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EU plans to plant 3B trees and expand organic farming (newscientist.com)
31 points by onetimemanytime 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

I wonder why organic farming is so popular. Wikipedia says:

1. "Researchers at Oxford University analyzed 71 peer-reviewed studies and observed that organic products are sometimes worse for the environment."

2. "According to a 2012 meta-analysis of 71 studies, nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions, ammonia emissions, eutrophication potential and acidification potential were higher for organic products"

3. "The Oxford meta-analysis of 71 studies found that organic farming requires 84% more land for an equivalent amount of harvest"

4. "there is insufficient evidence to make claims that organic food is safer or healthier than conventional food"

The list goes on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming

A problem is that insecticides and artificial fertilizer (two main things not allowed in organic farming) cause ecological problems in the region where the farm is located, even if organic farming would need more farm land in total and would thus destroy nature elsewhere.

Many crops are better grown in greenhouses, where pests can be kept out or controlled without pesticides, and plants can be grown in stone wool and given exactly the nutrients they need. That should count as organic, but unfortunately doesn't.

Organic farming uses pesticides as well. Are they safe for the environment? We don't know because they're organic and therefore must be safe. See links within: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/organic-pestic...

Organic farming enjoys huge brand loyalty while doing little to address farming practices that actually matter. We have an EU-wide scheme of farm subsidies called CAP, which has been slowly reformed into a system of monitoring farming practices and only paying subsidies to the farmers that are following them.

They take images from satellites and measure sizes of fields, width of hedgerows, identify the type of crop that's being grown and determine if the farmer is following crop rotation guidelines, etc. Farmers only get subsidies if they follow the guidelines. This is done to limit soil erosion and protect the environment.

Because of counter corporate propaganda. Anything organic is done by a small, local, friendly, nature and animals respecting farmer, right?

And that's also much of the problem with it.

Small farms don't have the capital for the most environmentally friendly technology. Locally is not necessarily the best place for food production. That the farmer respects nature and animals is a bit beside the point for solving the problem of global food production in a sustainable way.

Imagine believing that man-made pesticides which are neurotoxic for humans and kill the required animals (worms,...) and poison plants themselves are better than organic farming.

Pesticides start a downward spiral because the soil quality gets worse and worse. So the plants are less and less nutritious. No amount of artificial fertilizer can replace the delicate balance of nature. Beliving you can outsmart a complex system such as nature with just by adding some additional fertilizer clearly demonstrates a severe lack of understanding that nature requires a complicated cycle THAT JUST WORKS BY ITSELF if you don't mess with it.

Imagine thinking 'natural = good', and not realising that we'd all starve to death without artificial fertiliser.

Imagine not realising that organic farming involves using herbicides, etc. and there are are plenty of natural ones more deadly than their artificial counterparts. The subject of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides is actually a massive, complicated topic. There are some artificial ones totally harmless to humans. Natural doesn't mean anything. You want some all-natural tapeworms? Better not take any man-made substances to treat them.

What does 'JUST WORKS BY ITSELF' even mean? It doesn't work to feed us, has no regard for human survival, or survival of any anything for that matter. Something like 98% of all species that have even lived are extinct.

Fertiliser and pesticide has little effect on soil quality per se, unless grossly misused. Primary issues of soil quality are overfarming, erosion, crop rotation, cover crop/ leaving fields bare, etc.

You're analyzing completely wrong data, that's why.

Look at the parasitic NGOs, their industry backers and corrupt government officials backing that nonsense and you may find an answer.

Any particular links to the NGOs?

> “The biodiversity strategy is essential for boosting our resilience and preventing the emergence and spread of future diseases such as zoonoses. Because by destroying nature at an unprecedented rate, and now with around 1 million species at risk of extinction within only decades, we literally threaten our own life, our health and our well-being,” he told a press conference.

This doesnt even make logical sense. As a EU resident i wasn't ever informed of an EU Green Deal etc. Either this isn't happening, or it's being vastly exaggerated. (and in any case organic farming is not about natural biodiversity, it's a frankenstein/zombie policy). If anything i 'd think this is the time to get serious about biotechnology

> As a EU resident i wasn't ever informed of an EU Green Deal etc.

Where are you in the EU? In Germany it was in the news a good bit – I believe it was shortly following the start of the von der Leyen commission.

>>As a EU resident i wasn't ever informed of an EU Green Deal etc. Either this isn't happening, or it's being vastly exaggerated.

I understand your anger for not being informed or asked. But a lot of countries are trying to reforest and clean the air. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reforestation#Implementation

AFAIK, nature is pretty very good at reforesting itself if you leave the land alone. But if you expand organic farming, which doesnt scale, you 're making it worse

> As a EU resident i wasn't ever informed of an EU Green Deal etc

Its the EU. Remember the last elections? When after winning the elections, the original candidate for presidency was removed, and Merkel put one of her buddies into the position? Because f* democracy apparently.

So why would you think, the EU bureaucracy would care to inform the population? We are ere to pay taxes, nothing else.

Wait until you find out about the Digital Services act, another legislature that the EU wants to keep nearly secret.

Just dived in[1], but apparently this isn't so much a plan as a plan to have a plan. In particular it mentions a EU Forest Strategy to be proposed in 2021. You know, it sounds "nice", but here's the pet peeve I have whenever I hear about reforestation efforts nowadays: there's no talk about making sure the trees in the forest are themselves, y'know, biodiverse. It's easy to plant a lot of trees if they're all the same species, clones, etc. but the problem is you end up with a forest that isn't so resilient to either natural disaster nor disease. Entire crops of trees have been wiped out before because the, to put it mildly, economical approach to getting things done quickly meant just planting a lot of the same species of tree.

Well, I guess we'll see next year what their EU Forest Strategy is, I hope they take biodiversity in the flora as seriously as biodiversity in the fauna.

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-ann...

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