Going Green

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Thin Skin of our Planet

First observation: It's not dirt, it is soil. Dirt is what you find in the corner of your kitchen where you didn't do a good job of cleaning. Soil is one of the basic sustainers of life on this planet.

The lowdown on dirt: It's disappearing

Disappearing dirt rivals global warming as an environmental threat

The planet is getting skinned.

While many worry about the potential consequences of atmospheric warming, a few experts are trying to call attention to another global crisis quietly taking place under our feet.

Call it the thin brown line. Dirt. On average, the planet is covered with little more than 3 feet of topsoil -- the shallow skin of nutrient-rich matter that sustains most of our food and appears to play a critical role in supporting life on Earth.

"We're losing more and more of it every day," said...(complete article here).

The article fails to mention the tremendous advances that have been made in farming techniques since the "Dust Bowl" days of the 1930's that have reduced soil erosion dramatically. There is certainly room for improvement, but great progress has been made -- at least in the U.S. No-till and low-tillage techniques are becoming more popular, not only because of their positive impact on erosion, but because of the economics of reducing input costs for crops -- particularly fuel for fewer trips over the field. Other techniques that have reduced soil loss include conservation buffers, windbreaks, terracing, and other erosion control methods.


bigwhitehat said...

No! What you do is never enough!

We must abolish all agriculture before the erosion and greenhouse gas producing bovine flatulence kill us all!

Panhandle Poet said...

BWH: Thanks for the laugh!

Professor Howdy said...
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