"Minerals and gases are either a part of a tendency for life, or of a tendency for lifelessness. My husbandry can swing the balance one way or the other. Humanity as a whole is choosing to swing the balance towards a lifeless planet," writes Patrick Noble.
Patrick Noble describes the "world of unspoken commons" he experienced in 1970s Wales when he was establishing himself as a farmer there, "untouched by NGO, government, corporation, or bank", and observes that "cultures are not what we have, or have achieved. They are what we do."
Patrick Noble is unconvinced by the widespread idea that we can achieve negative emissions through clever agricultural practices. He argues instead that to eliminate emissions we "must end the burning".
Martin Peck questions the wisdom of replacing industrially-farmed and processed meat with industrially-farmed and processed plant-based food. Instead he argues that farmers should adopt agroecological, organic, regenerative and mixed farming practices. This would significantly lower their carbon footprint and would also result in healthier food for everyone.
In his chapter in Fleeing Vesuvius Phil Stevens describes challenges to resilience in New Zealand and provides suggestions to help the country sustain its rural sector and preserve its democracy. There are lessons here for elsewhere too.
This submission was made by the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network. It describes a possible framework for a Rural Environmental Protection-type framework which would reward farmers for practices that were likely to lead to their reducing their GHG emissions and also increasing the carbon content of their soils and the biomass growing on them. It suggests that best farming practice is re-assessed in the light of its climate effects and sequestration potential and re-defined if necessary. Farm payments would be made conditional on the adoption of these new best practice standards. No attempt would be made to pay farmers for …