An Agricultural Revolution to Fight Climate Change?


Cars and coal may get most of the attention, but one of the biggest contributors to climate change is the food industry. Globally, agriculture accounts for at least 25 percent of humanity’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. But some think that this situation could be radically changed—instead of just cutting agriculture’s carbon footprint, maybe we can use agriculture to reverse climate change.

By harnessing photosynthesis’ power, experts think we can turn a major part of the problem into a solution. But can we take this new way of thinking out of the lab and into the policy realm? Will American farmers, many of whom deny climate change is man-made, get onboard? Will Big Agriculture join in—or is it too focused on today’s profits to worry about tomorrow’s climate?

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12: 15 p.m. Introduction

Mark Hertsgaard
Author, HOT: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth
Schmidt Family Foundation Fellow, New America Foundation

12:25 p.m. Panel Discussion: Betting the Farm: Can We Reinvent Agriculture to Save the Planet?

Peter Byck
Director and Producer, Carbon Nation
Professor of Practice, Arizona State University

Mark Hertsgaard

Judith D. Schwartz
Author, Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Kate Sheppard
Staff Reporter, Mother Jones

1:15 p.m. Conversation: Reaping What They Sow: Will Big Ag Embrace a Sustainable Future?
Director, Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative, New America Foundation
Matthew Yglesias

Business and Economics Correspondent, Slate