Tag Archives: African farmers

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION

The question: should Canada prioritize climate change adaptation or should Canada spend more funds on mitigation. Today Canada, like many other western nations, is following a chaotic pathway to solving GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. These countries have spent a fortune rejigging their energy system while barely reducing emissions.

Global Affairs Canada’s spends $7.0 billion in 2018–19, including $298 million (4%) for various climate change initiatives such as greater energy efficiency and better public transit systems.

Emissions of carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming – reached an all-time high in 2018. The extra CO2 caused temperatures to rise to levels that cannot be explained by natural factors, scientists report. In the past 20 years, the world’s temperature has risen about two-thirds of a degree Fahrenheit, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Much more needs to be done, because if countries stick to the commitments they have already made, we are on track to see 3 degrees Celsius of global warming. http://africapitalism.us/carbon-tax-failure/

This year, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level in recorded history, at 410 parts per million. CO2 levels were about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s.

The map identifies seven “greening clusters” circled in red – including (1) across central North America, (2) southern Brazil, (3) the European Union, (4) Central Africa, (5) India, (6) China and (7) South Australia. Cropland expansion has contributed the most to greening. Six out of seven “greening clusters” (shown on the map) have highly intensive agriculture

China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9% of the global vegetated land area. China has, according to its government, planted 35 billion trees since the 1990s. This greening trend we see from human activity cannot offset the loss of rainforest. Africa has lost 2.6 billion tons of CO2 in just seven years.

Let us examine a car tire that represents our world but it has serious leaks, which are hardly being addressed. Canada is obsessed with it small leak and it has budgeted for a very large carbon tax plug which does little to solve the flat tire.

What is sadly needed is more realism. There is a very large hole that needs to be plugged. Canada must show leadership by encouraging international cooperation. Global problems require global solutions: countries must work together to solve their common problem.

Trees are the strongest weapons we have in the fight against climate change. Planting of trees absorb CO2, but trees must be planted now in countries like Uganda that have lots of sun and rain. – not sometime in the future. The situation requires more swift and energetic action.

It starts with one tree nursery in Uganda that is self-sustaining. Such a model is already in place at a bare bones cost of $40,000. Since our own tree nursery still has a lot of unknowns, it can be assumed that the budget will be much higher. There are additional costs involving scooter trucks for delivery of seedlings, which only cost $1500, and later can be also used to transport produce.

Storage of easily spoiled fruit becomes a necessity. Simple inexpensive storage facilities are explained on the web sites of AfriCapitalism.us

THE CARBON TAX FUND FOR TREES

The fund can support 500 trees on one farm for a total cost of $250 for a period of 25 years plus an initial $500 for a total of $750 for one orchard.

There will be 500 trees with a NPV of $0.49/tree seedling: at the rate of $15/ton, the Net Present Value (NPV) is $250.

Add $1.00/tree for reporting and auditing for 25 years (that’s a one-off total – not per year): $500 to be audited by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. for 25 years. This will be monitored by a local cooperative.

This part of the fund will support each 1.5 acre farm that will have access to $150/year in the form of micro finance assistance complements of the Carbon Tax Fund. Each $150 will be recycled nine times for a total of $1,350.

This calculation does NOT include income streams from the fruit and nut produce, which are reserved for the women farmers and their families.  Later, irrigation can be added for a remunerative 275% crop improvement.

Since it takes up to two years for an orchard to be productive, a reliable source of income in the meantime will come from vegetable gardening like yams that would be planted in between the trees.

THE MODEL TODAY’S TALL TREE NURSERY

 The model tree nursery should be located near a developed area in order to access more professional manpower like a technical agricultural school. The school can provide training for the necessary expansion of tree nurseries throughout Uganda or other parts of Africa.

The nursery must be located at the banks of a water source, preferably near fast moving water like rapids or waterfalls in order to tap into the production of electricity. See http://hugenergy.us. Badly needed electricity can be used to support a host of small industries in the area.

With electricity it is possible to introduce large pumps that can provide irrigation: https://livingwatermicrofinance.org/carbon-pollution-irrigation/

The secret of this success is a sustainable approach to a tree nursery: fertilization is assured from both rabbits and fish that are part of the project. The system provides rabbit fur and meat and fish. The expansion of the project can happen very quickly to other parts of Africa once success has been proven. https://livingwatermicrofinance.org/rabbit-fish-farm/

There is a social, spiritual and economic goal of the project:

  • Socially it supports women farmers and widows and their families.
  • Spiritually small community groups of women gather weekly for support and spiritual guidance.
  • Economically the successful orchards provide needed employment rurally and can take the pressure from the high unemployment rates in the urban parts of Africa.

THE LAND ISSUE

Historically, Uganda has an abundance of land that became available upon the expulsion of white settlers by the horrific eight year rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s. Much of this land is held by the government but also to the “lucky” supporters of Amin.

Presently, there is a problem of adequate service of roads which require government funding. Taxation is the usual way to raise funds for benefits received. Many landlords are not paying adequate taxes to support such a project of good roads. In any other country the land would be seized by the government for non-payment of reasonable taxes.

For our purposes, our project needs the stability of a long term arrangement up to 50 years in order to support women farmers and their families over many generations. If Canada agrees to initiate the necessary initial investment, the Uganda government should equally share the load with free land. Uganda should also be in a position to help provide agricultural expertise that would be supported by the carbon tax fund.

Within two to three years, this same land will be providing taxation support for Uganda. Alternatively, the land can be leased on a long term contract (50 years) and the landowner must then pay for the taxes. Canada could entertain the idea of an offer-to-purchase available land at a reasonable rate.

Some land can come initially from Church lands, which will be used to support farming parishioners who in turn will support the Church clergy and buildings. Small spiritual communities are an important aspect of church life.

Lands that are donated to support this project will inherit a legacy https://livingwatermicrofinance.org/living-water-microfinance-legacy/ One can also benefit from charitable tax deductions in the western world: http://africapitalism.us/african-landlord-donation/

 Tree Nursery & Carbon Tax Fund

SO THAT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS CAN LIVE IN DIGNITY  Living Water MicroFinance Inc. has an operating micro model in order to deliver a solution for the Carbon Tax Fund.

The Marginalization of the Poor in the Tropics

WHICH MODERN SOCIETY ITSELF HAS CREATED

We envision a world that solves the carbon emission problem by creating the tree nursery concept in Africa.

In the past four years, global prices of staples such as maize and wheat have twice hit record levels, driving hundreds of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people further towards hunger and poverty.

The 100-year trend of falling food prices may be over and food prices may increase by 30-50 percent within decades, severely impacting on the very poor, who spend up to 90 percent of their income on food.

Domesticate indigenous fruit trees could help provide much-needed vitamins to millions of sub-Saharan Africans. The diversity of forest, fallow and agricultural margin foods can often help provide the range of micro nutrients needed for the human diet.

The trees’ natural habitats are being lost, mainly to widespread deforestation resulting from population growth, the cutting of trees for firewood or charcoal. Due to years of unsustainable farming practices, the soil across much of Africa has been degraded. African farmers only have access to 5% of the level of fertilizer per unit area of land as compared to their East Asian counterparts.

Farmers may see little incentive to intentionally grow indigenous fruits as a crop, because the trees are perceived as taking years to mature. This may be true in the wild, but not always when trees are cultivated.

With just 37% of the land, small farms produced 73% of agricultural output. Small farms are getting smaller because, with population pressure, farmers have to share access to existing land among more people while gaining no access to new land.

Land access for women is specifically part of the Millennium Development Goals.  According to FAO, fewer than 2% of landholders worldwide are women. Many men can make decisions about the land on behalf of themselves and their spouses, but women cannot. Another impediment is that in giving credit, governments and banks require women to present some form of authorization from their husbands or fathers: only 10% of agricultural loans go to women.

A fresh approach both to food production and the use of natural resources is needed if we are to avoid the food crises expected to touch every country in the world by the middle of this century. We can reverse the trend by giving small farmers, especially women,  the means to feed the world: with intensive/market oriented agriculture on a 1.5 acre piece of land.

Carbon Tax Tree Nursery
Today’s Tall Tree Nursery in Africa absorbs carbon emissions using finances from the Carbon Tax Fund.

The Secret is the AgroForest

Carbon Tax Tree Nursery
Today’s Tall Tree Nursery in Africa absorbs carbon emissions

Tree Nursery & Carbon Tax Fund

  1. An Improved seed, tree and fertilizer system: Today's-Tall-Trees
  • To absorb carbon dioxide in order to solve the global warming crisis
  • To produce more food economically in order to deal with world famine
  • To produce fruit, nut and fodder trees that will be used for furniture and not for burning.
  • To restore land by planting nitrogen-fixing trees among the fruit, nut and foliage trees
  • To develop organic agriculture without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  • To provide all requirements of daily vitamin needs.

  3. Micro Financing for women farmers financed by the Carbon Tax Fund:  Small Farm: 1.5 acre: 500 orchard and foliage trees:

  • Carbon Tax Fund Support: $15/tree (brought forward) over the expected lifetime of 50 years. The $15/ton is equivalent to $0.14/US gal.
  • The cost of a HUG Irrigation System: $7,000,000
  • 14,000 acres to support 9,400 farms x 500 x $1.49 (NPV) = $7,000,000

NPV: Net Present Value of a tree is its value over its 50 lifetime of absorbing CO2 emissions at the rate of 1.5 tons/tree.

Please Noteanother calculation of NPV of fruit trees living for 25 years = $0.49/tree plus $1.00/tree for maintenance: $1.49/tree. (Fruit trees are productive for 25 years and then are replaced.)

The  $0.49/tree is based on $15/ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Canada will levy a $20/ton next and increase this to $30/ton . That means the new NPV will be $0.66/tree & $0.99/tree  respectively for a total of $1.66/tree and $1.99/tree.

  4.  Training with Field Officers and Agronomists

  5. Market facilitation with HUG electricity for cold storage of produce Continue reading GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION

ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?
ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

DISASTER RISK IS INTENSELY CONCENTRATED.

ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

DISASTER RISK IS INCREASING RAPIDLY.

ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?
ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

The human race has never before faced such large and complex threats. As the waters threaten to overwhelm us, we remain fixed on the immediacy of business-as-usual. We cast around for more buckets. Our impulse is to scramble for a mop, to stem the consequences of the flood rather than deal with its source. We experience a global outcome of poor human choices — a domination of small decisions.

The UN issued its Global Assessment Report on the state of the world’s biodiversity. The figures are astonishing and sobering. Extinction looms for one million species; three-quarters of land and two-thirds of oceans have been severely altered by humans; plastic pollution is up tenfold in 40 years; crops worth three-quarters of a trillion dollars could be at risk from the loss of pollinators; 25 million kilometers of new roads are expected in 30 years. 

ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?
ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

Species are vanishing up to 1,000 times faster than normal: faster than at any time in human history — the consequence of a rising human population and its resource demands. The disappearance of species is the only human impact that is truly irreversible. Extinction is eternal.  

SHORT TERM SOLUTIONS

We tinker with technological fixes, weak regulations and mild incentives while we hunt for resources to replace those we depleted.

In our hurried society, we strive for short-term achievements — higher yields and higher profits, with a focus on the next quarter, next year, or next election. Eternity requires a longer view. Continue reading ARE WE SIMPLY MAD?

CONGO’S UNPOPULAR RE-ELECTION

Congo Election

Congo’s Kabila chases an unconstitutional, unpopular re-election

Congo ruling party shows all signs of seeking Kabila third term

KINSHASA (Reuters) – From the sprawling capital Kinshasa to villages deep in the equatorial forests, Congo’s ruling PPRD is in full-on election campaign mode – and President Joseph Kabila’s face is everywhere.

The deadline for declaring candidates for Democratic Republic of Congo’s scheduled Dec. 23 poll is just one month away, and Kabila, 46, is officially not allowed to run again: August 8, 2018

NO SIGN OF A SUCCESSOR

But his bearded portrait smiles down from billboards and T-shirts being printed by his People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), while there is no sign of a successor.

Kabila intends to bypass the constitution and run for a third term. Any such move would likely ignite chaos across the vast, mineral-rich country, which has never seen a peaceful change of power in the 58 years since independence from Belgium.

Kabila is unpopular in the capital Kinshasa and many parts of the country. A rare poll released in March showed that eight in 10 Congolese have an unfavorable opinion of him. Scores have died in protests since he refused to step down when his mandate expired 18 months ago.

Congo Election

Militias have proliferated, killing and displacing villagers, kidnapping foreigners and shutting down eco-tourist spots. The violence has even hit mining operations in Africa’s top copper producer and the world’s leading miner of cobalt. Continue reading CONGO’S UNPOPULAR RE-ELECTION

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions 2

Combating Climate Change: 

Changes to agricultural practice and forestry management could cut greenhouse gas emissions, buying time to develop alternative technologies.  This can be done by farming Out Global Warming Solutions.

DEFORESTATION

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

Humanity has cut too many trees and by caused an immense desertification. The solution is quite simple: reverse the desertification and start planting trees. This solution will result in reducing the quantity of carbon dioxide in the air. It will also create valuable property that produces financial profits.

Each year, nearly 33 million acres of forestland around the world is cut down, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Without action now, most of the world’s tropical forests will be lost by this century’s end. During the last half century, the seemingly endless Amazon has lost at least 17% of its forest cover.

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

If such losses were cut in half, it could save 500 million metric tons of carbon annually and contribute 12 percent of the total reductions in GHG emissions required to avoid unpleasant global warming, researchers recently reported in Science.

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

FORESTATION

Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, trees act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect. There are millions of acres of tropical pastures available.

The biome encompasses 6.7 million km2 (twice the size of India) and is shared by eight countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname), as well as the overseas territory of French Guiana. 

 Tree-planting could sequester (remove from the atmosphere) around 1.1–1.6 GT of CO2 per year. That compares to total global greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 50 GT of CO2 in 2004.

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

NO-TILL FARMING

Among proposed changes: more widespread adoption of so-called no-till farming, a practice that involves leaving unharvested crop stalks and other plant matter behind in the field undisturbed by plows and other soil-agitating instruments.

Farming Out Global Warming Solutions

Basically, the carbon stored inside the remains sinks into the soil instead of being stirred up and into the atmosphere when the soil is prepared for planting using conventional means. Such no-till farming provides a double benefit for farmers: improved soils and reduced fuel use, because it negates the need to harvest the stalks with tractors and other equipment.

What are we to do?

Continue reading Farming Out Global Warming Solutions 2

Unstable Weather 2

Phenomena of Unstable Weather

HEAT WAVES

The deadly weather phenomena, heat wave, is a long period of hot unstable weather. Heat waves have increased in frequency and duration in recent years and will continue to do so.

Unstable Weather

Carbon Tax is not Enough!

Carbon should not flow unpriced into the atmosphere, any more than you should be allowed to toss your garbage in the street. A rising carbon tax would discourage carbon emissions in every single economic transaction, every day of the year. 

Once one major country or region adopts carbon dividends with border carbon adjustments, other countries are compelled to follow suit [to prevent paying border adjustments to countries with carbon taxes]. One by one the dominoes fall.

Since every action of a modern life involves using fossil fuel, the only way to get enough change is to send a price signal through the matrix, so that everyone from investors to car buyers to milk-drinkers will find their behavior changing automatically. Carbon pricing is also one of the tools clean tech entrepreneurs cite as key to supporting innovation.

Carbon pricing plans now cover about 12 percent of the world’s emissions — have been far from earth-shaking.  At best, a carbon tax is one arrow in a quiver full of other arrows we’re going to need to let loose in a volley.

Unstable Weather

Bill McKibben’s “Step It Up!” campaign to stop global warming.

Step It Up, a nationwide campaign to combat global warming, drew thousands of Americans concerned about climate change. Holding 1,400 events around the nation, participants in National Day of Climate Action got creative. In lower Manhattan, protesters formed a line at the place where rising sea levels are predicted to reach. But that was ten years ago. Where is this model now?

Unstable Weather

If there is a model within American memory of what must be done, it is the civil rights revolution of the 1960s.

 Will FORESTATION occur rapidly enough to avert the worst effects of a warming world? 

Unstable Weather

The 2020 gap is, according to a recent United Nations Environment Program report, the difference between global emission levels consistent with the 2°C and emission expected if country commitments are implemented. “Global emissions should not be higher than 44 Gt CO2. However the range of expected global emissions (median estimates) from the pledge cases is 52 – 54 Gt CO2 in 2020. The gap in 2020 is therefore 8 – 10 Gt CO2.”  This gap can be CLOSED by FORESTATION.

Unstable Climate

Tropical forests are incredibly effective at storing carbon – providing up to 30% of the solution towards climate change. It has been estimated that 8 – 10 Gt CO2 could be stored in tropical plantations.

Despite this, nature-based solutions only receive 2% of all funding devoted to climate solutions.

Politicians are completely overwhelmed by the sheer complexity, size and number of crises in the world at present. Politicians should not be lurching from crisis to crisis like a drunk. They lack the leadership that Winston Churchill brought to the Second World War.

Unstable Weather

The Copenhagen Accord commits developed countries to the goal of sending $100 billion per year to developing countries in assistance for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation through 2020. If ten per cent of this went to African farmers this would be around a micro finance support of $800 per farming household per year, which could provide a powerful incentive to change.

There was also a collective commitment by developed countries for $30 billion in “new and additional” resources in 2010-2012 to help developing countries reduce emissions, preserve forests, and adapt to climate change; and a goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in public and private finance by 2020 to address developing county needs.

Aside from saving the planet, Are Tropical Nurseries a Good Investment?

YES!

Continue reading Unstable Weather 2

Next Green Revolution 2

The Next Green Revolution

Science prevented the last food crisis. Can it save us again?

 

Africa’s cropland biome occupies ~38% of the photo synthetically active land area of the African continent (~19.8 M km2) and encompasses more than 90% of its rural population living in 54 countries.

Next Green RevolutionRegion of Interest

We must concentrate on the biomes of Africa that include forests and rangelands, but exclude deserts

Next Green Revolution

Overall Region of Interest

A big, risky decision for small holder farmers is what type and how much fertilizer to apply to their crops. There is lot of uncertainty about how the crops will respond, with a risk that the farmers will even lose when they harvest and sell the produce. Testing the soil beforehand and knowing how plants will respond can play an important role in reducing this risk. But the high cost and lack of access to testing services have been major bottlenecks for farmers in developing countries.

Low-Cost Soil AnalysisNext Green Revolution

Similarly, planners in governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations who are working out what to supply to small holder farmers are also faced with large uncertainties on what types and combinations of inputs to supply and where, in relation to the local soils. For example, a number of agencies in Africa are designing fertilizer blending and liming programs and so need to know how strongly acid soils are and what soil micro nutrients may be limiting in different areas. Existing soil maps do not provide up-to-date information on specific soil properties that are needed to guide such decisions.

New advances in rapid, low-cost soil analytical techniques in the laboratory that simply measure light reflecting from a soil sample are reducing the cost of measuring soil properties. Soil infrared spectroscopy allows a soil sample to be scanned in just 30 seconds and the resulting fingerprint used to predict a number of soil properties based on calibration databases. And this costs just $1 compared with at least $100 using conventional soil testing methods. With the availability of satellite imagery and from space and now unmanned aerial vehicles at ever increasing spatial resolution (250 metres to sub-metre), it is becoming possible to make high resolution soil property maps at low cost.

Next Green Revolution

To successfully close the gap, we’ll need to adopt a variety of innovative strategies. We must produce more crops, while more efficiently using the food we already grow.

What are we to do?

Continue reading Next Green Revolution 2

SUBSISTENCE FARMERS in AFRICA 2

 SUBSISTENCE FARMERS NEED HOPE
Subsistence Farmers

Consider the livelihoods of the tens of millions of vulnerable subsistence small-holder farmers around the world. In 20 to 25 years we will get to a point in some places that either it will be too hot, too dry, too wet, or too cold for the crops we are planting and you, which will be incredibly disruptive at best.

Over the last two decades, either early or late on set of rainy seasons, unexpected rainfall, declining rainfall, and extreme day and night temperature are common.

According to The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 75% of the world’s 1.2 billion poor (defined as consuming less than one purchasing-power adjusted dollar per day) live and work in rural areas. 50% of the developing-country rural population were smallholders (farming 3 ha or less of crop land), and ≈25% were landless. The proportion of smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa was higher at 73%. 

Environmental degradation in such tropical dry land areas is widespread, irreversible or appropriately referred to as “desertification”. All this, and other stressors, are seen as contributing to an increased vulnerability to drought, which in turn feeds back in to environmental degradation and conflict. There will be eventual impacts on human development indicators such as health and education.

There is a bright side: increasingly unstable weather in recent years has left many farmers more willing to try new ideas. Many are now open to adapting of using practices like crop diversification, planting date adjustment, soil and water conservation and management, increasing the intensity of input use, integrating crop with livestock and rabbits, and tree planting. Subsistence Farmers

  • ·         Small-holder farmers can shift to irrigated farming in the face of climate variability.
  • ·         Small-holder farmers can hold some wealth in bank accounts, and others use micro finance credit to expand.
  • ·         Small-holder farmers can use supplementary feed for livestock, purchased or lopped from trees in their orchards.
  • ·         Small-holder farmers can engage in rabbit accumulation as a rational form of insurance against drought. 

 FOOD AID: EARLY SOLUTIONS NOW

Why in a “world of plenty” are 20 million people face famine? Continue reading SUBSISTENCE FARMERS in AFRICA 2

Reforesting the Tropics 2

Saving Humanity: Reforest the Tropics

Buying Time to develop alternative technologiesReforesting the Tropics

Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, reforesting the tropics will act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect. There are millions of acres of tropical pastures available. When given proper care, orchard tropical trees bear fruit up to 50 years or more.

Reforesting the TropicsPLANT MORE TREES around the world — because… trees are carbon storage (sequestration) experts.

The United States has cut down over 50% of its original forests in the last 400 years, which would have absorbed 50% of its carbon emissions. Once carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere it stays there for a long time. About 33% continues to cause damage after 100 years.

 It is estimated by the U.S. Forest Service that all the forests in the United States, combined, sequestered approximately 309 million tons of carbon each year from 1952 – 1992, offsetting approximately 25 percent of human-caused emissions of carbon during that period in the United States.

The world’s forests remove over one quarter (27%) of current annual human carbon emissions from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of about 2.4 billion tons of carbon according to the latest published scientific research.

Reforesting the TropicsThe tropical zones of the world seem particularly attractive for forestation because of the high rates of productivity that can potentially be attained there, and because there appear to be large areas of land that would benefit from tree planting.

Reforesting the Tropics

TREE MATH

Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds per tree each year. Trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years at which point they are estimated to absorb 48 pounds of CO2 per year and one acre of trees absorbs 2.6 tons of CO2 every year.

 For every ton of new-wood growth, about 1.5 tons of CO2 are removed from the air and 1.07 tons of life-giving oxygen is produced.

POSITIVE GROWTH OF TREES IN THE TROPICS

Borial zone trees absorb 0.5 Pg C/yr compared to Temperate zone trees at 0.7 while tropical trees grow at the rate of 1.3 or 185% more efficiently year-round than trees in a temperate zone

Younger and faster growing orchards generally have higher annual sequestration rates and they are given higher personal care of proper fertilizer and water: add a further 25% increase. We conclude there is an additional (185% + 25%) or 210% increase in the value of CO2 absorption.

Reforesting the TropicsThis map shows solar-induced fluorescence, a plant process that occurs during photosynthesis, from Aug. through Oct. 2014 as measured by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. This period is springtime in the Southern Hemisphere and fall in the Northern Hemisphere. Photosynthesis is highest over the tropical forests of the Southern Hemisphere but still occurs in much of the U.S. Grain Belt. The northern forests have shut down for the winter.

 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia), CSIRO forests researcher Dr Canadell estimate that tropical forest re-growth is removing an average of 1.6 billion tons of carbon per year. Combining the uptake by established and forest re-growth plus emissions from deforestation, the world’s forests have a net effect on atmospheric CO2 equivalent to the removal of 1.1 billion tons of carbon every year. Reforesting the TropicsReforesting the Tropics

In terms of cutting emissions a 53% reduction in 2010 emissions is equal to almost 20 Gt of CO2 emissions. For some perspective, global emissions from coal fired electricity generation were about 9 Gt CO2 in 2010.

Reforesting the TropicsThe larger predictions from climate models are due to the fact that, within these models, the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever CO2 does. This is referred to as a positive feedback. It means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. … Satellite observations of the earth’s radiation budget verify this fact.

VALUE OF TROPICAL TREES

Moisture created by the rain forests travel around the world. America’s Midwest is affected by the forests in the Congo which is roughly a distance of 6000 miles. Moisture from the Amazon falls as far away as Texas.

The Benefits of Tropical Trees:

Continue reading Reforesting the Tropics 2

Enough Food for the Future? 2

Is There Enough Food for the Future?world food crisis

The new UN climate report shows that crop yields already are being adversely affected by a changing climate, and how we respond globally in creating a more resilient food system is very important now. But we also recognize that food is central to our culture and is a source of great pleasure and comfort to people. We want to ensure we tackle all aspects so that we have enough food for the future.

world food crisis

The estimate of more than 9 billion people in less than 40 years highlights a stark challenge for the global food system.

We have enough food for the roughly 7 billion people alive today, but nearly a billion are hungry or malnourished, mostly due to poverty and unequal distribution. To feed those who are currently hungry—and the additional 2 billion-plus people who will live on the planet by 2050—our best projections are that crop production will need to increase between 60 and 100 percent. “Business as usual” could lead to a doubling of demand for agricultural production.

If the population is growing by less than one-third, why would the overall demand double? Simply stated: more people have more money.

Meeting the problem through production alone won’t be enough, and we should explore many alternatives that focus on reducing demand for food, like changing our diets and reducing food waste and loss. Increasing crop production can be part of the solution.

What drives the demand?

Continue reading Enough Food for the Future? 2

Age of Consequences 2

Climate Security: Building National Security

Climate change presents the greatest challenge of our time. It is a national security threat that America’s military, and militaries around the world are taking seriously. We are entering into the Age of Consequences.

Age of Consequences

Climate change alone will not cause wars, but it serves as an “Accelerant of Instability” or a “Threat Multiplier” that makes already existing threats worse. The threat of global warming for security will manifest through a range of effects: resource scarcity, extreme weather, food scarcity, water insecurity, and sea level rise will all threaten societies around the world. Too many governments are not prepared for these threats, either because they do not have the resources or because they have not planned ahead. How societies and governments respond to the increase in instability will determine whether climate change will lead to war. We’re really talking about violent events that require less organization like protests, riots and strikes.

  • The science is definitive enough for action. We cannot wait until you have 100% certainty before acting.
  • Climate change alone will not cause war, but it serves as an “accelerant of instability” that makes already existing threats worse.
  • Global threats include: migration, conflict over scarce resources, reduced food production, water insecurity, and others.
  • The military is preparing for climate change by, studying potential threats, and preparing to deploy when needed.

A perfect example of a national security treat was the Arab Spring. The terrific drought that struck that entire region in 2010 had global ramifications. It was especially disastrous for Egypt. The drought caused Russia and other exporters to end wheat exports.  Somewhat unexpected, it made a major contribution to the blossoming of the Arab Spring. The country has only been able to sustain about half its needs True, there was also a desire to embrace democracy, but that wasn’t what really drove the masses: it was the lack of wheat.

Sahel Africa

Traditionally, most of the people in the Sahel have been semi-nomads, farming and raising livestock in a system of transhumance, which is probably the most sustainable way of utilizing the Sahel. The Sahel, home to some 232 million people, comprising portions of ten (10) African countries, from left to right: [northern] Senegal, [southern] Mauritania, [central] Mali, [northern] Burkina Faso, [southern] Algeria, [southwestern] Niger, [northern] Nigeria, [central] Chad, [central] Sudan and [northern] Eritrea.

Sahel Africa

Contrast the situation in Ethiopia where these conditions are almost identical to Somali and South Sudan, which both have very poor governance. Ethiopia on the other hand is an active participant in the international climate change process of the UNFCCC, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change involved with risk mitigation and farmer adaptation. Generally, Ethiopia has not suffered in the same way as both South Sudan and Somali.

WHAT TO DO?

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