SMASH INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

It’s time to recognize the major role of industrial agriculture in causing the climate crises. From massive greenhouse gas emissions to land use change and soil carbon mining, the industrial agriculture system has flown under the radar for too long as one of the primary systems destroying the climate. The climate justice movement has had great success exposing how the fossil fuel industry is brutally killing the planet for profit, so now it is time to target big agribusinesses that usually are not thought of as climate criminals. It’s time for us to show how these businesses are forcing through false and dangerous solutions to the climate crisis only to expand their markets and continue business as usual. Let’s widen the focus of the climate justice movement and dismantle the industrial agricultural system together!

FOOD FOR PEOPLE NOT CROPS FOR PROFIT!

Following colonial patterns, more and more land is taken away from small scale farmers to be used for monocultural industrial production at mega plantations producing crops to be traded at the global market. Most of these crops are used for either biofuels, fodder for the animal industry, or as ingredients in processed foods. They are produced without any concerns for nature, biodiversity or for local food security, and their production is a major driver of climate chaos. Between 44% and 57% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from industrial agriculture. The production and usage of chemical fertilizers alone is estimated to be responsible for up to 10 % of global GHG emissions, if its reliance on fracking natural gas for fertilizer production and its destruction of soil is taken into account. The destruction caused by the fertilizer industry compares to that of the coal mining industry, sacrificing huge areas of livable land in their devastating hunt for scarce minerals and their demand for cheap gas. It’s no coincidence that the same few companies who are producing fertilizer, pesticides and crops globally are also the ones dominating political processes around agricultural policies and coming up with false solutions for how to solve the climate crises. They are proposing solutions with the purpose of expanding the reach of their markets, e.g. by forcing small farmers to use chemical fertilizers, pesticides and patented seeds. The only purpose of their proposed solutions is to keep us locked in a deadly industrial agricultural production system.

LETS FREE THE SOIL TOGETHER

We need to expose the devastating practices of the industrial agricultural system and the few companies that control it, and to shut them down! We already know what the solutions look like, agroecology, food sovereignty, and claiming self-determination of food systems. Let’s smash industrial agriculture for climate justice; Lets educate ourselves, share our knowledge, create networks of resistance, take direct action, and hit the producers where it hurts the most.

GREAT BOOKS TO START WITH

  • Against colonization and rural dispossession – local resistance in South and East Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Edited by Dip Kapoor (2017)
  • Who really feeds the world? – The failures of agribusiness and the promise of agroecology. Vandana Shiva (2016)
  • The great climate robbery. GRAIN (2016)
  • Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture Handbook. Action Aid, (2016)
  • Agriculture and food in crisis – Connflict, Resistance and Renewal. Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar (2010)

INTERESTING REPORTS

  • Agroecology and the Search for a Truly Sustainable Agriculture. Altieri, M.A. & Nicholls, C.I. (2005).
  • Agriculture at a Crossroads. Global Report. IAASTD (2008).
  • Agroecology: Key Concepts, Principles and Practices. Third World Network and SOCLA, (2015)
  • Bigger is Not Always Better: Drivers and Implications of the Recent Agribusiness. Megamergers Jennifer Clapp, Working Paper – (March 2017)
  • Chair’s Summary: Road Map for Action. The Hague, CSA Scienti c Conference, (2010).
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture: What is it? Why is it needed? FAO, CGIAR & CCAFS, 2014. ETC Group Communiqué 115 (dec 2015)
  • The political economy of Africa’s burgeoning chemical fertiliser rush. African Center for Biosafety
  • The State of Food and Agriculture 2014 in Brief. Innovation in family farming. FAO (2014).