note: Bob from Mohave Nevada ( as distinct from the real Nevada, which also doesn't include Eastern California which is mistakenly called Washoe county ), most generous donation-many thanks!
A lot of Gore Warming types, the Birkenstock wearing hairy armpit females, tree hugging Hippie Dippy save the whales even though we don’t need lamp oil anymore type folks are screeching at the top of their lungs about ecosystem destruction and hugging Gaia and on and on and it’s like peck, peck, peck in the brain with a rusty screwdriver with these bastards, who keep insisting about carbon footprints even as they themselves drive motor vehicles and talk on cell phones and use central air in their homes, they have worry number three hundred and three which is soil depletion ( along with cow flatulence and non-veganism and water pollution and good Christ on a moped I told you they are complete drama queens about this stuff ) but all these fools should take a moment from carrying signs, which didn’t exactly do wonders for Union workers now did it?, and ponder the history rather than the future of soil depletion because it is a heck of a lot more serious than they postulate. In short, already been there and if you shut down the petroleum as they so desire, there is no food because the soil was trashed centuries ago.
Western expansion was important when we were British subjects, as population grew the need to expand westward did so as well. The “founding fathers” who are so venerated except for when they were bedding or owning slaves, were rather concerned with this themselves. One of the primary causes of the revolution wasn’t taxes, it was those Limey bastards letting the indigs stay safely behind a metaphorical wall prohibiting Whites from immigrated past. As you might imagine, the rich pukes were aghast at this notion, aghast I tells ya! If land is wealth and we can’t get more land, how in the name of all that is good and holy are we expected to get richer? Especially since we have to keep letting new immigrants in because we need fresh indentured servants as the terms of service keep expiring too soon and we must have cheap to free labor ( in most cases these indentured servants were treated as poorly as slaves, working in dangerous conditions, and they were White by the way )? Now, I’m not positive so don’t put your paycheck down in a wager, but I’m assuming that soil depletion was even then a factor ( I only have researched the next century, so there is a bit of extrapolation here ), at least to some degree. New England soil was thin and rocky and it wouldn’t have taken much to deplete it. Pennsylvania was lush and productive but probably filled up quickly in relative terms. The South was subtropical and most likely shared to some degree the shallowness of the topsoil in the tropics.
Now, I’m certainly not attempting to rewrite history here, nor imply cause and effect that didn’t exist, but I would suggest that you keep soil depletion in mind when it comes to western expansion in the years following our revolution. You don’t move to the frontier, be it Ohio or Arkansas or Texas, taking your life in your hands with the pissed off Indians who you were trying to kill by taking their land, just because you are poor and need free real estate. There had to be other factors back east to push you westward. Yes, population and political control were major factors. But soil depletion had to factor in somehow. By 1860, 70% of all southern slaves were working WEST of Georgia. Which means that in in eighty years the majority of economic production in southern agriculture had shifted from the original thirteen colonies, and the only reason for that was soil depletion. Surely, to a lesser extent, the same had occurred up north in Yankeeland? Paying for indentured servants can be just as costly as buying slaves, and to pay off that cost both types of farmers needed to keep production high. And high production depletes soil.
Now, you need to keep in mind that anyone, southern slave owner or Yankee businessman alike, will screw over other people to get and stay rich. This explains the War Of Northern Aggression ( I’m not a Confederation Apologists, nor am I a Yankee Cheerleader. Plenty of blame to go around, but I do love to hate on Yankees just on general principles ). The North had far less fertile farmland east of the Midwest ( the McCormack mechanized farm implement might have freed farmers for the war effort, but the central effect leading to their feeding was new-ish land to exploit ) and turned to banking and manufacturing for its livelihood ( and fishing while it lasted, after the Yankees lost out profits when slave importation was outlawed ). The South needed to expand up from the coast at the 100th meridian ( where the rain pretty much stops ), to continue consuming fertile land, the high volume cash crop plantations leaving the denuded tracts behind for dirt scratching subsidence farmers, which lead to all the guerrilla warfare prior to the war ( southerners trying to force out the occupants, probably akin to corporations buying out small farmers the last few decades ).
The North needed cheap commodities for its factories ( machines replacing dear labor even back then a significant factor in the profits of the elite ) and a more centralized economy to protect its budding Industrialism. Ironically, the southern bid for independence helped give birth to mercantilism as our defacto governance, as the war subsidized the factories health and expansion. Ever since the Yankee dominance from that conflict, our economy and our military adventures have barely changed ( imperial victors stick with what made them, not only as infrastructure is cemented and fortunes assured but also as their power was formed ). We still fight by wasting resources from factories working overtime, financed by the elite who are rewarded with free commodities, and by strategy and tactics encouraging cannon fodder to give up their sad and pathetic subhuman lives for their betters and social superiors. And I hate to say it, but perhaps they even might have a point, as the masses keep accepting the obvious lies, content to grovel for some crumbs ground up under jackboots. Please Sir, may we ‘ave another?
Imperialism and industrialism kept us fed, machines and imported tropical guano feeding the increasingly depleted soil at the richest farms, the poor continuing to farm the already depleted soils elsewhere. Having no social safety nets, you fed yourself or you didn’t eat, and if that meant continuing to coax crops out of reluctant tired dirt that is exactly what you did. Why do you think we were so concerned with Pacific expansion and tropical country control? It wasn’t JUST to enrich Del Monte or get cheap commodities, or about subsidizing the economies elite, it was about continuing to feed ourselves also. Just as Britain’s control of India was about gunpowder and fertilizer, America’s foray into the western ocean was also about feeding ourselves. It wasn’t the entire reason, but the stupidest politician ( oh, and as a side note discussing politicians, I hope your humping head hurts like a mofo for a very long time, you vicious evil twat, Reid! ) knows that you feed your people or there is revolution and he is on the Lamp Post List.
If it hadn’t been for the German invention of artificial fertilizer, the Haber-Bosch process, the US would have been, mostly, just another oil importing nation, because while we have a huge amount of productive farmland we had already depleted it to a very large degree prior to that invention ( California public works to supply water to food was about replacing some of that depleted soil, as was the irrigation dams up Idaho way although that came later ). Keep in mind of course that this is all RELATIVELY speaking. We weren’t dying in droves as the soil was used up, it was taking soil developed over centuries and using MOST of its capacity up rather quickly. Look how quickly we used up almost all our timber prior to adopting coal and how fast the buffalo went from being into Mexico to the Artic, to just a few breeding pairs left ( it wasn’t just to kill off the Indians, a lot of the butchering on a pre-industrial scale was done for commercial pemmican production, prior to that strategy ). Our soil was no different. We used up soil like we used up petroleum, on a vastly huge and very quick scale.
Now, all THAT, baring a few places like California and Oregon on the coast, was MORE than a hundred years ago ( just prior to WWI was when the Germans started turning coal and gas into artificial nitrates, both for war and for farming-some of the war’s effects was the wholesale theft of the process. Hey, we stole the design for the Mauser, so why not? It is only bad when other countries steal ). Since then, more and more until it was a complete process, the soil has been farmed with petroleum. Not just for the machines, but mainly the fertilizer from natural gas ( and now fracking gas-another government and bank subsidized attempt at feeding the masses least they revolt ). For a hundred and fifty to two hundred years, we depleted our soil. Western expansion kept us fed, as well as mechanization. Then for a century we placed more and more artificial fertilizer on the depleted soil AND depleted all the deserts water tables for a one off soil depletion, as well as damming all rivers to irrigate even more unsuitable land for farming.
For two centuries we used the natural fertilizer and then for a hundred years we used the artificial kind. We ran out of water in all the deserts trying to bring more land into production and then we poisoned all the remaining water tables fracking for gas to keep the fertilizer production going. Is it any wonder we are eating fake food ( no nutrients included ) and in terrible health, now in desperation eating Frankenfoods? Do you doubt what a decreasing oil supply means for our food supply? At this critical juncture the floodgates for immigrants has been opened and all the idiots from all the other places facing starvation are coming here to help us starve, the ultimate Hump You from the politically correct asswhores ( make sure to include them on the Lamp Post List for just that reason ). Soil depletion isn’t a future concern, it already happened a long time ago. Plan accordingly. Fun times straight ahead!
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2w6NJis )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
One of the most important aspects in history is the latifundia system. The Roman Empire was litterally about that, both as it rose and as it collapsed ( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_agraire_%C3%A0_Rome - the english version of this sucks )ReplyDelete
Jospeh Tainter addresses that system in his "Collapse of Complex Societies" as the large-scale illustration of his theory.
Latufundia systems also accounted for fever & paludism (badly managed land was riddled with puddles in which mosquitos proliferated) as well as for the present-day deforestation of Amazonia (BTW the amazonian soil is extremly poor in nutrients because they have been washed away by rain).
I recently came across historical analyses that explained that the agricultural revolution of the 10th century was actually not due to new technology (although it played a part), that technology itself came from a reform in the latifundia system that transformed slaves into serfs and free peasants and allowed the latter to have their own production to sell. (As it happens, Stalin was forced to do the same to avoid complete disaster when he transitionned to mechanical agriculture).
I have to study further on this, but it may well be that we're in some stage of "machine latifundia" ourselves. This is deep stuff, it is definitely wht we should be studying, but there are no papers on this that I know of.
Also, do not do it like Stalin, but work to make a perfect transition. Survivalism is actually all about transition.
I'll have to look into this-strange I didn't encounter the term before. ThanksDelete
Machine Latifundia is so obvious and widespread here in the US, it doesn't generate comment anymore. The "death of the family farm" was a 1980's political to-do. I would suggest the best place to find more information on this is from the environmentalists. After I looked up the term, it was an easy translation.Delete
So not only are we using our food supply in ethanol, we are burning up the soils future. Crap! Guess I better buy some berkinstocks and grow my ponytail back. After all hairy armpits on a girl is sexy!ReplyDelete
Nena could pull it off well. Others, not so muchDelete
99 Red Balloons:
True, but today I don’t think that Nena could pull off getting laid by Ron Jeremy without sneaking up on him first, and he’s one gross little f _ _ ker! But yeah, she was pretty sweet back in the day.Delete
Nena on stage in Dortmund in May 2011
Oh, come on! She isn't even a ONE bagger. A little rough, but who ages all that gracefully. In my old gals, I only ask for a limited amount of fat, symmetrical, and no ongoing medical costs. Debra Winger now, on that stupid Netflix farm comedy, now THAT is un-doable. Okay, so I guess I take them on a case by case basis :)Delete
I had to look up Debra Winger, since I hadn’t seen her in years. From what I could see, she didn’t look too awful for a 62 year old woman. Man, was she smoking hot in that Urban Cowboy movie! For some reason I thought that it was the “gerbil smuggler” (Gere) that was her co-star in that movie, but it was John Travolta. My mistake, but it’s not like I was off by a mile; more like a gerbil or two :DDelete
Richard Gere was "Officer & A Gentleman", a good couples movie. Military for the guys and romance for the gals. Urban Cowboy was simply awful-I don't even know if I've even gotten through the whole thing. One of these days I'm going to rewatch "Black Widow", to see if she could act. Or if she was just eye candy. She ain't acting for crap in the new show, but none of them are, so it's hard to tell.Delete
On the farm back in Illinois I can remember a salesman talking to my father about Anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer. My father told him to do a small portion of one field to see if there was a difference. After the field was harvested I remember asking him if he could see a difference. He said yes he could but the cost was greater than the increase in yield. That was back in the late 1950's and he retired from farming in the early 1970's and never used it again. He still raised cattle and hogs and rotated the crops. The guy that farmed for him stopped that and went to straight corn or corn alternated with beans and used all sorts of artificial fertilizer.ReplyDelete
I don't think increased yield is now the point, but any yield at all.Delete
At the individual level, if you raise food on your own patch of ground, constantly building and protecting soil is the main consideration. The crops that come and go usually result in something to eat which is great, but the long view must be building healthy soil to maintain the systems health and ability to reliably produce food. Opportunities abound: road kill, urine, composted humanure, biomass composted or as mulch, any food waste not fed to chickens, composted animal bedding, ground dug up from animal pens every few years, a food waste collection system for nearby family, pre-collapse coffee ground and food waste collection from businesses, etc..ReplyDelete
James mentioned charcoal (biochar) which shows promise from most information available. I use in subtropical, readily-leached soil in Florida. I have a conventional rocket stove, but there are designs of rocket type stoves that burn the woods off gassing and are supposed to leave behind a high quality charcoal (instead of ash) appropriate for biochar use. I "charge" any biochar pre-use by soaking in urine, aging it in chicken yard or compost pile. Have soaked in compost tea also. This avoids nutrient lock up when added to garden.
Steve Solomon's Gardening When it Counts, and Growing Nutritionally Dense Food are great books.
S in Fla.
The easily available growth, flora and fauna, in tropical and subtropical areas is great for the individual. But it only scales up slightly. No civilization building soil.Delete