Friday, September 23, 2011

9/24: Moving Connecticut

Tomorrow is Moving Planet Day.  People from across the state, from civic organizations, faith communities, non-profits and businesses are coming together at events through out the state in the morning with participants meeting up at the New Haven Green at 4pm for a rally, critical mass bike ride, music and all kinds of other opportunities to get involved.  The satellite events are happening in Hartford, New London, New Haven, East Haddam, Hamden, Middletown, Mystic, Wallingford, Watertown, Willimantic, Wilton and Woodbridge.

Why is an organization like CT NOFA involved with this day of climate action? For two big, and fairly simple reasons:

1. Our industrial food system contributes more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere than all forms of transportation put together.  Pesticides and fertilizers require lots of natural resources to produce and transport.  Livestock in feeding lots and factory farms  are the biggest producers of methane, a gas that heats the atmosphere more than carbon dioxide.  Then our food is heavily processed, packaged, and shipped , often by plane and then on a truck, an average of 1500 miles to a consumer.
CT NOFA advocates organic farming (eliminating the carbon footprint of pesticides and fertilizers) and local food sourcing ("local" labelled foods usually travel within 100 - 250 miles to a customer, depending on the climate for growing and other factors).  In some instances it makes more sense to ship food a longer distance, maybe it can be more efficiently grown, with fewer chemicals in a warmer climate, but instead of using planes and tractor-trailers, this shipment should occur on trains which are about 10 times more energy efficient.

2. Climate change effects farmers.  Many of the areas experiencing famine have also been exposed to severe drought conditions.  We are seeing persisting droughts in our own country, while extreme weather in the form of precipitation is wiping out crops in the northeast.  As weather becomes less predictable, our agricultural systems mono-cropping model will be vulnerable to being completely compromised by these weather conditions.  For the sake of the farmers and consumers CT NOFA serves, climate change should be mitigated and adapted to as much as possible.  We're already facing natural disasters and rising food prices, why not reform our food and transportation system now?

All these points are summed up very well in this video:

No comments:

Post a Comment