101 reputation


I am a researcher in soil science. More specifically in erosion science applied to arable land in the South.

I never heard about that! Is it worth your time (and the tax payers' money) ?

Yes it is. Many great civilisations have collapsed by various proximate consequences of the same ultimate cause : the gradual depletion of their arable land. Our civilisation is possibly (certainly?) doomed to the same fate.

The end of the Internet because of soil degradation? Are you kidding me?

No I am not. - Less arable land makes less internal food production - less food produced internally makes more people eating imported food. - buying imported food needs money - money in poor unindustrialized countries is ultimately provided by the state. - Overwhelmed states must cut the other expenses, especialy education, police and justice. - impoverished states, no police to enforce the laws, no judiciary to punish traficking and corruption, hungry peoples disparing for the future of their children, and what ? governments collapse and their countries implode. - Imploded countries are paradises for guns- and drug-trafickers, and terrorists camps. - Healthy countries cannot sustain on the long term with the law of the jungle at their boundaries.

Et voila.

Madagascar and Haiti are prime examples of the final stage of this deadly downward spiral that soil degradation triggered decades ago. Mali and Central African Republic have just slipped down the slippery slope.

People must eat. At any cost, even by distroying their homeland or bringing their country near collapse. This leaves very little room for reversing the spiral, and great hope in erosion science for its (expected) contribution to a more sustainable agriculture.

Thanks for reading.

Feedbacks are welcomed at olivier dot planchon at gmail dot com.