Small Farmers: The Key to Reversing Climate Change
By Pilar Quintanilla Martínez
Despite repeated warnings from the international scientific community, and lofty goals set by industry and government alike, there has been little progress made in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We believe it is time to change the global narrative and support the growing grassroots network of organic regenerative farmers who have the potential to not only mitigate global warming, but to reverse it.
We can reverse climate change by sequestering several hundred billion tons of excess CO2 using the “tools” we already have at hand: regenerative organic farming, ranching, and land use. And we can make this world-changing transition by mobilizing a vast green corps of farmers, ranchers, gardeners, consumers, climate activists, and conservationists to begin the monumental task of moving the “carbon behemoth” safely back underground.
As thousands of farmers, ranchers, and researchers in Mexico and worldwide are demonstrating, by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and black soot, and qualitatively ramping up CO2 sequestration through plant photosynthesis (i.e.; the capacity of plants, trees, and grasses to move CO² from the atmosphere through their roots into the soil) on billions of acres of farm land, range land, and forest, we can sequester enough CO2 to re-stabilize the climate.
With nearly 4.5 million family farms, Mexico has huge potential to not only reverse global warming but also resolve other issues, including rural poverty, inequality, malnutrition, and environmental degradation through small-scale regenerative organic agriculture.
Reversing global warming also means putting an end to the energy-and chemical-intensive genetically engineered industrial food and farming system that is destroying public health, torturing animals, polluting the water, overgrazing pastures and rangelands, driving family farmers off the land, and destroying biodiversity—as well as pumping billions of tons of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and black soot into the air.
We need to mobilize a local and global grassroots movement of active participants: producers and conscious consumers implementing and promoting on a mass scale low-tech, beneficial practices that naturally sequester enormous amounts of atmospheric carbon in the soil. These tried and true regenerative practices include no till organic farming, planned rotational grazing (carbon ranching), composting of organic wastes, the use of cover crops, planting trees, and preserving and restoring forests, wetlands, riparian zones, grasslands, peat bogs, and biodiversity.
Now is the time to take part in this global grassroots movement and support those working to reverse climate change through regenerative, organic agriculture. In San Miguel we are fortunate to have a growing community of organic food stores and markets where you can support the work done by local organic farmers. Join the movement today and shop with a conscience at stores such as Vía Orgánica, Natura, Casa Collectiva, the TOSMA Organic Farmers Market, and many other locations in San Miguel. The grassroots movement is happening and we as conscious consumers are the mechanism to mobilize global change.
Vía Orgánica A.C. is a Mexican non-profit organization whose mission is to promote good nutrition and a healthy way of life through sustainable organic agriculture and fair trade. Vía Orgánica also operates an organic food store and restaurant in Col. Guadalupe and educational ranch in the Jalpa Valley. More information at viaorganica.org