TOXIC POLLUTION AND NOISE POLLUTION
the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concerns glyphosate, an ingredient in one of the world's most widely-used herbicides, Roundup, made by Monsanto. In March 2015, an IARC monograph concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic."Apr 19, 2016
Mar 24, 2015 - The World Health Organization's research arm declares glyphosate a probable carcinogenAnd California has now been sued by Monsanto to try to stop that state from listing the same results as the United Nations -
David Theodoropoulos, a California naturalist and seed merchant and the author of Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience, is blunt about what he sees as a deadly inversion of environmental priorities.
"Thirty years ago," he told me, "the greatest threats to nature were chain saws, bulldozers, and poisons. Now the greatest threats are wild plants and animals. And what do we use to fight them? Chain saws, bulldozers, and poisons. Who does this serve?"So reveals this Weed Whackers expose article.
And yet for those of us who live on tracts of woods - and if those tracts are contiguous creating small forests - we can see the very positive results of clearing out invasive species. So the question is how should we remove them? What's the best way? Several years ago I discovered a DNR worker who created his own business removing buckthorn by simply using a pick-axe to extract the roots and so I was inspired to do the same in our land. But now even a Minnesota StarTribune op-ed 2015 by the Greengirls Kim Palmer contemplates using a stronger concentrate of glyphosate to kill her buckthorn.
The EPA, an agency "captured" by the polluters, is now reviewing glyphosate.
Why Hand Tool Extraction?
I have spent about five years working to "hand weed" several acres of forest land of buckthorn here in Minnesota.
The MN DNR lists various herbicides if hand tool extraction doesn't work but I have found hand tool extraction effective if a pick-axe is used to remove the stumps.
Goats are a nice means of buckthorn removal only for the final finish, herbicides are still relied on
The goats are expected to whittle down the buckthorn from 6 feet to 6 inches, making it much easier for humans to finish off the buckthorn next year with herbicide spray.
But there is a biology professor at Macalester, Mark A. Davis, who argues we should "learn to love" invasive species. I disagree with the view that the take-over and dominance of an ecological area by one species, introduced by modern Western horticulture, is in any way similar to the evolutionary spread of new species. As Professor Alfred Crosby details in his book Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900. (Cambridge University Press, 2009), published the same year as the work of Mark A. Davis's book Invasive Biology: the spread of Western colonialism has brought to date an ecological crisis unprecedented in the rate and amount of species destruction. The new book (2016) by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, a long-time expert in conservation biology, has reinforced the critical need for sustainable restoration ecology work in the wilds.
The downward spiral has been hastened by habitat destruction, spread of invasive species, pollution with toxins, and eutrophication from excess nutrient runoff. drastic action is needed, argues E.O. WilsonI have a master's degree (2000) studying interdisciplinary sustainability policy/philosophy from the University of Minnesota Liberal Studies program with an undergraduate B.A. in the sustainability option of International Relations (1994) at UW-Madison, studying an equal focus integrating economics, biology and political science. I also studied conservation biology and sustainability receiving a School of Field Studies certificate for a semester of undergraduate research in Costa Rica, 1992, along with my own private field studies of sustainability in the Andes of Venezuela (traditional milpa of Wiwa tribe), the mountains of Morocco (traditional humanure compost farming by Berbers), the bogs just south of Denali Mountain Alaska (traditional sled dog wilderness living), and visiting the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation, working with traditional indigenous farming/herding-hunting communities. I have done activism policy work for Citizens for a Better Environment (1989), UW-Madison Greens (1991-3), Rainforest Action Network (1994-5), Greenpeace (1996), Natural Harvest Organic CSA Farm (1997), MN Free Burma Coalition (1998), Resource Center of the Americas (1999), Clean Water Action (1999-2009), Fruitshare Organics (2013-5), SRC Recycling (2016). I have also organized social justice activist campaigns and participated in many other sustainability activist campaigns, achieving concrete policy reforms for sustainability (social and ecological justice).
In 2015 researchers raised a "resistance hypothesis" to challenge the "imperialism dogma" of Alfred Crosby's research on invasive species:
It is based on two observations: first, Eurasian species coevolved with Europeans and their plants, pathogens, and livestock, which were, second, dispersed all over the world during the European imperialism period from 900 to 1900. Thus, if a Eurasian species is introduced to a new range, it is likely confronted with species it has coevolved with. On the other hand, the biota of North America is less disturbed by humans and richer than that of Europe and could thus offer more resistance to invaders (1, 6, 17-19). We call this alternative to the imperialism dogma the resistance hypothesis.What the study found was that how the species is introduced is the crucial step in its ability to spread. In the case of say wild turkeys or chestnut trees we can see how global warming is helping their adaptation in more northern niches of Minnesota, but the introduction of buckthorn through horticulture clearly did not meet resistance in the New World. Therefore the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Guide for Living Landscapes in Minnesota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING (pdf) quotes and highlights Alfred Crosby's Ecological Imperialism book regarding buckthorn as an invasive species.
Here's the Results of SLOW AND STEADY REMOVAL OF BUCKTHORN
So it may seem that just spreading lots of toxic pollution with glyphosate is the only feasible means of eradicating buckthorn and Japanese Knotweed in a timely fashion but I can speak from experience with buckthorn, and I argue that a "slow and steady" approach is better.
It turns out that even though the buckthorn has taken over the "understory" level of small trees and shrubs for a forest area, it still provides critical habitat for the song birds that migrate to Minnesota from the long distances of Southern U.S. and even from South America! We don't want to shock these birds too much from losing their habitat for hiding their nests, like the Ovenbird living on the ground, or the Eastern Rufous-Sided Towhees also feeding off worms on the ground. Warblers like the American Redstart and Vireos enjoy and need the understory as well. So from my experience leaving some buckthorn in some areas as a transition is preferable. Catbirds, Chickadees and many other birds need the understory species and unfortunately that means they need the buckthorn to some extent.
For example we have a ravine in our ten acres that had a very rare Hooded Warbler couple nesting. (There's only a few known nesting sites in Minnesota!) I never saw any Hooded Warbler fledglings so their nest may have got raided by the Cowbirds we also get, with their brood parasitism. But previously the Hooded Warbler even flew up to our house window, curious and peering at, watching me at the computer. Unfortunately the Ash trees growing up near the house got "clear-cut" and then a few years later I began removing the buckthorn. I left the area untouched where the nest had been, but the Hooded Warbler is very particular. The next year only the male Hooded Warbler returned, spending all summer in the overstory tree tops calling to attract a female with no luck. The presumably same male Hooded Warbler returned the following summer to do the same, calling in the tree tops with no luck attracting a female. The third summer the male Hooded Warbler did not appear.
Another factor in using hand tools - the pick axe for large trees, the smaller buckthorn removal wedge tool and also hand weeding the seedlings - is that it is very quiet and so does not disturb the wildlife. Whereas constant "riding mower" noise in the forest, to create trails of cleared out land, where then grass grows, makes a nice landscaped walking trail in the forest, but scares away the song birds, like the Oriole, Scarlet Tanager and the Hooded Warbler. These birds flew hundreds and maybe even thousands of miles to get to the forest in Minnesota to enjoy all our mosquitoes for the summer - so it seems a bit unfair to unleash seemingly "efficient" yet extremely loud noise machines clearing paths right in the forest, as a means of buckthorn removal. Acoustic Ecology is an actual science discipline proving that each species relies on particular frequency and amplitude niches with phase time harmonically aligned vertically - a veritable "animal orchestra" in the forest despite it sounding seemingly chaotic to our Western-music trained ears. For example Chickadees practice frequency tuning among the males with the lowest song (the minor third music interval song) as the indicator of a more attractive male, and so the other males work to align their song at the same frequency. Then as a group of same frequency singing the male Chickadees cooperate and call to each other.
Buckthorn is accepted as firewood at the St. Paul central heating biomass furnace. The main complaint of using buckthorn for firewood in home fireplaces is that although it is hard and so dense with heat, the smaller diameter with more surface area, can burn very fast and hot, thereby producing a lot of ash. I use a bow-saw to cut down the buckthorn trees and then to trim the stumps for harvesting. Then after the tree has aged the stumps split up with a maul and the branches are sawed into good wood stove size. Also relying on smaller size firewood then requires constant feeding of the wood stove to keep the fire going. But mixing buckthorn in with larger split wood offers an excellent advantage as the small buckthorn makes excellent kindling and larger size buckthorn helps to keep the fire going well. I would say, again from experience, that I harvested about $1000 worth of firewood, in terms of heat savings cost compared to using propane, from about three acres of wooded mix oak-maple forest land.
Buckthorn also can be used as deer fencing for gardens, although some construction skills may be needed, as just piling up the buckthorn is mainly a deterrent. Still, with the branches angled well, the height can be impressive and did successfully protect a large garden for me for a couple summers, along with my daily work in the garden. Our deer are aggressive as since they don't eat buckthorn, then they don't get enough food. Because of the hotter summers due to the global warming crisis we have had no sizeable oak acorn harvest for several years and we've had at least two deer starve to death over the past several winters. When I first cleared the female buckthorn trees with the berries in the winter, the deer not only followed me around but could not wait for me to finish clearing an area - the deer were aggressively moving in on me to eat the berries in the winter.
The buckthorn deer fencing can then be used to make excellent "biochar" by piling up the buckthorn that is cut up, then covering the pile with clay-mud, leaving a hole to light the fire. Once it is burning well then cover up the air hole to create biochar. This biochar then sequesters or "captures" the carbon which otherwise, if the buckthorn is just left in the air in the woods, would turn into carbon dioxide. The biochar is a "miracle" compost ingredient since as black carbon it heats up the compost fast and also provides excellent nanosize holes to house bacteria friendly to the plants and soil. Biochar compost then is the ideal garden supplement to be made from buckthorn and animal manure. Biochar will also provide an excellent foundation for a nitrogen-fixing green manure, i.e. organic field peas.
Obviously the buckthorn seedlings then need to be pulled as follow-up removal but this fits in with the "slow and steady" approach. On the plus side, by hand weeding the buckthorn removal I am able to custom select the seedlings so that I can achieve the restoration ecology result of cultivating and encouraging the native tree seedlings. So it takes some expertise to be able to differentiate buckthorn seedlings from Black Cherry and Pagoda Dogwood seedlings - expertise that I have achieved from lots of experience. But it is very satisfying to see the new seedlings growing up and taking over when they previously had been buried and smothered by buckthorn. This is much more efficient than and a great savings from having to buy new tree seedlings or saplings.
Biochar organic fertilizers from natural resources as substitute for mineral fertilizers
Since I am able to harvest and remove the Buckthorn to use for my wood stove as firewood and kindling, if you don't want to use the buckthorn to heat your house as that requires extra labor, then I am able to leverage that savings in heating cost to provide you a very low labor rate of $10 an hour. Working with the Washington County Invasive Species grant monies, available through the Clean Water Legacy Fund, if your land is in a riparian zone, and you commit to a long-term management project with the county, that enables you qualified to receive financial support for removing the Buckthorn.
The deer are very happy once the Buckthorn is removed, as they don't eat buckthorn but they do eat the new seedlings. I have found, amazingly that deer seem to not touch Pagoda Dogwood seedlings, which is a definite plus and a big surprise! But deer will even eat wild raspberries, and of course most other new seedlings. Still since the deer now have a better food source and enjoy browsing your land, then you have a better chance to harvest better-fed deer for your food supply, or offer the chance to local hunters happening to visit to ask the opportunity.
For details on my plan to harvest Japanese Knotweed please see my other blog site http://elixirsoflongevity.wordpress.com
Why EcoEcho? Quantum Entanglement as the Harmonic Spark of Life
Quantum biology has proven now that quantum physics applies to "macro" scale life. I took quantum physics as my first physics class for my first year of college in 1990, at Hampshire College. The professor is an Ivy-league trained quantum physicist, Herbert Bernstein and his research got classified by the military without his knowledge! Summer 2015 began the testing of his quantum teleportation, cryptography and quantum telepathy computing.
So it was easy to dismiss quantum biology as recently as 2006 as quackery or too fringe or woo-woo since its biology is macroquantum phenomenon and the human brain is supposed to be "too warm" for quantum physics. Luckily all of that has been disproven now and in 2011 Scientific American - Vedral, "Living in a Quantum World" - did a cover story on quantum biology. So the claim that delicately arranged quantum entangled states could survive in the warm and complex interior of living cells was thought by many to be an outlandish idea, verging on madness. Yet in recent years our knowledge of such things has made huge strides - and not only in connection with birds and plants.
Can our new understanding of life replace the soul with a quantum vital spark? Many will regard the very posing of this question as suspect, pushing the boundaries of conventional science beyond respectability and into the realms of pseudoscience or even a kind of spirituality. That is not what we are proposing here. 2014, Life on the Edge, p. 310.Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology 2014, by professors Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili, a quantum biology book, cowritten by one of the earlier quantum consciousness authors whom I promoted in 2006 - JohnJoe McFadden.
Once again we see Schrodinger's order from order capable of capturing quantum events, and what Jordan termed amplification of quantum phenomena into the macroscropic world. Life seems to bridge the quantum and classical worlds, perched on the quantum edge (p. 132)....
If we return to our musical analogy one final time, with the guitar acting as the odorant molecule and the guitar strings as the molecular bonds that need to be plucked, then the receptors come in Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix forms. Both can play the same molecular notes, but right- or left-handed molecules have to be picked up by right- or left-handed receptors, just as right-handed guitars have to be played by right-handed guitarists....This combination of shape and quantum vibration recognition at last provides a model that fits nearly all experimental data. (pp. 163-4)So the Life on the Edge book (2014) emphasizes that contrary to quantum entanglement being limited to cold tiny realms, the quantum entanglement is coherent and harmonic and so resonates and amplifies the energy-information into the macroscopic level. This resonance from quantum entanglement is time-frequency noncommutative and so can not be scaled up easily using external technology. The music analogy then actually is best modeled by the truth of music also being noncommutative as an infinite spiral of time-frequency Perfect Fifths; using relativistic quantum models energy momentum is not conserved and energy and matter can be exchanged via quantum entanglement consciousness. In Western science this is now discovered as "noise-induced coherence" aka the "quantum Goldilocks effect."
"As the light-matter coupling increases in time from zero into the [phase] > c range [faster-than-light or superluminal quantum entanglement], the system moves out of its frozen initial state....The intermediate regime is the only one in which non-linearities can develop significantly. High values of squeezing [noncommutative time-frequency resonance] in both subsystems [light and matter] are then generated ....the enhanced entanglement regime (EER) begins to dominate the space of behaviors as opposed to being a small niche....We have then established the persistence of the EER for a wide range of system sizes and even under the effect of dissipation effects....We have provided theoretical insights of this phenomenon by means of a dynamical symmetry breaking and effective non-linear self-interactions."
"It [EER] is the magic sauce that connects together all objects in the universe, including light and matter."Or as quantum biologist Dr. Stuart Hameroff explains:
"I believe that consciousness, or its immediate precursor proto-consciousness, has been in the universe all along, perhaps from the Big Bang....In one such scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity....Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large."Finally as quantum cosmologist Dr. Neil Turok explains, when you analyze the amplitude (time-wavelength) of variation of temperature against "pitch" or energy-frequency scale of the whole Universe:
We literally see the universe as a giant bell - it struck at the big bang and everything is synchronized. ...The whole universe is as simple as the simplest atom....The universe we see doesn't distinguish between scales ...a wave that stretches right across the universe has the same strength as one a hundred times or a million times smaller. They're all the same. It's an unbelievable simple pattern that came out of the Big Bang....In fact it would be fair to say in physics everything is a wave....We've just put a paper out describing how a universe can bounce, it can contract with the light waves going down and bounce again....You'll remember that light doesn't have a scale. You see so whereas we would look at the Universe and say it's shrinking, in fact the light doesn't see the shrinking. It's due to the scale-independence of Maxwell's equations....which can be used to described what happened at the Big Bang itself.Oct. 7, 2015 lecture, "The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything"