Sunday, June 3, 2007
Herbicides/Pesticides (and fertilizers which are thrown into this category) are actually a larger issue of agricultural organization--which involves erosion.
The images above show what has happened in only 50 years of poor agricultural practices: there are holes in the ocean--deoxygenating destroying malestorms, killing everything in its path, and leaving hundreds of square miles of oceanic rotting death.
Note the rate of increase.
Note the single corporation that is hugely responsible and its history.
The World According to Monsanto (2008)
"On March 11, 2008, a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural TV channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years."
For alternatives to this, see the soil-creating forms of agriculture and permaculture without chemical herbicides and pesticides.
Besides the herbicide and pesticide monopolies, we can just utilize "despored mycelium" that Stamets talks about in this short video. Get rid of the synthetics entirely, the old fashioned way. Very old. About 3 billion years old.
Utilize mycelium's properties as a pesticide as well as soil creator.
Then watch everything grow sustainable from the novel pristine base. Like the runners of mycelium, the use of mycelium for pesticides has many 'organic factory' aspects for other connects to the commodity ecology of a local area without the synthetic monopolies like Monsanto.
Mycelium is an excellent base for starting the commodity ecology, because literally it was the basis for all land base life: the first land dwellers that prepared everything chemically for soil formation that other creatures that was utilized as the base of life. See this short stunning video, below. Just put in some local mycelium in as a pesticide, and you have a clean basis of organic agriculture.
Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world (17 minutes)
"Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets' research is the Northwest's native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas. There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet."
Re-basing commodity ecology, the ecologizing of human commodification, on mycelium seems the sounded basis to start. Moreover, it is probably to be expected because mycelium was the first arriving "'life organ' of ecology" that these species would be an integral start for life--and for other commodity ecology paths. It has THE MOST cross-connects or overlaps SO FAR with leads into other categories. It connects very well with:
5. Garbage/Garbage disposal
11. Mycelium based food
72. Packing Materials (for seeding forests, mycelium and seeds embedded)
THAT means mycelium's many local multiple consumptive positional uses makes it a good place to start upon the commodity ecology for branching in multiple directions from this locus. He says 6 ideas. I count seven. Really, all the difficulties with sustainability are already solved. It merely means putting all the pieces together combined with challenging the corrupt developmentalism with the bioregional state institutional arrangements, challenging the arrangements that keep sustainability, sustainable politics, and territorial states from happening.
Learning about mycelium is the excellent basis of a commodity ecology. And Paul Stamets is an excellent introduction.
Additionally, instead of active attacks on bugs and diseases of plants, make the plants hardier as the solution. This is a quote from the short video about Forest Gardening:
"The high art of organic production is producing really good compost...[with a really large] variety of materials. The best are woody plants, though obviously they take a very long time to rot down, so they have to be shredded....The most striking features of the garden are its fertility and lack of pests and diseases. "I don't use chemicals on this place at all but use...sprays of seaweed, liquid comfrey, and liquid nettles. These do not have the effect of destroying bugs and germs, but build up the disease and pest resistance of the plants."
Forest Gardening with Robert Hart ... a film by Malcolm Baldwin (1 of 2)
7 min 25 sec
There is the issue of waste plastic. Why? Because plastic, being lipophilic, absorbs many oil-based chemicals and concentrates such herbicide/pesticide wastes into the food chain more intensely when the plastic-chemical admixtures are swallowed--killing sea life in the process or eventually getting back to human consumption of plasticized/polluted fish that way. This is a side issue, though another real world implication of utilizing synthetic pesticides/herbicides that become highly concentrated poison pills back into ocean and animal life--and then to ourselves.
Watch this 13 minute video on the garbage accumulating in the oceanic gyres, as problematic a result of poor material choices as the herbicide/pesticide induced 'dead zones' in the ocean.
Alphabet Soup - A Trip to the Eastern Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Gyre
12 min 49 sec
A Canadian filmmaker travels to the north Pacific Ocean to discover a world of unknown plastic pollution.
An uncle of mine who is retired from DuPont NEVER HEARD OF EITHER OF THESE ISSUES of dead zones or oceanic gyre garbage...which shows the extent of scientific specialization and hubristic ignorance institutionalizing nearsighted crops of humans, generation after generation, in the current unconnected monocultures of the universities.
More interscientific curricula are required likely as solving these agricultural issues because the difficulty is with human ignorance certified falsely as knowledge, instead of it being something only to do with the commodity change per se.
The origins of dead zones origins and how a chemical cocktail of nitrates and phosphates and other pollution leads to their creation can be found at this link on the bioregional state and the oceans over at Toward A Bioregional State.
Completely removing forms of chemical agriculture (which will increasingly save the humic soil as well) means an entire reformation of agriculture. This will likely entail particular localized solutions that are more conservative of biodiversity. Certain forms are already in existence in some locations and their commonalities are they move away from monocropping toward other forms of permiculture, forest gardening (multi-level agriculture), perinneals agriculture (instead of based on breeding for fast growing annuals), 'no-till' forms of agriculture (for soil conservation, incresingly no-till additionally means no-pesticide as well in some versions), and using interactive species (sometimes even other plants cross planted with others that kill pests instead of just alternative insects) to remove agricultural pests. It's all about knowing of the lateral relationships instead of focusing on the commodity at hand. And the bees. Use native bees associated with what particular crops they most efficiently utilize. Carting around bees should be phased out.
Stop Phosphating and Nitrating the Oceans
A short treatment of the origin of such pesticide laden phosphate frameworks from the chemical industry is found Karen Steingraber's _Living Downstream. It came mostly from decommissioned warmaking factories making chemicals--that then kept up production and simply turned the phosphates and nitrates and other things useful in explosives. Then there was the ecological and social terrorism of the so called "Green Revolution" of agrochemical pesticides sales worldwide, which massively impoverished local forms of agriculturalists and send then hurtling toward the slum cities.
For the historical origin of artificial nitrates see the book _The Great Guano Rush, and The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben (on the Haber process). Both started the whole downhill ecological destruction of agriculture. We can turn that aruond with mycelium applications for pesticides.
Of course there are the wallflowers who sigh romantically and say it started with agriculture itself, though that is silly because it is a categorical argument when it is exactly what kinds of agriculture is the issue: actually many forms of agriculture have survived over millennia in China in the same areas (though with versions of economic shakeout and regional specializations that launched millions into endless poverty and instability of course by the Yuan into the Ming).
Second, the Aztecs had some good ideas for durable organic fertilizer based agriculture in their milpas.
Third, the difficulties with poor soil agriculture in Amazonia has been solved toward stable forms of tenure that demotes the endless ecocline erosion frameworks destroying the forests there in some populations. There was an interesting article in the British magazine The Ecologist about this. This was before what I can only surmise was a recent 'editorial coup/lobotomy' that in my opinion dumbed down the magazine from discussions of political economy toward shallow editorial lines of thinking that change comes only from the consumer instead of from blaming the organizational frameworks themselves. Most consumers are held hostage to this clientelistic framework hardly of their own design or blame.
Anyway, before the lobotomy at The Ecologist, this article was printed concerning a man working over 20 years in and out of academia in experiments in Latin America. He solved ‘solved’ the jungle/poor soil frameworks of agriculture, fuel provisioning, and salable commodities through a form of ecological modernization. The magazine The Ecologist wrote a short article about it several years ago, aiming for wider coverage of it’s combined features of local consumptive durability, poverty alleviation, and ecological security--all addressed simultaneously. [cite: “Rainforest Saver: After 20 years work a British tropical ecologist thinks this can save the world’s rainforests” [and generate income for local people without destroying it],” The Ecologist, Volume 35, No. 1, p. 56]
Fourth, on biodiversity as agriculture instead of against it, read Kenney Ausubel's Seeds of Change, and Gary Nabhan's Enduring Seeds. Both argue some forms of agriculture are more conducive to maintaining biodiversity that destroying it.
Additionally, The Slow Food Movement should have a chapter in every watershed worldwide.
In short, ideally, to institutionalize biodiversity it is paramount to integrate it into agriculture. I've got lots of notes about other forms of agriculture organization that can additionally remove the requirements of the category of pesticides. See some of the comments about that. Perhaps I'll post a summary article below about this as well.
For the moment, here is a draft of an encyclopedia article I wrote for the Encyclopedia of Social Problems, on "Erosion." Read it at the commodity category on soils/dirt/hydroponics.