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Lockdowns in 2020 Cured My Climate Activism: The Problem is Poor Soil, Not Oil

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Not that long ago, I’d have told you that we’d be better off living in edible landscapes to maximise our resiliency and minimise our energy use. I still think this today, but for different reasons.

What changed my view was two data points that emerged soon after the 2020 lockdowns. One was that fossil fuel use had dropped and the other, which puzzled me, was atmospheric carbon dioxide that had increased like clockwork – despite the drop in fossil fuel use. A hodgepodge of dots began to connect as I sought to figure out why.

I noticed in the fine print of the carbon accounting rules that we track industrial but ignore natural emissions. Natural emissions are in an order of magnitude greater than industrial ones.

A New Look at the Carbon Cycle & Climate with Matt Powers – Regenerative Soil, 9 June 2021 (32 mins)

Topsoil loss is about soil losing its carbon content and soil with less carbon retains less water.  Putting it all together I concluded the science is wrong: it’s soil, not oil.

There are no reasons to worry about carbon dioxide, declare a climate emergency, or reduce your carbon footprint. The actual problem is desertification tied to poor land stewardship.

Read more: The science is wrong: it’s soil, not oil, Twitter thread by Denis de Bernardy HERE or on Thread Reader App HERE.


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By Denis de Bernardy

The honeymoon period with the environmental activist groups I latched onto was short. Meetings seldom seemed to get anywhere. Neither did petitions or protests. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything less effective than this if you were a propagandist tasked with setting up a controlled opposition psyop. It’s basically all shout and no do.

The rage against fossil fuels quickly felt nonsensical. An effective way to reduce their use would be to simply promote ways to do so. The elephant in the room is food. Take the supply chains, the warmongering to secure them, and the jobs needed to buy the stuff. Concerned activists ought to be promoting gardening. (Some do.)

The anger about species extinction was just as misguided. An effective way to avoid it is to simply promote ways to get yields without habitat loss. Alley cropping is one such way. The hedgerows offer countless benefits. They are profitable and allow to harvest water as a bonus when done right. That helps alleviate erosion, droughts, and floods.

More generally, the solutions that are being touted to us are appalling. Carbon capture will soon let fossil fuel giants rebrand themselves as climate saviours. Carbon offsets are all too often funding neo-colonial land theft and commercial tree plantations. Green tech is nothing but a Rube Goldberg’s machine with an egregious environmental footprint.

The most misguided environmental concept is that of ecological limits. Scarcity is not a fatality. It arises only when control freaks get to split the pie. These people simply don’t understand fertility. They lock up nature to keep her safe and then get yield by beating erect weeds into submission. We can nurture abundant ecosystems instead.

Over time, “the science” began to look like nothing of the sort. The 2020 lockdowns, for instance, made clear that the carbon hockey stick was not about fossil fuels. That did not stop leading environmental voices from celebrating the drop in fossil fuel use that year. Atmospheric CO2, meanwhile, increased like clockwork.

The fossil fuel narrative, it occurred to me as I wondered why that was, actually hinges on an accounting chicanery. International carbon accounting rules treat industrial and natural emissions differently. Give or take exceptions like cow burps, natural emissions get stashed inside a carbon stock black box that keeps them out of sight.

Forestry research on soil emissions shows how little sense this makes. A cleared forest generates several kilograms of CO2 per square meter over the next few years. These emissions go away as the canopy recovers. Leaving one behind by thinning the forest instead produces no such emissions. That’s a lot of emissions that go unaccounted for.

Farm fields also produce soil emissions. In the past, hedgerows would keep fungi alive, prevent erosion, and help soak up soil emissions tied to tilling and harvesting. Modern farm fields, by contrast, are wide open spaces with no canopy. The soil emissions are so huge that you can tell when farmers are tilling or harvesting in NASA visualisations.

In other words, the carbon hockey stick is a hedgerow and canopy loss problem, not an energy problem. Farmers and loggers could turn it around with simple adjustments to their operations. Alley cropping would put the hedgerows back in without getting in the way of machinery. Soil cover would help reduce water evaporation as a bonus.

Water, in passing, is the actual link between human activities, carbon, and climate. Soil with less carbon content and less cover retains less water. That leads to desertification: water evaporation, wildfires, droughts, and floods. We can rehydrate our landscapes to avert these effects. We can even do so at scale with bulldozers and seed pellets.

Environmental concerns, in the end, are overstated. Farmers and loggers got misled by control freaks decades ago. They are now discovering that working with nature creates far more abundance than working against it. Doing so reverses the poor decisions of the past. There is as such no urgency, let alone a crisis.

A lingering question in my mind is what we can do to end this clown show. Seeing how terminally corrupt our institutions are, we might need to defeat “the science” one person at a time. Fossil fuel, indigenous, or other interests might be able to defeat it in court. (Happy to help.) My sense is that land stewards will need to defeat it on their fields.

The latter carries the risk that, against a backdrop of fallowed land tied to fertilizer and diesel shortages, these regenerative efforts get repackaged as proof that the fossil fuel narrative is correct. You can do your bit to stop that from happening by helping get this message out. Feel free to share, republish, and translate this content.

About the Author

Denis de Bernardy lives in Mexico and helps to create abundant gardens, ponds, and agroforestry systems. His book, ‘A Natural Language’, exposes environmental big lies and puts solutions in front of the actual problems.  You can follow de Bernardy on Twitter HERE or his Substack HERE.

Featured image: Just Stop Oil: All about the UK activist group that is climbing bridges and throwing soup at paintings

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Patel
Patel
1 month ago

Check out Joel Salatin, he’s been teaching this for years, how grazing ruminants helps build topsoil and sequester excess CO2 (if in fact it needs sequestering, which I don’t think it does), but to placate the climate alarmists. Within 10 short years, the excess CO2 on the planet can be sequestered if ruminants were allowed to graze as opposed to raising them on factory farms. The key is in grass and its rate of growth when grazed upon. Everything the bureaucrats do is upside down. They want to depopulate ruminants for the ridiculous idea that they are responsible for excess methane, when in fact it is the ruminants who make one of the greatest and most important contributions to life on this planet. The world is being led by donkeys.

biggrump
biggrump
Reply to  Patel
1 month ago

It’s all by design. The plan for the ‘Great Reset’ involves food shortages. That is the reason the Netherlands’ government is forcing their farmers to lose their land to the state and why the UK has been paying its farmers not to grow crops. Add to that, fuel prices have prevented the growth of some crops, and the mysterious fires at a number of food distribution centres. It also explains why Billy Boy Gates has bought so much land in the US.

John
John
1 month ago

He’s a bit late to the party. Real scientists have been saying this for forty years.

John H
John H
1 month ago

I know very little about this subject, but Louis Bromfield in his book Pleasant Valley (1943) described his successful project to restore wasted farmland in Ohio. Ways to rebuild the soil was the main focus.

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1 month ago

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Ldrhawke
Ldrhawke
1 month ago

Just one of what is lacking in our soils.

Magnesium Magnesium Magnesium Magnesium

https://theagingviking.substack.com/p/magnesium-magnesium-magnesium-magnesium

J Smith
J Smith
1 month ago

Lots of high flying aircraft running in same direction, today it was South to North. Almost like a grid of strange broad bands of emissions. What are in these emissions, and who is doing it. Could it be UK or US Air Force? It is very worrying as I cannot understand otherwise the motive for such flights. And the clouds change shape. Is it a plan to block out the sun or poison soil and air? I’ve written to Mark Harper, Minister of Transport.

Dave Owen
Dave Owen
Reply to  J Smith
1 month ago

Hi J Smith,
I have written to my MP, Ed Miliband several times on the Chemtrail costs.
He never replied to any of my emails.
Though, in a telephone conversation, he called me a racist ?
I spoke to my local County councillor for Doncaster North.
Straight off the bat, he said they were con trails.
How many people even know what con trails are.
Seems all the politicians are bought and paid for.

Dave Owen
Dave Owen
Reply to  J Smith
1 month ago

Hi J Smith,
I live in the South Yorkshire area.
Chemtrail aircraft were over us on Tuesday, hence the bad weather on Wednesday and today Thursday.
Strange to say, the same happened the week before.
The planes are at 35,000 feet. The local airport only tracks aircraft to 25,000 feet.
I was told they must be military at that height.
When I tracked them on ‘ Planefinder ‘, they all seemed to come from Saudi Arabia ?

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14 days ago

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