Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis with Dr. Jonathan Foley


Mark Thompson spoke with Dr. Jonathan Foley, the global environmental scientist and Executive Director of Project Drawdown, about how world food consumption affects climate change and how we can turn it around. Read his piece here.

When we think about climate change, we usually envision smokestacks, tailpipes and big factories. It turns out that how we use land and grow food contributes about a quarter globally, of the climate change problem. 25% or so of climate change is caused by growing food and using land. That’s about equal to all the emissions coming from making electricity in the world. Electricity and transportation industries get a lot of the attention, but food and land use is tied for the single-largest emitters to climate change along with electricity. Not only does the World Food System contribute about a quarter of all the greenhouse gases we’re seeing, it also uses up about 40% of all the land on the planet, and it uses 70% of all the water we consume on the planet. Food is a huge, huge footprint of what we do around the world, but we need it. We need to feed 7, 8 billion people. People are getting richer, and we’re adding more people. We’re going to certainly need to balance the need to grow more food and the need to fix the environment. The good news is that we can do that, because a lot of the problems in agriculture don’t have to be problems.

Listen to the full conversation below.

 

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