We don’t need technology to reverse climate change. That will only help big business. We don’t need carbon taxes or credits to reduce the harmful amount of carbon or CO2 in the air. Science has discovered a direct connection between degraded soils from traditional farming and weather extremes a.k.a. climate change. About 25% of the carbon in our atmosphere comes from traditional agriculture, organic farming included. They’re not returning the carbon holding materials to the soil that inhibits this undesirable condition made possible from tilling and soil left uncovered.
Even organic farming isn’t regenerating soil health. The secret lies closer to permaculture than it does those weed-free fields that are so highly sought after. In fact, without the use of cover crops, compost and green manures regularly, properly managed pastureland, and a drastic reduction in tilling, the health of the soil cannot be regenerated to keep carbon in the ground where it belongs. Serious study is going into using cropland as carbon sinks.
California is poised to enact agricultural incentives in an effort to alleviate the worst drought in 1200 years. Regenerative farming, this use of practices that are closer to permaculture than modern farming holds the solution to the dilemma. It can reverse climate change if enough land employs this type of agriculture worldwide because farmland covers about 50% of dry land on Earth. It is important to note that even backyard gardens are adding to the problem, and all gardeners need to take the initiative to work with the natural system to heal the injuries we’ve brought about.
One action group, Kiss The Ground from Venice, California is trying to raise awareness about how beneficial regenerative farming is for increasing the nutrient value of food while simultaneously recapturing enough carbon to restore normal weather patterns. Their mission is to inspire and advocate for soil restoration around the world, and so they work to help farmers and communities rebuild healthy soils through policy, media, consumer awareness.
Sound pretty crazy? It’s not. People just don’t give the soil any credit for its role in how our planet works. In fact, we know more about outer space than we do about what goes on beneath our feet. There’s an article on what the experts have discovered about the effects of modern farming on the climate and carbon being where it doesn’t belong on a Yale site, e360. It’s not something that was just announced recently either, it’s been known for several years. Longer really, they’ve been turning desertified land into lush grassland for quite some time in places like Africa and Mexico through managed livestock grazing mimicking how wild herds once moved across the land.
Now Kiss The Ground has started a campaign to secure funding to start applying regenerative farming practices to cropland to turn their climate issues around. Not a crowdfunding campaign – this is much bigger than that. They’re on a mission to get state legislature to allocate $160 million from the California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to get farmers started in changing to regenerative agriculture, composting, and other land management practices. Pulling this off will require a whole lot of signatures that must be collected this month.
Check out this video, The Soil Story:
If you live in California, you need to sign this petition now, it is only a couple weeks before it must be filed. It will help the farmers suffering from the effect of the relentless drought, increase soil’s ability to retain moisture, attract and sequester carbon harmlessly in the ground using what already exists. Restoring organic matter to farmland worldwide can stop climate change.
Matthew Englehart, farmer and co-founder of San Francisco’s Cafe Gratitude notes that by restoring 1% of organic matter to all agricultural soils would reduce carbon parts per million in the air from over 400 to 350, and 2% more organic matter would be able to reduce that to 300 ppm carbon … the point which would stabilize the climate again.
There is hope. Far more than we thought. Carbon isn’t bad. Everything on Earth is made from it. What we’ve done to allow it to escape into the atmosphere in such huge levels – that’s the bad part. Changing the situation requires action from everyone because if you keep on doing the same things, you’ll continue to get the same result. And if such results are undesirable or harmful, then continuing in the same manner is madness.
Join Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Moby, Incubus and others in advocating for California’s legislature to fund healthy soil programs.