Peak Farmland Is an Ecological Imperative

A Response to Breakthrough’s Essay on Precision Agriculture

Along with rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reaching ‘peak farmland’ is probably the world’s most important environmental objective. However, it is far less well-known, and is not advocated as a target to my knowledge by any major environmental organisation. The reason for this is doubtless because most of the agricultural policies long advocated by the green movement would serve to take us further away from peak farmland rather than towards it.

It should be fairly obvious why peaking farmland expansion is important. Biodiversity loss ranks alongside climate change as an existential threat to the Earth’s ecological systems, and conversion of land to agriculture and the resultant loss of habitat is in turn the greatest single threat to biodiversity. There is no prospect of sparing large areas of wilderness from the curse of the plough without halting the conversion of nature to human-oriented agriculture.

It’s either peak farmland or zero rainforest: our choice.


For full essay, click here

1 Comment

  1. Scott Strough

    If what you mean by peak farmland includes soil degradation, then we already passed that hurdle.

    Of course the biggest problem we have is journalists that are not knowledgeable thinking they can advise people to just go Vegan and then all the agrochemicals that are causing agriculture to be unsustainable will magically become sustainable then.

    They won’t do anything but make the problem even worse.

    “As the small trickle of results grows into an avalanche — as is now happening overseas — it will soon be realized that the animal is our farming partner and no practice and no knowledge which ignores this fact will contribute anything to human welfare or indeed will have any chance either of usefulness or of survival.” Sir Albert Howard


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