Welcome to Climate Week 2020

Cattle in green field with mountains in background

Derechos, hurricanes, forest fires: an unfortunate lead-up to climate week, which launches on Sunday. At the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, our hearts go out to everyone that has been impacted by these weather disasters.

I’m glad to see a sense of urgency threaded throughout the various events next week, and really appreciate our partners at the Soil Health Institute that will have a webinar on achieving net zero carbon emissions in U.S. agriculture through soil health.

Sheep grazing under a wind turbine

Photo courtesy of Fibershed

I’m hoping to see more conversation about food system resiliency. 2020 has exposed several fault lines, most notably the dramatic increase in food security. A powerful New York Times Magazine article investigated hunger in America and found:

“The pandemic has revealed the fragility of a highly centralized industrial food system and has given us a glimpse of the tenuous lives of the workers who farm, process, deliver and ring up the food we need. It also has shown… just “how close people are to the edge of the abyss. They can’t keep their apartment and can’t pay for their groceries; they are one paycheck away from, ‘What am I going to do?’”

Our collective ability to handle the pandemic-induced disruptions has been problematic. How well will we address future disruptions while in the midst of massive climate migration?

No doubt that a critical component of our future will be returning carbon to soils and recognizing agriculture as part of the climate solution. Yet we must go far beyond that, because agriculture will simultaneously need to produce abundant food stockpiles in the midst of climate disasters. And we must go beyond the farm gate, as addressing food insecurity requires stronger communities and addressing the economic challenges of food chain workers.

Regenerative agriculture stands ready, with concrete steps for getting more carbon into the soil as well as a broad vision for incorporating greater resilience in the face of 21st century challenges.