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Help ag address climate change, conservationists say

John Walter 07/21/2011 @ 1:27pm

Global climate change presents a “formidable challenge” to food production and the environment, according to a policy position released recently by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). The group, a membership organization of research and conservation professionals, also cited agriculture as an important factor in climate change for its contribution of greenhouse gases.

“Extreme weather events are creating environmental problems, accelerating the rate of erosion, and threatening agricultural production needed for food security,” the statement said.

In the coming decades food production increasingly will be threatened by “climate change, deforestation, erosion, depletion of water resources, and other climate change consequences,” the group says. “Higher cost for fuel and other energy forms will also affect agriculture and thus food security.”

SWCS cited a number of practices that can help agriculture mitigate and adapt to climate change, including:

* Increase soil carbon levels.

* Maintain surface cover.

* Cultivate perennial vegetation as biofuel feedstock.

* Use agroforestry practices to create windbreaks and riparian buffers where possible.

* Target conservation practices.

* Promote crop input efficiency.

SWCS called on farmers and ranchers to join with scientists and conservation specialists to exchange information and experience to improve conservation.

The group asked for more long-term research to address climate issues affecting agriculture. And the statement underlined the fact that the public needs to understand the big challenge farmers face in coping with climate change.

Full article: Position Statement on Climate Change and Soil and Water Conservation

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"One nation" must act as one. 10/28/2013 @ 12:29pm Great suggestions for adaptation in this article. I'm sure we will pool the 'best practices' worldwide to improve on them. However, temperatures are predicted to increase five to seven times greater than we have if we proceed on our emissions track. Past predictions by the scientific community were ignored, and a hundred million dollar denial industry set up to scoff at and attack the science (we were warned more than 30 years ago about the effects we are seeing now). Conservative and liberal economists strongly support a refundable carbon price. This charges coal/oil for the damages they create (Harvard Medical School study estimates a hidden tax of about $400 billion/year). Collected fees would be returned to all citizens as a check (like an IRS refund) or reduced taxes. Such bills are currently in Congress. Support those in Congress who want to limit emissions in this way.

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Re: Re: "One nation" must act as one. 02/27/2014 @ 5:20pm Plant a tree for the shade (and a million other free services they provide) and call your congressperson. Then repeat often. And, use those USDA climate hubs as soon as you can; many of these climate impacts are foreseeable. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. And, keep your fingers crossed for luck - you're gonna need it. We need to get off fossil fuels immediately. And, well said, Jan, but I suspect even with carbon pricing, it may be too late.

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