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Thread: How Organic Food Contributes to Climate Change

  1. #1 How Organic Food Contributes to Climate Change 
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    What are the odds the left will stop pushing organic farming do to AGW?

    How Organic Food Contributes to Climate Change

    By Robert Wager : BIO| 08 Aug 2007

    As the world's policymakers and business elites look to curb greenhouse gas emissions, one economic sector due for a closer look is agriculture. What many people presently view as a 'green' agriculture choice is, upon closer examination, deeply environmentally suspect.

    Most people do not realize that agriculture is a major contributor to atmospheric CO2. Further, different types of agriculture have very different CO2 emission profiles. The widespread adoption of modern agricultural biotechnology products have allowed farmers to maintain yields while reducing CO2 emissions.
    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=071807J


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    Organic methods involve using carbon-rich amendments that decompose in place (such as manures) and therefore there is greater CO2 release from organic fields than from chemical fields.

    However, the amendments would have decomposed anyway, elsewhere, had they not been incorporated into the organic fields. Also, the overall trend in organic farming is to build soil carbon, rather than deplete it, as has happened with conventional practices. Thus, organic farming may provide a carbon sink overall.

    The argument that conventional practices feed more people is a good one. Of course, an obvious solution to this is to promote smaller family size towards population reduction on the planet.


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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The argument that conventional practices feed more people is a good one. Of course, an obvious solution to this is to promote smaller family size towards population reduction on the planet.
    Nice!

    I have always been suspicious of "organic" (since I prefer the "better living through Chemistry" motto! ) and it is, unfortunately driven in the UK by organisations like the Soil Association, with an almost cultish devotion to their ideas, regardless of empiricism.

    I'm all for the environment but very dubious of any practice that starts out by declaring itself holistic or biodynamic. Of course, they might always be able to change my mind - but they've got unbonny Prince Charlie on their side and he's into homoeopathy too...
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    One issue that is not often discussed, is that organic practices often benefit by neighbouring chemical practices. Pests and disease, for example, are easily controlled in conventional agriculture, and organic farms therefore are less likely to be infested (or infected!) if they are in an area with a good number of conventional farms.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The argument that conventional practices feed more people is a good one. Of course, an obvious solution to this is to promote smaller family size towards population reduction on the planet.
    Nice!
    Not along China's efforts, more along the lines of education on the concept of carrying capacity. Some fail to understand that 'food' isn't the only factor in the equation. Too much waste is as detrimental to ecosystems as lack of food. Also, although farmers continue to find ways to feed more people (a good thing), without some effort towards reducing 'demand' (ie population) such increase in food production is essentially pointless.

    Increasing the standard of living, and education, also appear to be effective in reducing birth rates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Increasing the standard of living, and education, also appear to be effective in reducing birth rates.
    That's why I said 'nice' - I didn't think you were advocating draconian methods...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I didn't think you were advocating draconian methods...
    One never knows. ("And mandatory abortions for all!")

    Cheers!
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