40 MILLION people live in poverty, including 18 million children
and 19 MILLION people report incomes that are less than 50% of the poverty threshold.
A report by the U.N. on extreme poverty and human rights finds 40 million people in the United States live in poverty, 18.5 million live in extreme poverty and more than 5 million live in conditions of absolute poverty on income that is less than 50% of the poverty threshold. Rural areas have been particularly hard hit with 17 percent of the population of those communities living in poverty.
22 MILLION people make their living from agriculture.
The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 97 percent of the 2.1 million farms that dot America’s rural landscape are family owned – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.
Small scale farmers are in crisis due to low prices, shrinking water supplies, degraded soil and destructive weather.
There is no denying that the health of our planet is in decline. The resource depletion and contamination caused by industrial scale extraction and farming activities has wreaked havoc on this place we call home.
We are on the verge of an environmental catastrophe.
INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
contribute 9 percent of total climate change related emissions.
Since 1970, CO2 emissions have increased by nearly 90 percent, with emissions from fossil fuel consumption and industrial processes contributing about 78% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture, deforestation and other land-use changes have been the second largest contributors.
The Global Carbon Project expects even further increases caused by the persistent growth in oil and natural gas and projected economic growth. This is deeply troubling considering that the latest climate science suggests emissions will need to peak by 2020 to have a good chance of avoiding some of the worst climate impacts.
HERBICIDES AND PESTICIDES
are associated with acute poisoning and long term chronic illness.
Exposure to pesticides can cause short-term adverse health effects including stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and death. Chronic health effects include cancer and other tumors; brain and nervous system damage; birth defects; infertility and other reproductive problems; and damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and other body organs.
is making fields barren, causing erosion and negatively impacting the quality of our air, water and soil.
Soil is the earth’s fragile skin that anchors all life on Earth. It is comprised of countless species that create a dynamic and complex ecosystem and is one of our most precious resources. Increased demand for agriculture commodities leads to the loss of forests, grasslands, farm fields and pastures which are crucial to soil preservation.
BIODIVERSITY and the rich range of life found on smaller farms have been drastically reduced.
Over the last century, humans have come to dominate the planet, causing rapid ecosystem change and massive loss of biodiversity across the planet.
While the Earth has always experienced changes and extinctions, today they are occurring at an unprecedented rate. Major direct threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and fragmentation, unsustainable resource use, invasive species, pollution, and global climate change.
Biodiversity—the variation of life on Earth—is essential to healthy ecosystems and serves as nature’s own system of checks and balances