New USDA Program to Reduce Farm Carbon Emissions
by RP Siegel
There’s an old saying that goes, “when you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s a little late to think about draining the swamp.” It could certainly apply to farmers in California right now, who are up to their neck (so to speak) in a historic drought. They are struggling and making difficult choices as to which crops they can continue to raise, as homeowners and municipalities learn to change their habits and their landscaping.
But as we have learned about climate change, there will be many more droughts, even more severe than this one, if something isn’t done to address the root cause. Which is where the new announcement from USDA comes in. Farmers contribute roughly 9% to overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—though, when it comes to methane, a gas 25 times more potent than CO2 in its effect on the atmosphere—that number goes up to 40 per cent. This new plan is another piece of President Obama’s effort to address the problem in a comprehensive manner, in each major area that it presents itself.
RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post.