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Regeneration International lanza Agricultores y ganaderos de EE.UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde

“Hoy, decenas de miles de jóvenes con el Movimiento Sunrise están uniendo las armas con las decenas de miles de agricultores y ganaderos en esta coalición histórica para exigir un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde que reinvierta en nuestras granjas familiares y les permitan ser los héroes que necesitamos para detener la crisis climática “. – Garrett Blad, Movimiento Sunrise, 18 de septiembre de 2019

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – El 18 de septiembre, Regeneration International, con la Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (OCA) y Movimiento Sunrise, lanzó oficialmente la coalición nacional de agricultores y rancheros de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde.

Cinco miembros del Congreso de los Estados Unidos se unieron a la conferencia de prensa frente al Capitolio de los EE.UU. en Washington, D.C., para pedir un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde para los agricultores y ganaderos. (Lea el comunicado de prensa en inglés aquí).

Más temprano en el día, la coalición entregó una carta a cada miembro del Congreso, firmada por más de 500 granjas individuales y 50 organizaciones que representan a más de 10.000 agricultores y ganaderos, pidiéndole al Congreso que apoye la Resolución del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde y prometiendo trabajar con el Congreso para reformar la política alimentaria y agrícola de los Estados Unidos.

Representantes de Women, Food & Agriculture Network, Indiana Farmers Union y American Sustainable Business Council se unieron a la conferencia de prensa, que fue cubierta por varios medios de comunicación, incluidos Politico, The Hill, Civil Eats y FERN AgInsider.

 

La coalición se centrará en una reforma de políticas muy necesaria

Como el agricultor y escritor de Ohio, Gene Logdson, escribió en su artículo, “El mito del pequeño terrateniente hecho a sí mismo:”

Ninguna figura es más entrañable y duradera en la agricultura que el labrador solitario que se encuentra en el horizonte y que se alza con sus propias botas para el éxito financiero. El único problema es que no hay ocupación más dependiente de la cooperación de la sociedad y la naturaleza para lograr el éxito que la agricultura.

La “cooperación de la sociedad” debe incluir el apoyo político. Sin embargo, es difícil obtener apoyo político en los EE. UU. para los agricultores y ganaderos orgánicos y regenerativos, cuando la gran industria agrícola gasta más en hacer presión para conseguir políticas que apoyan sus prácticas degenerativas de monocultivos y fábricas de OGM que los grupos de presión para el sector de defensa, según informa Truthout .

Los esfuerzos de presión de los agronegocios generan subsidios por valor de miles de millones de dólares, que se destinan principalmente a los agricultores más grandes y ricos, cuyas prácticas contaminan nuestras vías fluviales, producen comida chatarra y destruyen la salud del suelo. De hecho, el 15% más grande de las empresas agrícolas recibe el 85% de los 25 mil millones de dólares gastados anualmente en subsidios agrícolas.

Como dijo el representante Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) en la conferencia de prensa de lanzamiento de los agricultores y rancheros de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde:

“Estamos pagando demasiado a las personas equivocadas para que cultiven los alimentos equivocados en los lugares equivocados”.

 

Empoderar a los agricultores para que trabajen para todos nosotros

¿Cómo compiten los agricultores y ganaderos regenerativos y orgánicos independientes con los grandes bolsillos de la gran industria agrícola por políticas que los ayuden y, por extensión, nos ayuden a todos? ¿Políticas que los capaciten para la transición a prácticas que mantengan limpia nuestra agua? ¿Políticas que nos den a más de nosotros un mejor acceso a alimentos más saludables? ¿Y políticas que restablezcan la estabilidad climática?

Esperamos que sea mediante la formación de una coalición de pressión de base que trabaje junto con, no solo en paralelo con, los movimientos de alimentos y salud natural, los movimientos de justicia social y económica, los ambientalistas y los activistas climáticos para presionar al Congreso para que apruebe un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde para los agricultores y ganaderos.

La semana pasada fue solo el comienzo. Ahora comienza el trabajo. La coalición trabajará para hacerse más grande y poderosa: desde su lanzamiento en septiembre, la coalición ha crecido para incluir 600 agricultores / ganaderos individuales y 52 organizaciones que representan un total de aproximadamente 20.000 agricultores.

Los miembros de la coalición ahora están organizando actividades de divulgación de agricultor a agricultor. Se desplegarán en sus comunidades para conectarse con consumidores, ambientalistas, grupos eclesiásticos y activistas climáticos, cualquiera que se preocupe por el futuro de nuestra comida y nuestro medio ambiente.

En última instancia, la coalición utilizará el poder de base que construye para trabajar con el Congreso, especialmente el Comité Asesor del Congreso de la coalición, para ampliar rápidamente el cambio en las políticas alimentarias y agrícolas de Estados Unidos. Los planes incluyen organizar sesiones informativas y audiencias del Congreso e invitar a los miembros del Congreso a visitar granjas regenerativas para ver por sí mismos cómo la agricultura regenerativa restaura la salud del suelo, incluyendo el potencial del suelo para secuestrar carbono y revitalizar las economías locales.

Siga estos enlaces (en inglés) para obtener más información sobre los agricultores y ganaderos de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde:

Cobertura de la prensa de los agricultores y ganaderos de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde

¿Qué son los agricultores y ganaderos de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde?

¿Cuáles son los objetivos políticos de la coalición?

¿Cómo puedo apoyar a los agricultores y ganaderos de EE. UU. para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde?

Los agricultores y ganaderos estadounidenses pueden unirse a la coalición firmando esta carta.

 

Katherine Paul es directora de comunicaciones de Regeneration International. Para mantenerse al día con Regeneration International, suscríbase a nuestro boletín.

 

Nebraska Farmers, Ranchers Push for Green New Deal Policies

LINCOLN, Neb. – Agriculture is the fourth largest producer of climate pollution, and farmers and ranchers from across the U.S. have launched a campaign urging Congress to pass the Green New Deal, which supports regenerative family farm and ranching practices over industrial scale agribusiness.

Graham Christensen, who runs an independent farm in northeastern Nebraska, says farmers across the political spectrum are seeing the proposal as an opportunity to level the playing field.

“Farmers have a chance to be able to lead in reduction of greenhouse gases, as well as clean up the water, and at the same time develop a more nutritional food system that probably benefits their bottom line as well,” he states.

Christensen says 85% of the nation’s $25 billion farm subsidies go to the biggest 15% of businesses, which rely on factory farming, synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and other practices linked to increased air and water pollution.

Christensen says supporting cleaner practices will produce healthier food and enrich soil by capturing more carbon.

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Listen to the Farmers

“If you want to know what creativity and courage look like in America, talk to a farmer . . . it is time we listen to them when they tell us that now is the time for creativity and courage and action.” – Rep. Jim McGovern, speaking at the launch of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers for a Green New Deal press conference, September 18, 2019

Last month, a United Nations report prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries warned of a looming global food crisis if we don’t hurry up and address global warming by ending the exploitation of the world’s land and water resources.

The solution, according to the experts? Change the way we produce food and manage land.

But how do we do that? When the biggest exploiters of our resources—the agribusiness and chemical giants—have access to a bottomless pit of money they can use to influence the people who write our food and farming policies?

We do it by building a grassroots lobbying force too powerful to be ignored.

And we do it by putting the farmers and ranchers who are ready to produce food and manage land regeneratively in the driver’s seat.

Help us keep up the momentum. Your donation today will help power a national coalition of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers who will fight for a healthier food and farming system.

Last week, five members of Congress, along with several farmers, and members of Regeneration International, the Sunrise Movement, Organic Consumers Association and other farmer-rancher organizations stood in front of the U.S. Capitol to announce the formation of the national coalition of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers for a Green New Deal.

Earlier that day, we delivered a letter, signed by more than 525 individual farmers and ranchers, and about 50 organizations representing more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers, asking Congress to support a Green New Deal for farmers and ranchers. 

The press conference in Washington, D.C. was just the start. Now the hard work begins.

Help us keep up the momentum. Your donation today will help power a national coalition of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers who will fight for a healthier food and farming system.

Call these farmers regenerative, organic, biodynamic, agroecological . . . whatever specific practices they’re using to restore soil health, keep your water clean, build strong local food systems, and produce pesticide-free nutrient-rich food, these are the farmers who care about the land and water and animals they manage.

These farmers and ranchers aren’t looking for handouts.

They just want Congress to stop spending billions of dollars to subsidize corporate polluters who produce contaminated food.

They want a level playing field.

In the coming months and year, the farmers and ranchers in this coalition will form a speakers bureau. They will fan out into their local communities, where they’ll talk to consumers, to other farmers, to local and state lawmakers.

They will build powerful alliances with environmental and social and economic justice organizations.

They will invite members of Congress out to their farms and ranches, to see for themselves how regenerative farming and grazing restores wildlife habitats and builds healthy soils that store carbon and capture and hold precious rainfall.

And they will travel to Washington to hold hearings on Capitol Hill, to personally meet with members of Congress, to lobby for laws that will empower them to be good stewards of the land, while also allowing them to make a decent living.

And every law these farmers and ranchers will lobby for, will be a law that benefits you.

If you value clean air, clean water and healthy food, if you care about the environment, if you care about social and economic justice, these farmers and ranchers will be working for you.

But they’ll need your help.

Help us keep up the momentum. Your donation today will help power a national coalition of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers who will fight for a healthier food and farming system.

El Nuevo Acuerdo Verde de Bernie Sanders cambia las reglas del juego para la alimentación y la agricultura

El alcance del desafío que tenemos por delante comparte similitudes con la crisis que enfrentó el presidente Franklin Delano Roosevelt en la década de 1940. Combatiendo una guerra mundial en dos frentes, tanto en el este como en el oeste, Estados Unidos se unió y, en tres años, reestructuró toda la economía para ganar la guerra y derrotar al fascismo. Como presidente, Bernie Sanders adoptará con valentía el imperativo moral de abordar la crisis climática y actuará de inmediato para movilizar a millones de personas en todo el país en apoyo del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde (NAV) … una transformación total de nuestra sociedad, con el apoyo a las comunidades de primera línea y vulnerables e inversiones masivas en energía sostenible, eficiencia energética y una transformación de nuestro sistema de transporte … [y] nuestro sistema agrícola para luchar contra el cambio climático, proporcionar alimentos locales sostenibles y romper el dominio corporativo de los agricultores y ganaderos … proporcionando 200 mil millones de dólares estadounidenses al Fondo Verde del Clima, reincorporándose al Acuerdo de París y reafirmando el liderazgo de los Estados Unidos en la lucha global contra el cambio climático … reducir las emisiones domésticas al menos un 71% para 2030 y reducir las emisiones entre las naciones menos industrializadas un 36% para 2030, el equivalente total de reduciendo nuestras emisiones domésticas un 161%… [e] invertir en conservación y tierras públicas para sanar nuestros suelos, bosques y praderas … “. – de “The Green New Deal”, Campaña de Bernie Sanders, 22 de agosto de 2019.

Más allá del pozo negro de la administración Trump y sus aliados fascistas en todo el mundo, los poderosos vientos de rebelión y regeneración están cobrando impulso.

Es probable que este año sea recordado como el momento en que los Estados Unidos y las bases mundiales finalmente comenzaron a reconocer la crisis terminal que plantea el calentamiento global. Con la comunidad científica global finalmente abandonando su cautela habitual y señalando que el “fin está cerca” en términos de cambio climático irreversible, los medios de comunicación, un número significativo de formuladores de políticas globales y cientos de millones de personas comunes y corrientes comenzaron a despertar simultáneamente alrededor del mundo.

Los jóvenes activistas en los Estados Unidos, liderados por Sunrise Movement, apoyados por un grupo de insurgentes radicales en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos, liderados por Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lideran la nueva resistencia y piden el fin de los negocios como siempre han hecho, y un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde.

Desde que se presentó la Resolución del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde en el Congreso en febrero, con el apoyo de más de 100 miembros del Congreso, millones de nosotros hemos estado esperando un plan de acción concreto. Contrariamente al mensaje estándar “lentamente / cambio pequeño” de la clase dirigente perpetuado por los medios de comunicación, una encuesta de la Universidad de Yale en abril encontró que un abrumador 93% de los votantes demócratas (e incluso una minoría de republicanos) apoyan un plan agresivo como el Nuevo Acuerdo Verde.

Finalmente, tenemos una verdadera declaración de guerra contra la contaminación por combustibles fósiles y el calentamiento global, un programa legislativo radical que puede evitar la catástrofe climática y sobrealimentar una transición justa hacia una comunidad verde del siglo XXI, gracias al plan del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde presentado por el senador por Vermont y candidato presidencial, Bernie Sanders.

Lanzado el 22 de agosto de 2019, el Nuevo Acuerdo Verde de 67 páginas de Bernie presenta un paquete integral de políticas y programas financiados por el gobierno de 16.3 billones de dólares, así como proyecciones realistas sobre cómo estos nuevos programas realmente se amortizarán en los próximos 15 años.

Con el tiempo, el NAV se pagará a sí mismo creando nuevas fuentes de ingresos masivas a través del aumento de los ingresos por impuestos sobre el empleo y los ingresos (2.3 billones de dólares) y mediante la venta de billones de kilovatios-hora de energía solar y eólica renovable cada año a partir de las nuevas y ampliadas Administraciones Federales de Comercialización de Energía (6.4 billones de dólares), siguiendo el modelo del actual programa hidroeléctrico federal americano.

Mientras tanto, el NAV reducirá los gastos del gobierno federal al recortar los gastos militares (1.2 billones de dólares) y reducir los costos de energía del gobierno, entre otros beneficios. El plan de Sanders también exige “hacer que la industria de los combustibles fósiles pague por su contaminación, a través de litigios, tarifas e impuestos, y eliminar los subsidios federales a los combustibles fósiles … [reduciendo la] necesidad de gastos federales y estatales en seguridad social debido a la creación de millones de empleos bien remunerados y sindicalizados … [y] hacer que las grandes y ricas corporaciones paguen su parte justa “.

El NAV multimillonario de Bernie establece una estrategia de 10 años para transformar el sector de la energía y servicios públicos de EE. UU., Pasando de nuestros niveles actuales de 17% de energías renovables a 100% de energía renovable entre 2030-2050; creando 20 millones de empleos verdes bien remunerados; forjando nuevas relaciones exteriores y reduciendo el gasto militar como parte de una cooperación global con Rusia, China, India, la UE y otras naciones; e implementando un programa de billones de dólares de prácticas orgánicas y regenerativas (que secuestran el carbono) en el sector alimentaria, la agricultura y el manejo de la tierra.

El manifiesto de Sanders supera con creces lo que cualquiera de los otros candidatos presidenciales líderes se ha atrevido a proponer hasta ahora. Debido a que el NAV de Sanders es esencialmente un plan radical diseñado para abordar una emergencia social y global radical, por supuesto, ya ha generado terabytes de críticas y ridiculizaciones por parte de los defensores de los combustibles fósiles y de los políticos y corporaciones “en el medio del camino, no vaya demasiado rápido”.

Por supuesto, como Bernie nos recuerda constantemente, nunca podremos implementar un NAV que cambie el sistema sin una “revolución política” en las urnas impulsada por las bases, comenzando con el ciclo electoral 2020 y más allá, por el cual elegimos a un presidente pro-NAV e inspiramos, incorporamos o persuadimos a una mayoría tanto en la Cámara como en el Senado para respaldar un NAV.

A principios de este año, David Roberts, escribiendo para la revista Vox, señaló las realidades políticas de implementar un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde:

“Esta es la única forma en que esto funciona: desarrolla una visión de la política que coloca a la gente común en el centro y les da una participación tangible en el futuro del país, una participación en su enorme riqueza y un papel que desempeñar en su mayor propósito. Luego organice a las personas en torno a esa visión y exíjala a los representantes elegidos. Si los representantes elegidos no presionan por ella, asegúrese de que sean derrotados. Si quiere el bipartidismo, consígalo porque los políticos en los distritos y estados morados (estados donde tanto el candidato Republicano o Demócrata dependiendo de la elección)  tienen miedo de cruzarse con usted, no porque los haya llevado a la dulce luz de la razón.

Cuatro grandes cambios en el NAV de Bernie

Podría escribir un libro completo sobre este tema, y de hecho tengo “Grassroots Rising” (El levantamiento de las bases), que será publicado en enero de 2020 por Chelsea Green Publishing.

Pero por ahora, veamos cuatro aspectos del NAV de Bernie que lo hacen diferente y revolucionario.

No. 1: El NAV es un plan de renovación y regeneración estadounidense y global en la escala de movilización de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El NAV de Sanders es el único plan en el mundo industrializado que establece una meta lo suficientemente alta como para revertir el calentamiento global (con emisiones netas negativas significativas proyectadas para 2030) y eliminar la injusticia económica, la destrucción del medio ambiente, el deterioro de la salud pública y la pobreza global y los conflictos en el mundo al mismo tiempo.

Los principales ejes impulsores del plan incluyen una economía de energía renovable verde, de altos salarios y pleno empleo, complementada por un sistema agrícola y de gestión de la tierra con poco o ningún uso de combustibles fósiles y la absorción masiva de carbóno natural y el secuestro del exceso de CO2 atmosférico en nuestro suelos, bosques y humedales. Esta Gran Transición será financiada por una infusión multimillonaria de fondos públicos (15.3 mil millones de dolares en 10 años) que en realidad puede “reducir a cero” las emisiones de combustibles fósiles en el corto período de tiempo que nos queda (2019-2030) antes de que nuestra actual crisis climática se transforme en un calentamiento global descontrolado y una catástrofe climática.

Mientras que Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbert, Marianne Williamson y otros han expresado la urgente necesidad de resolver la crisis climática, ninguno ha ofrecido un plan de alto nivel comparable, ni ninguno se ha atrevido a proponer más de unos pocos billones de dólares en la próxima década para solucionar nuestra emergencia climática y el colapso social.

No. 2: El NAV de Bernie ofrece la primera evaluación realista y el cronograma de lo que debe hacerse en el plazo limitado que nos queda para evitar la catástrofe climática, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional. Como dijo Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poco después de ganar las elecciones primarias al Congreso en Nueva York en 2018: “El Nuevo Acuerdo Verde que estamos proponiendo será similar en escala a los esfuerzos de movilización vistos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial o el Plan Marshall … La mitad de las medidas no funcionarán … El momento para los esfuerzos lentos e incrementales ya pasó hace mucho tiempo “.

La mayoría de los políticos que reconocen que efectivamente existe una crisis climática todavía están hablando en términos bastante vagos acerca de pasar a emisiones nacionales netas cero para 2050, abogando por la financiación nacional privada y pública en miles de millones de dólares, mientras que Bernie está hablando de billones en fondos públicos. incluyendo 200 mil millones de dólares para ayudar al Sur Global a descarbonizar sus economías y, naturalmente, secuestrar miles de millones de toneladas de carbono atmosférico mediante la reforestación y la agricultura regenerativa.

Al asignar recursos masivos tanto a nivel nacional como internacional, el NAV reducirá la huella de carbono de los EE. UU. (que incluye tanto las emisiones liberadas dentro de las fronteras estadounidenses como las emisiones emitidas en el extranjero para suministrarnos recursos, importaciones y productos de consumo) en “el equivalente total de … 161%” dentro de una década. Como subraya el NAV de Sanders, necesitamos cambios drásticos en nuestra política exterior y en nuestra política interna:

Como presidente, Bernie proporcionará un liderazgo estadounidense fuerte e inclusivo para no solo transformar nuestro propio sistema energético, sino también para llegar a países de todo el mundo y cooperar en la crisis global del cambio climático. Debemos reconocer que las personas de todos los países del mundo – Rusia, India, China, Japón, Brasil – están juntas en esto. En lugar de aceptar que los países del mundo gastarán 1.5 billones de dólares anuales en armas de destrucción, Bernie convocará a líderes mundiales para redirigir nuestras prioridades para enfrentar a nuestro enemigo compartido: el cambio climático.

N ° 3: Centrarse y proporcionar 841 mil millones de dólares en dinero del programa para transformar nuestro sistema de alimentación y agricultura industrial destructivo del clima, controlado por los monopolios / corporaciones, en un sistema de agricultura y ganadería regenerativo equitativo y basado en el modelo de granja familiar. El NAV de Bernie proporcionará los fondos y recursos para revitalizar la América rural y extraer miles de millones de toneladas de CO2 en exceso y almacenarlo en nuestros suelos y pastizales, al mismo tiempo que mejorará la calidad de los alimentos, la salud pública, los medios de vida rurales y la calidad de vida.

Entre los componentes de alimentos, agricultura y gestión de la tierra sin precedentes que el NAV incluye, se encuentran:

• 410 mil millones de dólares para agricultores y ganaderos, incluidos los agricultores primerizos, indígenas, pertenecientes a minorías y desfavorecidos, para evitar o hacer la transición de métodos industrials, intensivos y que usan químicos, a prácticas “ecológicamente regenerativas” amigables con el clima.

• 160 mil millones de dólares en pagos a agricultores y ganaderos para secuestrar y hacer aumentar el carbono del suelo.

• 25 mil millones de dólares para la conservación de tierras agrícolas.

• 1.25 mil millones de dólares para acceso y adquisición de tierras tribales.

• 1.4 mil millones de dólares en nueva investigación y desarrollo.

• 1.4 mil millones de dólares para energía renovable en las granjas.

• 36 mil millones de dólares para establecer una “iniciativa de cesped y jardines de la victoria” para ayudar a los estadounidenses residents en áreas urbanas, rurales y suburbanas a “transformar sus jardines de césped en espacios productores de alimentos o reforestados que secuestran carbono y ahorran agua”

• 14 mil millones de dólares para aumentar el número de tiendas de comestibles de cooperativas

• 31 mil millones de dólares para fortalecer la infraestructura para el procesamiento de alimentos en la misma granja y a nivel local

• 160 mil millones de dólares para ayudar a los estados a eliminar el desperdicio de alimentos y a hacer compostaje de materiales orgánicos

• 500 millones de dólares para ayudar a los agricultores a obtener la certificación orgánica, así como fondos para incentivar a las escuelas a adquirir alimentos producidos localmente.

Más allá de los subsidios y subvenciones financieras, el NAV promete:

• Usar los recursos del gobierno y el poder legal para hacer cumplir las leyes antimonopolio

• Desintegrar las grandes empresas agrícolas que tienen un control absoluto sobre los agricultores y las comunidades rurales.

• Asegurar que los agricultores reciban un precio justo por sus productos con herramientas como la gestión del suministro y las reservas de granos

• Restablecer y fortalecer la Administración de inspección de granos, empacadoras y corrales.

• Garantizar que los agricultores tengan derecho a reparar sus propios equipos.

• Reformar las leyes de patentes para evitar demandas predatorias de los agronegocios masivos como Bayer / Monsanto

• Reformar el sistema de subsidios agrícolas para que más dinero vaya a las granjas pequeñas y medianas.

• Fortalecer los estándares orgánicos.

• Hacer cumplir el etiquetado del país de origen y permitir que la carne sacrificada en las instalaciones inspeccionadas por el estado se venda fuera de las fronteras estatales.

• Crear un camino hacia la ciudadanía para los trabajadores agrícolas migrantes y mejorar sus salarios y sus condiciones de trabajo y poner fin a la exclusión de los trabajadores agrícolas en las leyes laborales.

• Inviertir en comunidades históricamente desatendidas para aumentar el número de agricultores de color.

No. 4: El NAV de Bernie no rehuye el hecho de que debemos luchar contra el poder de las corporaciones de combustibles fósiles, el complejo militar-industrial y la élite económica que mantienen nuestro negocio degenerado y destructivo del clima instaurado como de costumbre. Como dice el NAV de Sanders en su introducción:

Necesitamos un presidente que tenga el coraje, la visión y el historial para enfrentar la codicia de los ejecutivos de combustibles fósiles y la clase multimillonaria que se interponen en el camino de la acción climática. Necesitamos un presidente que reciba su odio. Bernie liderará a nuestro país para promulgar el Nuevo Acuerdo Verde y unir al mundo para vencer la amenaza existencial del cambio climático.

Ya es tarde, pero todavía tenemos tiempo para cambiar las cosas. Nuestro trabajo en 2019 y más allá es llegar y educar a nuestros conciudadanos estadounidenses sobre el NAV y la revolución política que debe tener lugar, a partir de ahora. No llores, organiza.

Ronnie Cummins es el director internacional de Organic Consumers Association (OCA) y miembro de la junta directiva de Regeneration International (RI). Para mantenerte informado de las noticias y alertas de RI, regístrate aquí.  

Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal is a Game-Changer for Food & Farming

The scope of the challenge ahead of us shares similarities with the crisis faced by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940s. Battling a world war on two fronts—both in the East and the West—the United States came together, and within three short years restructured the entire economy in order to win the war and defeat fascism. As president, Bernie Sanders will boldly embrace the moral imperative of addressing the climate crisis and act immediately to mobilize millions of people across the country in support of the Green New Deal… a wholesale transformation of our society, with support for frontline and vulnerable communities and massive investments in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system… [and] our agricultural system to fight climate change, provide sustainable, local foods, and break the corporate stranglehold on farmers and ranchers… providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States’ leadership in the global fight against climate change… reduce domestic emissions by at least 71 percent by 2030 and reduce emissions among less industrialized nations by 36 percent by 2030—the total equivalent of reducing our domestic emissions by 161 percent… [and] Investing in conservation and public lands to heal our soils, forests, and prairie lands…”. – from “The Green New Deal,” Bernie Sanders Campaign, August 22, 2019

Beyond the cesspool of the Trump administration and his fascist allies across the globe, powerful winds of rebellion and regeneration are gathering momentum.

This year will likely be remembered as the time when the U.S. and global grassroots finally began to acknowledge the terminal crisis posed by global warming. With the global scientific community finally dropping their customary caution and pointing out that the “end is near” in terms of irreversible climate change, the mass media, a significant number of global policymakers and hundreds of millions of ordinary people simultaneously began to wake up across the world.

Activist youth in America, led by the Sunrise Movement, supported by a group of radical insurgents in the U.S. Congress, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are leading the new resistance and calling for an end to business as usual—and a Green New Deal.

Ever since the Green New Deal Resolution was introduced in Congress in February, supported by more than100 members of Congress, millions of us have been waiting for a concrete plan of action. Contrary to the standard “go slow/small change” establishment message perpetuated by the mass media, a Yale University poll in April found that an overwhelming 93 percent of Democratic voters (and even a minority of Republicans) support an aggressive plan like the Green New Deal.

Finally, we have a true Declaration of War against fossil fuel pollution and global warming, a radical legislative program that can head off climate catastrophe and supercharge a just transition to a 21st Century Green Commonwealth—thanks to the Green New Deal plan laid out by Vermont Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.

Released on August 22, 2019, Bernie’s 67-page GND lays out a comprehensive $16.3-trillion package of policies and government-funded programs, as well as realistic projections on how these new programs will actually pay for themselves over the next 15 years.

The Green New Deal will pay for itself over time by creating massive new revenue streams through increasing employment and income tax revenue ($2.3 trillion) and through selling trillions of kilowatt hours of renewable solar and wind energy every year from new, expanded Federal Power Marketing Administrations ($6.4 trillion), patterned after our current federal hydropower program.

Meanwhile the GND will reduce federal government expenditures by slashing military spending ($1.2 trillion) and reducing government energy costs, among other benefits. Sanders’ plan also calls for “making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies… [reducing the] need for federal and state safety-net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs… [and] making the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share.” 

Bernie’s multi-trillion-dollar GND lays out a 10-year strategy to transform the U.S. energy and utilities sector, transitioning from our current levels of 17 percent renewables to 100 percent renewable energy between 2030-2050; creating 20 million well-paid green jobs; forging new foreign relations and cutting back military spending as part of a global cooperation with Russia, China, India, the EU and other nations; and implementing a trillion-dollar program of organic and regenerative (carbon-sequestering) food, farming and land use practices.

Sanders’ manifesto far exceeds what any of the other leading presidential candidates have so far dared to propose. Because Sanders’ GND is essentially a radical plan designed to address a radical societal and global emergency, it has, of course, already generated terabytes of criticism and ridicule from proponents of fossil fuels and “middle of the road, don’t go too fast” politicians and corporations.

Of course as Bernie constantly reminds us, we’ll never be able to implement a system-changing GND without a grassroots-powered ballot-box “political revolution,” starting with the 2020 election cycle and beyond, whereby we elect a pro-GND president and inspire, co-opt or cajole a majority in both the House and the Senate to get behind a GND.

Earlier this year, David Roberts, writing for Vox magazine pointed out the political realities of implementing a Green New Deal:

Here’s the only way any of this works: You develop a vision of politics that puts ordinary people at the center and gives them a tangible stake in the country’s future, a share in its enormous wealth and a role to play in its greater purpose. Then organize people around that vision and demand it from elected representatives. If elected representatives don’t push for it, make sure they get primaried or defeated. If you want bipartisanship, get it because politicians in purple districts and states are scared to cross you, not because you led them to the sweet light of reason.

Four major game-changers in Bernie’s GND

I could write a whole book on this topic, and in fact I have, “Grassroots Rising,” which will be published in January 2020 by Chelsea Green Publishing.

But for now, let’s look at four aspects of Bernie’s GND that make it different—and revolutionary.

No. 1: The GND is a U.S. and global Renewal and Regeneration plan on the scale of a World War II mobilization. The Sanders GND is the only plan in the industrialized world that sets a goal high enough to actually reverse global warming (with significant net negative emissions projected by 2030) and eliminate economic injustice, environmental destruction, deteriorating public health and global poverty and conflict at the same time.

The primary drivers of the plan include a green, high-wage, full-employment renewable energy economy complemented by an agricultural and land-management system with little or no use of fossil fuels and massive natural carbon drawdown and sequestration of excess atmospheric CO2 in our soils, forests and wetlands. This Great Transition will be financed by a multi-trillion-dollar infusion of public funds ($15.3 billion over 10 years) that can actually “net zero out” fossil fuel emissions in the short timeframe we have left (2019-2030) before our current climate crisis morphs into runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.

While Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbert, Marianne Williamson, and others have spoken out on the urgent need to solve the climate crisis, none have offered a comparable high-bar plan, nor dared to propose more than a few trillion dollars over the next decade to fix our Climate Emergency and societal breakdown.

No. 2: Bernie’s GND offers the first realistic assessment and timeline for what needs to be done in the limited timeframe we have left to avoid climate catastrophe, both nationally and internationally. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said shortly after she won her Congressional primary election in New York in 2018: “The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan… Half measures will not work… The time for slow and incremental efforts has long past.”  

Most politicians who acknowledge that there is indeed a climate crisis are still talking in rather vague terms about moving to domestic net-zero emissions by 2050, advocating domestic private and public funding in the billions of dollars, whereas Bernie is talking about trillions in public funds, including $200 billion to help the Global South decarbonize their economies and naturally sequester billions of tons of atmospheric carbon through reforestation and regenerative agriculture.

By allocating massive resources both nationally and internationally, the GND will reduce the U.S. carbon footprint (which includes both the emissions released within our borders and the emissions released overseas to supply us with resources, imports and consumer products) by “the total equivalent of… 161 percent” within a decade. As the Sanders GND emphasizes, we need drastic changes in our foreign policy as well as our domestic policy:

As president, Bernie will provide strong, inclusive American leadership to not only transform our own energy system, but to reach out to countries all over the world and cooperate on the global crisis of climate change. We must recognize that people from every country in the world — Russia, India, China, Japan, Brazil — are all in this together. Instead of accepting that the world’s countries will spend $1.5 trillion annually on weapons of destruction, Bernie will convene global leaders to redirect our priorities to confront our shared enemy: climate change.

No. 3: Focusing on, and providing $841 billion in program money to transform our climate-destructive, corporate/monopoly-controlled, factory-farm food and farming system into an equitable family farm-based, regenerative system of farming and ranching. Bernie’s GND will provide the funding and resources to revitalize rural America and draw down billions of tons of excess CO2 and store it in our soils and pastures, while simultaneously improving food quality, public health, rural livelihoods and quality of life.

Among the unprecedented food, farming and land use components of the GND are:

• $410 billion for farmers and ranchers, including first-time, indigenous, minority and disadvantaged farmers, to avoid or make the transition from chemical, energy-intensive, factory farm methods to “ecologically regenerative,” climate-friendly practices

• $160 billion in payments to farmers and ranchers to sequester and increase soil carbon

• $25 billion for farmland conservation

• $1.25 billion for tribal land access and acquisition

• $1.4 billion in new research and development

• $1.4 billion for renewable energy on farms

• $36 billion to establish a “victory lawns and gardens initiative” to help urban, rural and suburban Americans “transform their lawns into food-producing or reforested spaces that sequester carbon and save water”

• $14 billion to increase the number of co-op grocery stores

• $31 billion to strengthen the infrastructure for on-farm and local food processing

• $160 billion to help states to eliminate food waste and compost organic materials

• $500 million to help farmers get certified as organic, as well as funds to incentivize schools to procure locally produced foods.

Beyond financial subsidies and grants, the GND promises to:

• Use government resources and legal power to enforce anti-trust laws

• Break up big agribusinesses that have a stranglehold on farmers and rural communities

• Ensure farmers are paid a fair price for their products with tools like supply management and grain reserves

• Re-establish and strengthen the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

• Ensure farmers have the right to repair their own equipment

• Reform patent laws to prevent predatory lawsuits from massive agribusinesses like Bayer/Monsanto

• Reform the agricultural subsidy system so more money goes to small and medium-sized farms

• Strengthen organic standards

• Enforce country-of-origin labeling and allow meat slaughtered at state inspected facilities to be sold across state lines

• Create a pathway to citizenship for migrant farmworkers and improve wages and working conditions and end exclusions for agricultural workers in labor laws

• Invest in historically underserved communities to grow the number of farmers of color.

No. 4: Bernie’s GND doesn’t shy away from the fact that we must fight the power of the fossil fuel corporations, the military-industrial complex, and the economic elite that maintain our degenerate and climate-destructive business as usual. As the Sanders GND states in its introduction:

We need a president who has the courage, the vision and the record to face down the greed of fossil fuel executives and the billionaire class who stand in the way of climate action. We need a president who welcomes their hatred. Bernie will lead our country to enact the Green New Deal and bring the world together to defeat the existential threat of climate change.

The hour is late, but we still have time to turn things around. Our job in 2019 and beyond is to reach out and educate our fellow Americans about the GND and the political revolution that must take place, beginning now. Don’t mourn, organize.

Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and a member of the Regeneration International steering committee. To keep up with RI’s news and alerts, sign up here.

The Green New Deal Must Include Regenerative Agriculture and an End to Factory Farming

This week, a petition signed by more than 100,000 people was delivered to Congress, outlining issues that should be addressed in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Green New Deal. This petition shows overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, and calls for more attention to be brought to how our food system can be reformed to combat climate change. With the food and farming sector being the United States’ largest employer, and the country being one of the highest contributors toward climate change, citizens are calling for action to be taken to protect our world.

As someone in their mid-twenties, I have grown up seeing how climate change is actively impacting me and my community. Here in California, I expect droughts in the summer and extreme wildfires or mudslides in the fall; learning from a young age to always conserve water because the next shortage is just around the corner. Young activists from all across the U.S. have seen similar changes in their home states, and we recognize that our future depends on action being taken to stop the climate crisis before it is too late.

A unique opportunity to address climate change can be found in our agriculture sector—an area which must be made sustainable if we’re going to survive. Climate scientists have identified agriculture as one of the largest contributors to climate change. This an opportunity to shift agricultural practices away from the large scale, conventional farms that currently dominate our food system to a regenerative, locally-focused, small-scale system that values the welfare of the land and those who work it. CFS has identified several focus points that should be implemented with the passing of the GND resolution to cut back greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthier, more sustainable food system.

1. Invest in regenerative, local agriculture

The future of agriculture lies in the shifting of practices away from large scale monocultures towards small and medium-sized diversified farms. We must wean away from the mass amounts of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers being used, and instead integrate regenerative practices such as cover cropping, the use of compost, and the implementation of hedgerows as alternatives that not only add nutrients into the soil, but provide many other ecosystem services. Among these, regenerative agriculture protects biodiversity, including the native bees and pollinators that are currently being decimated by conventional agriculture. Our “Regenerating Paradise” video series covers many practices currently being practiced in Hawai’i—including several that can be implemented nationwide—to reduce carbon emissions and protect our soils. Implementing these practices can sustain our food production all while sequestering carbon, protecting pollinators, and promoting on-farm biodiversity.

Switching to these regenerative agriculture practices will not be easy, but it will be beneficial. Despite research showing the vast benefits that come from cover cropping and other regenerative practices, farmers have been slow to start implementing them. Government and university grants, technical assistance, and further research should be funded to help promote these practices, transition farms, and aid the continuous education of farmers and farmworkers. This investment will have far-reaching effects on farms—preserving native pollinator habitat, sequestering carbon, and providing climate-smart food to local communities.

2. Cut meat consumption and shut down environmentally-harmful animal factory farms

Disinvestment from factory farms is necessary, not only from a climate standpoint, but from a larger human and environmental health perspective as well. Large scale animal operations pollute the water, lead to a higher risk of disease in humans, and contributelarge amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases into the air. Cutting back meat consumption, purchasing meat from local sources, and shifting toward plant-based sources of protein are all ways that individuals can help. More people than ever, especially young people, have recognized the harmful impacts of meat consumption and we are turning toward a flexitarian diet, vegetarianism, and veganism as a way to cut back on our carbon footprint. The government has the opportunity to support this effort on a larger scale by providing financial support and technical assistance to ranchers to help them transition to pasture-based and integrated livestock operations that reduce livestock’s impact on climate change and help sequester carbon in the soil.

CFS’s recently launched EndIndustrialMeat.org, a website that highlights some of the negative impacts that come with factory farming, including the vast amount of carbon released into the air and heavy metals being drained into the ground; serious consequences that disproportionately affect rural populations and disadvantaged communities. The GND’s goal to secure clean air and water, healthy food, and a sustainable environment for all communities mean that shutting down these harmful operations is imperative.

3. Reverse the trend of consolidation within the agriculture sector

For decades now, there has been increasing consolidation of seed, livestock, and other agriculture-related companies. These mega-corporations have purchased vast quantities of land and set the rules for how a farm has to run, undercutting disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers, and wrecking rural communities. GND policies can be used to break up these mega-farms, and empower local communities to take back the food system. Breaking up these predatory mega-farms would not only reinvigorate the economies of rural areas, but it would also give these communities access to the healthy, climate-friendly food necessary to slow the rate of climate change.

The growth of small and medium-sized farms would allow farmers and farmworkers to set fair wages and provide safe and humane conditions for themselves and a future for their children. Doing so would not only allow current farmers to continue their operations, but also would open the door for young farmers to have access to the land, resources, and funds needed to operate for a viable, sustainable farm. 

4.  Support young and disadvantaged farmers

Finally, we must utilize the GND to support disadvantaged and young farmers, paving the way for a climate-friendly food future. For a long time, people have been turning away from farming, instead opting for job opportunities found in cities. For the past several years, there has been a renewed interest in working the land in a regenerative, holistic manner. We must support these new farmers, along with the farmworkers who have been subjugated to the abuses of industrial agriculture, to forage a community-focused, regenerative food system.

The principles of equity and justice outlined in the GND must guide our transition away from industrial monocultures, and toward a food system that supports and uplifts disadvantaged groups, providing the economic assistance and infrastructure needed to improve these communities, and ultimately improving our economy as a whole. Likewise, many young and disadvantaged farmers have limited access to the equipment and mentorship needed to run a successful farm enterprise. Having grants and training programs available to take on the huge costs of tractors, land, and resources necessary to start a farm should be central to the Green New Deal.

Young people have paved the way for the Green New Deal and our future depends on immediate action being taken to stop climate change. Not only will this resolution allow for the huge changes needed to prevent climate change, but will allow for new opportunities for farmers. While the challenge ahead of us won’t be easy, there are many things that can be done to mitigate current greenhouse gas emissions that aren’t being implemented. The GND is an opportunity to reform our way of farming to allow for huge cuts to current emissions, all while creating a more equitable food system.

Posted with permission from Common Dreams

The Green New Deal Wants Farmers to Restore the Land, Not Keep Wrecking It

By the time California rancher Doniga Markegard picks up the phone around lunchtime, she has already moved the chickens, fed the chickens, fed the pigs, cared for a new litter of 11 piglets, moved the sheep, tended to the horses, milked the cow, and completed a business advising session about the future of her family’s 10,000-acre operation. Overall, a pretty typical Monday.

“We’re good at working with the land and working with the animals, but then all of a sudden you have to add marketing and sales and inventory management,” says Markegard. Based 50 miles south of San Francisco in Half Moon Bay, Markegard and her family produce grass-fed beef and lamb and pastured pork and chicken for customers in the Bay Area. If they operated in a more traditional way, they would specialize in a single product and plug neatly into the industrial agriculture system. Instead, in order to break even, they have to run the equivalent of a consumer-facing small business with a farm attached.

“We’d love to just be out on the land with the livestock, doing what we do, but that’s not practical when you really want to be fully regenerative,” she says.

Regenerative agriculture might sound at first like a subtle variation on organic. But if the term “organic” highlights what’s absent—no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides—”regenerative” goes a step further, advocating for practices like adaptive multi-paddock grazing, in which ruminants like cows and sheep are slowly rotated across a property, so they graze on and fertilize one section of the farm at a time while allowing the rest to naturally regrow and replenish. Methods like this require more hands-on planning involvement from the farmers, but they’ve been found to restore soil health, capture carbon, and help ranches thrive over the long term.

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Regeneration 2019: State of the Movement

Regenerate: Formed or created again; spiritually reborn or converted; restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state. –Webster

“Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.” – Vandana Shiva, Regeneration International Co-Founder

Five years ago, at the massive People’s Climate March in New York City, a small but determined band of food, farm, natural health and climate activists held a press conference at the Rodale Institute in Manhattan, where we announced the formation of a new global network: Regeneration International (RI).

Vandana Shiva, Andre Leu, Richard Teague, Ryan Zinn, Kris Nichols and myself, among others, put forth the bold, but then little-known proposition that regenerative food, farming and land-use practices, scaled up internationally, and in conjunction with a global transition to renewable energy, could not only substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down global warming, but could actually draw down enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reverse climate change.

We pointed out that a Regeneration Revolution could also dramatically improve the environment, soil fertility, food quality, public health, biodiversity and rural economies, while revitalizing the body politic.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of media to attend our first RI press conference. But 400,000 people marching in the streets of New York did generate massive world media coverage of the impending Climate Emergency.

Five years later . . .

Five years later, our growing Regeneration Movement has come a long way. Regenerative Agriculture is rapidly becoming the most talked about new concept in food, farming and climate circles. Media coverage, both mainstream and alternative, has increased exponentially.

Leading politicians in the U.S., including Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are now talking about how the combination of regenerative agriculture, natural carbon sequestration in soils, forests, and wetlands, and reducing the massive greenhouse gas emissions of industrial agriculture and factory farms can help us reach “net-zero” emissions by 2030.

The concept of regenerative food and farming was featured in the Green New Deal (GND) Resolution introduced in the U.S. House and Senate February 7. The GND has now been endorsed by more than 100 members of Congress, leading Democratic Party contenders and, according to several polls, the majority of the U.S. body politic.

The GND calls for sweeping economic reforms (jobs for all, free public education, higher wages, universal health care) as well as a transformation of our energy, infrastructure and agricultural systems, including:

. . . working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—by supporting family farming… investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health… and by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food… removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation… restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems through locally appropriate and science-based projects that enhance biodiversity and support climate resiliency… providing all people of the United States with access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently stated in a social media post (April 7, 2019):

Because of the Green New Deal, entirely new thinkers are now at the policy table instead of just Big Ag and Monsanto writing our public policy for us—from regenerative agriculture experts and family farmers, to indigenous leaders with intergenerational knowledge.

Media waking up to game-changing solutions

On the scientific and public education fronts, a flood of articles, videos and books are highlighting the fact that regenerative farming and ecosystem restoration practices dramatically increase soil fertility and carbon sequestration.

A recent article in Scientific American, features the work of RI member Dr. David Johnson. Johnson’s lab and field research on regenerative compost shows that high-fungal, biologically rich, semi-anaerobic compost and compost extracts produce unusually high crop yields, along with massive carbon sequestration of over four tons of carbon (15 tons of CO2e) per acre per year.

The Scientific American article points out the game-changing implications of Johnson’s compost practices, if scaled-up on the world’s four billion acres of croplands:

Johnson asserts that if his approach were used across agriculture internationally, the entire world’s carbon output from 2016 could be stored on just 22 percent of the globe’s arable land.

Johnson’s “bio-reactor” compost also eliminates the need for synthetic fertilizers—inoculated soils enriched with cover crops naturally accumulate enough nitrogen for massive plant growth. Dr. Johnson’s BEAM (Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management) practices mirror traditional and indigenous compost and agroecological farming practices used in India and other regions.

Potential of regenerative grazing gaining notice
 

The Savory InstituteWill Harris (co-chair of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers for a Green New Deal coalition), Gabe Brown, the American Grassfed Association, and many others have been demonstrating the efficacy of holistic livestock management practices on every continent.

As RI International Director Andre Leu writes:

There is now a considerable body of published science and evidence-based practices showing that these (livestock) systems regenerate degraded lands, and improve productivity, water holding capacity and soil carbon levels. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s agricultural lands (eight billion acres) are used for grazing. The published evidence is showing that correctly managed pastures can build up SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) faster than many other agricultural systems and that the carbon is stored deeper in the soil.

Leu cites a 2015 study conducted in a region with highly degraded soil and pastures in the southeastern U.S. showing that regenerative, holistically managed grazing was able to sequester 3.24 tons of carbon per acre per year (29.36 metric tons of CO2e/hectare/year).

If these regenerative grazing practices were implemented on all of the world’s grazing lands they would sequester 26 billion tons of carbon per year—that’s two-and-a-half times as much carbon as is currently being emitted by all human activities.  Even if only 10 percent of the world’s ranchers and farmers adopted regenerative practices, we could sequester more than a quarter of all current emissions.

New incentives for reforestation and ecosystem restoration

The Earth’s forests once flourished with an estimated six trillion trees growing, storing water below ground, anchoring top soil, maintaining a healthy, predictable system of rainfall and hydrological balance, sequestering vast amounts of atmospheric carbon in tree trunks, limbs, roots, and soil.

Besides these essential ecosystem services, forests also provided food and habitat for much of the world’s population, especially in the global south.

Now, after several centuries of deforestation, we’ve lost half of our trees and forest cover. And many of our remaining forests are weakened and susceptible to forest fires and pest infestations. We’re now down to an estimated total tree population of three trillion trees on 10 billion acres.

But according to a new United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), “The Trillion Tree Campaign,” global reforestation could capture 25 percent of global annual carbon emissions and create wealth in the global south.

The UN’s Trillion Tree Campaign is inspired in part by a recent study led by Dr. Thomas Crowther, Crowther and his fellow researchers, using integrated data from ground-based surveys and satellites, found that replanting the world’s forests (an additional 1.2 trillion trees) on a massive scale in the empty spaces in parks, woods, cities and degraded and abandoned land across the planet would drawdown 100 billion tons of excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Crowther told the Independent:

“There’s 400 gigatons now, in the three trillion trees, and if you were to scale that up by another trillion trees that’s in the order of hundreds of gigatons captured from the atmosphere – at least 10 years of anthropogenic emissions completely wiped out… [trees are] our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change.”

Crowther’s figures don’t even include the massive amount of carbon drawdown and sequestration we can achieve through agroforestry and silvopasture practices, planting trees on the world’s often deforested croplands, pasturelands and rangelands.

More than 13.6 billion trees have already been planted as part of the Trillion Tree Campaign, which analyzes and projects not only where trees have been planted, but also the vast areas where forests could be restored. UNEP also emphasizes that there are “170 billion trees in imminent risk of destruction” that must be protected for crucial carbon storage and biodiversity protection. 

‘Four for 1000’ global policy initiative gaining traction

At the upcoming Global Climate Summit in Santiago, Chile, December 2-13, regenerative, carbon-sequestering, agricultural and land-use practices will be highlighted for the first time at the international level.

Countries that are having difficulties meeting their 2015 pledges in Paris to reduce their country’s greenhouse gas emissions to specific levels (most nations are) will now be able to include soil carbon sequestration (along with reforestation and landscape restoration) as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Since the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, three dozen nations and hundreds of municipalities, regions and non-governmental organizations have signed on the “4 for 1000: Soils for  Food Security and Climate Initiative.”

Governments that sign the initiative agree to augment their emissions reductions with a commitment to increase soil carbon sequestration by 4/1000% every year so as to achieve net-zero emissions (drawing down as much GHG as they are emitting) as soon as possible. Regeneration International is an active partner with the French government and others in encouraging nations, regions, municipal governments and organizations to sign-on to the 4 for 1000 Initiative.

What do we go from here?

Besides stepping up our local and individual regenerative education and farming activities, the time has come for regenerators worldwide to focus on grassroots organizing, coalition building and bold political action.

With our Climate Emergency accelerating, and current atmospheric CO2 levels soaring to 415 ppm, we no longer have time to slowly scale up renewable energy and regenerative food, farming and land-use practices at our current pace. The inclusion of regenerative food and farming in the U.S. as part of the Green New Deal, amplified in the political arena by several major candidates for President in 2020, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, has opened up an unprecedented opportunity to move forward and gain mass grassroots support. Activists in the UK are now calling for the Labour Party to put forth a bold UK Green New Deal, much as the Sunrise Movement, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders are doing in the U.S.

The final months of 2018 will likely be remembered as the decisive moment when the global grassroots finally awakened to the life-or-death threat posed by global warming. With violent weather and climate disasters becoming the norm, and international scientists finally shedding their customary caution to report that we must drastically slash (by at least 45 percent) global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, hundreds of millions of ordinary people across the world seemed to simultaneously wake up.

People are concerned, alarmed and ready to listen to our message. Now is the time for the Regeneration Movement to step forward and help mobilize our millions of allies and would-be allies. We know what to do. The best practices and practitioners in alternative energy, infrastructure rebuilding and regenerative food and farming are already visible in our local communities. Our moral and existential imperative is to mobilize politically and scale up these practices, raising the banner of a Regenerative Green New Deal in every community, region and nation.

The hour is late. But there’s still time to turn things around. If you haven’t already, please sign the Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International’s petition for a Green New Deal. If you’re a farmer or rancher, sign here If you’re an activist or a green consumer sign here.

Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and a member of theRegeneration International steering committee. To keep up with RI’s news and alerts, sign up here.

Letter from U.S. Farmers & Ranchers to Congress: We Need a Green New Deal

Are you a farmer or rancher? Or a farmer- or rancher-member organization?

Would you like to see Congress pass better food and farming legislation? Legislation that supports you in your efforts to manage your land using practices that improve soil health, contribute to clean water, and produce healthy food?

Do you want agricultural policies that will help you compete in the marketplace, by ensuring fair prices for your products and a level playing field in the marketplace?

Please sign this letter to Congress.

El Green New Deal de Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: cómo es el ambicioso plan contra el cambio climático de la congresista más joven de EE.UU.

“¡La gente se está muriendo! ¡Están muriendo!”.

La congresista más joven de Estados Unidos, la demócrata Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, realizó esta semana una apasionada defensa del Green New Deal (Nuevo Acuerdo Verde), una propuesta elaborada por ella y el senador demócrata Ed Markey para combatir el cambio climático al tiempo que promueve medidas para reducir la desigualdad económica en Estados Unidos.

La intervención de Ocasio-Cortez se produjo como reacción a las críticas del senador republicano Sean Duffy, que calificó la propuesta de “hipocresía elitista”durante una sesión en el Senado el pasado martes en la que el documento fue ampliamente rechazado en una votación que los demócratas calificaron de “montaje político”.

“¿Le quieren decir a la gente que su preocupación, su deseo de tener agua y aire limpios es elitista? Díganselo a los niños del Bronx que sufren de las tasas más altas de asma infantil en el país“, expuso Ocasio-Cortez indignada.

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