World News /18 Jul 2019
07.18.19

Alternative Ways to Combat Global Warming

To deny global warming and climate change is akin to the behavior of the Ostrich. When threatened the Ostrich will run away, hide itself by laying down and when cornered finally fight with its powerful legs. The Ostrich, much like humanity, is an endangered species.

The science behind climate change, global warming and the effects that humans have caused is beyond dispute. NASA, the premier scientific organization in the world, has established with 95 percent certainty that the Earth’s current cycle of climate change is due to the increased emissions of carbon dioxide that is a result of human behavior.

While the age of the internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) is still with us, the end of automobiles as we currently know them has begun. Newer and improved electrical vehicles (EVs) are being introduced to open roads throughout the world and are making a slow but steady climb.

In 2017, there were 764,666 EVs sold in the US alone, and that number increased to 1,126,000 in 2018. EVs now accounts for 0.45 percent of automobiles on the road. While this is encouraging, it is a far cry from making any difference in combatting climate change. To put this in perspective, in 2018 there were 276.1 million cars on the road in the US alone. 276.1 million minus 1.1 million EVs equals 275 million ICEVs on US roads.

The biggest challenge to the use of EVs is the cost of ownership and operation of an EV versus the cost of owning and operating an ICEV. An EV currently costs 44 percent more than an ICEV, and in 2025 the EV would continue to cost at least $5,800 to $11,100 more than an ICEV. The additional cost of using an EV versus an ICEV places monetary stress on the average consumer. While eventually the cost of an EV will decrease and be monetarily competitive with ICEVs, it eventually will become less expensive to operate than an ICEV. However, the advantages of this time frame at the present time is unknown.

In May of 2019, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest level in human history.

Unless some immediate action is taken, these levels will continue to climb until the damage is irreversible. A UN report that was released in March claims that in 11 years, the damage done by carbon emissions will be so great that the changes to the Earth’s climate will be permanent.

The environmentalist movement has concentrated its efforts to combating climate change by restricting the use of carbon fuels. By working solely to restrict carbon emissions and fighting a mostly losing fight against entrenched powerful economic interests, the movement has ignored other methodologies that offer meaningful and inexpensive strategies that can be just as effective in combatting climate change. Instead of focusing our efforts on cutting carbon emissions perhaps a less expensive, and more politically palatable method should be tried.

Using nature to combat climate change.

A Boston based company, Indigo AG, wants to use a different approach to the global warming crisis. Instead of focusing on cutting carbon emissions, their approach is to increase the ability of the Earth in removing carbon dioxide from the air using nature’s own tools.

Indigo AG has launched an initiative called “The Terraton Initiative.” The Terraton Initiative (TI) wants to remove 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by training farmers to use regenerative farming principles in the planting of crops which will “capture” carbon dioxide and retain the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s soil.

This can be accomplished, according to the Rodale Institute, by widely available, and inexpensive farming techniques. By using practices of not turning over soil through tilling or plowing but replanting cover crops after the main cash crop has been harvested and by rotating through different crops to replace a variety of nutrients back into the ground. The Rodale Institute claims that more than 100 percent of carbon dioxide emissions can be captured this way, and permanently be embedded into the Earth.

Indigo AG has lined up a group of buyers who will purchase carbon credits from the farmers who sign up to participate in this program. In order to receive the cash payments, a farmer’s field will be analyzed and tested for an increase in carbon content in their fields and be paid accordingly. By giving farmers an economic incentive to participate in this practice, farmers who on average make about $20 an acre which includes federal subsidies, would be able to increase their gross earnings and make a larger profit.

An article by CNBC estimates that Indigo AG’s initiative, labeled the Indigo Carbon marketplace, would generate a $15 trillion opportunity for farmers to help fight global warming. Farmers would receive $15 per ton of carbon that they were able to capture in their soil.

It is high time to refocus the fight against global warming from only cutting fossil fuels to a more achievable goal of carbon farming and start reversing global warming. This alternative method of fighting global warming should be adopted immediately, if not sooner, as we are running out of time.

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