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Food, Farming and Climate Change: It’s Bigger than Everything Else

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posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:12 AM
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I found the article referenced extremely uplifting being a long time proponent of sustainable small scale agriculture for a number of reasons. Among those reasons:


Compared to large-scale industrial farms, small-scale agroecological farms not only use fewer fossil fuel-based fertilizer inputs and emit less GHGs, including methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide (CO2), but they also have the potential to actually reverse climate change by sequestering CO2 from the air into the soil year after year. According to the Rodale Institute, small-scale farmers and pastoralists could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available, safe and inexpensive agroecological management practices that emphasize diversity, traditional knowledge, agroforestry, landscape complexity, and water and soil management techniques, including cover cropping, composting and water harvesting.

Importantly, agroecology can not only sequester upwards of 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre per year, but it can actually boosts crop yields. In fact, recent studies by GRAIN (www.grain.org) demonstrate that small-scale farmers already feed the majority of the world with less than a quarter of all farmland. Addressing climate change on the farm can not only tackle the challenging task of agriculture-generated GHGs, but it can also produce more food with fewer fossil fuels. In other words, as the ETC Group (www.etcgoup.org) has highlighted, industrial agriculture uses 70% of the world’s agricultural resources to produce just 30% of the global food supply, while small-scale farmers provide 70% of the global food supply while using only 30% of agricultural resources.


It's really a no-brainer solution to several 'hot' problem areas. Why aren't these inexpensive and simple solutions being implemented. These solutions are people intensive and people need a living wage (one that gets recycled back into the local economy for the most part) and our greed culture requires that all wealth created by labor be siphoned to big business capital (machines and chemicals and GMOs - their 'wealth creation' goes directly to the pockets of the wealthy).

The article mentions some of the harm that big agriculture is doing to us and the planet:


Industrial agriculture is a key driver in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy machinery, monocultures, land change, deforestation, refrigeration, waste and transportation are all part of a food system that generates significant emissions and contributes greatly to global climate change. Industrial agricultural practices, from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to synthetic fertilizer-intensive corn and soy monocultures, genetically modified to tolerate huge amounts of herbicide, not only contribute considerable amounts of GHGs, but also underpin an inequitable and unhealthy global food system. Modern conventional agriculture is a fossil fuel-based, energy-intensive industry that is aligned with biotech, trade and energy interests, versus farmer and consumers priorities.



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While many people may be familiar with the term “peak oil” to describe the diminishing supply of petroleum, few are familiar or prepared for “peak coffee.” Farmers and scientists now openly discuss the notion of “endangered crops,” including everything from cocoa and wine grapes to salmon and peanuts. The emergence of super-charged pests related to climate change, like the “La Roya” coffee fungus in Central America, is threatening not only our morning cup of joe, but the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has detailed how much of Ivory Coast and Ghana, the two largest cocoa-producing countries in the world, will be too hot to grow cocoa by 2030. The average cocoa farmer’s plot in Ghana is five hectares, and farmers there are very reliant on income from cocoa sales.


This is important information that anyone who is concerned with Life should make themselves aware of.

www.commondreams.org...

Happy Monday.
edit on 13-4-2015 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Here in the UK we have mechanised, industrial farming but on a much smaller scale than the industrialised farming of the US where vast ranches of cattle and grain fields stretch for miles.

There is also the push for less intensive, ethical, sustainable, organic farming than before, much of it is small scale and there is a push for buying local.

As the system is currently there isn't sufficient available land for each family having their own plot of farming land, some areas there are allotments and some grow in their gardens but the majority of housing here is urban and generally gardens have gotten smaller or non existent in new build properties.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:37 AM
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Yeah, it's a question of scale.

Large scale modern farming practices produce high output, therefore cheap, food.

Small scale organic based systems have much smaller yields. Simply put, you can't grow enough food to feed all the people without modern large scale systems.


I don't know the precise numbers, but if everybodies weekly food bill tripled, there would probably be riots on the streets? I mean, the Arab Spring movement correlates quite closely to a rise in the cost of wheat.


It'll be important going forward though, I mean, I'd recommend everybody who can to learn about how to grow their own food. We'll never grow enough to live off, but it will supplement what I see as inevitable rationing in 20-25 years time.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 12:22 PM
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It would be much better to have a bunch of small farms than a few big ones. This spreads the byproducts of farming out all over instead of concentrating it. The stability it gives to a nation is important too. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work on a farm. It is when you get highly educated people involved that negative effects and high costs seem to show up in farming. We do not need all the chemicals to farm.

We are going the wrong way. We sit in offices and get poor circulation instead of enjoying the smell of cow manure on a farm. But wait, farm kids don't get sick so often, unless they live on big farms where lots of chemicals are sprayed.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd


With all the invasive boar, carp, mussells, and shrimp you would think there is plenty to eat..
edit on 13-4-2015 by chrismarco because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
It would be much better to have a bunch of small farms than a few big ones. This spreads the byproducts of farming out all over instead of concentrating it. The stability it gives to a nation is important too. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work on a farm. It is when you get highly educated people involved that negative effects and high costs seem to show up in farming. We do not need all the chemicals to farm.

We are going the wrong way. We sit in offices and get poor circulation instead of enjoying the smell of cow manure on a farm. But wait, farm kids don't get sick so often, unless they live on big farms where lots of chemicals are sprayed.


Not to mention that those by-products (waste) can be easily converted into compost and plowed right back into the Earth. As you say, it's not rocket science.



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