In my May 2013 addition of National Geographic magazine. There is an article, " Our Fertilized World", By Dan Charles, which quoted the line from the fertilizer institute that " without it (nitrogen fertilizers), human civilization in it's current form could not exist."
I was compelled to write my first letter to them !
My family and I are long time subscribers of the magazine that "Inspires people to care about the planet". I have never felt compelled to write until I read your recent article about nitrogen fertilizers, ( "Our Fertilized World", by Dan Charles, May 2013, Vol. 223, No. 5, Pg 94 ) which quoted the very misleading statement that " without it, human civilization in it's current form could not exist." I implore you to assign one or two of your fine writers to investigate the alternative to our current form, which will save our planet and create an abundance of foods.
You will find that the people of the permaculture movement, have proven that rice can be grown with yields that surpass current agricultural practices, without chemicals. That they are turning the deserts of the middle east into gardens and plan to turn the tundra of Siberia into farms.
I look forward to seeing an entire issue of National Geographic devoted to this extremely important topic.
Thank you, Miles Flansburg "
I then added a few websites for them to see, including permies. So maybe they will check it out and give us equal time.
They did mention a few organic farms and how fertilizers are killing us in many ways, but I got the impression that they have no idea that there is an alternative.
Something that irritates me about their comment is that it depends on the unquestioned idea that we have to waste all the nutrients we eat, taking them out of the ecosystem and putting them underground or polluting water bodies with them.
If we kept all the nutrients we eat in the ecosystem, we wouldn't need much (or any?) additional synthetic nutrients to keep the ecosystem cycling. Common sense!
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
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