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More than just a fossil fuel problem. (video)

More than just a fossil fuel problem. (video)

Like many others, Allan Savory believes that land use, poor agricultural practices, and desertification are as crucial to climate change and ecological collapse as is fossil fuel use.  

Savory points out that while the “Green Revolution’s” modern practices have increased global food production tremendously, it has been done via massive inputs of petro-chemicals and herbicides, monoculture cropping, and confinement animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Unfortunately, these practices degrade our ecological (and socio-cultural) capital base in the process. 

“The legacy of modern agricuture is soil erosion, dead zones at the mouths of rivers, severely depleted levels of biodiversity, impoverished rural communities, soil fertility loss, and oxidation of soil organic matter.”

In response, Savory proposes using holistic management practices to start a new “Brown Revolution” –  based on the regeneration of covered, organically rich, biologically thriving soil, and brought to fruition via millions of human beings returning to the land and the production of food.

This idea reveals a difficult dilemma in balancing food production and climate: The Economist recently pointed out that we need to boost production, in order to feed the ever-more populous and urbanized planet. A Brown Revolution could put worldwide food security at risk. On the other hand, continuing down the current agricultural path may exacerbate climate change, with the climate impact leading to the very food production dilemma the Green Revolution is intended to address.  

High tech or low tech? Which is the way to go?   Savory’s white paper is available here.  

Incidentally, the ad above was a winner of the TED “ads worth spreading” competition.  For those of you who will comment that population is the primary underlying issue, another of the TED winners is a new “Girl Effect” ad, which advocates for the well being of girls. According to the group behind the ads, when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. You can check out the new girl effect ad here.  

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3:24AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

thanks for the great article

2:17AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

We first need to be educated...after all will be very simple to implement the good ideas and those who really are meant to make good for all not only humans. Bad education and profit motive leaves to what we see now.

10:26PM PDT on Mar 17, 2011


2:59AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011


5:21PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

we have to revert back to multicrop cultures and organic methods of agriculture using biodegradable composting as fertilizers, besides whe 40 rs from now there is no more gas then the possibility to use petrochemical derived farming will be to costly and unproductive...thus change is necessary.

11:26PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011


7:04PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Carla S. said it well, and I agree with her comment.
Those who are commenting about over population missed the end of the article and may wish to read it.

12:54PM PST on Mar 8, 2011

Very interesting article to a problem with no simple solution.

8:04AM PST on Mar 8, 2011

sounds interesting, would love to see it, thanks

7:50AM PST on Mar 8, 2011

thank you

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