Rural Madison

A 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen’s organization dedicated to thoughtful planning and policies for sustainable growth, stewardship of our natural, cultural and historical resources and the protection of the rural character of our region.

Category: Climate Change (page 1 of 2)

Soil Solutions to Climate Problems


Center for Food Safety

A powerful solution to the climate crisis can be found right beneath our feet—in the soil. By harnessing the immense power of photosynthesis, we can convert atmospheric carbon, a problem, into soil carbon, a solution. Emerging science proves that shifting to regenerative forms of agriculture such as agroecology, agroforestry, cover-cropping, holistic grazing and permaculture will allow us to store excess carbon safely in the ground.

How the Midwest’s Corn Farms Are Cooking the Planet

How the Midwest's Corn Farms Are Cooking the Planet

—By Tom Philpott

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how fertilizer from the Midwest’s big corn farms seeps into streams and causes trouble—fouling water supplies in Columbus,Toledo, Des Moines, and 60 other towns in Iowa, and generating a Connecticut-sized dead zone at the heart of the continental United States’ most productive fishery, the Gulf of Mexico. (Farms in the region also plant soybeans, but corn is by far the bigger fertilizer user.) But there’s another way the Corn Belt’s fertilizer habit damages a common resource: by releasing nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas with nearly 300 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.

It turns out that the region’s farms are likely generating much more nitrous oxide than scientists previously thought, according to a new peer-reviewed study by a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Yale, and the US Department of Agriculture.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: A Step Backward

For more information about how you can get involved, please contact the Friends of Nelson

Save the Date! Community Workshop 2/6/15

Local Food for Thought

 Friday, February 6th, 2015 7:00-9:00 PM

Madison Presbyterian Church


What’s the difference between soil and dirt? Should I be concerned about GMOs? What is a GMO anyway? Why is organic food so expensive? Why should I buy local food? Is an organic vegetable more nutritious than a non-organic one? What does it mean to say an animal is “humanely raised?”


  • A special 40-minute classroom-style screening of Dirt! The Movie
  • Round-table discussion with local organic farmers
  • Using a brix refractometer to compare nutritional values
  • Healthy snacks (including locally-grown heirloom popcorn!)
  • Structured childcare with fun, educational activities
  • A forum where you can share your ideas and learn from others in your community what all the fuss about local food and farming is about!
Come share your thoughts with others in the local community who care about a sustainable future for our region!

Augusta, Nelson county residents won’t back down over Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Rally on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall

Several volunteers from Friends of Nelson visited FERC chairperson Cheryl LaFleur and staff in Washington D.C. on January 9.  They also spoke to staff in Senator Kaine’s and Warner’s offices, giving them information from the following presentation, containing some of the strongest points against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Nelson County.

Friends of Nelson
PO Box 33
Nellysford, VA 22958

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Huge Virginia solar farm scuttled

Seeds and Soil vs. the Tyranny of Corporate Power

Last year, the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization officially declared that 2015 would be celebrated as the International Year of the Soil citing the threat to one of the key ingredients to the planet’s food and farming systems posed by “expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.”

Though many recognize the FAO declaration as a largely symbolic gesture, many advocates of organic food and sustainable agricultural are planning to seize the designation as a way to push forth their message that the health of the planet’s soil should not be relegated as a metaphorical issue, but rather one that should be at the very heart of serious conversations and policy changes humanity must begin in order to transform its economic systems, its democracies, the way it generates power, and the way it feeds itself.

Seeds and Soil vs. the Tyranny of Corporate Power

No Pipeline

Friends of Nelson


The effects of fracking are felt far and wide. No Pipeline looks at a community in Nelson County, Virginia fighting a gas pipeline which threatens the beauty of the countryside and changes the way of life they have come to love.

Taxing the Sun

Virginia Chapter Sierra Club


The State Corporation Commission’s latest attack on clean energy makes clear just how out of touch this body, charged with regulating electric utilities, is with the people of Virginia and the reality of climate change (“Power customers to see bill refund,” Nov. 27 news story).

In approving a standby charge, a tax on the sun, the SCC believes AEP’s claim that citizens who put solar panels on their homes are somehow shortchanging the rest of us.

This position could not be further from the truth, but it is consistent with the SCC’s recent attack on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce climate-changing carbon pollution by encouraging investments in efficiency, wind and solar.

When businesses and homeowners install solar panels, they actually save the rest of us money by deferring the need for AEP to invest in new power plants.

Sadly, Commissioners Mark Christie, Judith Jagdmann and James Dimitri care more about protecting utilities’ monopoly on electricity sales than about Virginians or the climate.



Virginia Director
Sierra Club

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