From Mary Alice Masonick:
Don encourages support of HR 763, The Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act of 2019.
This legislation is our focus in Citizens’ Climate Lobby. You can promote HR 763 by calling your Congressperson. They know about the bill, so add your voice! Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06) met with 29 of us constituents via zoom. 
If group activism speaks to you, join IL Fox Valley group of CCL HERE.

Dear Colleagues

I haven’t been in touch as much as I would like the last five months.  But my time hasn’t been wasted.  I have been studying and learning a whole lot more about Dr. Walter Jehne’s (formerly of CSIRO) perspective on global hydrology and its role in cooling our planet, and in the importance and urgency of the hydrologic cycle relative to the carbon cycle in addressing climate change.  Bottom line, re-greening the planet, restoring the soil carbon sponge, and the potential role of farmers and ranchers in addressing the myriad problems of our deteriorating planet are at least equal in importance to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Either one alone won’t get the job done.  We have about a decade now to make substantial progress in both of these areas or we will begin to experience unprecedented loss of human life and habitat.  If you think I am being unduly pessimistic, try to project ten years ahead the growing devastation of hurricanes, the growing prevalence and severity of wildfires and floods, the deterioration of soils, rates of deforestation, number of species going extinct, temperature extremes, and the potential for deadly global pandemics which increases at least as the square of a growing population size.

What I pray for most earnestly in the world today is to have farmers and ranchers paid for practicing regenerative agriculture.  Without financial incentive, as things stand today, they can’t afford to and won’t make the change.  It will quickly become too late.  Assuming the worst case business-as-usual scenario, by 2060, when we run out of affordable fossil fuels and our soils have lost 90% of their soil organic matter, Earth’s long-term adequate-diet human carrying capacity will be less than 750 million, most of them necessarily becoming subsistence farmers barely holding onto devastated landscapes. The second half of this century could see episodic die-offs of up to 7-10 billion people due to pandemics, starvation, and wars over land and water. Livestock, competing unsuccessfully with humans for food, could effectively disappear.  Meat, milk, and eggs will become extremely rare and forbiddingly expensive.  Mature trees and woodlots will be all but eliminated due to scavenging for firewood for home heating and cooking.  Smoky air will become unbreathable.

Alternatively, if we start today paying farmers $40/%SOM/acre/year from the proceeds of a carbon tax (SOM = Soil Organic Matter), by 2060 we will sustainably be able to feed 7-8 billion people on restored soils while simultaneously resolving climate change, not to mention the beneficial impact of more nutritious food on public health plus providing a variety of essential ecosystem services including woodlots, clean water, dependable rainfall, flood prevention, drought mitigation, wildfire suppression, temperature reduction, pest and disease control, fisheries and pollinator habitat, ground water and aquifer recharge, erosion prevention, and nutrient retention.  It would cost society the equivalent of about 15% of our defense budget for all this.  Sounds like a bargain price for achieving real security, to me, not to mention fair recompense for our regenerative farmers.

I don’t need to tell you that just reading and being convinced by messages like this will no longer get the job done.  Call your congressperson and urge them to support Cheri Bustos’ Rural Green Partnership, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal, and Ted Deutch’s Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend, Act H.R. 763, to make sure our farmers are paid for farming regeneratively as soon as humanly possible.  It’s that urgent.

It will take about two minutes to look up your congressperson’s phone number.  It will take about five minutes to make the call.  It will be the most consequential seven minutes of your day, maybe even your life.

Most sincerely yours,
Don Wilkin

4 thoughts on “Letter from Don”

  1. Thanks to Don WIlkins for another informative, hopeful look at what taking care of the soil can do for all of us!
    Join us in November to share more ideas on going greener! SIYY, Start in Your Yard, newest goal, is very exciting and being supported by the Elgin Sustainability Commission. get stated, planting natives in your yard.

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