Inspired by a recent article by Manuel Pulgar Vidal (found of the World Wildlife Fund’s global Climate and Energy Practice), it seems timely to outline some all out simple ideas for us to implement as citizens and as parents to combat climate change.
A subject that often evades conversations about saving the earth – ironically – is our earth. The soil. Our land. To many indigenous cultures, the land itself is something we are custodians of, not living on or owning. It owns us in many original peoples’ paradigms. There is great wisdom in this. Without the land on which we rely and the microbial universe which lives within it, we cannot sustain agriculture (if we haven’t destroyed it already with industrial farming and development, that is). This is just one very good reason to eat organic and local produce.
Our planet’s outermost surface is so important, it bears its name: earth. It’s the foundation of forests, grasslands and other natural habitats and the medium that gives us food, medicine, clothes, fuel, and livelihoods. Unfortunately, our use and misuse of land accounts for a significant proportion of our total annual greenhouse gas emissions, yet it accounts for a paltry amount of climate funding. We cannot prevent the worst effects of climate change without improving the ways we use land.
In the Climate Action Summit, later this year in San Franciso leaders and changemakers from the world over are gathering to discuss what can be done. One aspect of this is forest and habitat conservation. The 30x30Forests initiative is interesting.
some simple actions
On a more personal level, remaining conscious of where your food comes from and how it is produced is one way to positively impact land use. Always support food producers using sustainable farm practices and carrying out practices that maintain healthy soils by reducing or eliminating pesticides. ” Soil is a habitat unto itself, replete with microbial fauna and flora that serve as its engine. The more life in the soil, the more fertile it is, and the more effectively it can pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and turn them into food, fiber, and fuel.”
“Food production drives deforestation, most often to raise livestock and produce animal feed.” Therefore, by meal planning and reducing food waste we, in turn, reduce pressure on the land to provide food that will end up in waste. Eating more vegetables and less meat also reduces the amount of land needed to produce the food we consume.
Another simple solution is to be sure to compost. Methane gas produced by food waste in landfill is a climate change catalyst – it traps 25 times more heat than carbon.
Consciously place your superannuation or pension funds with ethical investing bodies as it is the policymakers, large corporations and local governments that will drive these changes.
And lastly, engage and value the opinions and knowledge of our indigenous populations, learn from their values and ideas of custodianship.