Category Archives: Soil

Peak soil: Industrial agriculture destroys ecosystems and civilizations. Biofuels make it worse.

Alice Friedemann. 2017. Peak Soil.   Last updated: June 4, 2017, first published 2007 [ Formerly titled: Why Biofuels are Not Sustainable and a Threat to America’s National Security.  Shorter versions appear in the following books: Jacqueline Langwith, ed. 2008.  “Opposing … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Peak Biofuels, Soil, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book review of “1493 Uncovering the new world Columbus Created”

[ This book will be included in the “must read” category of my giant booklist when I get around to updating it. This book isn’t just about the past, the implications reverberate into the postcarbon future.  Will slavery return without … Continue reading

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Nitrogen fertilizer poses significant threats to humans and the environment

NRC. 2015. A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System. National Research Council, National Academies Press. 19 pages.   Nitrogen (N) is essential for agricultural productivity, but in its more reactive forms, it can pose significant threats to humans … Continue reading

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Mineral: Soil from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

[ Ugo Bardi’s book on minerals covers a wide-ranging territory, including soil, which is a mineral.  In this section of the book he shows how humans have damaged the soil so much we have greatly overshot carrying capacity by lowering … Continue reading

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Because we’ve stuffed staggering numbers of cows on factory farms we live in a cow toilet

[ Book review of “Cowed: The hidden impactof 93 million cows” by Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer] Hayes, Denis and Gail. 2015. Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, Biodiversity Loss, CO2 and Methane, Pollution, Soil | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chemical industrial farming is unsustainable. Why poison ourselves when pesticides don’t save more of our crops than in the past?

Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides destroy soil, ecosystems, and a third of the crop is still lost to pests, just as in the many millennia of farming before chemicals. [ This is a book review of Dyer’s “Chasing the Red Queen”, … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Biodiversity Loss, Chemicals, Overshoot, Pesticides, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chemical industrial farming is unsustainable. Why poison ourselves when pesticides don’t save more of our crops than in the past?

After a collapse will people grow their own food or plunder others?

[ In this post Ugo Bardi looks at what will happen if society collapses and we have to suddenly go back to pre-industrial agriculture conditions.  A back to the land movement where people grow their own food may not happen. … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Peak Food, Phosphorus, Scientists, Soil, Ugo Bardi | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Sand mines used to frack oil & gas are destroying the best topsoil in the Midwest

Nancy C. Loem. May 23, 2016. The sand mines that ruin farmland.  New York Times. Chicago — While the shale gas industry has been depressed in recent years by low oil and gas prices, analysts are predicting that it will … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Sand, Soil, Soil | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Why human waste should be used for fertilizer

[ At John Jeavons Biointensive workshop back in 2003, I learned that phosphorous is limited and mostly being lost to oceans and other waterways after exiting sewage treatment plants.  He said that it’s dangerous if done incorrectly and wasn’t going … Continue reading

Posted in Soil, Waste, Water | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Benefits of promoting soil health in agriculture U.S. House hearing 2014

                    [ At last, 10 years after I first published “Peak soil: Why biofuels destroy ecosystems and civilizations“, Congress had a hearing that educated house members on why preserving topsoil is … Continue reading

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