The year 2015 has been designated International Year of Soils by the United Nations. Part of the intent is to increase awareness about our absolute dependence upon soil as the thing that sustains us. In an op-ed piece written for The Guardian, George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) writes about the dangers we face when we fail to provide proper stewardship for soil. He raises a number of concerns about the current situation. Among them? The decline in soil science programs at universities (it’s problematic). And despite their potential, permaculture and conservation agriculture (also called zero-tillage) don’t receive enough attention.
He writes this:
As a Sanskrit text written in about 1500BC noted: “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.”
A very good read. While some of the policies and legislation he writes about are specific to the UK, their American counterparts are readily evident.
Soil conservation farming wins converts
“Agriculture must change” UN FAO leader tells international gathering