Organic Farming Changes Agriculture from a Huge Carbon Source to a Carbon-DESTROYER

From Source of 35% of All Carbon Worldwide to Carbon Sink

Science China Press reports (via the American Association for the Advancement of Science):

Approximately 35% of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) come from agriculture. Some argues that human can reverse global worming by sequestering several hundred billion tons of excess CO2 through regenerative, organic farming, ranching and land use. Increasing the soil’s organic content will not only fix carbon and reduce emissions, it will also improve the soil’s ability to retain water and nutrients and resist pests and droughts.

To mitigate GHG emissions and retain soil fertility, organic agriculture might be a wise choice for decreasing the intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, protecting environments, and further improving crop yields. Recent research showed that replacing chemical fertilizer with organic manure significantly decreased the emission of GHGs. Organic farming can reverse the agriculture ecosystem from a carbon source to a carbon sink. [i.e. organic farming ties up and binds or “sequesters” carbon, instead of emitting any carbon. In other words, organic farming pulls carbon out of the environment and locks it in the soil.]

To explore the potential of farmlands acting as a carbon sink without yield losses, Jiang Gaoming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Botany, conducted an experiment on a temperate eco-farm in eastern rural China. Crop residues were applied to cattle feed and the composted cattle manure was returned to cropland with a winter wheat and maize rotation. Crop yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were carefully calculated according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2006.

This study showed that replacing chemical fertilizer with organic manure significantly decreased the emission of GHGs. Yields of wheat and corn also increased as the soil fertility was improved by the application of cattle manure. Totally replacing chemical fertilizer with organic manure decreased GHG emissions, which reversed the agriculture ecosystem from a carbon source (+ 2.7 t CO2-eq. hm-2 yr-1) to a carbon sink (- 8.8 t CO2-eq. hm-2 yr-1).

Making full use of crop residues as forage for cattle, collecting and composting cattle manure, and replacing part of the chemical fertilizer input with organic manure have been successfully shown to be ideal choices to reduce energy waste and cut GHG emissions without crop yield losses. A combination of organic manure and chemical fertilizer demonstrated the best result in improving soil quality and crop yields, while decreasing GHG emissions. Solely utilizing chemical fertilizer on the farmland not only led to increased GHG emissions, but also deteriorated the quality of the soil.

Similarly, a different team of Chinese scientists publishing in 2013 in the prestigious American scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found:

N fertilizer … in China during the past 3 decades … is estimated to have contributed to a net gain in soil organic carbon of 85 Tg per year. Nevertheless, our data show that N fertilizer-related GHG emissions are several times greater in magnitude than soil organic carbon gains. For China to reduce the gap between GHG emissions and soil carbon sequestration and to move toward low GHG emission agriculture, it is necessary to examine the entire N chain to identify potential emission reductions.


Decades of excessive N use have contributed to a variety of environmental problems, including large GHG emissions and serious water pollution. Our life cycle analysis shows the significance of the carbon footprint associated with the N fertilizer chain in China. GHG emissions tripled from 1980 to 2010, with the amount growing from 131 to 452 Tg CO2-eq⋅y−1, and, if unabated, to 564 Tg CO2-eq⋅y−1 by 2030. China needs a combination of reforms in the fertilizer industry and changes in management practices and technologies at the farm level to minimize excessive N use in the field. Our scenario analysis indicates it is feasible to reduce GHG emissions by 20–43% from a “business as usual” scenario by 2020 if an appropriate range of mitigation measures are introduced covering both N fertilizer manufacture and its agricultural use.

Fracking Is Bad for the Environment

The myth that “green revolution” farming practices – such as the use of large quantities of nitrogen fertilizers – is harmless is just one of the myths that have hampered our ability to address climate.

For example, “clean natural gas” from fracking has been touted for years as a cure for global warming.  But scientists say that fracking pumps out a lot of methane … into both our drinking water and the environment.  Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas: 72 times more potent as a warming source than CO2.  As such, fracking actually increases – rather than decreases – global warming.   (The fracking boom is also causing other harmful effects.)

So Are Nukes …

Numerous scientists have also pushed nuclear power as a must to stop global warming.  But it turns out that nuclear is .

Mark Jacobson – the head of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program, who has written numerous books and hundreds of scientific papers on climate and energy, and testified before Congress numerous times on those issues – notes that nuclear puts out much more pollution (including much more CO2) than windpower, and 1.5% of all the nuclear plants built have melted down. More information here, here and here.

Jacobson also points out that it takes at least 11 years to permit and build a nuclear plant, whereas it takes less than half that time to fire up a wind or solar farm. Between the application for a nuclear plant and flipping the switch, power is provided by conventional energy sources … currently 55-65% coal.

And a former NRC Commissioner says that trying to solve global warming by building nuclear power plants is like trying to solve global hunger by serving everyone caviar.

Scam and Trade

One of the main solutions to global warming which has long been pushed by the powers that be – cap and trade – is a scam. Specifically:

  • The economists who invented cap-and-trade say that it won’t work for global warming
  • Many environmentalists say that carbon trading won’t effectively reduce carbon emissions
  • Our bailout buddies over at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and the other Wall Street behemoths are buying heavily into carbon trading (see this, this, this, this and this).

As University of Maryland professor economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:

Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, carbon trading and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.

In other words, the same companies that made billions off of derivatives and other scams and are now getting bailed out on your dime are going to make billions from carbon trading.

War Is the BIGGEST Source of Carbon

The U.S. military is the biggest producer of carbon on the planet.

Harvey Wasserman notes that fighting wars more than wipes out any reduction in carbon from the government’s proposed climate measures.

Writing in 2009 about the then-proposed escalation in the Afghanistan war, Wasserman said:

The war would also come with a carbon burst. How will the massive emissions created by 100,000-plus soldiers in wartime be counted in the 17% reduction rubric? Will the HumVees be converted to hybrids? What is the carbon impact of Predator bombs that destroy Afghan families and villages?

The continuance of fighting all over the Middle East and North Africa  completely and thoroughly undermines the government’s claims that there is a global warming emergency and that reducing carbon output through cap and trade is needed to save the planet.

I can’t take anything the government says about carbon footprints seriously until the government ends the unnecessary warsall over the globe.

So whatever you think of climate change, all people can agree that ending the wars is important.   Anyone who supports “humanitarian war” by the U.S. is supporting throwing a lot of carbon into the air. (War also destroys the economy.)

Geoengineering: More Harm Than Good?

Many of the “geoengineering” solutions being proposed would cause more harm than good.

Some people are pushing geoengineering because they say “we have to do something“. But we should not do anything that doesn’t have a net benefit … and most geoengineering proposals would have adverse health and environmental impacts, and could even boomerang and increase warming.

So What Should We Do?

As noted above, switching from synthetic nitrogen farming to organic farming will dramatically reduce carbon output.

In addition, top climate scientists say that soot plays a huge role in the melting of snow and ice.  The director of Stanford’s Atmosphere and Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering (Mark Jacobson) believes that soot is the primary cause of melting arctic ice, and says:

Controlling soot may be the only way to significantly slow Arctic warming over the next two decades …

Reducing soot will be cheaper than the “decarbonation” which many policy-makers have proposed. And it would increase the health of millions of people worldwide.

Using specific smart combinations of solar, wind and geothermal energy will also greatly reduce the carbon load.

Finally, we must decentralize power generation and storage.  That would empower people and communities, produce less carbon, prevent nuclear disasters like Fukushima, reduce the dangers of peak oil (and thus prevent future oil spills like we had in the Gulf), and have many other positive effects.

This entry was posted in Energy / Environment, Politics / World News, Science / Technology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • kimyo

    successful deployment of cattle, as an integral part of re-forestation is illustrated here:Allan Savory – Keeping Cattle: cause or cure for climate crisis?

    Allan Savory argued that while livestock may be part of the problem, they can also be an important part of the solution. He has demonstrated time and again in Africa, Australia and North and South America that, properly managed, they are essential to land restoration. With the right techniques, plant growth is lusher, the water table is higher, wildlife thrives, soil carbon increases and, surprisingly, perhaps four times as many cattle can be kept.

    cattle are a natural, necessary part of returning things to the way they were:
    Bison or Buffalo & Native Americans

    Buffalo once ranged from the eastern seaboard to Oregon and California; from Great Slave Lake in northern Alberta to northern Mexico. Although no one will ever know exactly how many bison once inhabited North America, estimates range from twenty-five to seventy million. William Hornaday, a naturalist who spent considerable time in the West, both before and during the most severe years of the slaughter, comments on the seemingly infinite bison population and the impossibility of estimating their quantity:

    “It would have been as easy to count or to estimate the number of leaves in a forest as to calculate the number of buffaloes living at any given time during the history of the species previous to 1870 (quoted in Rifkin, 74).

    here peter proctor helps indian farmers restore their soil with cow manure: one man, one cow, one planet

  • CO2 makes up .036% of the atmosphere. Tiny, miniscule, practically unnoticeable. Got to be a Religion if you believe it makes the other 99.964% warmer.

    Carbon and Life

    It is hard to overstate the importance of carbon; its unique capacity for forming multiple bonds and chains at low energies makes life as we know it possible, and justifies an entire major branch of chemistry – organic chemistry – dedicated to its compounds. In fact, most of the compounds known to science are carbon compounds, often called organic compounds because it was in the context of biochemistry that they were first studied in depth.

    What makes carbon so special is that every carbon atom is eager to bond with as many as four other atoms. This makes it possible for long chains and rings to be formed out of them, together with other atoms – almost always hydrogen, often oxygen, sometimes nitrogen, sulfur or halides. The study of these is the basis of organic chemistry; the compounds carbon forms with metals are generally considered inorganic. Chains and rings are fundamental to the way carbon-based life forms – that is, all known life-forms – build themselves.

  • Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil Gas Wells Drilled in Shale Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have turned unproductive shales into the largest natural gas fields in the World.

    How Long Has Hydraulic Fracturing Been Used?

    The first use of hydraulic fracturing to stimulate oil and natural gas wells in the United States was in the 1940s. The method successfully increased well production rates and the practice quickly spread. It is now used throughout the world in thousands of wells every year.

    What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

  • June 24, 2014 The Scandal Of Fiddled Global Warming Data

    When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster.

  • JANUARY 3, 2015 The Great Pause lengthens again: Global temperature update: The Pause is now 18 years 3 months (219 months)

    ‘The RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 219 months from October 1996 to December 2014 – more than half the 432-month satellite record.’ ‘The global warming that the IPCC had so confidently but misguidedly predicted 25 years ago has stopped altogether.’ ‘The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with ‘substantial confidence’ that the science was settled and the debate over. Nature had other ideas.’

  • June 22, 2014 Shut down costly slush fund: Opposing view

    Export-Import Bank’s actions are nothing more than market-distorting subsidies. What do Solyndra, Enron and Mexican drug cartels have in common? The answer may come as a surprise to most Americans. It’s a little-known agency called the Export-Import Bank, a government-sponsored slush fund that gives taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign entities to buy U.S. exports. Solyndra, Enron and even Mexican drug cartels have benefited from these wasteful subsidies.

  • Nov 2, 2009 Myth of Green jobs – All Pain No Gain

    Are green jobs going to save our economy? Chris Horner and Joseph D’Aleo agree- they won’t.

  • Here is story everybody needs to know and read!

    December 6, 2012 Matt Damon Surprised To Learn His Anti-Fracking Film Was Funded By Foreign Oil Wealth

  • German Renewable Energy Keeps Blacking Out! Supply Often Less Than 2% Of Wintertime Demand 6. Dezember 2014

    My last post featured a commentary by renewable energy expert Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, who forcefully conveyed the folly of Germany’s mad rush into renewable energy, and the country’s hysterical obsession with its suicidal fast-track shutdown of its stable base-electric-power generation.

  • colinjames71

    AGW itself is a scam but I’m all for the farming “solution”, it’s not like I think we ought be biz as usual anyways. There’s enough issues w/o global warming to start changing our energy sustain as much as possible, responsibly. Sounds good to me.

  • Jonathan Brooks

    There is an additional benefit that Organic farming has over GMO-Technological synthetic fertilizer Farming has, and that is reversing the depletion of minerals and microelements needed for farming.

    The problem with regular family farming is that constant monoculture depletes the minerals and microelements that plants need to make nutritious crops, and that soil depletion is NOT helped by classic fertilizer.

    Basically, compost tends to have a much broader spectrum of minerals and micro elements (trace minerals) that soil needs to be rich and productive.
    Supplementation with ground volcanic rock and sulfer can help, but compost tends to be the best source, since it is more balanced with more bioavailable minerals. Letting the soil rest periodically also helps, in that letting land lie fallow, brings in the fertilization of animals and bacteria, and fungus that allows the soil to revitalize and compost the added elements. Cover crops can also assist in this process, during the winter, and reduce erosion of the soil.

  • LadyGreenEyes

    When they say carbon, they refer to CO2. CO2, last time I checked, is basically plant food. Plants give off oxygen, that we need, and we give off CO2, which plants need. All this talk of “excess” CO2 seems more than a little silly.

    • Wolf-Spider

      Considering that many of those that talk of excess COˇ2 produce more CHˇ4 than COˇ2, I wouldn’t want to light a match near their mouths. Since BS doesn’t work correctly as a chemical, they produce too much Bˇ2Sˇ3.

      • LadyGreenEyes

        Also considering that some of the countries that complain the most about the US are the worse producers, it’s clear they are all hypocrites.

    • Proud Conservative Mom

      It is further proof of the arrogant and ignorant Left. They apparently have no comprehension of photosynthesis and are trying to regulate us to death!!!!!

      • LadyGreenEyes

        It’s just another part of the scare tactics they employ to control people.

    • Au Naturel Mel

      This was my thought too. Mel at catesgarden

    • Marcus

      The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie

      • LadyGreenEyes

        Will have to check that one when I have time.

      • LadyGreenEyes

        Excellent info in that!

  • Robert Callaghan

    Unstoppable, runaway mass extinction will likely kick off in 25 years.

    Mineral shortages will likely kick off in 20 years.

    Food and water shortages will kick off in 10 years.

    You have no idea how bad it will be.

    Because of the fact we are adding 1 million people ever 4½ days, we will have to grow more food over the next 50 years than we did in the last 500 years, while in ten years 4 billion people will periodically be without water. To grow this much food, we need 6 million hectares of new farmland each and every year while, in reality, we lose 12 million hectares of farmland every single year due to soil degradation and loss. Mechanized monocultures are extremely soil degrading. We only have 60 years of human agriculture on earth, at current soil degradation rates, which likely doesn’t account for new water shortages. Our crop and pastures have caused 80% of land vertebrate species extinctions. Our livestock and us consume over 40% of earth’s annual land chlorophyll production. Our livestock and us occupy 97% of the weight of all land vertebrate species on earth. Ten thousand years ago, our livestock and us occupied just 0.01% of land vertebrate biomass.


    All IPCC carbon mitigation, sequestration and adaptation strategies assume we will have m-o-r-e farmland available to help us avoid runaway heating and mass extinction. This farmland does not exist.

    We are losing ocean plankton at 1% per year, which means 50% gone in 70 years, but, only if the rate does not increase dramatically. We could carbon char soil to enhance it and reduce atmospheric carbon, but we’re collectively like deer standing in the headlights. We are a madding mob watching crisis pile upon crisis knowing it’s not going to go well.

    Collapse Data Cheat Sheet here:

  • Robert Callaghan

    Learn why Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein and the NIC (Non-profit Industrial Complex) are funded by Wall Street.

    The Most Important COP Briefing That No One Ever Heard, Lies, Racism, Omnicide

    The Corporate Sponsors Of Bill McKibben’s Divestment Tour

  • John Dowd

    How can such a hopeful,and relatively easy step to reduce global Co2 emissions, one that would save farmers cash due to less input of fertilizers, reduce runoff associated problems, ie the dead zones, and red tides in our oceans and lakes, and in general a win, win win, for almost everybody involved result in so many silly knee jerk, antiGlobalwarming comments??? What is up with that? So because farmers could save money, our water ways would be cleaner, our agriculture might be be restoring and improving our soil resources, this would be bad? Please help me understand the downside?

  • Mubeen Malik