Viva La Revolucion Organica!!

La Via Campesina is leading the charge of the small scale organic revolution especially this week in Cancun. Everyday the numbers outside the barricaded chateaus grows. Everyday the marches grow larger, the marchers more jubilant. Inside the barricades the dinosaurs do their dastardly deeds, outside the peasants party. Inside it looks hopeless, outside a rising tide of hope.

The hope springs from the growing understanding that organic farming and ranching on just a quarter of the Earth's 12 billion acres of farmland and range land can clean out and safely store in the soil 3,000-7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre per year. If farmers stop planting GMOs and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land will become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong.

Earth has five pools or repositories where greenhouse gases are absorbed, stored and re-cycled: the oceans (which contain 40 trillion tons of carbon), the atmosphere (800 billion tons), the soils (3.2 trillion tons), plants and forests (650 billion tons), and hydrocarbon/fossil fuel deposits (4 trillion tons). The current living soils of the Earth hold four times as much carbon as the atmosphere. Before the advent of industrial agriculture and industrial forestry, these same soils sequestered or stored twice as much carbon organic matter as they do today, or eight times the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today.

Bringing the soil back to life is the dream and the work of millions who'll live in more diverse, and more localized economies. Bringing it back to it's former sequestration capacity would be useless unless the industrial agriculture model that has destroyed the natural sequestration capabilities of our farmlands, pastures, range lands, and wetlands is abandoned. Viva La Revolucion Organica!!

Climate Catastrophe: Surviving the 21st Century:

Organic Farming Sequesters Atmospheric Carbon and Nutrients in Soils - "The extent of carbon sequestration found and the impressive ability of organic systems to capture carbon are important results that should be used by policy makers when planning future agriculture development." Paul Hepperly, The Rodale Institute's research manager.