The End of Nature: Climate Change, Organic Agriculture and Local Food, by Bill Duesing

Feb 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Climate Change

By Bill Duesing

Over seven billion of us live on the only habitable real estate in the known universe. The living things that have evolved on this planet over billions of years provide our life support systems.

The Earth’s ecosystems produce clean air, clean water, fertile soil and most importantly, a stable climate.

There is a beauty and integrity to nature that is rarely found elsewhere. We are putting that all at risk by the way we live.

Twenty five years ago in The End of Nature, the 1989 book credited with being the first book on Climate Change for the general public, Bill McKibben wrote:

“The idea of nature will not survive the new global pollution — We have changed the atmosphere, and thus we are changing the weather, we make every spot on earth man-made and artificial. We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning.”

“The idea in this case is ‘Nature,’ the separate and wild province, the world apart from man to which he adapted, under whose rules he was born and died. . . . its forces — the wind, the rain, the sun — were too strong too elemental. . . . We have produced the carbon dioxide — we are ending nature.”

I was hoping to write about the happy connections between a healthy soil ecosystem and a healthy human micro-biome and about the research which shows the many ways that growing food is good for the grower’s health. (I suspect that the latter applies more to gardeners and market farmers than to those who farm GMO monocultures, however.)
But the news about climate change is so frightening, the likely disruption in our food supply so large, and the potential of organic agriculture and rethinking our food system to both mitigate and help us adapt to climate change is so strong, that I’m changing directions.

For more on this story, visit: Connecticut NOFA: The End of Nature: Climate Change, Organic Agriculture and Local Food by Bill Duesing.

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