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Daily News Blog

22
Apr

Earth Day 2020: The Road to Recovery is Organic

In 1962, Rachel Carson said we stood at a crossroads:

The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Eight years later, on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day encouraged collective action for conservation. Now, in the midst of a pandemic and cascading environmental crises (arguably, down the road of disaster), forging a new path toward restoration will take courage and imagination. This Earth Day, Beyond Pesticides is putting forth a toolkit to abandon half measures and forge ahead with an organic approach for repairing human health and the environment.

LISTEN TO SCIENCE

Biodiversity is plummeting worldwide. The climate crisis looms even as COVID-19 grabs headlines. Environmental pollution is a predictor of coronavirus death. Never has it been more obvious that the global community is interconnected, and enforcing preventative measures is critical before it is too late. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignores science, moving ahead with deregulation to the benefit of industry.

While it is unlikely that federal regulation will change for the better during this administration, it is nonetheless critical to keep an eye and voice on this issue and advocate for science.

>>Tell EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to follow the advice of scientists and do his job. Tell your Congressional representatives to support scientific integrity at EPA and other agencies. 

THINK HOLISTICALLY INSTEAD OF CHEMICAL-BY-CHEMICAL

Rachel Carson’s activism led to the ban of the toxic pesticide DDT, and bird populations consequently rebounded. However, Ms. Carson’s call to action was never just about DDT, and despite the many Earth Day celebrations since 1970, 3 billion birds have been lost and 57% of bird species are currently on the decline. Single-chemical bans are insufficient and short-sighted to the scope and scale of the crises we face.

Not only is it grossly inadequate to only consider reduction in a global, disastrous freefall, advocates also highlight that toxic chemicals are unnecessary for food production, pest mitigation, and lawn care.

The coronavirus pandemic is heightening the pesticide problem: chemical-intensive agriculture is now especially dangerous for the vulnerable farmworkers who feed us, and chemical lawn care is an unnecessary attack on the health of a respiratory distressed and immunocompromised population.

>> Protect Farmworkers: Tell Congress to provide essential benefits to essential workers.

THE ROAD TO RECOVERY IS ORGANIC

The elimination of toxic pesticide use protects biodiversity and supports clean air, water, and land. Organic practices enhance atmospheric carbon sequestration, which slows global temperature change and allows for a livable future. See Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming, which concludes that it is possible to sequester more than 100% of current annual COemissions by switching to organic management practices, which are referred to in the paper as “regenerative organic agriculture.”

The road to recovery from the crash of global biodiversity, the coronavirus pandemic, and the climate crisis should center organic practices that promote healthy communities and ecosystems.

>>Tell Congress to Help Organic Farmers Hurt by the Pandemic

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All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

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  • Archives

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