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Sunday's Letters to the Editor

Climate and farming

EDITOR: Timm Herdt got it right about the fact that farmers and ranchers are feeling the effects of the drought and other changes to our climate (“Want to know about climate change? Ask a California farmer,” May 27). But he missed an opportunity to discuss realistic solutions. Instead, he focused on genetic engineering and building dams — two ideas that are years or decades away if they can overcome the scientific, political, financial and regulatory hurdles. There are farmers who will go out of business next year if there’s another dry winter. They need real solutions in real time.

Fortunately, sustainable and organic agriculture has shovel-ready technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon and improve on-farm resilience. For example, increasing the organic matter in soil using cover crops, compost and reduced tillage has been shown to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil where it adds fertility, improves water holding capacity and diminishes synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use — a triple win.

Investing now in technical assistance and financial incentives to help farmers transition to climate-friendly practices is the direction we should move. This is a crisis that can’t wait 20 more years for solutions.

RENATA BRILLINGER

California Climate & Agriculture Network

Sebastopol

The wrong conclusion

EDITOR: Associated Press reporter Biswajeet Banerjee got it wrong by writing that the lack of toilets in India threatens women’s safety (“Indian rapes highlight lack of toilets,” Wednesday). It is men’s attitudes of violence and ownership toward women that is the threat and problem. It does not matter what a woman wears, where or at what time she walks nor with whom she walks — there is never an “invitation to rape.”

MARTHA JOHNSON

Santa Rosa

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