New Study Shows Organic Farming Traps Carbon In Soil To Combat Climate Change

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By Lela Nargi for Civil Eats – When it comes to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, keeping excess carbon out of the atmosphere is the prime target for improving the health of our planet. One of the best ways to do that is thought to be locking more of that carbon into the soil that grows our food. The scientific community has been actively debating whether organic farming methods can provide a promising solution. A 2010 paper published in the journal Ambio found that research about increased carbon sequestration due to organic farming methods was inconclusive, while a 2012 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found increased carbon sequestration in organic farm soils—though a 2013 letter in the PNAS disputed those findings, arguing that there were no carbon sequestration benefits related to organic farming. A new study from Northeastern University and nonprofit research organization The Organic Center(TOC), though, has reached a different conclusion: Soils from organic farms had 26 percent more potential for long-term carbon storage than soils from conventional farms, along with 13 percent more soil organic matter (SOM). For the study, which Civil Eats got early access to review, chemists Elham Ghabbour and Geoffrey Davies began by analyzing soil samples from over 700 conventional farms in 48 states.

Episode 3: Carbon Tax & Social Dividends W/ Jeremiah Lowery & Camila Thorndike

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By Adam Simpson, Carla Santos-Skandier, Jeremiah Lowery and Camila Thorndike for The Next System Project – Adam Simpson: Welcome to the Next System Podcast. I’m Adam Simpson. My co-host today is Ms. Carla Santos-Skandier, a colleague of mine at the next system project and one of the 2017 Oil Lab fellows for the Climate Strategies Accelerator. Carla, thank you for joining me today. Carla Santos-Skandier: Hi, Adam. looking forward to this conversation. Thanks for having me. Adam Simpson: Absolutely. And today we’ll be talking about “Put A Price On It DC,” an initiative that’s advocating for a carbon fee and rebate program for the District of Columbia. We’re joined today by two of the architects of the initiative. Ms. Camilla Thorndike and Mr. Jeremiah Lowery the carbon pricing coordinator and climate justice organizer respectively of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Camilla and Jeremiah, welcome to the program. Camila Thorndike: Thanks so much. Great to be here. Adam Simpson: So, before we dive into our questions, I wanted to give you both the opportunity to tell us a little bit more about your organization the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the kind of work that the organization does.

Carbon Credits Likely Worthless In Reducing Emissions, Study Says

Trading emissions credits from clean energy projects don't help reduce emissions, a new study says. Credit: Getty Images

By Nicholas Kusnetz for Inside Climate News – As nations grapple with how they can slash their emissions as part of the Paris climate agreement, some may use international credit schemes that were approved in the treaty process. A new report from the European Commission casts serious doubts about such credits, however, concluding that the vast majority of them likely fail to actually reduce emissions. The report, which was written last year but not published until this April, concludes that buying and selling emissions credits for overseas projects should be limited to a select list that meet rigorous standards, and used only as part of a transition to more effective policies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. “Given the inherent shortcomings of crediting mechanisms, we recommend focusing climate mitigation efforts on forms of carbon pricing that do not rely extensively on credits,” the report said, adding that credits should play only a limited role after 2020. “It’s a confirmation that offsetting is fundamentally problematic,” said Aki Kachi, international policy director for Carbon Market Watch, an advocacy group in Brussels.

Study Reveals How To Cut Carbon Emissions By 100M Tons

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By Marissa Knodel for Friends Of The Earth – The Keep It in the Ground campaign has built a powerful movement demanding climate action. By standing strong against the sale of public lands and waters to fossil fuel empires, activists have shined a spotlight on fossil fuel leasing and helped delay and shutter new projects. The question that has been asked about the campaign is whether keeping fossil fuels in the ground in the United States can actually reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Can US Learn From Denmark’s Ending Addiction To Carbon Energy?

Wind turbines rotate at a wind farm near the village of Rugsted in Denmark, where turbines today provide 42 percent of the country's electricity supply. Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

By Phil Mckenna for Inside Climate News – In the 1970s, Denmark was addicted to oil, burning petroleum not only to power its cars but also to generate electricity. Forty years later, the country is rapidly gaining on a mid-century goal of being fossil fuel-free, thanks partly to a policy that gives Danish citizens the legal right to own a stake in wind farms. More than 40 percent of the country is now powered by wind, up from less than a quarter a few years ago, and compared to only 5 percent in the United States.

Healthy Ground, Healthy Atmosphere: Recarbonizing Earth’s Soils

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By Nancy Averett for EHP – On a bright October morning Dave Brandt tromps through the middle of his central Ohio wheat field. The grain was harvested months ago, but there isn’t an inch of bare dirt anywhere. Instead, more than 10 varieties of plants, including crimson clover, pearl millet, and Austrian winter peas, form a “cover crop cocktail” that stretches all the way to the road bordering his property. “This will be here all winter,” Brandt says. “And in the spring, we’ll plant corn right into this.”

Europe Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions To Lowest Recorded

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By Tree Alerts – Greenhouse gas emissions in Europe are at their lowest level ever recorded, while the EU’s economy continues to expand, a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals. The bloc has already gone past the 20 per cent cuts pledged for 2020, with emissions down 23 per cent on 1990 levels last year, according to the analysis. The EEA report shows that while emissions have plunged, the European economy has grown by 46 per cent. Renewable energy – which now provides over a quarter of European electricity – both cuts emissions and contributes to Europe’s economy. Last year 1.2 million people were working in the renewables industry in Europe, which is a major exporter and has breathed new life into areas across the continent.

Newsletter - Black August, End Neo-Slavery, Resist

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance – Black August is coming to an end as we commemorate the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As many head back to school, a full season of actions are being planned for the fall to stop the corporate takeover of our communities and world and the push toward neo-slavery. There is a lot of resistance going on. We hope that you have an opportunity this summer to relax and build up your energy for the many actions that are being planned for the fall. If you go to a park, there is one more thing you can do: take a moment to think about the people who inhabited the land before it became a park.

Should Climate Scientists Tell The Full Truth?

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By David Griffin for OpEd News – Should climate scientists tell the public how dire the climate crisis is — in particular, whether it threatens to bring civilization to an end in the not-too distant future? In the August 2015 issue of Esquire, writer John H. Richardson deals with this question in an article entitled, “When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job.” The occasion for this article was a tweet about a year ago by a highly respected climate scientist, glaciologist Jason Box. After reading a report about the discovery of more than 100 new sites in the Arctic where methane is seeping out, he wrote: “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re f’d.” The government is very supportive of Box’s work, but it did not, in Richardson’s words, “take kindly to one of its scientists distressing the populace with visions of global destruction.” Richardson’s essay is focused on the internal struggle of Box and other climate scientists with the issue of how to deal psychologically with the devastating climate facts, which their vocation forces them to face daily.

Environmental Nonprofits Seek To Kill Citizens’ Climate Initiative

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Climate Solutions and the Washington Environmental Council are trying to kill Carbon Washington’s carbon tax ballot initiative before it gets off the ground. The two groups, the driving force behind the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy now supporting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon cap-and-trade bill in the legislature, this past week sent out email broadsides decrying the Carbon Washington initiative even as CarbonWA is beginning to ramp up a citizen-driven signature effort for its newly minted Initiative 732. Trying to dampen enthusiasm for the measure, Climate Solutions and WEC say they are ready to run an initiative of their own if current legislative efforts fail.