Excellent piece in the Valley News this weekend about some farmers trying to figure out how to make agriculture part of climate improvement instead of climate degradation:
Farmers are envisioning ways to harmonize the production of food and the sequestration of carbon:
“Given how much of our environment we’ve degraded, sustainability isn’t even enough of a goal — we really need to focus on regeneration.”
The immediate push: “carbon farming” (getting to the soil to absorb more); solar power and eventually electric tractors when they get better. The whole article is here.
On a related note, the Interchange podcast had an excellent interview recently about fertilizer production, which is a MUCH bigger contributor to the climate emergency than I realized, not to mention a badly designed industry that is incredibly unsafe, as the Beirut port explosion demonstrated. It focuses on an interesting company working on a technology that allows fertilizer production right at the farm rather than in giant factories – distributed fertilizer production! Here it is.
By the way, check the bottom of the Valley News Article and you’ll see this in the reporter’s ID: “Claire Potter is a Report for America corps member.” Report for America is an interesting non-profit that helps pay for reporters to be based at newspapers around the country. The Concord Monitor has a couple positions partly supported by it. It’s a very effective way to help stem the collapse of local journalism in the U.S.
The Beirut explosion was not due to the dangers of fertilizers, but WAS due to the improper and unsafe STORAGE of ammonium nitrate for 6 years, after it was confiscated from an abandoned ship.
The reason all that ammonium nitrate was created and shipped and stored was to create fertilizer.
Remember the Oklahoma City bombing? The 2013 West Texas explosion? Many other cases? If not for fertilizer production, they wouldn’t have happened.
There is an interesting documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson entitled “Kiss the Ground” that is well worth the viewing.