Recent research at the university of Illinois indicates that fertilizers derived from fossil fuel lead to the breakdown of organic matter and soil carbon thus blocking the soil's ability to sequester CO2, hold moisture, and support a healthy level of soil biodiversity. This leads to compaction, increased erosion, and increased need for irrigation. This of course leads to the erosion of the long term viability of the soil.
But this is nothing new, in 1947 in a seminal text for modern agriculture the British agronomist Sir Albert Howard warned that the application of synthetic fertilizers would do "untold harm" to the soil. As the Dutch used to say "Fertilizer is good for the father and bad for the sons."
Contrast this with the methods of organic agriculture which are built around preserving and enhancing the soil both for today and tomorrow. You can explore the latest research on organic methods over a Rodale Institute.
To read more about the UI research go to the article by Tom Philpott over at Grist.com
What have you done today to lower your impact?
We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.
- ► 2012 (12)
- ► 2011 (60)
- Video - Almost Level, West Virginia
- Video - Sandar Postel: Are Americans Facing Realit...
- Jamie Oliver's Food revolution, a message from TED...
- David Holmgren on the Endurance of Suburbia
- Stinging Nettle, my favorite spring green
- Retrofitting with Justice: Clean Energy Works Port...
- Growth? We need it but not the kind you think.
- Farmers Speak: Bust Up Big Ag
- Living off the land. It is a pretty sweet life.
- Post Carbon Exchange: Richard Heinberg & Lester Br...
- Leveling Appalachia
- The next AKG podcast audio contribution.
- From The Hill -Poverty and tyranny central to immo...
- From Transition Culture - Why GM Has No Place in a...
- Coffee Party anyone?
- The power predictor
- The many problems with industrial agriculture
- Video - TED - Dan Barber's foie gras parable
- Video - Contraction and Convergence
- The Open Book of Social Innovation
- Rabbits, not just a garden menace, they are food.
- Video - Van Jones: 'Will All Americans Have A Fair...
- Monbiot, solar panels, and consumerism
- No huge surprise, synthetic nitrogen is bad for th...
- Video - What We Know about Climate Change
- ▼ March (26)
- ► 2009 (353)