Combating Climate Change: Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

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It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that cutting down trees adds to the carbon that’s put in our atmosphere. Almost 33 million acres of forest are cut down every year; foresters cutting down tropical forests contribute to 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon alone- some 20% of all green house gases put into the atmosphere. It’s said in the article that if it was to be cut in half it could save 500 million metric tons of carbon annually and contribute 12 percent of the total reductions in green house gases emissions required avoiding unpleasant global warming. Forest depletion contributes more green house gas emissions than all the cars and trucks in use worldwide. Changes in forest management and agricultural practices could reduce the threat of global warming much more quickly than can technological solutions. There are a couple of solutions I believe one being no-till farming, a practice that involves leaving unharvested crop stalks and other plants behind in the field. So, the carbon store inside the soil doesn’t get stirred up into the atmosphere, the fewer disturbances with the soil the more the soil holds on to the carbon. It’s essentially a win-win situation for farmers and the environment; it improves the soil and less fuel is used by other farming equipment like tractors to harvest the stalks. The only downside is that can put a lot of carbon back in the soil because we depleted it so much with our farming practices but the soil can only hold so much carbon. Eventually we’re going to come to a point to where we can’t put anymore back in. Another solution would be growing crops for fuel, known as biofuels. It’s another potential way of cutting green house gases by replacing fossil fuels. The problem is it could raise food prices and that we would turn more land into this crop production lead to more green house gases. Another more extreme solution is that we all turn vegetarians. Why? You might say because over half of U.S. acreage is used to produce...
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