I read today that a supposed "big name, or first father" in anti-GMO circles has turned to the dark side and is claiming that technocracy will save the day. The only thing that I wonder is why I had never heard of him, but yet he is supposedly a founder of non-GMO philosophy. This is especially insulting to read because the opposition to corporate domination of the food supply has been an issue since before that guy was born. In the article that I read, the only two things that he claimed that GMO crops would do can be done more cheaply and more effectively by every single one of us learning about biochar and using it. An ancient technology that has been proven to work is being shunned because it is not "sciency" enough? Bullshit! The multi-billion dollar corporations can't make money at it. Here is how we create bio-char in a nutshell. First, take biomass, most commonly wood (a renewable resource) put it through pyrolysis (another proven technology) Think of it as roasting without air. In the best case scenario, capture and use the volatile gasses driven off as fuel. These gasses are primarily hydrogen and oxygen which produce only water as a by-product. My own home set-up has a burner which I intend to use to make tea. Once char is made, it will look like cowboy or natural charcoal. (note:never use charcoal briquets) it needs to be ground. I use a hand crank meat grinder to turn my char to powder. Before that I just smashed it with rocks (very dirty process) The bits can be fine powder up to about the size of a grain of rice. Then, the magic begins. Not the sort of magic that Mark Linas claims that anti-GMO forces believe in, but scientific fact. The hydrophobic material is inoculated with biologically active moisture containing material that act as a resource pool and nutrient reservoir for billions of organisms per cup. this biologically active material is then added to soils to increase both fertility and moisture holding capacity. The organisms themselves are each a tiny reservoir of liquid and billions of them per cup, even though they are tiny, can hold a significant amount of water. Those who read me often already know that in a single handful of biochar, there are fourteen acres of surface area. so you can see, once the moisture can get in, it gets in in a big way.
The Age of Aquarius is upon us, but lest you believe that I'm talking magic again, let me refresh you. Just like the sun signs, that the earth spins through over the course of the year, we are slowly moving through what is known as the procession of the equinoxes, which is a countervailing spin on a more grand scale and whose eras (sun signs) are on a much longer time frame. 26,800 years being required to make the circuit and it turns retrograde to the planets. Some say that we are in the Age of Aquarius already while others claim that we are not yet in it, but to be sure the water bearers will be the leaders of the future. Perhaps the most useful skill we can master is to make the Earth flourish under our hand, bringing a well-spring of life to the rapidly degrading planet. The value may not be in what it does for your garden, farm or yard, but what it does for inspiring your neighbors. Can there be a "value" to saving our own species? What will be the cost? Ultimately, it is for each of us to decide.
Booklist for follow up: A Biodynamic Farm by Hugh Lovell and Science in Agriculture, by Anderen, both published by ACRES USA These two books get toward the heart of the matter of scientifically proving the lies behind corporate dominion over agriculture. All of the knowledge of the ages shows us that a thriving biosphere is the only basis, for life. Sterile, denuded soil is just dirt. Building a lush organic reservoir and resources for life are diametrically oppose to "modern" agricultural approaches and practices, "scientific"/technocratic ideology, and the financing of big agriculture, paired with massive fossil energy inputs of today.
A Feeling for the Organism by Evelyn Fox Keller published by W. H.Freeman & Co.
This book speaks to the need for both male and female ideas and energy to be equal in how we seek knowledge about and inform ourselves about the world around us. The Divine Mother, has been nearly eliminated from our current paradigm and patriarchy continues to run amok by poisoning the environment and trying to wrest the last bit of every "resource" from the planet. This book showed me the inherent wisdom of an approach that looks toward making the world better rather than extracting wealth from it.
and Thinking Like a Mountain by John Seed Joanna Macy Pat Fleming and Arne Naess published by New Society Publishers. This book, if you can find it, has so much to say to our inner selves that to even try to describe it would take away from it's power. Let me just say that as odd as it may seem to you at first, this book deserves to be read-reread and implemented in all of our lives.
When you have free time, contemplate this question."What is the value of saving our species?"