Announcing the following conference at Harvard on April 30th:
THE POWER AND PROMISE OF BIODIVERSITY: VISIONS OF RESTORING SEA, LAND, AND CLIMATE Geological Lecture Hall 24 Oxford Street Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
The conference promises to “present the concepts, history, and processes for the restoration of biodiversity” in hopes that increasing global biodiversity can sequester carbon and not only stop, but actually reverse climate change. Tickets are $30 and you can register now on eventbrite. More information here!
The concept of carbon farming is relatively simple. The industrial agricultural system we’ve developed over the last 60 years, while being incredibly productive, robs the soil of carbon and other nutrients. Carbon, in the form of soil organic matter, is the thing that gives soil life. Techniques like cover cropping (never leaving the fields bare), no-till farming (leaving the soil intact while preparing and planting), crop rotations and carbon banking in perennial plants, take carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in the soil. Soil-1, climate change-0. And the benefits of soil carbon sequestration go beyond reducing GHGs. Using the term “regenerative farming” Debbie Barker and Michael Pollan explain in a recent Washington Post article:
Regenerative farming would also increase the fertility of the land, making it more productive and better able to absorb and hold water, a critical function especially in times of climate-related floods and droughts. Carbon-rich fields require less synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and generate more productive crops, cutting farmer expenses.
One of the problems, as Eric Toensmeier explains in his upcoming book The Carbon Farming Solution (to be released in February) is that carbon farming is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Cover-cropping may work in the southeast where winters are shorter, but may not work in northern Minnesota, for example. For more farmers to take up these practices, they need the assurance that they will work for them economically, and this type of assurance will come through research. But, research dollars for agriculture in the U.S. are not exactly flowing to sustainable agriculture.
Every year, our friends at the ETC (stands for Action Group on Erosion, Technology, and Concentration) puts out an, as they say, “irreverent,” year-end recap– and this year’s is out now! We’ve compiled a brief list of the highlights from the 2015 edition of the ETC’s yearly End of Year Review:
Comparing itself to the Grinch that Stole Christmas when complaining about the Paris attacks, the ETC explains how in the proceedings the Climate Activists “lost time and ground that we can’t recover.”
Turns out phytoplankton are carbon sequesters.
The Good and the Bad news coming out of the tech sphere (gene drives, AI, Ben and Jerry’s, Technology Bank…)
Whimsical historical anecdotes from the year (good moral boosters)
And this favorite quote: ““Let’s be clear about this, our company was dishonest. And in my German words, we have totally screwed up.”
“The regeneration of soil is the task of our generation.”
The video is great, but their petition is even better. Learn more about the Story of Soil on the group’s website. which is a project dedicated to convincing the California legislature to allocate $160 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to help rebuild healthy soils.
Excerpted from Ronnie Collins’s essay Regeneration: Global Transformation in Catastrophic Times:
We must begin to connect the dots between fossil fuels, global warming and related issues, including world hunger, poverty, unemployment, toxic food and farming, extractivism, land grabbing, biodiversity, ocean destruction, deforestation, resource wars, and deteriorating public health. As we regenerate the soil and forests, and make organic and grass-fed food and fiber the norm, rather than just the alternative, we will simultaneously develop our collective capacity to address all of the globe’s interrelated problems.
The extraordinary thing about de-industrializing food and farming, restoring grasslands and reversing deforestation—moving several hundred billion tons of carbon back from the atmosphere into our soils, plants and forests—is that this regeneration process will not only reverse global warming and re-stabilize the climate, but will also stimulate hundreds of millions of rural (and urban) jobs, while qualitatively increasing soil fertility, water retention, farm yields and food quality.
Soil Not Oil International Conference
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 4-5, 2015, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Memorial Civic Center Complex, 403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804
Note: Dr. Vandana Shiva keynote speech is on Friday, Sept. 4, 7:00 pm
The September Soil Not Oil conference will bring together farmers, climate scientists, land-use experts, and many others to discuss and promote Carbon Farming. What exactly is carbon farming, you ask? (more…)