The Weekly Watch

Hope or Despair?

(or something in between?)

There are several approaches to address our ecological disaster, but the rub is in the adoption of these practices. This week we'll look at ways in which we can green the planet and absorb more carbon. I don't know how we get TPTB (the powers that be) to stop and limit emissions and extraction. Perhaps the Climate Strike on September 20 will have some impact here? I continue to use gas...in my tractor, car, weed eater and chain saw...but I'm trying to minimize...biking into town, walking when possible, buying less and growing more. However, there are large scale ecosystem level ways to restore environments. Many are counter intuitive. Others more obvious.

restoration results.jpg

Let's begin by looking at ecosystem restoration. You might think desert reclamation to be nigh impossible, but it is being done. There's even a variety of approaches, and the proof is in the restoration results which you can see for yourself...

For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has been working on his worldwide mission to green deserts and to restore biodiversity. It all started in 1995 when Liu filmed the Loess-plateau in China. He witnessed a local population who turned an area of almost the same size as The Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into one green oasis. This experience changed his life. From that moment on, Liu has been traveling all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers and farmers with his film material and knowledge. Liu diligently spreads the message that restoration of ecosystems is not only possible, but also economically very meaningful. The film crew accompanies Liu on his mission in Jordan and shows on the basis of Liu’s own film material that a green future is possible worldwide.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDgDWbQtlKI (48 min)

Here's Liu's Documentary "Hope in a changing climate" much of which is featured in the preceding documentary...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLdNhZ6kAzo (30 min)
Hope in a Changing Climate optimistically reframes the debate on global warming. Illustrating that large, decimated ecosystems can be restored, the documentary reveals success stories from Ethiopia, Rwanda and China which prove that bringing large areas back from environmental ruin is possible, and key to stabilizing the earth's climate, eradicating poverty and making sustainable agriculture a reality.

Geoff Lawton works all over the planet. Here's his project in Jordan in more detail than the previous clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VGHoxpYlWQ (36 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W69kRsC_CgQ (4 min 10 year time lapse)
Here's Geoff in his home farm in Australia discussing ways to Survive the Collapse...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01N-kBSdiZI (34 min)

Combining physical solutions with biological ones seem to be the most effective. The Kubuqi desert in China once threatened to bury its nearby urban areas in sand. But years of comprehensive measures and dedicated efforts have successfully stopped dangerous desertification.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klU-UBCbSyE (4.5 min)

Liu and Geoff feature high labor restoration, but in many ecosystems (those that are desertifying) grazing animals can provide an answer. I know this is counter to popular thought, but this type of production is NOT the standard. Don't believe animals are an answer...look at the ecosystem reclamation results.
We are running out of time with Allan Savory (48 min)

Allan's viral TED talk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI (22 min)

Here's Allan Savory visiting Joel Salatin's polyface farm. He discusses how we might promote better land management by using property tax incentives. High tax for degrading practices and low taxes for earth healing land management. Interesting discussion...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPOF9ijyhvM (37 min)
I also thought his comparison of New Mexico's challenges versus those in Virginia were apt. If you leave the ecosystem alone in Virginia it will revert to forests on its own. Dry lands require inputs to restore.

What about restoration in more temperate conditions? Well, it is much easier...

Joel Salatin's polyface farm in Virginia is amazing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smVYindYP3w (1.8 hours)
Here's a shorter 12 minute visit to Polyface with a young couple...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur1AYitez7k
If this operation interest you there are many videos that feature his innovative approach.

ABC acres, a Permaculture Farmstead in Hamilton, MT, looks at their leader / follower grazing plan implementing Goats, Pigs and Chickens for robust grass paddocks, healthy animals and quality farm products.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEvBpaB_oE4 (10 min)
Here's the ABC acres cow and chicken cooperative combination
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5FzJvGc0nw (5 min)

This short eight minute documentary video, "A Regenerative Secret" pulls back the curtain on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and the detrimental effects they have on our ecosystem. More importantly, the film features Dr. Allen Williams, Chief Ranching Officer for Joyce Farms, who offers a powerful alternative -- regenerative agriculture. He is located in central Alabama.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE6xq1hLhPE (8 min)

Here's Vermont Farmer Karl Hammer's no-grain chicken operation. His magic? Compost. But, do the chickens still lay? 300 a day! Oh, and he’s got unique donkeys that deliver the eggs and other goods to the customers in town.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWChH9MHkHg (31 min)

forest.jpg

We need a massive global reforestation program in temperate, tropical, and Boreal (subarctic) forest systems.

The Forest system is important to our biosphere. Though we have removed over half of our forest ecosystems, forest are quite resilient. Much like the need to just stop fossil fuel extraction and use, we need to develop sustainable forest management using select harvesting to promote forest health. Here's an approach...

The accelerating deforestation of Brazil's Rainforests under Bosanardo is one of the great challenges we face. Here's one project and technique which holds promise..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKUHbwg11Io (3.5 min)

Drs. Karen Holl and Rakan Zahawi, along with Mr. Juan Abel Rosales, talk about their 14-yr study comparing planting 'islands' or patches of trees with natural forest regeneration and the more standard plantation-style planting approach. The research project continues at 12 sites in southern Costa Rica. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPZIIMZrIqQ (7.5 min)

Restoring temperate forests are also a challenge, but very possible. Here's a story of restoring a forest in Scotland. Nearly 30 years ago, Trees for Life Founder, Alan Watson-Featherstone stood in the Universal Hall and in front of 300 people made a life-long commitment to restore the ancient Caledonian Forest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAGHUkby2Is (20 min)

David Milarch's near-death experience inspired a personal quest: to archive the genetics of the world's largest trees before they're gone. This short film from The Story Group documents his effort to save the redwood champions of Northern California from the effects of climate change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW9w6eCQQkU (11 min)

Boreal or coniferous forest of the north are also endangered. The boreal forests are typical for the North and broad leaf deciduous forests are typical for the South both can be seen in Latvia. Coniferous or boreal forest in Latvia varied from dark forest with rich vegetation to sparse and sunny dry pain forests where ground cover includes white lichen, moss and cowberries. For the forest to be a natural ecosystem and be a suitable habitat for diverse species it is important for it contains varied elements.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CeSdcMzlS0 (15.5 min)

oceans.jpg

So we can restore farm land and forests, but our largest ecosystem is the ocean covering about 70% of Earth's surface. The oceans have absorbed most of the heat from our climate catastrophe. Even with the total elimination of fossil fuels a warm ocean will affect climate for another century or two...

Professor Simon Thrush from the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Auckland talks about his big question, “How do we restore marine ecosystems?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHWR9aw34Qk (4.5 min)

A growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates what we at Greenpeace have been saying for a long time: that the establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_-BdqS54q8 (12.5 min)

Paul Beckwith suggests using Ocean fertilization. We MUST slash fossil fuel emissions, restore Arctic albedo, and deploy Carbon Dioxide Removal. Ocean Fertilization is our best option (scalable, rapid deployment, will suck vast amounts of CO2 out of our atmosphere/oceans, capable of restoring teeming marine ecosystems of our recent past, bending exponentially rising curves downwards...).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcS61ZLGbCc (15 min)

What about all the plastic islands? There is an on-going experiment that might hold promise. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transforming-plastic-to-save-our-plan...
The ByFusion Blocker is an industrial machine for municipalities and recycling facilities that can convert 100% of plastic waste into an advanced new building material.
https://www.byfusion.com/

So the videos above show the success of restoring farms in China, Jordan, South Africa, Virginia, Montana, Alabama, and Vermont. Many of these strategies involve the use of animals. Ecosystems evolved as a balance of animals and plants. Forest can be re-established, and the ocean warming might be mitigated.

health.jpg

What about human health? Why is it that in the last century we have so much heart disease, strokes, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. It's our diet and lifestyle. Things people hold dear. But we've been sold a bill of goods.

Big Food and Big Tobacco share some common bloodlines. It wasn’t very long ago that some of these companies were one and the same. RJR Nabisco, for instance, once simultaneously contained the companies that made Camel cigarettes and Chips Ahoy! cookies. Until the mid-2000s, the companies that manufacture Marlboro and Virginia Slims cigarettes were part of the same conglomerate, Philip Morris (now Altria), which manufactured Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Kool Aid. Those companies have since split their tobacco businesses from their food businesses, but heavy-handed product marketing may be ingrained in the companies’ DNA.

Like Big Tobacco, Big Food goes to great lengths to muddy the waters and obscure the connections between soda and disease. “The products we make are not injurious to health,” is how the Tobacco Industry Research Committee put it in a 1954 advertisement. In 2012 the American Beverage Association opined, “Sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving obesity.” Coca-Cola executive Katie Bayne told this whopper to USA Today: “There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.”

https://cspinet.org/big-food-sounds-lot-big-tobacco

The dietary recommendations have been influenced by these same corporations, and they continue to recommend a diet high in grains (ie carbohydrates). This is contrary to the evidence...

These long-term data provide evidence that a low-carbohydrate diet is both a safe and effective option for weight loss and that this style of eating has a prolonged, positive effect on metabolic markers.

https://www.lchf-rd.com/2018/01/30/lchf-diets-are-safe-and-effective-a-p...

There are so many stories like this New Zealander's of using a low carb diet to cure his diabetes...
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/115019715/back-from-the-brink-ho...

Ivor Cummings discusses how we can avoid and reduce chronic disease simply using diet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IU-33EucMc (30 min)
Dr Eades and Ivor discuss the wealth of evidence supporting a low carb diet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAJW8gR-zI (19 min)

So we can improve our health by changing our diet. What I've found is people are quite resistant to changing their diet, but that simple change can improve your health, well being, and life span. I'm not saying it is easy, but I am saying it's not that difficult. You can still eat delicious foods...just not sweet ones.

So there is hope. We can heal our planet and our bodies. So why despair?

Well because we are moving way too slow. The promise of ecosystem restoration needs to be practiced globally. It will take a massive effort by all the world's people. I dream of it happening, but I fear it is just a dream. However without the dream you have no direction. I take inspiration from young Greta Thunberg.
Here she is discussing her sail to the US to promote Climate mitigation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw8cQbo1Ilk (7 min)
If you have not heard her TED talk it is worth your time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2QxFM9y0tY (11 min)

Despair is paralyzing. Hope is energizing. Which side are you on?

I know it isn't an either or, but some of both...perhaps because it is human nature to ride the roller coaster. None the less, we can take control of our health...simply by changing our diet. Those of us lucky enough to own some land can tender the care to bring health to our local ecosystem (and help supplement those dietary changes involving more leafy fresh greens). I do what I can for my own health and that of the planet....certainly not on the scale of Greta, but in my own small way. And that I think is the hope, that more and more of us simply act in our own interest by eating well and taking care of our local community. We do need to accomplish more to reclaim ecosystems and climate and our own health...much more. So like Bucky said...
think global, act local.

Wishing us all a restorative and healthful future...

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My wife used to eat lots of oatmeal and eat Cheerios. For Health. Then the revelation that not only do Cheerios have residue of Roundup but the whole oat industry uses Roundup as a drying agent, not just as a weed killer. No more oats. Maybe if we could buy Amish oatmeal.

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magiamma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
About organic steel cut oats. Bob’s Red Mill

https://healthfreedomidaho.org/bob-red-mill-sued-over-organic-oats-conta...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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@magiamma

for breakfast (or lunch or supper or a snack), I pour Cascadian Farms Dark Chocolate Almond Granola into a bowl with organic whole milk.

But, nothing is bulletproof anymore. If you avoid certain ingredients grown certain ways, you earn the organic label and bless you for it. However, that doesn't mean your product is pure. As you know far better than I, wind, air currents and pollinators like bees contaminate organic crops, which was the point of organic farmers in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms. (Not the fault of the natural pollinators, obviously.)

In that case, the FDA allowed Monsanto to proceed with its corn "frankenseed" even though Monsanto had not complied with EPA requirements. Two government agencies, so the US Solictor General, then Elena Kagan, could have stayed out of the case or weighted in the side of either agency. Need I say which side Kagan took? And, when the U.S. Solicitor General weighs in, the Supreme Court almost always rules in favor of the position urged by the U.S. Solicitor General.

According to things I read when that case was pending, corn grown by indigenous people in Oxaca, Mexico for centuries was being contaminated by the Monsanto seed.

While I was looking for the opinion in the case, I noted this hit, which would be funny, if it weren't so dangerous: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/04/02/exposing-the-anti-gmo-... (purporting to "expose" the "anti-GMO legal machine")

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Lookout's picture

@HenryAWallace

...but did you hear this week they discovered plastic in rainwater and snow?
https://obrag.org/2019/08/what-more-its-both-raining-and-snowing-plastic...

One reason we use salt from ancient sea deposits is sea salt is also contaminated with plastic.

And I truly think people should eat what they want, but you should be aware that bowl of so called healthy cereal will become mostly sugar in digestion spiking insulin (and thereby hunger) causing many health issues.

Hope you're doing well!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

Greens, to be exact. I posted that I had almost made it through the Evening Blues without sipping hemlock until I read in the Evening Greens about plastic in the air and the rate at which oceans are dying accelerating.

Yes, I do get that my chocolate almond granola is not the healthiest thing I could be eating. I am probably more careful about what I ingest than many people and less disciplined than many. Candidly, denying myself a treat is not my strong suit!

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@Lookout
To the best of my knowledge there still is not a link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. I take one of the statin drugs that destroys all blood cholesterol (I think it interferes with the liver - Great /s) and CoQ10 to make up for the sin of taking a statin. My HDL and LDL levels are near perfect. HDL at the top of the normal range and LDL in the middle of the normal range (I'd rather it was at the bottom).

My late uncle ate two eggs religiously for breakfast all his life until age 95. He then had "home care" and died a year later. Ok, I'm not saying the diet change or care killed him. In the middle 90s everyone is frail. But until his diet was "rectified" by doctors, he had two eggs and one or two glasses of red wine every day and seemed more like he was early 80's than middle 90's. The wine starting at age 12. (His parents were Italian immigrants. they do that in the old country. Or used to.)

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Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

https://doctoraseem.com/
Suggests that after age 60 cholesterol levels have no relationship to health outcomes. Many Dr's agree dietary Cholesterol isn't a factor in blood levels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqh4fNyjRH4 (20 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q8AroJ2SgI (full 50 min interview)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Now when we eat breakfast (we often don't...it's the esiers meal to skip) it's pastured eggs, an avocado, maybe some parsley salad, sometimes pastured pork bacon or sausage. I don't feel deprived.

Too many carbs in cereals for me. Gundry suggests there's lectins in oats too.

Like I said we've been sold a bill of goods about diet.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
lectins are a broad class of proteins, some of which are quite useful for your body.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Lookout's picture

@UntimelyRippd

...who has been obese for the years I've know her. Yesterday she had dropped a 100 pounds or so. I ready didn't get to speak to her, but crossed tracks in a dance last night long enough to ask what's the secret to your diet. She answered "got rid the lectins". Then it was off to swing the next.

Gundry has many stories of healing people with lectin removal
http://gundrymd.com/reduce-lectins-diet/

an older science article on lectins and health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/

Here's an article looking at both sides
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319593.php

I'm on a low carb diet. I'm not lectin free. We grow and eat tomatoes, peppers, and so on. However if I had an auto-immune problem, I would go lectin free.

Once again I'm not saying what people should eat, just they they should be aware of possible risks and benefits. "I got no dog in the hunt" as they say around here.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
"lectins" are a very broad class of proteins. She didn't get rid of "the lectins" -- it's impossible to do so -- though she may have gotten rid of some particular lectins that may have been problematic for her own health. More to the point, in getting rid of whatever lectins she got rid of, she would have been eliminating so many other things from her diet (damn near everything, actually, depending on whose lists she was working from) that there's no way to know whether the particular lectins involved had anything to do with her improved health, rather than other things in the foods she stopped eating, or for that matter things in the few remaining foods that now became the center of her diet.

The biggest issue with making lectins any kind of consideration in your dietary choices is that most of them have hardly been studied at all, and certainly not in the kind of depth necessary to determine whether they're good for you, bad for you, indifferent, or even represent trading off one health risk/benefit for another. Gundry can say whatever he wants, but he's just making most of it up -- he doesn't have the research to back up specific claims about the lectins in this, that or the other food type, apart from a handful of studies showing toxicity of particular lectins, generally relating to GI inflammation.

BTW, both eggs and avocados have plenty of lectins.

I googled around a bit and found this web page, which contains a whole lot of information/argument about when/where/what/how/why of trying (or not) to moderate the lectin content of one's diet (But they do not like Gundry, just so you know). I'm not signing off on anything they have to say -- I'm only saying, they seem to take a pretty balanced approach, without hopping on any particular bandwagon (balanced enough that it would probably irritate some skeptics):

Red kidney beans contain the toxic phytohaemagglutinin in a very high concentration. Eating them raw or undercooked will lead to severe side effects 1 to 3 hours later, including vomiting and nausea. That poisoning will happen in anyone. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can result, too.

To put it in perspective, here’s how red kidney beans test out for their lectin content (11):

Raw = 20,000 to 70,000 hau (hemagglutinating unit)
Fully cooked = 200 to 400 hau
That’s a 99% or greater reduction from the heat of cooking. By that simple act, you have turned them into a low lectin food.

This type of bean is by far the worst dietary offender, as even white kidney beans have about 67% less than their red cousins. Broad beans are 90 to 95% less. The content in soy is bad but it’s easy to neutralize (more on that below).

The biggest takeaway from all of this, is the thing I started with: There is no such thing as a lectin-free diet, so thinking in such generalities is doing an epistemological faceplant. Even a "low lectin" diet is practically impossible. The best you can do is eliminate specific lectins from specific foods -- and in so doing, there's literally no way for you to know whether any observed improvement had anything to do with the purged lectins.

As for me, I have no interest in living without tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers (and dairy, for that matter) so the whole question is a non-starter with respect to my own diet.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Lookout's picture

@UntimelyRippd

most of them have hardly been studied at all, and certainly not in the kind of depth necessary to determine whether they're good for you, bad for you, indifferent, or even represent trading off one health risk/benefit for another.

As I said I grow and eat many of the things Gundry recommends against. However to say he made it up is a bit extreme. He has used his diet to heal thousands of people. And yes anecdotal evidence isn't the same as clinical trials, but the profit motive to fund studies to change your diet, improve your health, and eliminate the need for multiple medicines isn't being done. Wonder why?

However, if you have health issues (especially an autoimmune disease), what would be the risk, cost, and potential benefit of trying a different diet...or fasting? Many people claim his diet cured their conditions. Several on youtube.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
I never seem to have the time to try. if i do and i get a good recipe. I'll pass it on.
I don't like large amounts of salt. I take potassium pills to correct the balance. I want spice in my sausage not salt.

Once I made Hungarian Goulash for my family using lots of imported Hungarian paprika. I asked my mother how it compared to grandma's (her mother). I was astounded when she said, "I actually think it's better." My grandsons loved it. My wife didn't. Her family is Scandinavian and not big on spice.

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karl pearson's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness You're making me hungry. I'm not Italian, but it's my favorite food-- ravioli for Sunday dinner tonight. My Polish aunt married a man from Milan and I learned to cook Italian since I spent a lot of time with her. She made her own salami and grew saffron, since it was so expensive. (Necessary for Milanese rice).

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Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

used to make, stuff, and smoke sausage and it was good. The young farmers on the Mt. pasture and woods raise their pigs, but send them to a butcher/processor to make various sausages, all of which we've tried and enjoyed.

Good luck with your efforts, and have a good week. It's gonna be a hot one here.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

220px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1985-101-36A,_Berlin,_Jo_Jo-Spiel.jpg
(Jo-Jo player in the Berlin Charlottenstraße, 1930s)

So, it's equal opportunity and fair play for both.

Thank you for your extensive Weekly Watch, which I hope to come back to during the week of jo-jo-ing.

My contribution to save the planet's greens. We cut no trees or bushes, we plant some trees, we start to eat what we grow (so far very little, but it will come). We are sinners too. The lawn is golf-course like. The first thing I would get rid of, if I had a say.

I don't have a car and don't want to have one. I take public transportation all the time or walk. I can't bike (something wrong in my head, it's neurological malfunction to do right turns. No joke, though I think it sounds funny in my case.

I don't have a dog (here in Germany they are a pest, people are so isolated and lonely they treat their dogs like they should treat their children. There was a great documentary from an Cameroonian Anthropologist who analyzed the relationship of Germans to their dogs and I have never seen something more sad). People are too lonely though they live packed in little spaces. The best way to study borders, is to look at German fences and borders between neighboring gardens.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gartenz%C3%A4une+und+hecken&client=firef...

Smile

Wishing all of you a hopeful Sunday.

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Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

Lookout's picture

@mimi

I hope the knee is healing well and you're feeling good. I think we all ride the see-saw of hope and despair. Wish I had public transport options like Germany's excellent trains and buses. It is interesting to ride your trains and see the little garden plots all divided into small squares.

We have a cat, but currently no dog. After our aged cat passes on, we plan to get a young dog and a kitten to grow up together. We like both as pets.

The restoration clips are inspiring to me....the idea we can take degraded land and bring it back to productive landscapes is a good thing and should happen more and more.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@mimi
I graft and grow dwarf fruit trees. Apples and Pears are easy. The stone fruits, you are better off buying. I had an Italian peach once but it was nothing against a Michigan or Georgia peach (California peaches are big, pretty, and tasteless). Still, it was from a store, so how ripe was it? A friend (now deceased) grew an Italian pear, one of the Morretini varieties that was excellent. I doubt your climate is harsher than the American Mid-west. Pears are easy to espalier also. Not many pests like apples have. Still, apples can be grown organically and there are fine French, English, and Swedish varieties. Don't know about German apples. never heard much about them. Depending on what part of Germany you live in, grapes are a possibility. if there is no native wine in your area, I wouldn't bother with grapes. Even the prosaic Golden delicious is quite fine when picked ripe instead of green as commercial growers do.

A quick google found this article I thought the Rennettes were French. my bad. German immigrants brought those apples to Wisconsin and Michigan it seems.

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mimi's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness
they are too young to grow fruits. One died (too dry). They are planted in an overgrown patch with high wild grass and weeds and lots of other bushes that need to be cleared out. Too much work but we have a lot of bees, insects, birds, squirrels, small hedgehogs and a lot of dirt. Sigh. If it would be my land I would do something nice with it. Now I watch it just to turn into wilderness. Our garden is a paradise for birds. We had also a deer last year for a long time. I would build a little river running through everything, but am not allowed. If we had a little river running through, we would have fish and other birds and they would come to eat the fish. Sigh. I better don't think about it. But we do sometimes think about the wild boars. They come very close to our lot, may be 800 yards away.

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Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

magiamma's picture

Thanks as always. Busy day of meetings. First w city councilor to plan campus strategy for recall / gotv for Bernie then to Beach Flats to discuss salt water intrusion w a few influencers there. Wish me luck. Pauline will give them a climate crisis intro and then we plan next steps. Want to come back later and post all the links I’ve gathered on forests and dump here so it can be all in one place. Bookmarked. Thx. Have a good one...

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Lookout's picture

@magiamma

As today's theme suggests, I see ecosystem restoration as a great hope.

Good luck with your meetings. Seems like the common approach to ocean intrusion are expensive walls and pumping. I find that an expensive fools errand. We know for a fact sea level will rise. The only question is how fast. My thought is flooding areas should become salt water marsh, and the city move up hill. But I'm not a coastal dweller.

Hope you have a productive positive day!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lily O Lady's picture

@Lookout

detriment of the ecosystems. Blooming deserts require more water than the weather can supply. As a result, the ground is caving in due to ground water depletion. And marshes filter and manage rainwater and provide habitat for many species, but are now gone.

We are depleting large underground aquifers here in the US through agricultural and residential uses. Las Vegas should never have been built. We built dams to meet our water needs without considering the ecological damage. We call this progress. Yet when beavers build dams creating habitat for many species, we call them pests and blow up their dams so that we can water livestock.

Our efforts to supply food and water for ourselves needs to consider more than just humans.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Lookout's picture

@Lily O Lady

Not only depletion, but the pollution of ground water from fracking, pipeline leaks, and so on. Water is our most precious resource. Thanks for the reminder.

Savory's suggestion of property tax based on land use uses water runoff as the main way to determine tax level - using both quality (pollution) and volume (retention vs runoff). I find that an interesting idea, because without some sort of monetary incentive people don't act in the interest of the planet.

All the best!

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Self-help groups like AA are to a similar effect: The first step is admitting you have a problem. Of course, implied in that is that the real first step is identifying your problem correctly. For example, bad parents and financial difficulties may be a factor in your alcoholism (or whatever the problem is), but they aren't forcing you at gunpoint to drink excessively every day. So, don't show up at a meeting with, "My name is John and I'm too cowardly to kill my parents and I have no clue how to fix this economy" and expect to make progress toward recovery from your alcohol addiction.

Although I don't like Dr. Phil (a Ph.d, not an M.D.), I find myself paraphrasing him from time to time: If you misdiagnose, you are likely to mistreat. If you mistreat, your efforts are less likely to create improvement.

I make the above comparison to a self help program and medical care with trepidation: Whenever I attempt an analogy or metaphor, the discussion tends to devolve into picking apart the analogy, rather than remaining focused on the original point. You can be energized by hope from here to kingdom come. However, if you've misdiagnosed, you're still going to be less likely to fix whatever you want to fix.

So, sure, plant trees, re-cycle, give up oatmeal and do whatever else you can do. I am not saying "just give up." However, until we move governments around the world, we're going to be screwed. So, the pivotal issue, IMO, is how do we move government around the world? I don't know the answer. If I did, I would probably be too busy doing that to post. However, I think that the pivotal issue should be our focus. And, if we conclude that we can't do that, then, at least we stop spinning our wheels.

Effective action requires so much more than hope. But reality often doesn't make people feel good, as does hope, whether that hope is baseless, realistic or somewhere in between. To the contrary, insistence upon facing reality often makes people angry at the person insisting on it. I have no idea what to do about that either, other than sticking to my convictions despite anticipating unpleasant blow back.

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Lookout's picture

@HenryAWallace

until we move governments around the world, we're going to be screwed.

I conclude we're screwed. Governments today are merely corporate fronts.

However if we think People are the government then individual actions can lead to group actions. All I can do is act as an individual. That gives me hope. Governments they lead me to despair. So that's the see-saw I ride.

All the best to you!

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

at all and said expressly that we all should, of course, continue to do whatever we can as individuals. However, there is action that only governments can take, regardless of how one defines "government." Laws, fines, prison, taxes--all kinds of things, and not only with respect to the environment, although that is one of the most emergent and one of the most potentially deadly to the most humans.

If we can't move government on anything, though, then I need to re0direct.

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@HenryAWallace excellent source

go to top of page and click on "newsletter" to get links of their issues

here is link to July 2019 issue which contains over 2 dozen links

Soil Care Network Newsletter July 2019

here is one of the articles

Soil to sand: Spain’s growing threat of desertification
Climate change and unsustainable land use could spell catastrophe for Mediterranean

If carbon emissions remain unabated, Madrid will have a climate more like present-day Marrakesh by 2050, according to a recently published study by Swiss researchers.

here is the end of the short article

Within Spain, García-Fayos predicts more people will migrate from the country’s interior, which is already facing massive depopulation, to coastal areas with less extreme temperatures, creating what he calls “demographic deserts.”

Del Barrio also sees compounding challenges for those who are most affected by the desertification.

“Desertification happens after people have invested everything they could to establish themselves in places with ephemeral wealth. For example, families migrated to Almeria in Southern Spain and bought land that was productive during 10-20 years. But when the land degrades, those families -- who have invested everything they have in land that is now worth nothing -- get trapped. That causes social problems and makes emigration difficult,” he said.

According to Del Barrio, while only 1% of Spanish land is actively being desertified at the moment, around 20% of already desertified land is undergoing the complex process of regeneration. But despite efforts in countries like Spain to regenerate lost land and prevent desertification, Del Barrio suggests that isolated actions will not be enough to battle the problem.

“My personal opinion is that if extreme climate change scenarios come to fruition and the economic model in which land is exploited and then left behind continues, then the entire Mediterranean could face a catastrophic situation,” he said.

and an article on the US

PROGRESS REPORT: Adoption of Soil Health Systems Based on Data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture Metrics include Cover Crop and No-till Production Practices

and a link to an article behind a research paywall and here is the abstract

Abstract

This paper studies the capture of organisms and materials in soil construction – a branch of ecological engineering dedicated to making soil in order to compensate for soil degradation. This approach takes all organisms to be ‘ecosystem engineers’, and often refers to earthworms as ‘collaborators’ in making soil. I examine the claim that such a convocation of worms amounts to a redistribution of agency and the underlying assumption that form-taking is the shaping of raw matter according to pre-existing forms. Drawing on processual anthropology, I question the distinction between living and material components of soils, and between growing and making. I elaborate on soil scientists’ description of soil growth as pedogenesis in order to propose a view in which soil materials, along with organisms, participate in soil’s transformative and generative fluxes. I envisage the process as a concrescence, an experimentation that brings humans, worms, and soil materials together in new ways.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0263276419851857

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@DonMidwest Soils

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Lookout's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I experimented with no-till sorghum planted into clovers and other legumes. They required no nitrogen fertilizer due to fixation by the cover crops, and got better yields due to water retention.

These days I just garden and I mulch all my beds....sometimes with legumes when I'm lucky enough to have some. I keep threatening to grow a summer bean crop just for mulch, but have not gotten to that yet.

Thanks for the link.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@DonMidwest

Didn't know about the newsletter. I appreciate the resource.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

Here's some more stuff to watch.
The Big Crash is coming, we all know it.
Max & Stacy look at central banks and the giant Ponzi:
Can US Rates Go Negative?, Keiser Report, YouTube
Chris Hedges talks with Max Blumenthal about his new book.
International Jihadism with Max Blumenthal, On Contact, YouTube
Rick Sanchez gives us a little history lesson,
How US (not Russia) stole an election, RT, YouTube
Some art from the Epstein estate:

Have a pleasant Sunday.

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@Azazello

Not enough has changed since Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan agreed to repeal Glass Steagall and pass the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (which cleared the way for the crap mortage derivatives that brought down the economies of the US, Portugal, etc., leading, in the US to the bail out. For that reason alone, I have been anticipating another crash all along. But, how we protect ourselves, other than putting our spare dollars under a mattress?

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karl pearson's picture

@HenryAWallace The Savings & Loan Crisis of the 1980's was a precursor to the problems in the mortgage industry. When I think about the mortgage mess, I usually start with the S&L debacle. Things haven't been the same since then. Here's a little history regarding the S&L crisis. You probably already know this:

The S&L Crisis is arguably the most catastrophic collapse of the banking industry since the Great Depression. Across the United States, more than 1,000 S&Ls had failed by 1989, essentially ending what had been one of the most secure sources of home mortgages. The S&L market share for single-family mortgages before the crisis was 53% (1975); after, it was 30% (1990).

The one-two punch to the finance industry and the real estate market most likely contributed to the recession of 1990-1991, as new home starts fell to a low not seen since World War II. Some economists speculate that the regulatory and financial incentives that created a moral hazard that led to the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis are very similar to the conditions that led to the S&L crisis.

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Lookout's picture

@karl pearson

of the S & L crisis
https://www.researchomatic.com/George-Bush-Sr-And-The-Savings-And-Loan-C...

and more here supporting your point...

In the early 1980s, under Reagan, regulatory changes took place that gave the S&L industry new powers and for the first time in history measures were taken to increase the profitability of S&Ls at the expense of promoting home ownership.

http://la.indymedia.org/news/2004/01/99614.php

Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.

As a teacher, Neil caught my attention especially when later this happened...
No Bush Left Behind: When You’re Barred From Banking, Why Not Bank on Education?
https://www.democracynow.org/2004/3/12/no_bush_left_behind_when_youre

What a web we weave...

Thanks for the reminder and trip down memory lane

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lotlizard's picture

@Lookout  
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=marvin+bush+securacom

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Lookout's picture

@lotlizard

I sure didn't know that.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/911security.html

And for ancient history...

Preserving their wealth and power is the reason US businessmen plotted to overthrow FDR. First and foremost, businessmen like Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, John and Allen Dulles, Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker admired Hitler and Mussolini. Although at the point of the gun, fascists used a strong hand protecting business. They were ruthless dealing with labor unions and social unrest, which is what these men wanted in the US.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/11/08/18628134.php

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@karl pearson

We've had quite a number of precursors.

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Lookout's picture

@Azazello

That episode of Max and Stacy was really good.

Did you catch the episode where he interviews Egon von Greyerz of GoldSwitzerland.com about the $15 trillion in negative yielding bonds and what it means for the gold markets going forward? The entire show is good but as you know the interviews are in the last 15 min.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElxmkyQkbbU

I think they are re-running Chris' show. I had seen last week interview with XR founder, and I've seen that interview with Max. I've really been enjoying His Grayzone project
https://thegrayzone.com/

The picture of bubba clinton is pretty disgusting. perhaps at this point I find any picture of him pretty disgusting. I was taken in by he and obummer.

Thanks again for your excellent contribution this week and almost every week!

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cassiodorus's picture

there's a song that illustrates this principle:

Do something pretty while you can. 'Course, the real question about climate change is the one I'm asking in my (forthcoming) book: what kind of society would be able to mitigate climate change, and how can we get that society?

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Lookout's picture

@Cassiodorus

what kind of society would be able to mitigate climate change, and how can we get that society?

I'll look forward to your conclusion

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

i'm on the side of 'almost no hope, but why despair?'

it's so easy to paste in stuff like this from npr: ‘Ethiopians Plant 350 Million Trees As Part Of 'Green Legacy' Program’, npr, july 31, 2019 is there enough water to get them started?

telesur englih is down again, but iirc, i'd seen a headline about bolivians having planted 7 million trees, but i did on #evo morales on twitter, and bolivia is reclaiming all the formerly privatized ag land into small organic farms.

i'd actually thought about putting up a diary with this thought experiment: 'If the world could go fossil fuel free tomorrow, would that stave off run-away climate chaos given what we know already about the methane and other feedback loops afoot?'

and of course there's no way that many nations would be able to go fossil fuel free, especially the ones who have 'Our oil' under their ground. sure and we see folks at c99% hoping some nation will sink tankers to close the straits of hormuz, maybe the suez canal to stop oil being shipped out: but what would those nations, thus their citizens do for heat, what would those nations do for income?

but even consider just in the US (tax supported) factory ag complex how many petro-chemicals go into 'farming'! and how many glyphosates and pesticides and GM products like bt (esp. corn) are used, not only killing off the key pollinators, but killing the beneficial microbes in the soil?

how many acquifers in the US haven't been epically depleted and poisoned already? how many post-dust bowl days windrows are still standing? and as you say, lookout, never mind the impossibility of cleaning up the oceans, as coral reefs and kelp die off, the oceans heat more and more...

and never mind the actual external carbon costs of manufacturing solar panels, electric cars (the electricity comes from somewhere), and other Green Capitalist ventures. sure, china's leading the world in solar, but who knows if even chinese citizens can afford that over cheap coal.

me, i'd spend the bucks on adaptation and mitigation...where it's possible, but that's a whole 'nother conversation. meanwhile, big bidness capitalist profiteers are shimmering out of the woodwork to be The (trillions of dollars' worth) Solutions to all that's afoot. even poor little greta thunberg is being courted by the oligarchs of the west, with no idea how she's being exploited. some of the photos are truly alarming to me.

@robinmonotti 'Greta Thunberg's yacht trip means more CO2 will be released into the atmosphere than if just Greta and her father had traveled by air because six members of her team have to fly back to Germany from New York.'

can benevolent visitors from another solar system some of from ourselves? dayum, it's hard to imagine how we've collectively trashed this gorgeous big blue and once-green ball of a planet! how much has war and the implements of war warmed this planet? if the US military is said to have the largest carbon footprint on the planet, stir in other nations' militaries as well, most of course, being responses to the wars and threats of war by this accursed nation. how many of the Green New Deals in the UK and US even address that fact (save howie hawkins, to an extent)?

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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

As to the thought experiment: It is my thought that we have baked global warming into the system even if we stopped the extraction and use of fossil fuels. The question is if we did try to mitigate with reforestation, regenerative ag, ocean fertilization, etc could we begin to reverse it? I have serious doubts.

Cass question above - how do we get to a society that even wants to try?

I see the situation as a reason to treasure every day and find and generate as much joy as I can.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

means by the term 'mitigate', doesn't it? slightly reverse it, slow it down, or help prevent even more disasters ahead (rising tides, poisoned water, etc.). and of course there's no monolithic 'society', either in amerika or around the globe given cultural differences, available resources, climate zones, altitudes, soil composition, and you're correct: in places that pastoral farming is indeed the only sort available, and can be regenerative as well.

to me, water is the key, and i love actual water protectors fighting to stop new pipelines, shut down old ones, prevent uranium and even gold mining, and fighting bottled water companies like Nestle who've filed on already claimed water in the colorado river watershed, as well as underground water not specified on land deeds. large corporate legal teams almost always win, but that's why the big money's in water law these days, isn't it?

locales outlawing fracking altogether (what, a million gallons of water per hole?), poisoning even nearby wells with enough gas that some can be lit on fire when the taps are turned on as east of here. good gawd all-friday!

two greedy gold feverists in this valley killed two branches of the mancos river with their 'secondary leech chemistry', and they've never come alive again.

one other 'water mitigation' could be restoring coastal ecosystems as flood barriers, but also shoring up levies and dikes, as well. but isn't the new window of 'opportunity' 15 years? of course it changes as often as the weather in colorado does. but again i'll ask:
what in the hell does 'declaring a climate emergency' actually mean, and why now when the eco-socialists have known the genesis of earth warming for at least two decades?

but hell, they wouldn't even allow the global south's eco-socialists IN at the 2012 earth sustainability summit, so they conducted their own side meetings, presented their (albeit very lengthy) manifestos to...anyone who'd cared to listen.

but yep, we do what we can do, try to 'live simply so that others might simply live'... but once again, the paul erlich eugencists are crawling out of the woodwork onto their pedestals again...bill gates sub-saharan africans, twice Sir Richard Attenborough (most recently recommending fewer ethiopians, when their lives are so simple, carbon footprints so low, i'd guess one 2/100th of gates' and attenborough's. they can kiss my grits, both of them.

gates doubles down, using africans as guniea pig test subjects for all his experimental treatments, ebola, lyme disease (?) 'resistant' mosquitoes, and whatever. what.a.world.

but yes, let's enjoy every day as we may, even if some days ain't all that enjoyable.

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If you don't seriously consider adding charcoal to you soil as a soil amendment, then I don't think you really care much about CO2. In the last ten years I have probably added about 800 pounds of it to my yard which is about .4 acres. And it will amend the soil for the next 1300 years on average sucking down far more carbon than I could ever add to the air.

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Wally's picture

@davidgmillsatty

. . . . you say?

Doesn't the burn throw lots of carbon into the atmosphere???

Differences between rotating field slash and burn and those industrialized contraptions in the video producing it to apply on other fields?

I seem to recall that I read somewhere that the Mexican government is trying to pressure small farmers in Chiapas to forego slash and burn because of the carbon emissions but I may be off.

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Lookout's picture

@Wally

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/slash-burn-agriculture-bad-rainforest-g...
https://blog.agrihomegh.com/do-not-slash-and-burn/

As to biochar, checkout the yale link in my comment below.

Thanks for dropping by!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@davidgmillsatty

There are ecologists on both sides of the issue.
https://e360.yale.edu/features/refilling_the_carbon_sink_biochars_potent...

I've not used that approach. I have more interest in hugelkultur
https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur
Main because here in the deciduous forest I have the raw materials at hand without external inputs.

However, it will take many approaches to address our ecological problems.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Wally's picture

@Lookout @Lookout

. . . is being studied by some ecologists these days, specifically looking at the sustainability of slash and burn techniques. The conventional wisdom is that they aren't as indicated by the articles you linked, but some folks are at least looking into the possibility that TEK might make more sense than is commonly thought by many and probably most scientists.

I'm not a earth scientist or a farmer, so I'm not gonna make any claims one way or the other but the TEK stuff is interesting in my mind and worth looking into - there's a growing scholarly literature too:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=traditional+ecological+knowledge&atb=v166-1&ia...

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Lookout's picture

@Wally

However it was in low population areas, and they rotated the plots yearly and allowed forests to regenerate. In that case it is sustainable. Now a days it is done on large scale and the forests is converted into pasture. That is not sustainable. So like most things in life...it depends on the situation.

Thanks for the link.

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Wally's picture

@Lookout

. . . given some choices were made by some powers that be to move from smaller to larger production.

And with the Mexican government now pressuring small farmers (I dont know all the details) to abandon the shorter term slash and burn rotation for other production techniques not rooted in TDK, those people are progressively over time and very quickly going to have their lives uprooted. More than a few will probably wind up seeking refuge in the US. Bigger farmers will take control, becoming more reliant on chemical farming.

It will be interesting to see how folks like the Zapatistas can (or can't) resist these changes. But I'm not so sure they are all that supportive of promoting or very accepting of TDK:

https://popularresistance.org/the-zapatista-solution-to-food-sovereignty...

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