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Thinking about the three ethics.
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Traditional agriculture treats topsoil as a consumable resource
Every second, North America’s largest river carries another dump truck’s load of topsoil to the Caribbean. Each year, America’s farms shed enough soil to fill a pickup truck for every family in the country. This is a phenomenal amount of dirt. But the United States is not the biggest waster of this critical ical resource. An estimated twenty-four billion tons of soil are lost annually ally around the world-several tons for each person on the planet. Despite such global losses, soil erodes slowly enough to go largely unnoticed in anyone’s lifetime. (David R. Montgomery. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations (Kindle Locations 61-64). Kindle Edition.)
It takes time to naturally build topsoil
The United States Department partment of Agriculture estimates that it takes five hundred years to produce duce an inch of topsoil. Darwin thought English worms did a little better, making an inch of topsoil in a century or two. While soil formation rates vary in different regions, accelerated soil erosion can remove many centuries turies of accumulated soil in less than a decade. Earth’s thin soil mantle is essential to the health of life on this planet, yet we are gradually stripping it off-literally skinning our planet. (David R. Montgomery. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations (Kindle Locations 296-298). Kindle Edition.)
Rome had flourishing agriculture that fed the city, but soil-loss and fertility loss became a major factor in the ‘fall of rome’
In 1916 Columbia University professor Vladimir Simkhovitch argued that lack of dirt caused the decline of the Roman Empire. Soil exhaustion and erosion had depopulated the Roman countryside in the empire’s late days; he pointed out that the amount of land needed to support a Roman farmer had increased from the small allotment given to each citizen at the founding of Rome to ten times as much land by the time of Julius Caesar. (David R. Montgomery. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations (Kindle Locations 794-797). Kindle Edition.)
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