AOH :: SOIL.TXT|
Borderland: Remineralizing the Soil
REMINERALIZING THE SOIL
Most of us are aware that the greenhouse effect is rapidly
becoming a serious threat to our climate. There is widespread
agreement that it is the reason we lost almost one-third of all
our grains in 1988, and were not able to produce enough wheat,
corn, etc. to feed ourselves.
The greenhouse effect is caused partly by human activities --
burning fossil fuels, cutting down the rainforests, etc., which
put into the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other gases that trap
additional heat from the sun, creating a kind of greenhouse. It
is also happening because many of the earth's forests are dying
from both man-made (pollution, acid rain) and natural causes. It
is well known that much of the minerals in the earth's soil have
been gradually eroded away since the last ice age. Since
minerals (iron, calcium, etc.) are essential nutrients for every
form of life, the world's forests have been weakening and dying
for hundreds of years.
When the glaciers build up during each ice age, they grind up the
rocks in their path into a fine dust, called "loess." This rock
dust is then carried by water and wind to many parts of the
earth. Since rocks are made of minerals, this is how the
essential minerals are returned to the soil, and the forests
become revitalized once again.
THE KEY TO OUR SURVIVAL
Experimental studies have shown that remineralizing the soil with
finely ground gravel dust triples or quadruples the growth rate
By grinding up mixed gravels (which contain the full spectrum of
minerals) into a dust as fine as talcum powder so they can be
made use of quickly by the plants, and by spreading this dust by
airplane, blower-truck and every conceivable means over most of
the world's remaining forests, the forests will become
rejuvenated. We also need to plant vast quantities of new, fast-
growing species of trees on remineralized soil.
As the revitalized forests thrive and spread, they will consume
much of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing the
greenhouse effect substantially. This will decrease the threat
of a global food emergency which is now threatening us, and give
us time to develop ways of conserving energy, much more efficient
machines, and nonpolluting energy sources.
Remineralizing agricultural soils will enable us to grow much
more food, enough to stockpile to get us through the coming
climate crisis. It will also replace all the chemical
fertilizers and pesticides which are poisoning the earth, the
rivers, the farmers and ourselves. Remineralizing the soil
produces plants so well nourished and hardy they can resist most
insects all by themselves. They are also better able to
withstand climatic extremes, including heat, cold and drought,
all the things which now threaten our ability to grow enough
Remineralizing most of the forests of the world and planting
billions of new trees is obviously a major project, but it is
well within our industrial capabilities. It will cost about what
the world spends on weapons and military activities every two
years. There is evidence that it must be done quickly if we want
to maximize our chances of stabilizing the climate before
millions more of us starve to death, this time in every region of
We know what to do, and we can afford it. Have we got the will
The scientific evidence for remineralizing the soil can be found
in The End: The Imminent Ice Age and How We Can Stop It
(Celestial Arts), $8.95. Some visual evidence of the dramatic
effects of remineralization and the experiences of some of the
people working in this area can be found in the video Stopping
the Coming Ice Age ($19.95).
Both are available from the Institute For A Future, 2000 Center
Street, Berkeley, CA 94704. Credit card orders can be made toll-
free by calling 1-800-441-7701. In California (415) 524-2700.
This perspective has been endorsed by several prominent
scientists, including the following:
"I consider this completely valid. It requires immediate
-- Victor Kovda, former President, Scientific Committee for
Environmental Problems, International Council of Scientific
"An astonishing service for humanity. A complete world view
which has been sitting under the noses of many scientists, and
which all of them seem to have overlooked."
--Kenneth E. F. Watt, Professor of Environmental Studies,
University of California, and author of the "Annual Review of the
Environment" for the Encyclopedia Brittanica
"This is very important."
--Wibjorn Karlen, climatologist, University of Stockholm
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