Saving the planet is a human issue not a political one | Guest column

Submitted by Charles Mish

Last year a letter appeared in the Islands’ Weekly suggesting the paper include more conservative points of view. On one issue, I agree. Now more than ever we need to conserve our precious blue planet on the brink of disaster.

Despite year after year of multiyear droughts, monster wildfires, mammoth hurricanes and floods, and record-breaking temperatures, our “conservative” party refuses to face the problem.

A report from a Nobel Prize-winning group of independent scientists sounded a four-alarm warning that if we don’t act to protect the planet within the next 10 years, the consequences will be not only catastrophic but irreversible.

To conservative leaders fixated on cutting taxes for billionaires while exploding the deficit and building walls along the Mexican border when the overall rate of illegal immigration has been at historic lows for years, I ask:

• How long can the country afford to pay for the billions of dollars of damages caused by natural disasters?

• How will you stop the tsunami of refugees heading north when Central America becomes unbearably hot?

• Where are we going to get our drinking and irrigation water when the snowcaps melt and the aquifers dry up?

Although Mr. Trump wants to withdraw America from the Paris Accords, it’s important to remember that almost all other countries have joined together to combat climate change.

Sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly in China and Norway, and many countries (Britain, France, India) intend to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles between 2025 and 2040. Soon electric vehicles will cost no more than gas vehicles, will be far easier to operate and maintain and will be rechargeable anywhere in five minutes.

Currently, 90 percent of Americans believe we must combat climate change, the mayors of over 900 American cities have committed to honoring the Paris Accords, and recent midterms have ushered in 10 new green governors and a pro-environment majority in the House.

As the planet switches to cleaner energy, the problem remains — what to do with the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere?

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is lying right under our feet.

According to Nobel Prize-winning soil scientist Rattan Lal, if only 2 percent of the world’s arable land were returned to organic, we could offset 100 percent of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere. Beyond 2 percent, we start to REVERSE global warming.

Although industrial agriculture depletes nutrients and sterilizes the soil, organic agriculture enriches the soil, sponges up moisture and sequesters carbon.

Pipedream? Already 40 countries have signed up for the 0.4 percent solution, committing to restore 0.4 percent of their land per year to organic agriculture. That means in five years, they will be at the 2 percent level and growing.

Yes, we can all make a difference. Buy an energy-efficient car, make your own electricity with wind and solar and support local organic agriculture. Now!

Regenerating the Earth should not be a red-versus-blue issue. It’s a red, white and blue issue.