LETTER: Loss of fertile soil and biodiversity pose a ‘mortal threat’ to our survival
The loss of the world’s fertile soil and biodiversity, along with the loss of indigenous seeds and knowledge, pose a mortal threat to our future survival.
According to soil scientists, at current rates of soil destruction, (ie decarbonisation, erosion, desertification, chemical pollution) within 50 years we will not only suffer serious damage to public health due to a qualitatively degraded food supply characterised by diminished nutrition and loss of important trace minerals, but we will literally no longer have enough arable topsoil to feed ourselves.
Without protecting and regenerating the soil on our four billion acres of cultivated land, fourteen billion acres of pasture and rangeland, and ten billion acres of forest land, it will be impossible to feed the world, keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, or halt the loss of biodiversity.
Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy animals, healthy forests, healthy oceans, rivers and lakes, healthy people, a healthy climate our physical and economic health, our very survival as a species, depends upon whether or not, and how quickly, we can carry out a global campaign of regeneration.
Regeneration holds the potential not only to restore forests and grasslands, recharge aquifers, restore and normalise rainfall, but also to address and eliminate rural malnutrition, poverty unemployment and hunger.
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It is entirely possible that de-industrialising food and farming, restoring grasslands and reversing deforestation – moving several million tons of carbon back from the atmosphere into our soils, plants and forests – will not only reverse global warming and re-stabilize the climate, but will also stimulate hundreds of millions of rural and urban jobs, while qualitatively increasing soil fertility, water retention, farm yields and food quality.
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