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RealClimate: Unforced Variations: May 2021

Killian says:

13 Mike says:
4 May 2021 at 9:44 AM

“Pesticides are causing widespread damage to the tiny creatures that keep soils healthy and underpin all life on land, according to the first comprehensive review of the issue.

The researchers found the measured impacts of farm chemicals on earthworms, beetles, springtails and other organisms were overwhelmingly negative. Other scientists said the findings were alarming, given the importance of these “unsung heroes”.

The analysis warned that soil organisms are rarely considered when assessing the environmental impact of pesticides. The US, for example, only tests chemicals on honey bees, which may never come into contact with soil, an approach described as “crazy”.”

Yet another “Who woulda thunk it?!” moment from academia.

I mean, no shit, great and glorious Oz?


We have some work to do on changing our habits and the way we live if we want to inhabit a healthy and diverse planet.

I was looking for some photos I used to have of a 2sq m box frame placed in a prairie vs. the same frame placed in a cornfield and the difference in biota. As above, so below. If there is nothing alive above, there will be nothing alive below and vice-versa.

When I tell you all there is one, and only one, choice it comes from analysis across disciplines. Here the key point is soil biology and soil-building: It takes time to heal soils, particularly those loaded with pesticides because many of them are very long-lived. Building soils, i.e. improving soils not chemically saturated, can be done relatively quickly. Any place on Earth can have much-improved soils within five years and great soil within ten (while adding anywhere from 4 to 10% carbon). But chemically castrated soils need special attention to get the chems out using various techniques, including use of accumulators that are removed from the site. However, that limits significantly the rate at which C is added while it is necessary to remove the poisoned carbon (plants) used to sequester the chemicals.

We don’t have time for anything but simplification.

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