So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for DeSmog reporting on self-described “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin’s views about climate change and how he thought it might not be caused by humans.
There’s been quite a reaction to the story, mainly through Facebook discussions sparked by Salatin himself and by others who are part of what you might broadly describe as the sustainable farming movement (this is an entirely imperfect term though, given the diversity of thought among the great many people looking for alternative ways to grow healthy food in a way that has less impact on the environment).
I’ve been accused by one Australian figure, Tammi Jonas, the interim president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, of writing an “unproductive and divisive” article that was “pure click bait ‘gotcha’ rubbish.” More on that in a bit.
Salatin penned a long response on his Polyface farms Facebook page that was liked almost 3,000 times and shared 1,000 times more.
So I thought I should go over some of the responses and clear a few things up.
First, some background.
Salatin describes himself as a “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic.”
He’s a high-profile figure, has appeared in multiple documentary films, written books, and is an oft-invited speaker. He’s been featured in Time magazine and inspired many people to change how they work on the land.
All want to learn more about the work on his Polyface farm in Virginia, where he uses a mix of useful modern tech (electrified fencing, for example) and livestock movements to mimic natural processes and enrich his soil and pasture without needing to load it up with artificial chemicals and fertilizers (that, again, is a very short summary of what he does, and some might be unhappy with it). He is a big advocate for having localized food systems. For that and more, many people are rightly thankful for his work.
In late June, Salatin appeared at a “Red…