Climate activism and capitalism tend to be seen as paradoxical to each other and the importance of capitalism as one of the biggest contributors to climate change cannot be ignored. In fact, the Carbon Majors Report in 2017 revealed that just 100 companies were responsible for 71% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The evident link between this excessive capitalism and global warming has led to urgent calls to action from all over the globe. The results of Cop26 are far from sufficient to achieve a sustainable temperature rise of 1.5 degrees and people are beginning to panic about what can be done next. In this context, capitalism is only legitimate when the wealth of some improves the lives of many, and it’s fair to say that is not currently the case.
Is there any possibility to flip capitalism on its head for a green, smart and fair global age?
In short, yes. The system, as we’ve seen in previous generations, can reinvent itself. The system needs to be redefined in a way that uses the technological advances of today to solve the world’s problems, not make them worse. It doesn’t matter whether the system is a banking network, a rainforest or an industrial farm, its behaviour follows the same mathematical logic. That being, in normal conditions, it will find ways to remain in a state of equilibrium by regulating itself. However, when pushed to a point where it can’t absorb any more stress, it will reach a tipping point and fall into a new state of equilibrium, which is often impossible to reverse.
One method in which people have been hacking capitalism, is through regenerative farming. Farmers are reversing the effects of food production on climate change, by making their land absorb greenhouse gases, rather than emitting them. “Farmlands cover half of Earth’s habitable land, and the global food system produces 21-37% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. When fields are worked with heavy machinery, their soils – which store three times as much CO2 as the atmosphere – leach trapped carbon back into the air.” However, a new generation of ‘carbon farmers’ are appearing, that give us hope for a more sustainable future and following its principles could reverse climate change.
There is no set definition of regenerative agriculture however it is any form of farming that is, the production of food, which at the same time, improves the environment. Typically, it will involve minimal disturbance to soil, growing a diverse range of crops at the same time and most believe in having a small number of grazing animals helps to improve soil health.
Can regenerative farming become mainstream?
Many may be thinking that small-scale farming such as regenerative farming, can’t make enough money or enough production to become a mainstream method. However, conventional farming has led to a vast amount of land that is completely degraded and stripped of nutrients. Carbon farming can help provide an alternative source of income to farmers whose land is degraded whilst improving the quality of the soil at the same time. Once the farmer has committed to carbon capture, there are platforms where they can sell their credits and ideally, the future of the meat we consume will be a by-product of the carbon that they farm and sell.
At eco-shaper, we drive action on climate change and streamline carbon footprinting. For example, we can help calculate emissions across the entire ecosystem that companies work across and produce automated reporting based on outcomes. It’s like Xero, for sustainability. Contact us to be part of our research group on