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Daily News Blog

23
Nov

Tell the Biden Transition Team to Harness the Power of Organic to Combat Climate Change 

(Beyond Pesticides, November 23, 2020) The Biden transition plan for combatting climate change caused by agriculture does not mention organic. Yet research shows the potential of organic agriculture for reducing and preventing climate change. These studies also apply to land management in cities, parks, and playing fields.

Tell the Biden transition team to harness the power of organic to combat climate change.

Organic agriculture practices combat climate change by:

Reducing Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides. Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers in chemical-intensive agriculture is driving global nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions higher than any projected scenario, putting the world at greater risk of a climate catastrophe. According to research published by an international team of scientists in the journal Nature, failure to adequately address nitrous oxide emissions has the potential to impede the ability for the world to keep warming below the 2°C target established under the Paris Climate Agreement, necessitating further cuts in other greenhouse gasses. 

A 2018 study from the University of Virginia and The Organic Center found that “reactive” nitrogen, in the form readily available to be taken up by plants, is conserved in organic systems. Jessica Shade, PhD of The Organic Center, noted that the research was “significant and timely because its findings show that many common organic farming practices—like composting and the use of manure fertilization in place of synthetic fertilizers—can recycle reactive nitrogen that is already in the global system, rather than introducing new reactive nitrogen into the environment, and thus have a much smaller environmental impact.”

Sequestering carbon. Organic systems sequester significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere into on-farm soil carbon. A report from the Rodale Institute expounds on these benefits. It reads, “Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term ‘regenerative organic agriculture.’ These practices work to maximize carbon fixation while minimizing the loss of that carbon once returned to the soil, reversing the greenhouse effect.”

Preserving natural lands and biodiversity. Natural forests are more effective than tree plantations in sequestering carbon. Preserving natural land increases biodiversity, which also reduces dependence on petroleum-based pesticides. Organic farms are required to “comprehensively conserve biodiversity by maintaining or improving all natural resources, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife, as required by § 205.200 of the regulations and per the § 205.2 definition of Natural resources of the operation.”

The Biden transition team for agriculture, which has made mitigating climate change a major emphasis, must focus its attention on promoting organic agriculture. It can start by appointing organic leaders as Secretary and other leadership positions.

Unfortunately, a movement by promoters of chemical-intensive agriculture has fooled some environmentalists into supporting toxic “regenerative” agriculture. The so-called “regenerative agriculture” promoted by these groups ignores the direct climate impacts of nitrogen fertilizers, the damage to soil health caused by pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and the fact that pesticide and fertilizer manufacturing is dependent on fossil fuels—as key ingredients and also for the heat and energy driving chemical reactions. It is important to see through this deception. 

Tell the Biden transition team to harness the power of organic to combat climate change.

 

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  • Archives

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