Healthy soils

The Great Soil Erosion of the 19th and 20th centuries represents the most massive transport of material on Earth since the last ice age… As we begin to transition out of the cheap-energy era, the reality of Earth’s missing topsoil will be felt more deeply than we might imagine. Healthy soil is, of course, the foundation of any agriculture and culture; food can only be extracted from land via fossil fuel fertilizers and pesticides temporarily, at best. Societies have long existed without highways and electrical grids; it’s when the soil and water give out – or the climate shifts quickly – that civilizations collapse. This collapse may continue to be delayed for as long as fossil fuels can be substituted for soil, rapid climate change is nascent, or until fresh, potable water becomes scarce.

– Ben Falk at

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