It has recently come to light that some scholars are willing to doctor their research or tailor it to meet the requirements of big donors. This is not to call all science into question, but when you know what you are trying to describe, and how it is supposed to look, the mere thinking that you know what you are doing can have drastic consequences. Advancing human understanding is difficult enough when we bring to the table a huge number of assumptions, expectations and rules that have been established for centuries. Looking at the here and now often challenges us to let go of what we have been told.
|There are several things that are terribly wrong with these pictures. I can only imagine that there are ulterior motives behind why giant corporations owned by multi-billionaires would want to prove that char does not work.|
The photos above raise more questions than they answer in that regard. Optimal sizes of biochar particles are 2mm or less, far smaller than the pieces being buried in the photo. Natural processes in the soil will never break down the relatively giant chunks of char that are being buried in the photo above. The char pieces pictured above will suck moisture out of the soil and keep it out of reach of the roots that char can benefit if used and prepared properly. Since the picture shows people adding raw char to the soil, they are creating a massive sink for nitrogen, which will deprive plants of that important nutrient as well. Trying to think like a microbe is difficult enough without letting industrial minded donors push our attempts to benefit humankind push short sighted use of appropriate technologies in inappropriate ways.
It is difficult enough to make positive change. Cooking the books and offering help that hurts only complicates the issues and makes adoption of appropriate technologies less likely to be adopted. I think that this sort of activity does more harm than good.
TLUD technology is an acronym for Top-lit, up-draft, which is a fairly simple way to drive off the volatile gasses from organic material while preserving the carbon that has been heated to a glow in an oxygen deprived atmosphere.
|Courtesy of Dr. Paul Anderson of the Biochar Working Group in Seattle. Image helps explain how easily we can make char.|