• Mark wrote a new post

    Air Quality and Water Availability

    Air quality is a major issue in Salt Lake Valley. It can affect our health and well-being. What I didn't expect is that it can even contribute to causing drought. I read an article published in KSL about how poor...

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  • Mark wrote a new post

    Innovation in Ranching

    I read the article "If Ranching Wants to Survive Drought and Other Climate Hassles, It's Time to Show Soil Some Love" by Michael Elizabeth Sakas for Colorado Public Radio. (https://nowcomment.com/documents/254000). The article addressed some of the problems created by conventional...

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  • Mark wrote a new post

    More Than One Sort of Greenhouse

    I questioned what impact agriculture has upon global emissions and how we might limit it. To answer this question, I read two articles, one published by NPR which summarized a UN report on the salience of mitigating agricultural emissions...

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    2 Comments
    • Hello Mark!
      Your optimism is something of a welcome surprise. Too often in the fight against climate change are we overwhelmed by doubt, fear, and failure. Some have already given up; but to this end, no progress can be made. It’s no secret that agriculture, and livestock in particular, are a major contributor to climate change, particularly in the form of methane expelled by cows. But I had no idea that carbon emissions from the land itself was even a reality. I did appreciate, however, how you not only presented the information but also solutions to perhaps mitigate the disaster at hand. I think that all too often we are forced to face the reality of climate change without the tools to do anything meaningful about it, but to know those tools are available and that someone else is also paying attention is comforting.

    • Nice post, Mark! I’ve always thought that there were other factors to our climate crisis other than fuel emissions, but I didn’t exactly know how much agriculture contributed to it (maybe that’s because “it is difficult to measure the carbon released from the soil by agriculture,” but I digress). While looking into the topic somewhat, I found this paper (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data) that shows the data behind carbon emissions, and where it comes from. I always knew that methane was a problem, but because of your post, and the article I wrote here, I now understand how big that problem was. I’m thinking if you could write a whole, cohesive post on all large causes of carbon emissions, and how we can mitigate them, I would most certainly come back to read it!

  • Mark wrote a new post

    Agricultural Emissions and Climate Change

    According to an NPR article titled “To Slow Global Warming, U.N. Warns Agriculture Must Change,” a report by the U.N. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came to the conclusion that changing agricultural practices would be necessary to combat...

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    2 Comments
    • This is really interesting, Mark. I am pretty passionate about climate action and I had no idea how much agriculture contributes to our global buildup of greenhouse gasses. I agree that reforestation is key to slowing this growing problem, as well as reducing livestock. I was shocked by the amount of land taken up because of this already, and it is crazy to think that “50% of all vegetated land would need to be dedicated to agriculture” in the future, like you said. An article (https://www.pnas.org/content/104/50/19691.short) I recently found discusses the necessary adaptations to agriculture we must make, as you mentioned. Thanks for writing, your research has provided me a new perspective on climate action to learn about!

    • Mark, this is very compelling and it brought a new outlook on what is more essential to minimizing gas emissions that are currently contaminating the air we breathe and affecting the environment around us. I value the way you brought into consideration of how “difficult” it’s going to be to make the adjustment for climate change due to the “scale of agriculture” and the habits of the way people “rely on it”. After listening to the conversation between Rebecca Hersher and Allison Aubrey on NPR, do you think that changing the majority of human diets by limiting it down to a quarter-pound of red meat will significantly decrease potent emissions into our environment? If so what are some methods you would personally use to help encourage those that have meat as a big part of their diet?

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