One thought on “Breaking the Climate Deadlock

  1. Janet Gilles

    Summer 2014 Climate Policy

    Here is a perfect illustration of the tragedy of specialization in science creating an inability to solve real world problems. Knowing the volume of evidence showing that restoring pasturelands and switching to widely available and inexpensive organic management could compensate us entirely for current carbon emissions, (, I was pleased to discover a discussion of the issue of climate change in your current issue. Rarely in today’s world, the discussion went from non carbon releasing energy systems, commonly conceived as the only solution, to an actual consideration of carbon sequestration.

    Unfortunately, the time tested and proven sequestration system (historic agriculture) is ignored, presumably because ag campuses and science campuses are not on speaking terms. Agriculture is agriculture, and science is science. They are not even at the same universities.

    Scientists ignore Einstein’s adage that we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. In fact, only new high tech solutions are considered here. Air capture and sequestration, the scientists offer. An imaginary system not yet developed, and with the likelihood of unexpected and catastrophic side effects. Unclear how this would be better than using solar energy (plants) to capture carbon dioxide and return it to the soil, where it is very much needed as humus to absorb water and nutrients. For their second sequestration option they offer another risky and expensive solution: putting iron in the oceans so they can better absorb carbon.
    This is what current science offers. They are seemingly not capable of looking at any solution that is not high tech, new, and untried.

    What will it take to get science to look at agriculture? Here is a solution that would appeal to the larger population, as they claim to seek. Bringing funding to carbon sequestration through carbon trading would create a massive jobs program, allowing people to return to the land where they were until government subsidies to industrial agriculture were created after World War 2. It would take our food supply away from the corporations and back into the hands of people. It would prepare us for changing climate conditions by having millions of farms growing a wide diversity of seeds, instead of the very few species on which we now rely on for our lives.
    It would allow farmers to return to the land, from which they were removed in tears by the subsidy to industrial agriculture.


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