Tag Archives: agroforestry

What do Scientists Really Think About Climate Change?

Back in the States, global warming combatants regularly appeal to scientists to support their positions. Flip on a conservative news channel, and someone will probably be citing a scientist who refutes the warnings of mainstream climate science. Open the New York Times, and you’ll read that 97% of climate scientists say that our greenhouse gases are disrupting the global climate. It’s not surprising that people are a little confused. With presumed experts on both sides, whom do we believe?

Well, this last week has been a real eye-opener for me. I’m on beautiful Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes, where I’ve spent much of the week with about one hundred agroforestry scientists. I’ll admit, it’s been a little intimidating: one hundred PhD’s, plus me – a finance guy-turned-farmer.

And what, you ask, do agroforesters know about climate science?

Alley-cropping in France: wheat grown with walnut trees

Alley-cropping in France: wheat grown with walnut trees

That’s part of the beauty of this experience. In truth, if it were one hundred climate scientists, the debate would be a mismatch. Indeed, there would be no serious debate on the core matter of human-caused climate change. It really is beyond dispute in their ranks: they’re convinced that we’re fundamentally disrupting the planetary systems that have nurtured civilization. But what about other scientists whose specialties only tangentially touch on climate? I listened carefully to the agroforesters this week for the answer to my question. Continue reading