Although agriculture is not on the agenda of the Paris climate talks beginning this week, its potential to fight global warming is being recognized.
For example, a recent Bee article – “Firebaugh farmer honored by White House for soil health techniques” (Nov. 21) – tells how Jesse Sanchez, the field manager at Sano Farms, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased the soil’s carbon and nitrogen content on 4,000 acres of garbanzo beans, garlic, almonds, pistachios, and tomatoes.
It’s good news that the White House is honoring farmers who use sustainable and climate-smart practices.
California, too, has recognized agriculture’s important role with The Agricultural Climate Benefits Act (Senate Bill 367), which was introduced in the legislature in 2015. When the bill passes, it will encourage greater use of the healthy-soil methods which Jesse Sanchez and others have developed over years of experimenting.
These methods are needed worldwide to reduce agricultural emissions and sequester atmospheric carbon. To quote Bill McKibben, a leader in the search for global-warming solutions: “On the long list of things we have to do to fight climate change, learning to pay attention to soil again is near the top.”
Ruth Afifi, Fresno