Monday, January 9, 2017

Erosion of Cultures

Globalization and Its Effect on Cultural Diversity

  Extinction of Languages : Erosion of cultures

The soil on undisturbed hillsides in temperate and tropical latitudes is generally one to three feet thick. With natural soil production rates of centuries to millennia per inch and soil erosion rates of inches per century under plow-based agriculture, it would take just several hundred to a couple of thousand years to plow through the soil in these regions. This simple estimate predicts remarkably well the life span of major agricultural civilizations around the world. With the exception of the fertile river valleys along which agriculture began, civilizations generally lasted 800 to 2,000 years, and geoarchaeological studies have now shown a connection between soil erosion and the decline of many ancient cultures.

"So here goes: My skeptical inquiry into statistics on herbicide use, soil erosion, and the production of fruits and nuts don't quite tell the story that they purport to tell."

The diverse array of erosion issues brings together many relevant interests related to water, soil, health, atmosphere, green chemistry, built environment, climate change, biodiversity, human behavior, environmental law, and public policy,  among others.

Soil erosion: An agricultural production challenge

 Wind, water, ice and waves carry off soil particles and cause soil erosion. Although this is a natural process, human activities that disturb the surface of the earth increase the rate of soil erosion. 

Activities such as mining, construction, deforestation and intensive agriculture leave the topsoil exposed and vulnerable to the agents of erosion

GE (Genetically Engineered)  Crops and Unsustainable Agricultural Practices are Destroying our Planet’s Soil and Food Supply.

The Middle East and North Africa need fast, effective, low-cost tests for GMO detection, says Tarek Kapiel. 

 Organic Farming [ Conserve topsoil

Fueled by economic pressure to maximize crop yields and government incentives to produce only one type of crop, contemporary American farmers have been facing a crisis reminiscent of one that hit the Great Plains in the 1930s. In this video segment adapted from Interactive NOVA, learn why more and more farmers are opting for sustainable, organic farming practices to help preserve the valuable topsoil that they rely on for their livelihoods and society relies on for a continuing supply of grains and produce

Why a threshold?

During the production, transportation, and processing of agricultural products, a small amount of mixing between different fields and different shipments is difficult to prevent. For this reason, even when a product was intended to be completely GMO-free, traces of GMO can often still be detected. Products containing these unintentional or technically unavoidable mixtures with GM material do not require labeling, as long as the GM content does not exceed 0.9 percent.

Labels on honey, for example, will often indicate the plant the honey was produced from (i.e. acacia). If the label states only one plant, the honey must be "predominantly" from the nectar of that plant, i.e. 60-70 percent. These kinds of thresholds and product criteria are by no means statements on the safety of the product. This is also the case for GMO labeling thresholds. The safety of foods is assured by separate, strict approval criteria.

The complete isolation of different agricultural products is virtually impossible. After all, crops are grown in open fields, not closed rooms. Out in the environment, crops release pollen into the air that can pollinate related plants in other fields. And even after harvest, transportation and processing steps may often entail some fortuitous mixing. Thresholds enable farmers to offer organic, conventional, and genetically modified products alongside one another.

The European Union recently introduced legislation stipulating the mandatory labeling of food products with a GMO content greater than 1%. (The regulation(s) don't specify whether this is weight per weight or any other unit.) Thus far, most discussions concerning the methods used for sampling have focused on sampling requirements outside of the laboratory; for example, how to procure GMO seeds from a grain shipment?

Urban Farming

 Biodiversity in Logged Forests

Far Higher Than Once Believed