Organic Bytes #196

October 23, 2009

Organic Bytes #196: Organics and the Climate Crisis

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

In This Issue

Quote of the Week: The Organic Revolution – How We Can Stop Global Warming
Video Alert of the Week: Ripe for Revolution, The Organic Solution
Climate Resources: The Science of Agriculture and Climate Change
Climate Actions of the Week: #1 Write to Congress – #2 – #3 The Compost, Your Own Carbon Piggy Bank
Guerilla Theatre of the Week: The Yes Men
Little Bytes: Stop Organic Fraud, Abuse of Farm Workers & CA Fumigation
Planting Peace and Grassroots Netroots News
Organic Consumers Association on the Radio
Travel to Mexico on OCA’s “Via Organica” Tour November 15-22
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Quote of the Week

The Organic Revolution: How We Can Stop Global Warming

“The heretofore unpublicized ‘good news’ on climate change, according to the Rodale Institute and other soil scientists, is that transitioning from chemical, water, and energy-intensive industrial agriculture practices to organic farming and ranching on the world’s 3.5 billion acres of farmland and 8.2 billion acres of pasture or rangeland can sequester 7,000 pounds per acre of climate-destabilizing CO2 every year, while nurturing healthy soils, plants, grasses, and trees that are resistant to drought, heavy rain, pests, and disease. And of course organic farms and ranches can provide us with food that is much more nutritious than industrial farms and ranches – food filled with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and essential trace minerals, free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), pesticides, antibiotics, and sewage sludge.”

-Ronnie Cummins, “The Organic Revolution: How We Can Stop Global Warming,” October 12, 2009


Video of the Week

Ripe for Revolution: The Organic Solution

“Organic farming, in and of itself can effectively reduce global warming. Very few of us know that.” – Dr. Timothy La Salle, Rodale Institute

From the video:

“Climate change is one of the most challenging issues of our time. What if right beneath our feet there existed an affordable way to significantly resolve global warming?”

“Organic farming practices could sequester 39% of the world’s annual carbon dioxide load if applied to all cropland in the world.”

“If organic farming methods were practiced on all the planet’s food growing land, it would be like taking more than 1.4 billion cars off the road.”



The Science of Agriculture and Climate Change

Would you like to learn more about the science that explains the link between agriculture and climate? We’ve compiled resources for you in video format, including:

Excerpts from Rodale Institute CEO Tim La Salle’s PowerPoint presentation, “Regenerative 21st Century Farming: A Solution to Global Warming & The Organic Green Revolution”. LaSalle summarizes Rodale research that shows how the combination of organic agriculture, managed grazing and restorative forestry could sequester 100% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Excerpts from OCA’s advisory board member and Cedar Circle Farm director Will Allen’s PowerPoint presentation, “Climate Change and Agriculture: Time for a Paradigm Shift”. Allen explains that the key to reducing and sequestering greenhouse gases is to phase out the use of fossil fuel fertilizers and replace them with organic methods, including cover cropping, rotation and composting.

Climate Actions OF THE WEEK

Write to Congress,, and Composting

#1: Write to Congress Here!

#2 Join for Global Day of Climate Action October 24th

A year ago, we learned that if we let the amount of carbon in the atmosphere go above 350 parts per million, we can’t have a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”

The bad news: We’re already past that number – we’re at 390 parts per million!

The good news: That number gives us a target to aim for. When the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen in December to reach agreement on a new climate treaty, we need them to make sure they’ll put forward a plan that gets us back to safety.

On October 24, people in more than 4227 communities around the globe will be taking action in 170 countries under the banner of

The website has a wealth of information, including this fact sheet on Food & Climate which encourages folks to “Go organic: If everyone converted 10% of their diet to organic, we could capture an addition 6.5 billion pounds of carbon in the soil – the equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road each year!”


#3 Create Your Own Carbon Piggy Bank: COMPOST!

According to the Rodale Institute, organic farms that use compost can sequester carbon at a rate of up to 3,200 kg/ha/yr. Under the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism, cities in the Global South are composting their organic waste (wood, straw, coffee residues, fresh green material and manure) to create carbon credits. Some US cities have also begun municipal composting. San Francisco has the nation’s first mandatory composting law.

But it’s not just farmers and cities, you can compost at home! So, if you haven’t already, take your food, lawn, garden waste – even poop – and make your very own carbon piggy bank: COMPOST!


OCA and the Planet Desperately Need Your Help to Stop Global Warming

Almost no one besides the OCA and Rodale Institute are talking about a positive, science-based solution to the Climate Crisis. OCA is launching today a major public education campaign to stop global warming. We intend to get out the inspiring message to millions how a “Great Transition” to organic farming and ranching can sequester enough dangerous greenhouse gases (7,000 pounds per acre per year of CO2) to buy us the precious time we need to reduce fossil fuel use, build a healthy, green economy, and re-stabilize the climate. But we desperately need your help. For the next 30 days a California Foundation has agreed to match your donations dollar for dollar. So please send us a tax-deductible donation today.


Guerrilla Theatre Action of the Week

The Yes Men Strike Again

The corporate media and the fossil fuel lobby got a shock on Monday when activists in disguise, the “Yes Men,” staged a press conference in Washington, DC announcing that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had reversed its position on regulating climate change. A press advisory on official-looking letterhead announced that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was dropping its longstanding opposition to Congressional climate change legislation and would now support taxing carbon emissions. The news wires quickly picked up the story, and within minutes it was being reported on the websites of the New York Times and Washington Post. The counterfeit press release and press conference also made its way onto cable news, including the Fox Business Network. At a press conference at the National Press Club, an activist posing as U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, “Hingo Sembra,” read from a prepared statement:

“Ecologists tell us that if we don’t enact dramatic reductions in carbon emissions today, within five years we could begin facing the propagating feedback loops of runaway climate change, which would mean a destruction of food and water supplies worldwide, with the result of mass migrations, famine and death on a scale never before imagined.

“Needless to say, that would be bad for business.”

The curtain came down when an official spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Eric Wohlschlegel, rushed into the room and told reporters that the press release was a hoax.



1) OCA Director, Ronnie Cummins, Live on Internet Radio Oct. 29
Ronnie will be on the NaturalNews Talk Hour at 6PM PST-9PM EST on Thursday October 29, discussing “Organic Labeling Fraud and What We Can Do About It.”

2) Cornucopia Nails Target for Fraud for Calling ‘Natural’ Products Organic
The Cornucopia Institute announced this week that it had filed formal complaints with the USDA’s organic program, and Wisconsin and Minnesota officials, alleging that Target Corporation has misled consumers into thinking some conventional food items it sells are organic.

3) Stop Fumigation of Citizens Without Their Consent in California
Tens of thousands of California residents are being sprayed under the cover of night with pesticides containing partly unknown chemicals. These sprayings, conducted in the wake of inadequate health studies, are carried out, not to help residents, but to safeguard the profits of chemical intensive corporate farms from a pest called Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) .

4) Farm Workers Rights: No Smiley Faces for Nature’s Partner
Tell Walmart to stop its supplier Giumarra’s unlawful behavior!

5) Save Rainforests from U.S. Agribusiness Giant Cargill
Join in the global call-in day for the rainforests by making a call to Cargill CEO Gregory Page before more rainforests are cut down for palm oil plantations.

Planting Peace and Grassroots Netroots News

In His Mother’s Footsteps: California Man Jailed for Five Days After Sit-In at Blue Cross Office in Los Angeles READ MORE

Department of Homeland Security Expands Controversial 287(g) Program Empowering Local Police to Enforce Immigration Laws READ MORE

Going Beyond Organic: Analog Forestry READ MORE

Voices from Afghanistan: Afghan Women’s Activist Zoya Speaks Out on Eight Years of Occupation READ MORE

Don’t Let Wall Street Block Strong Consumer Protections! READ MORE

Listen to Organic Consumers on the Radio!

Travel to Mexico on OCA’s “Via Organica” Tour November 15-22

OCA invites you to join us on an enjoyable and inspirational organic food and farming eco-tour November 15-22, hosted by our Mexican sister organization Via Organica, based in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.

We have several spaces left and are offering a discounted price of $850 for a week of bi-lingual workshops, tours to area organic farms, restaurants, stores, and green-building projects. At the Via Organica farm school and resort meet Mexican activists and savor gourmet organic meals and beverages, swim in our thermal pool, hike and bike and enjoy the cultural attractions of the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Miguel de Allende. OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff will lead the tour. The theme of this tour will be “How Organic Food and Farming Can Stop Global Warming.”

Check out our tours website and sign up now!


Your State–Get Involved Locally

Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in Your State here.
Join Your State discussion groups in our forum.
Post events in Your State on our community calendar.

Message from our Sponsors

Three Generations of Sustainability

Frey Winery was the first organic winery in the U.S., founded in 1980, and always family-owned and operated. Today a third generation continues the family’s tradition of sustainable grape growing and award-winning winemaking. Their delicious no-sulfites-added organic and biodynamic wines continue to win new converts.

Organic farming is a fundamental step towards sustainability, and on the slopes of the Redwood Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) in Mendocino County, California, the Freys were the first to set the example of making wine organically, from the vineyard to the cellar. Thirty years later, Mendocino County has more acreage of organic wine grapes than any other county in the U.S. Frey Winery is also solar powered, practices cultivation methods that cut back on energy and water consumption, and preserves woodlands adjacent to the vineyards.

Try the taste of sustainability at!

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print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

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