I doubt that the 3 authors of the study quoted by Nature in Intensive farming may ease climate change (June 15) will win a popularity contest.
Their paper Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) posits that "land saved from cultivation offsets carbon emissions" as planted surfaces are more productive.
The Nature piece quotes the study as having found that "agricultural advances between 1961 and 2005 spared a portion of land larger than Russia from development and reduced emissions by the equivalent of 590 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide — roughly a third of the total emitted since the start of the Industrial Revolution."
On the the positive side Nature notes that "fortunately, there is plenty of cleared land that is underperforming and massive potential for boosting yields in developing countries" and concludes with these words from David Tilman, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota in St Paul "If we want to save the Earth, we have to feed the world."
Would turning more empty lots in cities like Detroit help if only marginally. Urban Farm offering tips on 'backyard goat grazing' and 'self watering containers' in its latest issue might have an opinion on that.
Do I want to raise goats in my backyard? That's another story.
Looking at all sides of the coin for Green Day # 133
Previously: Soft Mobility, Car-Free Vacation in Werfenweng near Salzburg, Austria Eco Tourism