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7 comments

[–] questioningtw 2 points (+2|-0)

Is there any actual good news of things changing? It just seems like the people in charge really, really don't give two shits about humanity and even if the everyday person where to take steps to do better, we are still screwed because we are ruled by sociopaths.

[–] Tomyris [OP] 6 points (+6|-0)

IMO this is more about people wanting to make $$$ off other people who want to do their part for the planet, but don't actually give a shit about the planet themselves. Unfortunately a lot of "organic" ag is BS but very profitable. To produce the amount of food we need using organic methods, we'd have to clearcut a lot more land because it's just not as efficient as conventional.

Here's some good news though, the highest levels of government (U.S. at least) want to incentivize farmers to switch to management techniques that will pull down and store CO2 in the soil. Like, Biden mentioned it in the state of the union last week. It's a very promising approach, the scale of (conventional) ag is such that this would make a huge difference.

More good news, tangentially related, is progress with CRISPR-Cas9 technology to gene-edit crops to need less water, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Still very early days but wow, that technology is incredible (and another reason why organic ain't it). It's a very exciting time to be a biologist!!

[–] questioningtw 2 points (+2|-0)

Thanks for at least some good news! I like the idea of the Crispr technology and I am tired of hearing about carbon capture which is what tech bros like Elon Musk promote, which could really be damaging to the Earth.

[–] Tomyris [OP] 3 points (+3|-0)

And also, precision-agriculture technology is really taking off. Instead of fertilizing your whole field, fly a drone over and identify which plants actually need nutrients, and only fertilize those. Etc. GPS-capable robots will do it eventually. It's very cool.

Speaking of robots, there are some in development that use image-recognition to roll through and kill weeds but not the crop. Should cut down a lot on tillage and herbicide use.

[–] Tomyris [OP] 7 points (+7|-0)

This article describes a nice example of why "organic" agriculture is not automatically more sustainable or environmentally healthy than "conventional" ag. Soil health is going to be one of the biggest environmental issues of the next few decades (including its role in carbon capture) and the loss of this amount of soil is devastating.