When you think of climate change and global warming, do visions of coal-fired power plants and solar panels come to mind?
If so, that’s because policy discussions and personal action usually revolve around hybrid cars, energy-efficient homes and debates about the latest technological solutions.
But it’s actually the global agriculture system that is at the heart of both the problem, and the solution, to global warming.
Industrial agriculture is a key driver in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy machinery, monocultures, land change, deforestation, refrigeration, waste and transportation are all part of a food system that generates significant emissions and contributes greatly to global climate change.
Author and activist Rebecca Solnit famously said of climate change that “It’s bigger than everything else.”
She’s right. Climate change is at the intersection of many social and environmental justice issues. It’s forcing us to question every aspect of our society and economy, including how we produce and distribute our food.
The stakes are certainly high—and the window of opportunity is quickly closing.