cracked earth from droughtNOAA’s recent News Release Jan 19th, No Surprise, 2015 sets new global temperature record confirms what a lot of people suspected, i.e. that climate change is still romping away in its warming trend. We’ve had El Nino conditions to contend with too, and that has made circumstances more difficult than they would have otherwise been for many folk with too much water in some places and precious little in others.

I’m not going to gripe about what happened in my dry vegetable plots when a lot of people were flooded in their homes and have suffered successive years of failed rains. What I am going to say is that we need to protect our carbon sinks: forests, soils and oceans and start some serious new tree plantations, this action is especially impactful in the subtropical and tropical zones where each deciduous tree absorbs far more atmospheric carbon than their cool temperate equivalents. I heard it was 9 times more in case of the tropical hardwoods. Sadly though, that’s the global belt that is experiencing the most deforestation. Let’s hope Brazil and Indonesia wake up and smell the coffee, Brazil is still planning on losing 50% of remaining forest there. Indonesia appears to be losing its forest cover  with no planning at all. Oops, we’ve done it again! There burns another huge chunk of Kalimantan’s forest and peat soil cover in 2015 releasing an enormous volume of Carbon .

Is this entirely sensible in light of what we know is happening to global climate and biodiversity, I ask you? I’m not sure that it is, really. Can we adapt our behaviours in light of what we know about climate change, to render them more appropriate. That would be great.

Our situation is certainly not hopeless. Carbon dioxide is plant food after all. It plays an essential role in the gaseous exchange of life on Earth. The more plants the better; the better for our air , soil and water quality. The better the diversity of our plants, the richer our diversity of animals, birds and fish can be and the higher the productivity potential for any given area of Earth’s surface. It is so important that we don’t lose more of our irreplaceable biodiversity.

Mangroves and bamboos are supposed to be pretty  good subjects for afforestation / reforestation because they also help build land and ameliorate soil loss respectively. They can also produce a lot of very useful things when harvested sustainably. Different types of plants will suit different places better than others.

Here at Crawfish Springs, Louisiana, in 2015 my food gardening was akin to slash and burn.  I damaged our soil and the yield was small.  In 2016 I’m going to try harder at permaculture. For a start I want to grow comfrey as a sustainable fertilizer crop and produce healthier more productive crops while protecting the soil with slit cardboard.