Saturday, July 6, 2013 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English
Practicing Climate - Friendly Agriculture
From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report. Agriculture produces a lot of the heat-trapping gasses that scientists link to rising temperatures and climate change. Agriculture also can be hurt by the effects of climate change. The Worldwatch Institute in Washington suggests ways that agriculture can reduce its effects on the environment. Worldwatch released a report called "Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture: Supporting Climate-Friendly Food Production."
Researcher Danielle Nierenberg was one of its authors. She says 25 to 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. This is because fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotic drugs, transportation and processing are all dependent on oil, gas and coal.Danielle Nierenberg says animal production has an especially big effect on the environment. She notes that more meat is being eaten in countries like Brazil, China and India.
As a result, more industrial factory farms are being built in the developing world. The report recommends six land and water use practices that it says are sustainable. These include growing trees on farmland to reduce soil erosion and planting cover crops to protect soil from drought, heat and pests. Danielle Nierenberg says urban farming can help as well. Growing more food in cities can reduce transportation costs, she says. Urban residents then can buy food from within their communities. Other recommendations include recycling wastewater in cities, drip irrigation, and catching and storing rainwater. The United Nations estimates that changes in the agriculture industry could cut its carbon dioxide production by 88 percent.
For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.