Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis

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Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis

Post  guest... on Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:06 pm

American scientists have made an unsettling discovery. Crop farming across the Prairies since the late 19th Century has caused a collapse of the soil microbia that holds the ecosystem together.
They do not know exactly what role is played by the bacteria. It is a new research field. Nor do they know where the tipping point lies, or how easily this can be reversed. Nobody yet knows whether this is happening in other parts of the world.
A team at the University of Colorado under Noah Fierer used DNA gene technology to test the 'verrucomicrobia' in Prairie soil, contrasting tilled land with the rare pockets of ancient tallgrass found in cemeteries and reservations. The paper published in the US journal Science found that crop agriculture has "drastically altered" the biology of the land. "The soils currently found throughout the region bear little resemblance to their pre-agricultural state," it concluded.
You might say we already knew this. In fact we did not. There has never before been a metagenomic analysis of this kind and on this scale. Professor Fierer said mankind needs to watch its step. "We really know very little about one of the most productive soils on the planet, but we do know that soil microbes play a key role and we can't just keep adding fertilizers," he said.
The Colorado study has caused a stir in the soil world. It was accompanied by a sobering analysis in Science by academics from South Africa's Witwatersrand University. They fear that we are repeating the mistakes of past civilisations, over-exploiting the land until it goes beyond the point of no return, and leads to a vicious circle of famine, and then social disintegration.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10479872/Dust-to-Dust-a-man-made-Malthusian-crisis.html


Very interesting and indeed scary, time to start taking note for some

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Re: Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis

Post  Tess on Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:04 pm

The result of man thinking he knows better than nature. The results of all man-made 'improvements' to the eco-system do seem to result in actually destroying it. GMO crops may be resistant to existing bugs, but nature will only create new super-bugs to compensate. Same with antibiotics.

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Re: Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis

Post  Flix on Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:10 pm

The bottom line is that we have allowed and even encouraged the human population to increase to such an extent that we are exhausting our resources at an even greater rate than the birth rate and in trying to compensate are sewing the seeds of our own and the planets demise and still we all do nothing. There even an mp who stated that 73 million people on this island won't be a problem, we are now at 63 million yet in the 1940 we were 41 million and couldn't cope with providing home grown food for that amount even by people growing stuff anywhere and everywhere what happens if something similar were to happen again.

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