Can plants be modified to grow deeper roots and transfer more carbon to the soil?

“Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors,” but fossil fuel use rose nearly 2% last year. Each year, we produce 18 more gigatons of CO2 than the Earth can currently handle. Salk believes their solution can achieve as much as a 46% annual reduction in excess CO2 emissions produced by humans.  Dr Joanne Chory hopes that genetic modifications to enhance plants’ natural …

Agtech hackathons, Land Workers Alliance, and Via Campasina

In the United States, we are connected with Farm Hack, incubated and launched by Greenhorns, which itself came from a young-farmer’s coalition, the NYFC (National Young Farmers Coalition). They share tips on adapting machinery via hackathons and open-hacking camps. Though they have not yet organized any training. We also have discussions with the Land Workers Alliance (a member of Via Campesina) in England. Two …

Soil carbon sequestration and the initiative to achieve 4/1000 average percentage of soil carbon increase every year for the next 25 years

The 4/1000 website and policy brief. “Four for 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate” is a global plan and agreement to reverse global warming, soil degradation, deteriorating public health and rural poverty by scaling up regenerative food, farming and land use practices. Under this Initiative, over the next 25 years, regenerative agriculture and large-scale ecosystem restoration can qualitatively preserve and improve soils, pastures, …

How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms: Across the Midwest, the rise of factory farming is destroying rural communities

Across the midwest, the rise of factory farming is destroying rural communities. And the massive corporations behind this devastation are now eyeing a post-Brexit UK market by Chris McGreal, The Guardian, 9 Mar 2019 When the vast expanse of rural Iowa was carved up for settlers in the 19th century, it was often divided into 160-acre lots. Four farms made a …

3 key traits of good climate policy, tackling the problems we have and making a large, meaningful impact on carbon emissions and climate change

Good climate policy has 3 key traits: It has a large, meaningful impact on carbon emissions and climate change. It specifically tackles the problems that aren’t already being tackled by the market. It actually gets passed into law. All of that is compatible with a Green New Deal.  In just the past decade, solar power has gone from being uneconomical anywhere on …

Hawaii aims to increase food self-sufficiency to 30% by 2020. Indigenous agriculture can help.

In order to meet Aichi Target 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity on restoring 15% of globally degraded ecosystems there is a need to increase the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in ecological restoration activities. Indigenous agriculture has potential to contribute to food needs under climate change, February 26, 2019  The study highlights the relevance of restoring …

Conceptual model of agricultural land systems for holistic research supporting the SDGs

Aligning research with policy and practice for sustainable agricultural land systems in Europe, Murray W. Scown, Klara J. Winkler, and Kimberly A. Nicholas, PNAS published ahead of print February 25, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1812100116 Download figure, Open in new tab, Download powerpoint Fig. 1. Conceptual model of agricultural land systems for holistic research supporting the SDGs. System components (parts of the system that interact with other parts) can be observed …

How Crowdsourcing Seeds Can Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

How Crowdsourcing Seeds Can Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change, by VIRGINIA GEWIN, Yale360, Feb 26, 2019 In Ethiopia and other developing nations, scientists are working with small-scale farmers on trials to see which seed varieties perform best in changing conditions. These initiatives are enabling farmers to make smarter crop choices in the face of rising temperatures, drought, and more extreme weather. In …

State level sustainable ag bill in Washington addresses the 10% of nationwide carbon emissions from farms

February 20, 2019 Press Release ,  WA Bipartisan Group of Legislators Backs Sustainable-Farm Bill Just days after its introduction, a Carbon Washington-backed bill promoting sustainable farming has accumulated a powerful and bipartisan list of sponsors in the Legislature. Senate Bill 5947, the Sustainable Farms and Fields Grants bill provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers that adopt changes in management practices that …

A vision of a just society and collective well-being over individual benefit: Ongoing lessons of the Zapatista revolution

A Spark of Hope: The ongoing lessons of the Zapatista revolution, by Hilary Klein, Portside.org February 19, 2019  In 1998, Zapatista women in Amador Hernadez demanded daily that the Mexican military leave the village communal landholdings, Tim Russo What are the lessons of the EZLN’s revolutionary struggle for Indigenous autonomy, a quarter-century after declaring war on Mexico and global capitalism? January 1, …