The Dirt On Soil Erosion

Lonewolf sent me this link –

Although food production has more or less kept pace with population growth by increasing 50 percent between 1980 and 2000, it is unclear whether we’ll have enough food to feed the estimated three billion more mouths in 2050. To do that, Arnalds said, we’d need to produce more food within the next 50 years than humankind has during the last 10,000 years combined, which might be a nearly impossible task considering global food production per hectare is already on the decline. The Dirt On Soil Erosion

I’d not worry about three billion more mouths to feed – we’ll never reach that number. The energy decline will make absolute certainty of that with a global crash if population levels.

But soil erosion is a rather huge issue. This is at the heart of The Final Empire by William Kotke (see chapter 3).

Intensive and abusive farming practices have long led to erosion, but now we have other problems too. Slash and burn in the Amazon rain forests for palm oil plantations, which collapse after just three or four years is causing huge erosion issues and sedimentation in the rivers and streams (to say nothing of the destroyed forests). This is occurring in rain forest regions all over the world.


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6 thoughts on “The Dirt On Soil Erosion

  • September 2, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I wonder if the increase in palm oil plantations is somewhat due to the focus on trans-fats. It seems like a lot of processed products that used to contain hydrogenated vegetable oils are now having those oils replaced with fractionated palm oil.

  • September 2, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Just spent some time on reading the final empire.Incredible amount of info.So much for civilization.Suggest everyone bookmark and read.

  • September 3, 2007 at 4:24 am

    I had never heard of Kotke til now.Thanks admin.I find it ironic that the people who really need to read this stuff never will as it does not fit into their “optimistic” read delusional view of the world.

  • September 6, 2007 at 8:37 am

    How about the theory that impoverished soil leads to greater CO2 and is a normal ‘macro-cycle’ of climate? Here is the link (Soil Remineralization):

    The concept of Soil Remineralisation is based on the theory that rock dust is the original ingredient for soil formation provides the earth limited supply. This supply is created by glaciation and weathering which breaks down the rocks and blows the dust around the earth. Walters (1991) states that this occurs in cycles that can be seen as glacial-interglacial. The minerals are said to control these cycles. These cycles are also related to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which is in turn linked to the biomass in the plants. As the earth is de-mineralised the plants begin to die and carbon dioxide (CO2) builds up in the atmosphere creating climate instability.

    This build up of CO2 is natural, but is being rapidly accelerated due to poor agricultural techniques, deforestation and industry. The content of CO2 within the atmosphere is rising. During the past 150,000 years it has oscillated between 200 & 300ppm. This has risen rapidly since 1959 from 315ppm to 350ppm. Therefore the rate of CO2 build up is many times greater then previous rates. (Supkow 1996)

    This rise in CO2 is often talked about and commonly attributed to the “Greenhouse Effect”. The Hamaker (1982) theory disputes the global warming theory and claims through his research, the climate is heading for a new Ice Age

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