And now, for the Weather

Chemical Agriculture and Climate Change

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it…

Charles Dudley Warner, 1897

The weather has been getting stranger and stranger and climate change – the confusing but ever more compelling story of greenhouse gas emissions affecting changes in the earth’s weather patterns – a growing concern.

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin were known to say, “We don’t much care what the weather is doing, as long as we’re out in it”. But I should think they might add today, “But this is all getting rather worrying”.

chrisrobin_pooh_umbrella
Illustration by E.H. Shepard

Parisians have been suffering through the wettest May most anyone can remember while storms, violent tornadoes, heat waves and ice tsunamis are occurring elsewhere around the planet.

Our ever-rising production of CO2 is cited as the culprit. But what can we do? Stop flying in planes, ride a bike, be careful with energy consumption, turn off the lights, buy local, eat organic, etc. etc.

But wait, wait, back up. Eat organic?

Yes. Eat organic. What is the connection between eating organic and climate change? Very simple. Soil is the 3rd largest carbon sink on the planet after the ocean and the earth’s green biomass. Intensive chemical agriculture, often referred to as ‘conventional’ uses tons of CO2 in the form of chemical inputs and actually destroys the soil’s capacity to function as a carbon sink.

Though scientists proved this years ago (1999), another recent study has shown that if the world switched to organic agriculture globally, today, we could reduce CO2 emissions by 25%. Just like that.

And we would also save 10 to 15% more water as well.

And that water would be drinkable rather than poisoned with chemicals (which are of course all ending up in the ocean and choking it, reducing its capacity to trap CO2).

And we would be healthier, eating tastier food and the bees would be buzzing again.

So if you want the sun to shine on your back door again some day, support organic farming and lobby for change.

 

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