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'People aren’t thinking about this ecological function. They’re ignoring science…'
Studies focusing on the relationship between the soil, moisture and organic matter helped scientists, ecologists and engineers form strategies to produce other success stories, such as one in Rwanda, where over-farmed hillsides caused serious erosion. In a desperate gamble to grow more food, poor farmers drained the protected Regazi Wetlands. But not only did this damage the wetland’s fragile ecosystem and wildlife, as it began drying out, it impacted power stations downriver, including the hydroelectric power system in Rwanda’s capital city Kagali three hours south. The Rwandan government was forced to rent diesel power generators to remedy the situation.
In bringing back the wetlands, as well as restoring fertility to the villagers’ lands, those responsible for its demise were solicited to help. Today, carbon-free electricity is replacing the diesel generators, stabilizing electricity prices throughout the region. Rwandan President Paul Kagame:
“We had to take a careful look at what had been happening to damage it, this system, and how to reverse that with human action. And it’s important to understand how human actions can destroy, or reverse what has been destroyed (to) even protect our environment.”
Identifying the Goal: Is It Temporary Production or Ongoing Sustenance?
Liu contends that our source of wealth is a functional ecosystem, not the products derived from them.
“It’s impossible for the derivative to be more valuable than the source. … And yet, in our economy now, as it stands, the products and services have monetary values, but the source – the functional ecosystems – (have) zero. This cannot be true. It’s false! We’ve created a global economic institution based on a theory of flawed logic. Carry that flaw in logic from generation to generation, we compound the mistake. “We’ve only just begun to understand the real value of natural capital. Surely investing in the restoration of damaged environments is a cost-effective way of solving many of the problems we face today.”
But farmers the world over sometimes need convincing. The problem, Liu says, is that they usually believe “production” is the goal, when the crucial, pressing need is sustainability so that the entire planet can be functional. In 1995, Jordanian farmers scoffed at the suggestion that trees be planted in order to build a more sustainable agricultural platform. It was confusing at first, but the premise held that investing in the program would come to fruition, literally, in their own foreseeable future, with the promise of ongoing agricultural enrichment for upcoming generations.
It meant the area’s farming-and-grazing status quo had to stop temporarily, but homesteaders were financially compensated. As villagers headed up the mountains with shovels, their new objective was to create a “hat” of trees at the top, terraces to form a “belt” and “shoes” – the foundation of a constructed dam at the bottom. Hills and gullies were designated as protected “ecological zones.” And it worked.
Permaculture: The Art of Working With – Not Against – Nature
Geoff Lawton introduced the permaculture concept in Australia, where rebuilding functional ecosystems from the ground up restores them to their fullest potential. It can create an agricultural heartland even in the desert in as little as three-and-a-half years, and being fully self-sufficient year-round, cycling its own nutrients without the need for irrigation or artificial fertilizer.
“Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems (to) have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.”
Lawton says there’s potential for abundance even in arid climates like Jordan’s Petra, now a stark shell of what was once thriving, known as “the land of milk and honey.” With its “ecological range of diversity and abundance, there’s potential for water flow, regional climate and microclimate moderation, completely different hydrology and the potential for well-designed productivity, (can lead) to permanence in human culture.”
Without restoration, the cycle of poverty continues to be passed down from generation to generation. When the trend is reversed, quality of life is improved, followed by improved diet, healthcare and educational opportunities.
Nature: NOT an 'Enemy' To Be Conquered or Manipulated…
In just the last ten years, 100 million tons of herbicides have been dumped onto our crops, polluting waterways and the soil where our food grows. A genetically engineered crop called “golden rice” has tainted the entire food industry throughout Asia, thanks to a sizable investment of cash from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which socked $20 billion into the enterprise.
Slash and burn agriculture, such as what’s done in Bolivia to make room for farming, involves burning ‘biomass’ – forests full of trees and fauna – for short-term monetary gain. But the most valuable commodity is being destroyed in the process destroying the most valuable thing in their system – the ability to help create biomass in other areas. It could create multiple industries in both areas and be mutually beneficial for everyone. Massive soy-growing plantations in Brazil are so dependent on the promise of economic wealth that local farmers are murdered and their lands confiscated, all to increase multi-nationally-owned soybean operations that decimated nearly 3 million acres of rainforest in just one year.
Small- and Large-Scale Sustainability Practices – for Your Family, Community and the Globe
The life-giving effects of sustainability practices can be seen on several large scales now, but the principles are only as deep and complex as the soil. Compost feeds not just the plants, but the soil – or more specifically the soil organisms – is where 50 million genuses of bacteria and 50 million genuses of fungi thrive under the right conditions. According to Liu:
“Farmers in the Loess Plateau have continued to prosper, and the soil has been accumulating organic material from plants and animals. This holds the moisture and contains carbon… Living soils like this retain on average three times more carbon than the foliage above the ground. If we were to restore the vast area of the planet where we humans have degraded the soils, just think what an impact it would have in taking carbon out of the atmosphere.”
The entire Chinese continent has benefited from the lessons learned on the Loess Plateau. You can see it in the marketplaces, Liu says. Incomes have risen three-fold. We can make it happen here, as well.
The Ecosystem Isn’t Just Broken Over There… Look In Your Own Back Yard!
The tendency most of us have in so-called “developed” countries is to think those images of widespread ecological damage is far, far away and doesn’t involve us. But it does! Worse than simple farmers destroying the landscape through ignorance and tradition, the stripping and poisoning of our own natural resources is being done not unwittingy, but intentionally; not for the good of whole continents in the foreseeable future but for the financial profit of a few, now.
Perhaps you can’t do anything about that, and remedying those situations must be left to others. But you can make a difference now for yourself, for your family and community that might have residual effects.
Growing your own vegetables is a growing concept for thousands of Americans. It can help you save money, involve everyone in the family and help create a store that can last through the winter.
Organic gardening isn’t something extra you do – in fact it’s quite the opposite. It’s what you don’t do that makes the difference: no chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides on your plate! When you take control of what you eat, you’ll naturally enjoy better health, ensure and protecting future generations.
Composting is another way to make what you already have work for you in the future. Save those scraps, from egg shells to coffee filters, and use them to feed your vegetable garden.
When shopping for food, be informed regarding where that food was produced. A guide to help you can be found by clicking here!
If you take advantage of the farm-fresh sustainability that’s becoming more prevalent as people take control of what they’re consuming, you’ll realize many benefits. First, you’ll know where the foods you and your family eat comes from, ensure optimal nutrition, and protect the health of future generations
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
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