Environment and Climate Crisis
The 2016 report of IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in 2016 (https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/), and the Paris Agreement, based on this report, represent important steps for mitigating climate change.
The report proposes actions for limiting global temperature rise to 1,5°C until 2023. But it concedes that warming would continue even if the all greenhouse gasses emissions were stopped now, and that there is a possibility for an additional 0,5°C warming on top of the 1,5°C target.
Despite all these worrisome indicators, agriculture and animal farming investments based on monoculture are still in progress, mostly with financial support from EU. As to the first half of 2019, forest and land exploitation for mining is also overwhelming.
Four Seasons Ecological Living Association works on agriculture and food. We know that all life forms on the planet are connected to each other.
We see the climate crisis as a result of structures and policies which prioritize the interests of central powers and big businesses instead of nature and society. These structures and policies caused and keeps on causing many problems which brought the biological and social life on the planet on the brink of destruction.
Our food system has many structural problems. Industrial agriculture/husbandry and mass food distribution networks (long supply chains) harm natural structures. These modes of production and distribution has a significant contribution to carbon emissions: Industrial agriculture and changes in land use are estimated to be responsible for 20 to 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As small scale farming is replaced by monoculture, heavy tillage and intensive use of chemicals, these problems get much more severe. Considering that 70 to 80% of the world’s food demand is currently met by small family farms and local markets, we can estimate the devastating effect on nature and climate if the industrial corporate agriculture becomes more widespread.
The Four Seasons Ecological Living Association believes that transition to an agroecological food system, including small scale ecological farming and short supply chains, will be a main strategy for mitigating climate change and limiting its effects. We want to support this by emphasizing the following four points:
- Agroecology methods, beyond decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, can turn the agricultural lands into carbon traps by increasing the carbon storage capacity of the soil. Community supported agriculture and other short supply chain solutions also contribute to decreasing carbon emissions during distribution processes.
- Agroecological transition will enable a peaceful and smooth adaptation to inevitable systemic changes across the planet. It will also help people meet their nutritional needs during times of social change.
- Agroecological transition will not cause additional costs; on the contrary, it will decrease costs and repair existing resources.
- Agroecological transition, by supporting local economies and contributing to social justice, will present a model for the transformation of other areas of social life and economy.
In short, agroecological methods present multifaceted, effective and feasible solutions for the climate crisis, unlike weak actions that aim to limit its effects. In addition to its ecological restoration potential, they also foster social justice. They bring an ecological outlook to both rural and urban areas, reinstate social prestige for farmers and villagers and grants democratic power to communities.
There is no future with a world full of concrete, asphalt, residences, coal power plants or monoculture plantations. We will have a future with a life of peace built on clean land, with wooden, stone and adobe houses, on the shores of sparkling waters. A life in villages with colorful gardens, producing their own energy and protecting and restoring their natural environment. This is not impossible; in fact, we have no other future.