The Other Inconvenient Truth – Agriculture and Global Warming


The Colorado River no longer flows into the Pacific Ocean. For thousands of years, the Colorado river flowed from its source in the Rocky Mountants in Colorado to the Pacific ocean. However, since the 1960s, the Colorado River has not flowed into the Pacific ocean. Why? The main reason is agriculture irrigation. Irrigation uses the biggest amount of all water uses, with each day’s water usage equaling enough water to fill the Empire State building 7,350 times.

Empire Stare Building





What do we use all this water for? Over a hundered billion gallons of water from the Colorado River is used to grow alfalfa in California, which is then exported to China for cattle feed. Alfalfa is water rich and “It’s a huge amount. It’s enough for a year’s supply for a million families – it’s a lot of water, particularly when you’re looking at the dreadful drought throughout the south-west,” stated Professor Robert Glennon from Arizona College of Law.


The Aral sea, formerly one of four largest land lakes, has all but dried up, which is very evident in the before and after picture. One result of the disaster of the Aral Sea was a last ditch attempt to build a canal from the lake to save these fishing boats:

aral before and after



Agriculture is the biggest producer of greenhouse gases – more than cars, more than the production of electricity.

In Jonathan Foley’s Ted Talk – “The other inconvenient truth” – he shares “It’s not that agriculture’s a bad thing.In fact, we completely depend on it. It’s not optional. It’s not a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity.”


Agriculture uses 60 times more land than urban and suburban areas. Right now, we have 7 billion people on this planet, and we will have 9 billion by 2040. We need to find more sustainable ways to produce our food.

What we have to do is work together to find an answer and “farming for a whole planet.” We need everyone at the table – from commercial, environmental and organic farming – we need collaboration – “Failure is not an option,”

By day, Rachelle, working mother of two, serves as an education advocate and career advisor for MassEdco. By night, Rachelle provided career consulting and works to promote green energy. When Rachelle is not writing her blog, advising her students, or coaching her clients, she enjoys camping and going to the theater with her two children.


About Rachelle Lappinen

​Rachelle Lappinen is a Career and Academic Consultant and a Green Energy Ambassador. Currently, Rachelle serves as an education advocate for MassEdco working with high school students on college and career navigation. Rachelle also consults working with MIT on a research program, researching the effects of long-term unemployment on the middle class and developing best practices to help this population. Rachelle has worked at Mount Wachusett Community College, the YWCA and Becker College as a Career Development Counselor. Before becoming entering the field of workforce development, Rachelle spent over 10 years working as an insurance underwriter. Throughout her coaching and volunteer experiences, Rachelle has been noted for her determination and persistence to help those in need of career guidance. As a volunteer, Rachelle is actively involved with the non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg and the Center for Women and Enterprises. Prior to entering the coaching world, Rachelle was a senior group insurance underwriter for Unum, and sales representative for Prudential Financial. She actively involved with the Career Counselors Consortium and is a member of the Career Resource Rachelle M. Lappinen, MBA, GCDF, CPRW
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