I think we can do the energy piece to stop pushing the temperature by 2050. All that takes is will and I’m seeing enough push from business and some government to think we can and will do that. The need to sink carbon, however, is more complex.
The two biggest levers in making that happen are: planting trees and shifting agriculture. Many people are planting trees. You might question if they are actually creating forests because it is forests, we need, not just trees. I do not believe that we will have the time to establish thriving forests by 2050, but I do believe that we will have shifted in that direction by 2050.
Shifting agriculture is another matter altogether. The monetary dynamics involved in large scale farming will not shift unless government steps up and mandates change. That is a tall order, and that change would have to be focused on farming technologies like no-till and biochar in order to make enough difference. If the government did step in, then, yes, we could make that shift and Paul Hawkin thinks we can do it in that time frame.
For me, right now, I’m focusing on agriculture. Making that shift would address so many issues – all at the same time. No-till and biochar in particular, would create a tremendously large carbon sink. At the same time, it would refresh our soils and stimulate new soil life and perhaps slow down some of our species’ loss. Shifting agriculture this way would also improve our food system and thus human health and nutrition. That’s a huge impact for just a few changes.
This change would have to be government driven, I think, in order to rise about individual doubt and disagreement and to speed implementation. Whiteout that stimulus, I’m not optimistic.
Please share your thoughts below.
Kathryn Alexander, MA
Regenerative approaches require a deep integration with nature. Collaboration requires different structures and ways of working together. If we want different results we have to do things differently!