Wednesday, September 30, 2009

California Ag and Climate Change

I have just finished reading Kari Hamerschlag's report for the Environmental Working Group: California’s Climate Change Policy Leaves Agriculture in the Dust: I quote a bit from the executive summary: (full report also available from that link.)
Climate change presents California agriculture with two major challenges: how to reduce its contribution to climate change while arming itself against the threats a warming planet poses to agricultural production.

Fortunately, many of the measures that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in the soil will also make agriculture more resilient to extreme weather patterns, such as the current drought. Cover cropping, composting, conservation tillage, organic fertilization and other best management practices will increase the amount of soil organic matter, reduce erosion, conserve water and enhance fertility. This, in turn, will help increase crop productivity and drought and pest resistance in the face of an increasingly dry and hot climate. According to a January 2009, ground-breaking study by University of California at Davis researchers, these practices, when combined, will generate significant greenhouse gas reduction benefits, primarily through carbon sequestration.
This is just a reminder that there is a lot happening locally and that all to idiots are not in Washington. Some of them worked on California's strategy which might be summarized as "Build the Arnold Schwarzenegger Peripheral Canal".

Fortunately, Hamerschlag also provides a list of 10 things that need to be done and that had been inconveniently left out.

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