Viewpoint: Turning farms into carbon repositories can’t stave off ‘climate catastrophe’

image f eb ba c ad a

In late June, overlooked amid pandemic, economic crisis, and protest headlines, a bipartisan cohort of United States senators introduced a bill to establish a U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, certification program, helping farmers and forest landowners participate in carbon credit markets. The bill’s sponsoring politicians ranged from Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse to South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham.

But the diverse set of interest groups that proudly pasted their logo to the bill’s one-pager was even more striking. The collage featured traditional agribusiness giants like McDonald’s, Cargill, Syngenta, and Land O’ Lakes, corporate lobby groups like the National Milk Producer’s Federation and The American Farm Bureau Federation, and also conservationists like The Nature Conservancy, The American Farmland Trust, and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby. The bill’s most conspicuous private-sector supporter is Microsoft, which announced in January it intended to become “carbon negative” by 2030.

Related article:  USDA, World Health Organization butt heads over use of antibiotics in agriculture

It all sounds too good to be true—and it is. While support for soil carbon is forging unprecedented partnerships, its scientific basis is collapsing. A comprehensive feature on the subject by Gabriel Popkin in Yale E360 emerged this spring; two months later, Mother Jones editor Maddie Oatman penned a similar investigation. Their findings were clear: The science of soil carbon, to put it literally, lacks depth.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend