Monoculture Farming Part 2: Air Pollution (3)

I am finally back to continue with the post on monoculture. To be honest, I feel that the organisation of my blog post is quite messy…. Not too sure how I can go about categorising my posts so that I can digress/ raise other interesting points without looking too haphazard.

Today’s post will focus on the air pollution/atmospheric damages caused by monoculture farming. It will also look into the health implications for the farmers. Since I have explained in greater detail about eutrophication, a form of water pollution from monoculture, I will not focus on water pollution anymore for monoculture. Unless I find something interesting….

The myth of bettering the air, atmosphere and reversing Climate Change

The capitalist market naively claims that afforestation and reforestation through monoculture farming are quickest ways to fix climate change. However, it is optimistic to assume that the monoculture plantation would absorb the carbon dioxide.

Studies show that forests need to stand for many years before they lock-in carbon and act as carbon sinks because most of the carbon is found in the soils. Vegetation respire through their leaves (Stomata) and when shedding of leaves occur, they return carbon to the soil. Monocultures are not forests/ecosystems and do not stand long enough to lock-in carbon in the soil. Moreover, monocultures inhibit soil carbon up-take by frequent tilling and pesticide use.

The Clean Development Mechanism, the biggest offset scheme under the UNFCCC, allows projects that include monoculture plantations under the Aforestation/Reforestation track to sell carbon credits to polluters in the North. In addition, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) under the UNFCCC and the World Bank is a controversial scheme because it does not differentiate between industrial tree plantations and forests.

I’ll be back for more…. Hopefully I can finally reach the section on the human health impacts of monoculture……. Stay tuned 😀

Here’s the link to the REDD controversy!

1. http://www.carbontradewatch.org/issues/monoculture.html

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