Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Munchable Soapbox: Rallying for Climate

One of 50,000. While this may seem to diminish the impact of any one of individual, power in numbers made the Forward on Climate rally in Washington, DC this past Sunday stand out in the history of climate protests. It was the largest climate rally held to date in the U.S., opposing the construction of the Keystone Pipeline to transport oil from tar sands in Canada across the United States. Climate was the sticking point, because the extraction and burning of this exceptionally dirty fuel will have resoundingly negative consequences for greenhouse gas emissions and subsequent climate change impacts. And yet, though climate was most assuredly the focus, there was representation from dozens of other pet environmental causes - from wolves to recycling.

But that's the point...it is all connected in some way to climate change. Our highly consumption-oriented behaviors lead to waste and emissions, and every aspect of life and the world around us will be affected by the imminent shifts in climatic patterns. So it was exciting to see that organic agriculture had made it into the picture (literally, see above!), as climate change is very integral to land uses and a common theme on My Munchable Musings. However, I felt that I needed to emphasize organic agriculture is not the silver bullet many people make it out to be. We can have large-scale commercial monoculture organic and small-scale diversified cropping organic. We can have technology and machinery heavy organic and knowledge and labor intensive organic. And each of those 'organics' has a unique carbon footprint. In order to get the biggest bang for our buck, practices that improve the soil, reduce the amount of outside fertilizers, etc. needed, and minimize transport and energy use (e.g. greenhouse tomatoes and long-hauls for produce) will ultimately make our agriculture more climate smart.

That all said, let's hope that this gathering of people over the weekend struck a chord with our government. Without U.S. leadership, it will be near impossible for any concerted large-scale action to combat a 'wierding' climate. Let's move forward on climate!

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