NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An alarming report from the United Nations claims agriculture, forestry, and other land uses produce nearly half of the world’s methane emissions, causing global warming problems.
Farmers are now taking steps to fix the issue, reports CBS2’s Valerie Castro.
You can do a lot with 120 acres of farmland. Farm owner Jim Giamarese chose to plant a ton of fruits and vegetables, while also making sure his harvest isn’t hurting the environment
“We try to use conservation practices, obviously we’ll plant a cover crop,” said Giamarese.
The New Jersey farmer says it helps catch and keep carbon in the ground.
It’s a technique experts say should be looked into more, especially after the U.N. released a report on climate change saying 44% of methane emissions come from human land use.
“As we try to shift more towards, making less of an imprint of global warming and agriculture, we need to look more towards research,” said professor and agricultural agent Bill Hlubik.
Hlubik teaches sustainable agriculture at Rutgers University. His work combines research with new and seasoned farmers working on modern ways of farming, especially when it comes to cattle herding.
The report claims cow manure emits methane that can account for 2.6% of heat-trapping emissions.
“It’s a matter of proper feed that goes into the cattle, it’s a matter of the proper genetics, growing the right cattle that’s the most efficient,” he said.
The report suggests people change what we eat, switching to more plant-based foods and sustainably-produced meats that will change land use and mitigate climate change.
Will people actually do it?
“It is hard because I’m set in my ways,” said Richard Nahun. “There is so much more reason to do it.”
“I think we should conserve the environment we have,” said Anthony Zaccari of Washington Heights. “We only have one Earth.”
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is helping bridge that change in attitude by holding a Garden and Music Festival on Aug. 24 in South Brunswick. For details on the gardening, landscaping and live music programs, see their website.
Reducing food waste can also fight climate change even more. The report states that between 2010 and 2016 global food waste accounted for 8% to 10% of heat-trapping emissions.