A Solution to Climate Change: Organic Agriculture, Perennial Grasses, Land Reform and Hard Work

'Let the Buffalo Roam', and let them eat perennial grasses.

Industrial agriculture spews greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at the rate of 3,700 pounds of CO2 per year per acre Whereas an acre of land, farmed using organic methods that include composting and cover crops, can naturally sequester up to 7,000 pounds of CO2 back into the earth per year, according to research carried out by the Rodale Institute and others. So organic agriculture could re-sequester carbon back into the soil where it belongs.

Vandana Shiva says, "Forty per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the use of fossil fuels and chemical-intensive industrial globalized system of agriculture. Biodiversity and soils rich in organic matter are the best strategy for climate resilience and climate adaptation."

Carbon ranching, or simply grazing animals on perennial grass pastures, also increases the organic content of soil. If the world's 8.3 billion acres of pasture and range lands were transitioned to carbon ranches, they would be able to sequester anywhere from 1,000-7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre per year. In addition, perennials are thrifty. Their long roots hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution.

A most convenient truth is that there is a real solution to climate change. By abolishing industrial agriculture, including factory farms, and GMOs while making the transition back to carbon ranching and organic farming, we could sequester all of our present greenhouse gas emissions, and slowly re-sequester the crap we already put up there. Organic farms produce more food, more jobs and higher incomes than industrial monocultures.

Getting there is another issue. Any big change creates winners, in this case us, our progeny and countless others, and losers, in this case the vested interests of those currently in control of the land and technology of industrial ag  A real solution would mean revolution. A real solution would mean land reform [probably the biggest imaginable 'sin' in some circles], it'd mean the end of feedlots, pesticides, herbicides [all kindds a cides] it'd mean a return to the land by millions of urbanites to do the 'hard work' [4 letter words] organic farming requires...think about it...abolishing industrial agriculture would change everything. That's why it won't happen from the top down.

One tiny battle may be won tomorrow against those vested agriculturial interests and the 1% who's banks finance the planet's destruction in Washington St. and everywhere. We're crossing our fingers and paws. YES on I-522