Watch Live: 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.

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?

Participants

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?

Barry C. Lynn?

Director, Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative, New America Foundation

Matthew Yglesias

?Business and Economics Correspondent, Slate

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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