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Bank On It?

“Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm—which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.” -Wendell Berry in his 1996 book The Unsettling of America

Agriculture's emissions are 10 percent of the US carbon budget and come, in roughly equal parts, from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and factory farm manure lagoons.

Instead of fixing these two problems, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack would tweak them slightly. He wants to use the Commodity Credit Corporation's $30 billion to create a Carbon Bank to help farmers increase carbon sequestration where synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is applied and divert animal waste to methane digesters.

But, this Carbon Bank funding would just lock these two problems in place.

The only way to transform agriculture from pollution to solution is to reintegrate crops and livestock in biodiverse regenerative organic farming systems.

Read more: The Potential―and Challenges―of Agriculture as a Climate Change Solution

Tell Congress: Taxpayers Shouldn’t Pay for Polluters’ Carbon Offsets