Agriculture and Innovation in the Urban Fringe: The Case of Organic Farming in Quebec, Canada

This paper takes another perspective on the zoning laws in Canada, specifically in Quebec. The paper presents the urban fringe as an area where alternative forms of agriculture, i.e. organic farming, are favored through closer access to such resources as a large urban market and and specialized agricultural services. An analysis of organic farming in Quebec, Canada, shows that urban fringe areas account for the highest level of activity in organic farming compared to other regions, confirming of conditions encouraging innovation. Concentrations of organic farming are also present in urban fringe areas, suggestive of other factors, e.g. the role of local actors, which also influence the development of alternative and innovative forms of agriculture.

Here is the paper: Beauchesne-Bryant-TESG993-2

Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and the New Green Revolution

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Journal of Sustainable Agriculture

Eric Holt-Giménez, Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, Oakland and Miguel A. Altieri, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

Accepted author version posted online: 04 Sep 2012.Version of
record first published: 17 Dec 2012.
To cite this article: Eric Holt-Giménez & Miguel A. Altieri (2013): Agroecology, Food Sovereignty

Read the entire article in the attached pdf.

Note on Soil and Climate Change

According to Jim Howell (2012 Quivira Conference speaker), one quarter to one half of the carbon that is currently being added to the atmosphere is due to industrial agriculture’s poor land use alone. Leaving land bare allows carbon from the soil to bond with oxygen in the air, creating carbon dioxide (CO2). This would not happen in nature, as there would always be plants covering the ground, protecting the soil carbon. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which actively traps heat from the sun on the planet. We need some CO2 in the atmosphere to keep our planet warmer than the vacuum of space, but humans have exponentially increased atmospheric CO2 by burning fossil fuels, which are made of ancient atmospheric carbon stored up under the ground for millions of years. By burning fossil fuels, we have released so much CO2 that it has fundamentally changed the composition of our atmosphere. Scientists say that if we reach 450 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in our atmosphere we will start an irreversible chain reaction of global warming, and our environment cannot sustain long term CO2 levels above 350 ppm. There are currently 394 ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere, which is the highest amount our planet has seen for at least 800,000 years, and possibly the highest earth has seen in the last 20 million years. At the moment, we are increasing atmospheric CO2 on an average of 2 ppm per year. At this rate, we will reach 450 ppm in 28 years. If we wish to continue living on planet Earth we must begin to not only reduce the CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere, but we must reverse this process by sequestering atmospheric CO2. Building soil carbon actively sequesters carbon from the atmosphere by absorbing CO2 via plant photosynthesis. According to Fred Provenza, 2012 Quivira Conference Speaker, Every ton of humus (soil organic matter) created removes 3.76 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Climate Chapter of The Crisis of Civilization book

What is climate change? Is it a product of natural cyclical variations in the Earth’s ecological systems, or is it a consequence of human activities? What are the implications of climate change for the international system? How serious are the ramifications of climate change for the continuity of modern industrial civilization? This chapter begins by confronting the major public-media debates regarding the causality of climate change, reviewing the main arguments that challenge the idea that contemporary global warming is due to fossil fuel emissions and therefore human-induced (anthropogenic). The relevant scientific literature is explored to discern whether we can be sure that climate change is happening, and why.

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