Extreme seasonal changes, incessant rain and floods, never-ending forest fires, melting of glaciers, and desertification blame them all on climate change. Global warming is dreadful. Currently, at COP28 the world leaders have come together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Climate activists all over the world constantly keep reminding us why we need to restore and protect what we are left with. Voices are being raised and several organizations are keenly working at global and national levels to create climate awareness. Scientists are constantly trying to offer solutions to the ongoing environmental problems. Research studies and reports have shown innumerable times, the data that is quite disturbing. Still there are people who deny climate change is real.
Why Save Soil?
We need to accept the stark reality of the planet earth’s ecological collapse in the coming years if the proper climate change reverse solution is not implemented worldwide without delay. Climate change is real and the solution is in nature itself. Research shows that the solution to save earth from climate change lies in healing the soil. Yes, the soil is the key along with other Nature-based solutions.
Soil and climate are connected and interdependent. We cannot save one without the other. We need to restore the balance and harmony between them. We need to regenerate the soil and reverse climate change. We need to do it for ourselves, for our children, and for all living beings.
Regenerative agriculture with successful reverse desertification can reverse climate change. Regenerative agriculture is a way of farming that focuses on improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, enhancing ecosystem services, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Regenerative agriculture aims to restore degraded land, sequester carbon, and increase resilience to climate change, and support food security and rural livelihoods.
The Microbes & Carbon Link
We Humans for our comforts and convenience have exploited the earth for commercial agriculture with the excessive chemical based farming. Soil is a living and dynamic system that is home to billions of microorganisms that interact with each other and the environment. Soil is a precious and finite resource that we need to protect and restore.
The microbes in soil keep holding the carbon. A deficit of microbial activity in the soil releases excessive Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and increases global warming. There is an urgent need for topsoil restoration. The depletion of microbes from the soil is a major cause of desertification. Can you imagine how to get rid of the 1000 gigaton legacy load of carbon? Plants and microbes are a combination that we could look up to as a savior to reverse global warming.
Plants remove carbon dioxide from air and sequester that in soil with the help of microbes. The increased atmospheric emissions due to other sources are also reduced by the help of plants and mindful agricultural techniques. Reviving natural farming methods minus the chemicals with multiple cropping ensures the good health of soil. It effectively decreases the carbon emission with more green cover thus minimizing the damage. Cattle grazing, and stoppage of land tilling will enormously benefit the soil health. The world’s soils capture more carbon than biomass and the atmosphere combined
Climate change has created havoc on Earth. The signs are clear and visible with each passing day. Soaring temperatures due to carbon emissions has created an ecological imbalance which is difficult to slow down.
Life on earth has seen too much changes, yet the biggest change may come within the next 60 years. The coming 20 years mark the most crucial years of action, which aim at drawdown to cool the earth's temperature, to help earth act normally afterwards. These years of "soil climate harmony" will mostly decide the fate of Earth.
The Soil is precious when it comes to fighting global warming. The alternative approach of “Regenerative Agriculture” will balance our climate, replenish our water bodies, and tackle earth's water and food shortage issues.
World leader views, important actions and decisions need to be taken in the matter urgently. Politics affect the world's intentions to work together for the planet's health. There are interesting as well as a few disappointing decisions by the major agricultural world leaders which could have otherwise expedited the climate change reversal.
We should all weigh in on the side of sustainable agriculture practices. There are plenty of reasons small and big that have contributed to the current state of planet earth. But the core reason revolves around how irresponsibly we humans have handled our planet. Slowing down climate change is plausible but fixing it completely needs collective efforts.
We should be thoughtful about our existence. We still have some time left to fix the outcomes for our future generations. Organizations and policy makers need to upscale the efforts of fighting global warming, the food insecurity, desertification, deforestation and many more altogether. As we all know we are racing against time, speeches will not help earth much but action towards a greener earth definitely would.
Author: Vandana Chaudhary