As reporter Chelsea Harvey wrote at the Washington Post, the paper is “a sobering look at just a single facet of the climate change dilemma. Of course, the impacts of climate change are expected to cause human deaths in a variety of other ways as well. The increased risk of infectious disease, natural disasters, forced migration and civil unrest are just a few examples.”

But farms and farmers have long been “in the crosshairs of climate change,” wrote Ryan Zinn, political director of the fair trade advocacy campaign Fair World Project, last year.

“Though farmers have seen negative impacts related to climate change for decades, these impacts have been exacerbated in recent years,” he continued. “Even relatively small temperature increases are having significant impacts on farming, including accelerated desertification and salinization of arable land, increased presence of pests, crop losses due to high temperatures and flooding, and, paradoxically, increased clean water scarcity.”

To confront these challenges, Zinn argued, policymakers must recognize that “the global agriculture system is at the heart of both the problem and the solution.”

“Industrial agriculture is a key driver in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs),” he explained. “Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy machinery, monocultures, land change, deforestation, refrigeration, waste and transportation are all part of a food system that generates significant emissions and contributes greatly to global climate change.”

“Addressing climate change on the farm can not only tackle the challenging task of agriculture-generated GHGs,” Zinn said, “but it can also produce more food with fewer fossil fuels.”

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