Morocco Plants Millions of Trees Along Roads to Fight Climate Change

Author: Justin Catanoso | Published on: November 17, 2016

MARRAKESH, Morocco – On the new highway that runs southeast from Marrakesh and ascends toward the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the roadside shows evidence of climate-change progress. Recently planted trees at least ten feet tall with trunks some four inches in diameter stand in short intervals for miles and miles.

Morocco lost about 5 percent of its remaining dense tree cover between 2001 and 2014, according to data from the University of Maryland.  But the data, visualized on the forest monitoring platform Global Forest Watch, also show large areas of tree cover gain during the same period, indicating reforestation and afforestation — the planting of trees where they didn’t originally occur.

In hosting the 22nd United Nations Climate Conference, representatives from the Moroccan government are eager speak out and demonstrate that they are serious about tackling climate change and providing a model for other African nations to follow.


Where There’s Muck, There’s Money

Author: Dave Chambers | Published on: December 14, 2016

Spier, in Stellenbosch, has earned R204,000 in carbon credits for reducing its carbon dioxide output by practising “regenerative farming”.

Twenty-seven farmworkers have shared half the money, receiving an average of R4,000 each.

“The farm has acquired the credits for sequestering 6493 tons of carbon dioxide in its soil, which is cultivated in as natural way as possible by using regenerative farming practices like high-density grazing,” said Spier livestock manager Angus McIntosh.

“This is a technique that involves frequent stock rotations aimed at using livestock to mimic nature by restoring carbon and nitrogen contained in livestock and poultry urine to the soil profile.”

The credits were bought by a South African bank, brokered by Credible Carbon, a business that facilitates carbon-trading through credits earned for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.


Farm Workers Earn Through Carbon Credit Programme

Author: Megan Van Wyngaardt | Published on: December 13, 2016

Twenty-seven employees of the Spier wine estate, in Stellenbosch, have, through a climate change mitigation initiative, shared half the R204 000 paid out from carbon credits – derived from practicing regenerative farming on a section of the organically certified wine farm.

An average of R4 000 was given to each worker, with those managing the cattle component receiving a larger portion of the credits.

“The farm acquired the credits for sequestering 6 493 t of carbon dioxide in its soil, which is cultivated in as natural a way as possible by using regenerative farming practices like high-density grazing,” said Spier Wine Farm livestock farm manager Angus McIntosh.

“This is a technique that involves frequent stock rotations aimed at using livestock to mimic nature by restoring carbon and nitrogen contained in livestock and poultry urine into the soil profile.”


Dicaprio’s Before the Flood: Powerful, yet Misses on Soils and the Carbon Cycle

The new Leonardo DiCaprio documentary Before the Flood can now be seen on National Geographic.

The actor is a longtime advocate of environmental causes, and his film is surely helping to increase awareness of global warming and the challenges we face with climate chaos. In it, DiCaprio journeys from the remote melting regions of Greenland to the burning forests of Sumatra to the halls of the Vatican, exploring the devastating impact of climate change on the planet.

Before the Flood discusses how climate change is moving us rapidly into an era in which life on Earth might be much, much different. It does a great job describing the pressing problems we face. Yet, sadly, the film has a serious omission. It makes only passing mention of the food issue and almost no mention of soils or ocean acidification.


How 1 Company Is Helping Solve Clean Water Crisis

Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola 

“Carbon for Water,” a film by Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez, reveals a reality most people in the Western world cannot fathom — a world where a large portion of each day is devoted to finding drinkable water.

In the Western Province of Kenya, 90 percent of the population have no easy access to drinking water. In order to make the available water safe to drink, they must first search for firewood, and then boil the water.

Alas, firewood is an equally scarce commodity, and locals resort to illegally cutting down and stealing wood from the ever-dwindling forest — a practice said to contribute to deforestation, which makes the threat of water shortage even more severe.

At present, Kenya’s forest covers less than 2 percent of the land, but as noted by the filmmakers:1

“Just six or seven decades ago a beautiful forest covered most of Western Province. Today, a lot of the forest is gone. Forest degradation and the reduction of rainfall are connected.

Once the forest is destroyed, the rainfall is reduced. In order to avoid conflicts that might lead to civil wars, Kenya’s forests need to be protected urgently, but that can’t happen if people rely on firewood to boil the water they need to drink.”


Meat Is Magnificent: Water, Carbon, Methane & Nutrition

Author: Diana Rodgers, RD

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

There was a recent article in The Washington Post entitled “Meat is Horrible”, once again vilifying meat, that was full of inaccurate statements about the harm cattle impose on the land, how bad it is for our health, and how it should be taxed. Stories like this are all too common and we’ve absolutely got to change our thinking on what’s causing greenhouse gas emissions and our global health crisis.

Hint: it’s not grass-fed steak

In the few days since the story originally came out, I’ve been brewing up some different angle to write. I’ve written here, and here about the benefits of red meat, and how Tofurky isn’t the answer to healing the environment or our health. I keep saying the same thing over and over. Recently, I posted this as a response to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new claims that a plant-based diet is optimal. I also wrote about Philadelphia’s sugar tax here, and I don’t think a meat tax is any better of an idea, especially when the government is subsidizing the feed. I’m feeling quite frustrated.

This morning, I went back to see the post and noticed that the story has been “significantly revised to address several inaccurate and incomplete statements about meat production’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.” Most of the original points, references and charts are missing. However there are still some important pieces of information that I feel the author missed. The main one being that meat itself isn’t evil, it’s the method by which we farm it (feed lots and CAFOs-Confined Animal Feeding Operations) and how we prepare it (breaded and deep fried), and what we eat alongside it (fries, and a large soda).


How to Save the World? The Answer Is in the Soil

Author: Valentina Valentini

There is a big difference between dirt and soil,” filmmaker and activist Rob Herring says. “Dirt is lifeless. Soil is life.”

The Need to GROW is a new documentary about an age-old matter—soil. And although soil science is relatively young and unbelievably complex, it’s been a life source for millions of years. With somewhere around six billion microorganisms in a mere tablespoon of soil, these are galactic ecosystems which scientists are just starting to understand.

These systems evolved over millions of years to optimize delivery of nutrients to plants, hold water in the ground and store carbon in our soils,” explains Herring, who made the film with creative partner Ryan Wirick. “Literally our air, food and water all rely on healthy soil. However, it’s estimated we’re losing 75 billion tons of soil every year. At this rate, the UN estimates that we have 60 years left of farmable topsoil. Not enough people are talking about this.”