[Marxism] Are belching cows really driving climate change?

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Fri Nov 1 15:43:55 MDT 2019


John,
I have been active student (courses and all that) of soil fertility for
almost 3 years now. I've learned about 20% of what I think I may need to
know. It is a highly complex issue. I've written on some of this as well
and posted links here. Others are "getting into science of soil fertility"
as well. Knowing how our food is produced, a we can *change* the way it is
produced, is part and parcel of both climate activism and the science of
geology, agronomy and soil.

I think the question is poised wrong. It is not "grasslands vs forests" at
all. Everyone I know loves to have new forests planted. Even the far right
is into forest conservation if it' doesn't mean we can't ever cut down a
tree. Forests do indeed sequester lots of carbon. I won't even attempt to
give a flip answer on the question of the indigenous genocide against
native peoples as cause for "Little Ice Age" of the mid to late 18th
Century. I haven't a clue.

No, the issue of "grasslands" (pastures, steppes, sahels, prairies and so
on) is not really an issue. The only real issue fpr the "land question" is
over  climate change with regards to standard commercial farming practices
vs regenerative agricultural practices. Few would dispute the value of
forests. It does come down to the soil. That is a good place to start in
studying this. One can read authors like David Montgomey's (the geologist
and soil scientist, not the labor historian) two books on the subject:
"Dirt" and more recently "“Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to
Life". Both are good reads and one learns a helluvalot on soil, the climate
and agriculture.

I poised the question this way, commercial vs regenerative agriculture
because that is largely how we can, *dynamically*, change the soil
fertility, reverse the nitrogen glut into the water and oceans, and
sequester enough carbon to also effect positively the climate. Trees do it
even better but we need to grow food too, dirive some sort of economic
intercourse between farmers, urban workers and the land ("healing the
metabolic rift between our species and nature") Just planting forests
(which actually require lots of maintenance actually, and water...see our
forest fires out here where I live) won't hack it, IMO though, again, it is
very wrong to counterpoise the two systems: forests and regenerative
agriculture. They easily work in harmony with each other.

It also doesn't require us to give up eating meat, I might add, which is
why political vegans are quite upset about regen agriculture since it
relies heavily on integrating animal husbandry with such farming practices
where practical. (zing!)

David Walters



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