Monday, May 16, 2016

We need to remove carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil

This video is excellent. Bio-char is about regenerative soil structure and longevity; moving towards no-till permaculture. It brings surface area into your soil, which means more air in the soil, which means maximum microbial activity, both of which mean happy roots, which means happy plants. It works to regulate both soils that are too dry and sandy and soils that are too clay and waterlogged.

The other thing is that it is nothing new or novel. It's ancient. The ancients understood about burning - or more exactly, pyrolysis. They slashed and burned regularly. That's one way of adding char to soil (which then can be called bio-char). Whether it's by directly burning stuff in the field, or the more efficient way of making char separately by kiln or pit or what have you, then adding it to the soil; the thing is that it is essential.

Animal manure is not essential - that's a small optional side thing, a little luxury that's added but then gone, and consequently has to be added time and again, every year. Bio-char is accumulative.

What is essential is bio-mass (wood chips and such) that is dominated by fungal activity being housed in a balance of bio-char in whatever foundation soil you have. (Wood chips are, by and large, free.)

Bio-char: even the poet Virgil recommends it.

Conventional farming (as we know it) is going out the window. Out. The. Window. Bye bye. So long. Auf Wiedersehen. Sayonara. Chow. Just like the conservative mesmerism about the "Gold Standard". Fooled by gold. Gold does clean the air when the sun hits it. But you know something? Char - especially bamboo char - is an air cleaner like no other. Far more thoroughly than the precious tid-bit of gold. Bamboo char is used for multiple purposes. Really rich people even line the insides of the walls of the houses they build with the stuff. Bamboo char even drastically reduces electromagnetic radiation. It shields it, or absorbs it. Water filtration and everything. The Japanese put char in their cooking rice to make it taste better/cleaner.

After some months of being used to clean the air, all what you have to do is put it out in the sun and the char with its incredibly high surface area releases the pollutants and you can use it again just like new.

Bio-char is black money - like water money. It is a true investment - permaculture in your soil that will pay off down the years as your soil becomes less and less demanding and more and more productive. Yet people don't even actually know if there is any gold in Fort Knox. The last audit was done some time in the 70's and it was a baloney audit to begin with. The little bit of gold they showed to the cameras was of a particular orange hue that was very telling of a cheap quality gold.

With a gold standard people would be dependent upon the government's good word - or rather upon the hostile word of an elect minority of usurious banksters - that such and such amount of gold is indeed in stock and that they weren't just writing up gold certificates like so many welfare cheques, or gambling up the gold market to their benefit.

Bio-char production should be funded by the government through public banking debt-free as a part of infrastructure, along with water systems, bridges, roads, hospitals and hemp. It should be a public good; otherwise known as public wealth, the commonwealth, because it is so essential to good farming.

Here is some possibly related reading.


Belfry Bat said...

At some point, recovery of runoff phosphorus will be important, too. You and I and 'most everything breathing is about 1% phosphorus (cell membranes, xNA, intracellular energy storage), and it can't vary much. The West Coast rain forests are built on the phosphorus of returning salmon. Big diving whales cycle phosphorus up from the deeps and shorebirds bring it inland. In Africa, hippos would bring plants, phosphorus included, out of rivers into the fields. Hippos and big whales seem harder to find these days...

Speaking of diving: in some places we hear of fisheries' collapse, but new sonar studies suggest there's at least ten times as many fish as usually get caught in nets; since many fish are not stupid, it's quite possible we've been training them carefully to avoid trawls for the last century. So it's also possible that the big whales and hippos are also better at hiding but... there's so much we just don't know.

Paul Stilwell said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the fish are getting smarter - evolution. :) But yes, I agree, there's so much we don't know. It would seem there's so many small things we've overlooked that have proved to be essential. Worms. Bees. Fungus. Wonder and awe must be intrinsic to our gaining of knowledge at every level.