Sunlight + water + soil => produce => the plants we need to stay alive. To survive in the future we need to learn to grow — not destroy — topsoil. If topsoil is properly generated through practices of permaculture, our agricultural systems can produce ever more abundant and nutritious food while at the same time they can serve as a major means of carbon-capture-and-storage, fixing carbon and nitrogen in the in ever more enriched topsoils.
If, by contrast, global agriculture continues its current abusive practices that release large volumes of carbon contained in natural soils, and if it commits itself to petro-intensive technologies that depend upon fossil fuels for fertilizers, pesticides and pumped groundwater we are going to be in dire trouble as the impacts of climate change are felt around the world. Modern civilization will collapse as models of industrialized agriculture can no longer deliver its expected abundance on a sustainable basis.
In effect, on its current trajectory, agriculture is in danger of becoming a net energy sink while at the same time it is evolving into a massive new source of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2, methane and nitrous oxide as a consequence of ever expanding use of petro-intensive technologies. This must change if humankind expects to thrive much longer. This is, perhaps, the modern world’s biggest challenge as part of “the great transition” that will be required if we are to survive.
- Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 1 – Some Prophetic & Enduring Testimony
- Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 3 – Growing Soil to Save the Human Prospect