Bit of a blow, eh?

All that sustainability, good for the planet:

It has a reputation for being better for us and the environment, but new research suggests organic food may actually be harming the planet.

Scientists have found that rather than reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released, organic farming may actually be increasing them.

They found the shift to large scale organic farming in order to meet growing demand for organic products in shops has led to an increase in emissions for each acre of land.

And given that organic is less productive, that means that more land needs to be farmed with those higher emissions, too.

17 comments on “Bit of a blow, eh?

  1. When we consider that “the great and the good” are rarely bothered enough to consider the first order consequences of the policies they insist are vital if we are going to survive until next Friday*, why should we be surprised if the net effect (for one particularly contentious ‘net effect’) isn’t what they might have intended it to be.

    * Other dates are available. They are no less random than this one.

  2. All highly predictable, and will be compounded again by the ‘locally-grown’ crowd. Environmentalism and its cousins are ruinous to bio-diversity.

  3. I saw an organic farmer the other day removing the weeds from his fields the organic way. With propane. Or more accurately, he was pulling a harrow down his rows, but instead of tines, he had rather large bunsen burners. It was quite impressive actually.

    Certainly opened my eyes. I guess propane is old enough. After all if you can pour Bordeaux mixture over everything just because it was discovered in the 19th century, why not?

  4. The organic farming movement is part of a movement that believes the world was better in the nineteenth century. They seem to believe that people would be happier if they stopped being aspirational and accepted their lot and be content being peasant craftsmen and agricultural workers.

    They tend to get annoyed when you point out that an awful lot of people worked in factories in the nineteenth century and had pretty crap lives. And that medicine was crap back then. And that fashion and clothing was shit as well. And the less said about the music the better.

    I could go on but I have a job to do.

  5. Salamander – “They tend to get annoyed when you point out that an awful lot of people worked in factories in the nineteenth century and had pretty crap lives.”

    I don’t know. It wasn’t all that bad. Back then you had to have 12 children to be as fat as the average 15 year old British school girl these days.

  6. As it is in the Daily Mail an instant filter will descend over their eyes, and they won’t pay attention to a single word of it.

    Anyway, organic farming is conspicuous consumption for the Guardian reading classes. Not as expensive as the City trader and his Porsche, and flaunting alleged ‘virtue’ and not wealth, but deliberately conspicuous all the same.

  7. Any extra emissions are immediately offset by the fact that the farming is organic. The carbon dioxide dissolves and vanishes in the saintly atmosphere.

    Science.

  8. @Bloke in Cost Rica
    Ah, but can we turn middle class smugness from a resource into a reserve?

    I think Tim knows about this sort of thing.

  9. The laugh is that the extra CO2 is good for the planet, especially the green bits. Of course, organic farming is crap in other ways and the extra plant food doesn’t make up for it, but still.

    Oh, and as for crap 19th century music… Well apart from Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Gounod et. al. (and one or two of the Germans i suppose.).

  10. Surely in a free market if someone wants to buy organic and somebody else wants supply it, it’s not really anyone else’s business, is it?

  11. “Surely in a free market if someone wants to buy organic and somebody else wants supply it, it’s not really anyone else’s business, is it?”

    Sure.

    It’s being smug about it that grates. And all the unscientific bullsh*t about it being better for you.

  12. It’s not possible to be “good for the planet.” Nor bad for the planet. We’re riding a big dirt ball flying around the sun. It don’t care. Do what you want, it still don’t care.

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