Organic Ag – The Cure for Climate Change?

by Catherine Haug

Small Ranch in Bigfork

Small Ranch in Bigfork

Could a global conversion to the centuries-old methods of organic and biodynamic farming/ranching really pay off, not only by providing nourishing food, but also by reducing our reliance on the petroleum industry, and sequestering carbon dioxide?

The place to start is right here in the Flathead and Mission valleys. Lets start a discussion on how we could go about an Organic Revolution at the grassroots level. 

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) recently posted an article titled “The Organic Revolution: How We Can Stop Global Warming,” October 12, 2009″ that claims just that. The article concerns work by the Rodale Institute and soil scientists, that concludes:

“Transitioning from chemical, water, and energy-intensive industrial agriculture practices to organic farming and ranching on the world’s 3.5 billion acres of farmland and 8.2 billion acres of pasture or rangeland can sequester 7,000 pounds per acre of climate-destabilizing CO2 every year, while nurturing healthy soils, plants, grasses, and trees that are resistant to drought, heavy rain, pests, and disease.”

Livestock production provides the greatest opportunity for carbon sequestering and greenhouse gas reduction. The research suggests that changes in livestock production could safely sequester/reduce approximately 60% of the total greenhouse gases produced every year. The needed changes include reverting our pasture and rangeland to native grasses and flowers, whose deep roots are far more efficient at carbon sequestering than shallow rooted grain crops and grasses.

Plus, changing to organic methods will provide more healthful food for all of us! and perhaps reduce the high cost of health care in the U.S.. And should you doubt that going organic worldwide would be able to produce enough food for all, think again; refer to Organic Consumers Association articles on the topic, “Feed the World.” Here’s a starting point: Organic Farming Could Feed the World.

For more on Organic Ag and Climate Change, see also:

If you wish to participate in this discussion on how we could start an “Organic Revolution or Great Sequestering” at the grassroots level, add your comment to this post, or send an email to Cat(at) [NOTE: email disguised for security].

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