Environmental sustainability goes far beyond addressing climate change and putting higher emphasis on renewable power. Conventional agricultural activities, which can significantly degrade soil quality and jeopardize water resources, also require serious modifications. Here’s an article on YOURSTORY for more insights:

 

Around 50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to chemical farming. Credit: Shutterstock

 

Climate change talks are often centred on renewable energy. Nobody talks about making farming renewable. Around 50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to chemical farming. It emits carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuel required to make chemicals.

Their origin goes back to World War II, when those manufacturing explosives using nitrogen realised that the same could be used to make fertilisers. After the world war, the factories could have shut down but those who had gotten used to profiteering did not want to quit. A whole new science of farming was raised and farmers were told that nitrogen fertilisers are good.

If we give it a thought, our pulses fix nitrogen as well. Their roots have rhizobium bacteria which fix nitrogen and give us good nutrition. But the green revolution did not have pulses. It focused on rice and wheat and the result is for everyone to see. Not only it cheated the earth of its natural nitrogen fixators, shortage of pulses also led to a rise in their prices.

Another means of the emission of greenhouse gases is the industrialised meat industry. In western countries, there are more animals than humans in prison. Cow loves grass, but it is fed soybean. In India, that is how we treat chicken. Estimates suggest that for the production of every single unit of animal protein, we spend 10 times the grain, which is also grown with 10 times more input. In the West, 50 percent food produced is wasted which contributes to methane. So, when you consider all this, half of climate change is due to the type of food system which is dependent on chemical farming and industrial food production.

 

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