Modern Farming and Climate Change

Back in the early ’90s I was part of the Green Peace Action team canvassing throughout Chicago discussing Dioxins and the wretched effects of Chlorine on the Ozone Layer and our waterways. While much discussion and concern about the Ozone layer has quelled since then, there still seems to be evidence of continuing harm. Situated in the stratosphere, the Ozone Layer serves to protect us from harmful UV rays. While the Montreal Protocol was created to phase out ozone depleting chemicals worldwide, in some cases these chemicals and others known as hydroCFCs are still in use.
One notorious ozone depleter, banned but still being used is Methyl Bromide. The EPA exempts Methyl Bromide for fumigating soil for crops such as strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers. The EPA has approved Dow Chemical’s Sulfuryl Fluoride as a substitue for methyl bromide, but that’s hardly a good idea as one of its side effect is vacuolation of the brain’s white matter!  Methyl Bromide and Sulfuryl Fluoride both cause health problems and both are greenhouse gases. In fact Sulfuryl Fluoride is nearly 5000 times more destructive as a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide.
Other ozone-depleting toxic chlorine-based pesticides recognized as Persistent Organic Pollutants were mostly phased out around the world through the Stockholm Convention.  The US government never joined this convention and still permits banned substances to be produced here and exported for use in other parts of the world. If we do recognize climate change as a major threat to our well being, then certainly banning the manufacturing and exporting of these substances might help. The time has come for the US to get serious about toxic chemicals and ratify both the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions. Afterall, doing all we can to help eliminate these chemicals will in turn help all of us and the health of the world.
See the Map of countries who are parties to the Stockholm Convention
Blue = Party to the Convention, White  = Not party of the Stockholm Convention
The hole above Antarctica still remains, and now for the first time ever a hole appeared over the Arctic. Perhaps this proves there’s still too much chlorine and ozone depleting substances being manufactured and put into production. Or perhaps this means there’s much more causing harm to the atmosphere than what we’ve been led to believe. Either way, the toxic chemical effect on the atmosphere must not be forgotten. America should be leading the way in understanding and taking action toward creating a healthier atmosphere.
Conventional large scale industrial farmers use tremendous amounts of poisonous chemical pesticides as well as toxic synthetic commercial fertilizer that releases Nitrous Oxide. One pound of nitrous oxide contributes 300 times more to ‘global warming’ than one pound of carbon dioxide.  Nitrous oxide in the atmosphere actually is getting stronger and causing more harm as lingering CFCs vanish.  If one of our main objectives in preventing climate change is reducing the emissions that contribute to it,  then we will have to step away from activities that create nitrous oxide. We will also have to lower our use of toxic pesticides in general for they are derived from what else, petrochemicals. And as we all have been told in the drive to reduce carbon, fossil fuels should become less involved with our lives not more.
Then there’s factory farms. Without pollution regulation cess ponds of manure are created releasing vast amounts of methane and more nitrous oxide, both greenhouse gases.  Without any pollution regulation enforced by the government, these farms violate the Clean Air Act and clean water standards everyday. Sadly factory farms also commit horrible acts of neglect toward animals and wildly ignore animal welfare laws.
Modern farming further contributes through the practice of monocropping, which allows vast swaths of land to be cleared– oftentimes grasslands or prairie to make room for farming. This practice demands tremendous application of both pesticides and fertilizer, contributes to erosion, fertilizer run-off, and aquatic dead zones. Destroying grasslands, prairies, and natural carbon sinks does not fit into the climate change prevention model. If anything it makes our situation worse.
On top of all this modern farming contributes to soil destruction, mineral depletion, disease, and obesity. GMO farming methods sterilize soil as well as bind and chelate minerals in the soil creating plants and end food products that are mineral deficient. It’s been found that one of the links and perhaps greatest causes for over eating is that the body is starving for minerals. Until the mineral requirements are fulfilled, a person or animal is more likely to keep eating. How many diseases are a result of mineral deficiency?
Magnesium alone is needed for over 100 bodily functions, without enough magnesium the human body simply cannot perform or function completely.  Think about it, do the GMO or pesticides companies care if their products cause disease? Their pharmaceutical division will certainly have the remedy ready for you. That’s the sinister reality of the Chemical Cartel, GMO Syndicate.
Supporting organic farming not only helps your and your family’s health but it helps the the whole planet as well.
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