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Skyrocketing Fertilizers Prices May Help the Earth

Skyrocketing Fertilizers Prices May Help the Earth

Fertilizer is fascinating. Fertilizer increases the fertility of soil for growing crops and plants. Many people don’t know that fertilizer can be used to increase the fertility of soil and produce food. This is because fertilizer can also be used to make fossil fuels. In my book, I noted that “Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle“Fertilizer is made out of ammonia which is made form hydrogen which is made using natural gas. It is therefore a fossil fuel product. Therefore, when we eat nitrogen fertilizers we are essentially eating fossilfuels.

Now, fertilizer costs are rising and driving up food prices. Russia’s war against Ukraine resulted in an increase in natural gas prices. Russia imported 22.4% of fertilizer into the U.S., which will lead to higher food costs.According to Financial Times“The price of diesel, which farmers use for fueling their trucks, tractors and harvesters, has risen to almost $5 per gallon,” said the author.

One should always be positive in life, as Bloomberg journalists have demonstrated in a recent article.The Fertilizer Shock May Change Agriculture For the Better.” They describe the dire situation with shortages and price rises of as high as 22%, and write:

“In the face of such dire predictions, it may seem foolish to speak of silver linings. The fertilizer shock of 2022 may pay dividends similar to those of the 1970s twin oil shocks. The U.S. economy was brought to its knees by the Arab oil embargo, but it also sparked an energy conservation drive that transformed the American auto- and building industries. Detroit’s Big Three introduced smaller, more fuel-efficient cars in response to Asian competition. In the meantime, lighting, insulation and appliances have made it possible to reduce home energy consumption.

It’s a fascinating analogy. The oil shocks triggered the energy efficiency boom. Codes were tightened to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Many have complained that this has led to larger houses and SUVs, which consume a lot of the energy savings. But, the consensus is that the United States still has the advantage.

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Bloomberg suggests that fertilizer will become more expensive over time, so farmers will be more careful with their fertilizer use and less waste it. More farmers are using precision agriculture to test soil.

Reducing fertilizer has many advantages. Nutrient pollution is a major problem. This refers to excess nitrogen and/or phosphorus in water bodies that are mainly caused by agricultural runoff. The carbon dioxide emissions from the production of ammonia are estimated to be between 1% and 1.8% global.Bloomberg also noted that soil microbes can break down fertilizer and release nitrous oxide into atmosphere. This compound has a 300-fold planet-warming effect of CO2.

The European Union, 2020 Farm to Fork strategy, which aimed to reduce nutrient pollution, writing:

“This is due to excessive use and the fact not all nutrients used for agriculture are effectively absorbed into plants. [fertilizer]It is also a major source for air, soil, water and climate pollution. It has reduced biodiversity in rivers and lakes, wetlands, as well as seas. The Commission will take action to reduce nutrient loss by at least 50% and ensure that soil fertility does not decline. This will result in a reduction of fertilizers use of at least 20% by 2030.

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Inset: John Griffin's 2020 mugshot from a Vermont DUI case. Background: Griffin's $2 million ski lodge in Ludlow, Vermont.

This was before they had a war and needed to reduce natural gas consumption, or imports from Russia.

Experiments with buildings and cars have shown that changes are most effective when there is an economic incentive. Everyone has an interest to reduce fertilizer use but it is the farmer who has the biggest incentive.

Sometimes, there are no silver linings. Although higher gasoline and natural-gas prices may encourage conservation and reduce demand, they can be devastating for many who are vulnerable to fuel poverty. Higher food prices force some to make tough choices between fuel and food.

Because fertilizer prices are a threat to food security, there is no way to ensure that less fertilizer means less crops. It is clear how it affects developing and developed countries. BloombergAccording to reports, “And in emerging economies already facing high levels food insecurity?” Lower fertilizer usage can lead to malnutrition and political unrest as well as the eventual loss of human lives.

The solution to the problem of demand should be to make our homes more efficient, encourage alternative fuel-powered cars, and reduce fertilizer use without compromising food security for vulnerable populations.

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