Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Preserving Farmland Could Help the Climate, Advocate Says

Climate
Preserving Farmland Could Help the Climate, Advocate Says

In many parts of the U.S., family farms are disappearing and being replaced by suburban sprawl.


"Our estimates are that farmland loss is occurring at an alarming 175 acres per hour," says Jennifer Moore Kucera of the American Farmland Trust.

Listen here:

She says when farmland is lost to development, it's not only a problem for agriculture. It can also hinder climate action.

Although many farming methods can make climate change worse, farmers also have the potential to store a lot of carbon on their land through practices like cover crops and minimized tilling.

According to the U.S. Climate Alliance, managing natural and working lands so they store more carbon is a key strategy to limit global warming.

But Kucera says when farmland is lost to development, it significantly reduces the potential to sequester carbon in the soil.

"And it also then increases the pressures that are put on the remaining lands to support and produce the food that we need for society," she says. "We might need more resources, more inputs, water use is going to become more critical, and that just increases the stress on the land."

So Kucera says protecting farmland and promoting denser urban growth can help the climate.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Recycling and general waste plastic wheelie bins awaiting collection for disposal in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim Graham / Getty Images

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. According to The National Museum of American History, this popular slogan, with its iconic three arrows forming a triangle, embodied a national call to action to save the environment in the 1970s. In that same decade, the first Earth Day happened, the EPA was formed and Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, encouraging recycling and conservation of resources, Enviro Inc. reported.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The coal-fired Huaneng Power Plant in Huai 'an City, Jiangsu Province, China on Sept. 13, 2020. Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

One of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic was the record drop in greenhouse gas emissions following national lockdowns. But that drop is set to all but reverse as economies begin to recover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A grizzly bear killed an outdoor guide in a rare attack near Yellowstone Park. William Campbell / Corbis / Getty Images

A backcountry guide has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

Read More Show Less
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) re-introduces the Green New Deal in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2021. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to "tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet."

Read More Show Less
Offshore oil and gas drillers have left more than 18,000 miles of pipelines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Offshore oil and gas drillers have discarded and abandoned more than 18,000 miles of pipelines on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.

Read More Show Less