Originally Posted by etudiant
In isolation, if the cows are fed solely from the grass, there is a balance, because they cannot emit more carbon than they take in.
In the macro, it is quite possible to farm in a carbon friendly manner, even with primitive methods.
The Amazon was once a garden for millions, with an ongoing soil improvement effort based on charcoaling vegetation and using that plus midden materials to enrich the soil. The large areas called Terra Preta reflect these centuries of human activity. The plagues brought about by the European invasion exterminated the locals and let the garden run wild, but the fruit and nut trees are still there. The current day ranching methods are short sighted, because the rains leach out the nutrients quickly, leaving impoverished soil. The earlier inhabitants did better, they left a richer place than before.
True, but the question is, how do we implement these practices on other than an individual basis without drastic human population decrease and draconian—and I mean draconian
if to be really effective—government intervention? This is the question of questions, asked many times by me and others, and I for one don’t know the answer. Do you? Does anyone here?
In the interim, we must do what we can with the tools at hand, starting with that master evil of our time, AGW, against which not nearly enough is being done anywhere, certainly not in the US where a “denier” administration is actively engaged in rolling back what little progress has been made. No hope here, except the ballot box. Fingers crossed. And then there’s the Amazon and the other rain forests, all of which are going to soon disappear without some sort of effective internationalization. And what are the chances of that? The phasing out of fossil fuels in favor of wind, tidal and solar; there might be some hope there, given the ever increasing efficiency of the technologies involved. Industrial-scale agriculture and animal husbandry with its heavy dependence on noxious chemicals of various kinds; hard to know what to do about these, though the technology behind the “nothing burger” might be a possible starting point..
One thing, however, is certain, harking back to an illusionary “Golden Age” when men lived in peace with each other and “in harmony with nature”, is a cop-out—instead think: “doing what it takes to scratch-out a living” (just like most of the world population today); internecine warfare; murderous raids on neighbors for women or other goods or just for the hell of it; short lifespans generally ending painfully in violence, untreatable diseases or infected wounds; hatred of strangers; barbaric religious practices; rotting teeth.