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May’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
1. "A Boon for Soil, and for the Environment" by Beth Gardiner at The New York Times
Typically, agriculture is thought of as a huge contributor to climate change, but this article points to the potential of soil to store immense amounts of carbon - if the farming is done right. In Indonesia and many places in the world, farmers traditionally use slash-and-burn techniques, where forests or woodlands are cleared to create fields for farming. This process depletes the soil of its nutrients, forcing the farmer to move to another plot of land and repeat the cycle. Our partner ASRI works to solve this problem by providing farmers and ex-loggers with training in sustainable farming (no chemicals, no burning, etc), which has lead to the formation of 16 farmers cooperatives. If climate-friendly farming practices are adopted worldwide, depleted soils could reabsorb 80 billion to 100 billion metric tons of carbon!
2. "The planet's health is essential to prevent infectious disease" by Sonila Cook and Oren Ahoobim at The Guardian
For the past few years, we've been flooded with stories about the latest pandemic and how our health systems have failed to manage these outbreaks. This article wisely points out that we must must recognize that, "the conditions that allow for outbreak in the first place are rooted in environmental change." Deforestation, for example, has made it easier for people to come in contact with zoonotic diseases, which is how many think Ebola was spread to humans. We've said it once and we'll say it again, and again: when the health of our planet suffers, so do we. The article sums it up perfectly, "The connection between environmental change and human health is increasingly clear, but this big-picture view is not how we currently orient ourselves." At Health In Harmony we hope that with you, we can lead the charge in the reorientation process.
3. VIDEO: Kevin Spacey is the Rain Forest
Just because we love the videos from Conservation International's Nature Is Speaking campaign, here is Kevin Spacey as the rain forest. If you ask me, he makes a pretty compelling case for protecting the rain forest!