Land Use: Forests, Food and Agriculture
Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. Extensive agricultural land use has a major impact on the Earth’s environment as it reduces wilderness and threatens biodiversity. Agriculture accounts for most of California’s nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, primarily from fertilizer and manure added to soil, which have global warming potential up to 298 times that of carbon dioxide. Agriculture is California’s fourth-largest emitting sector.
Our forests of the American West support life and serve as immense storehouses and absorbers of carbon. Intact forests benefit from natural wildfires and the new growth sequesters carbon and supports biodiversity.
Burning forest biomass for energy generation depletes forest carbon and damages soil while polluting the air we breathe. Biomass facilities are burning forest products at a scale and time-frame that do not allow for natural renewal processes and have severe impacts on wildlife.
There are wildfire solutions like creating defensible space that protects homes and communities from fire, and helps protect our forests.
Managing Temperate Forests for Carbon Storage
Ecological Benefits of Megafires
Forest Biomass is a False Solution
Prepare Your Home: Reducing Wildfire Risk
Ruminating on cattle, grazing systems, methane, nitrous oxide, the soil carbon sequestration question? Look here for answers to what it means for greenhouse gas emissions.