UN Scientists Say There Is a Way to Delay Climate Change for 20 Years for Pocket Change
$300 billion is pocket change? It is if you think on a global scale. It’s what the governments of the world spend on the military defense every 2 months. Barron J. Orr, lead scientist for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, says that paltry sum of money would be enough to delay the worst effects of an overheating planet for up to 20 years — time that could be used to find more permanent solutions to global heating so we and our heirs can continue to enjoy living on Earth.
“We have lost the biological function of soils. We have got to reverse that,” Orr tells Bloomberg News. “If we do it, we are turning the land into the big part of the solution for climate change.” Rene Castro Salazar, an assistant director general at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, tells Time that almost half of the 5 billion acres of land around the world that have been degraded by misuse, overgrazing, deforestation, and other human factors could be restored at a cost of $300 billion. At least a third of the world’s land has been degraded to some extent, directly affecting the lives of 2 billion people, says Eduardo Mansur, director of the land and water division at the FAO.
Assuming that happened, the restored soil could capture enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to keep average global temperatures from spiraling out of control. It’s not a permanent cure — more like a surgical dressing that protects the body and gives a wound time to heal.
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