Columbia leads the way in reducing greenhouse gas emission

3 years 11 months 2 days ago Friday, October 17 2014 Oct 17, 2014 Friday, October 17, 2014 4:25:00 PM CDT October 17, 2014 in 8 Goes Green
By: Arial Ruffin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Organic practices are being researched as means to counteract the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Missouri have increased substantially due to population growth, while GHG emissions in Columbia have declined, according to data from the the city of Columbia and the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Division of Energy

According to the EPA, greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and makes the planet warmer. The primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are electricity production, transportation, industry, commercial and residential, agriculture, land and forestry.

Troy Cox, is the owner of and organic landscaping business, SunRise Gardens LLC. Cox designs organic landscapes for homewoners and business and he said he believes organic landscaping is more beneficial in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than organic agriculture production. 

"One simple thing that homeowners and businesses can do to reduce green house gas emissions is to use electric powered tools to maintain their lots," said Cox. " There are still  greenhouse gas emissions associated with the electrical production, but its much less than using tools powered by fossil fuels."

In 2006, Columbia adopted the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. The Columbia City Council devised a plan to meet or exceed the GHG pollution reduction goal of 7 percent by 2012. Columbia was among the first cities in Missouri to study its greenhouse gas emissions and became the first city in Missouri to complete an inventory of GHG emissions.

"Changes in emissions frequently are associated with changes in population, economic growth, energy price, seasonal temperatures and technology, " said MU researcher Darah Boredman.

The Univeristy of Missouri recently received more than $700,000 in grant funding to study the relationship between organic farm crops and green house gas emissions.

"I don't know if the decline in GHG emissions relates to the amount of organic farming and practices in Columbia, but it is possible," said Boredman. She said the study is not complete, but results do show a correlation between organic farming and reducing GHG. She said the methodology plays a large role as well.

"Using 'regenerative organic agriculture,' such as low or no-tillage, cover crops and crop rotation, helps to keep carbon dioxide in the soil instead of returning it to the atmosphere," said Boredman. 

According to the EPA a large portion of GHG emissions can be offset when carbon in the atmosphere is taken and stored, or sequestered, by plants and soil. In 2012, the EPA estimated that carbon sequestration by forests, trees in urban areas, agricultural soils and other sources offset 15 percent of total emissions.

One criticism by farmers, is organic farming may not yield as many crops as conventional farming. A study done by the Rodale Institute said organic practices could counteract the world's yearly carbon dioxide output while producing the same amount of food as conventional farming.

"I think there are benefits of both systems, organic and conventional," said Boredman "Some farmers don't think the benefits outweigh the costs. For farmers to be certified as organic, they have to produce organic agriculture for three years without profit." 

One Fulton man said he thinks the long-term benefits of organic farming are winning people over. Rana Bains, owner and founder of BlueBird Composting, is a local supplier of 100 percent organic compost.

"I wouldn't have a business if people didn't believe in organic farming," said Bains."I think people believe that organic farming helps and more importantly their doing their part in trying to preserve our earth and the environment." 

According to the city's most recent update in 2012, Columbia did not meet the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement by 2012. Columbia's totall GHG emissions grew by about 8 percent between 2000 and 2010. The city population also grew about 27 percent, so on a per capita basis, Columbia's GHG emission have declined about 14 percent. 

The city council has not enacted any organic plans to reduce its carbon emissions, but city officials said it could be possible that the amount of people using organic practices in Columbia contributed to the decline.

The federal grant funded study on the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and organic farming at MU will conclude this winter. 

 

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of various documents and text messages related to the Russia... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:46:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:40:19 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Task Force One continues its work with victims of Hurricane Florence this week. The task force... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Supporters of the "Clean Missouri" initiative endorsed Amendment 1 after a judge ordered removal to take it off... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Kansas City Police Department has rescinded commendations given to two officers involved in the fatal... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:05:10 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is testing new lights downtown this week to try and curb violence and crime. The new... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Macon County deputy who shot a man during an incident in August is back at work. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators want a review of sexual misconduct allegations made against President Donald Trump's Supreme... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A 9-year-old boy whose bus driver saved him from choking says he now knows why candy isn't... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:38:54 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two groups protested outside the Missouri Department of Corrections Monday morning with hopes of ending the 127... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved the new city budget Monday night. This was the final hearing for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says cities and counties skipped out on an extra $698,000 in fees... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:05:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have arrested a man they say shot a man in Jefferson City on Saturday. Dana... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday night, the MU Police Department arrested a man suspected of exposing himself at Ellis library. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:35:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COOPER COUNTY - An I-70 motorcycle crash left one man dead Sunday night. The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 7:29:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the latest attack ads on Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Missouri, claims the senator is giving her... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Another Columbia resident is voicing her complaints about Bird scooters, and this time, she's talking to city council.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. - Missouri Task Force One is currently assisting in search, rescue and evacuation operations in North Carolina... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:35:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
8am 73°
9am 77°
10am 80°
11am 84°