Mitigating Climate Change: Scientific Evidence for Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Mitigating Climate Change: Scientific Evidence for Regenerative Organic Agriculture

A study released by the Rodale Institute in April 2014 provides scientific evidence that supports regenerative and organic agriculture as a remedy to the world's growing climate change concerns. The white paper, titled "Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming," is the focal point of a global campaign to increase awareness of the soil's ability to combat global warming. The study finds that, “[w]e could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term 'regenerative organic agriculture'.”

The authors urge what may strike many as a rather humble solution, given some of the borderline hubristic solutions some have suggested,: "We suggest an obvious and immediately available solution – put the carbon back to work in the terrestrial carbon ‘sinks’ that are literally right beneath our feet. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is surely toxic to life, but we are, after all, carbon-based life forms, and returning stable carbon to the soil can support ecological abundance."

And regenerative agriculture won't just address the climate change crisis, it's a multifaceted solution to a wide range of issues, including feeding a growing population. According to the authors, regenerative agriculture “is also agriculture that addresses our planetary water crisis, extreme poverty and food insecurity, while protecting and enhancing the environment now and for future generations. Regenerative organic agriculture is the key to this shift. It is the climate solution ready for widespread adoption now.”

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