While some say that cities are ground zero in fighting climate change, they are talking about adaptation–sea barriers, lifting buildings, easing the flow of water through urban watercourses. Cities already are better at using energy efficiently than non-urban environments, although there is considerable room for improvement.
In terms of mitigating the impacts of climate change–stopping those impacts before they start, look to the land. Farmland to be specific.
The linked article from Scientific American says, “The earth’s soil stores a lot of carbon from the atmosphere, and managing it with the climate in mind may be an important part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.”
This is pretty much what Freeman Dyson has argued for the past two decades, and it has earned him plenty in the way of insults from people who are not as civil and not as smart as he is.
“About three times the carbon currently in the atmosphere is stored in the Earth’s soil—up to 2.4 trillion metric tons, or roughly 240 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels annually. …The study says that if all the Earth’s farmers were to manage their fields so the soil stored more carbon, the impacts of the greenhouse gases emitted from burning fossil fuels annually could be cut by between half and 80 percent.”
It’s another arrow in the quiver for those hoping to stop climate change before it becomes dangerous–and another argument against those who think the only permissible strategy is revolutionizing the world’s infrastructure to stop emissions in manufacturing, transportation and the generation of electricity.
You’ll see in the Scientific American article that some are negative about the potential of soil management. There are those who are negative about the Hartwell Paper, Eco-Modernism, Fast Mitigation and other common-sense plans to actually start doing things that we can do. It’s emissions, always emissions, only emissions, 24 hours a day. They’re the same 2-digit IQs that have harassed Freeman Dyson.
Such negativity deserves a response. Here’s mine (and yes, it also serves as a comment on my emotional maturity–I have little time and less energy any more for those fools):