial, degenerative farming practices—which include tilling, deforestation, wetlands destruction and the use of massive amounts of synthetic and toxic fertilisers and pesticides—have stripped 136 billion tons of carbon out of the soil and sent it up into the atmosphere. Using the French government’s modest estimates, we can transfer, via enhanced plant photosynthesis, 150 billion tons of this carbon back into the soil in the next 25 years.
For some reason, Greenpeace, 350.org and the climate movement think putting close to 100% of our policy and educational efforts into shutting down oil is our one last hope to stop climate change. This is madness. Can they really believe that fewer people will be driving cars in 2020 than in 2015? And don’t they realise that every new hybrid or 100% electric car in its making will contribute almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as would driving a five-year-old Toyota?
More: | EcoWatch; Soil not Oil Coalition