Soil builders be­ing de­stroyed

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

In Al­ber­ton last Jan­uary, Dr. Mat­susaki talked about how West Prince soil blows off plowed fields be­cause the soil is dead and lacks co­he­sion. Now, Sharon Labchuk in­forms us that 82 per cent of the pes­ti­cides used on P.E.I. are fungi­cides, 700 per­cent higher than nor­mal. Are the pre­ced­ing state­ments re­lated?

In earth's early ocean, 2 to 3 bil­lion years ago, or­gan­isms ap­peared which used chem­i­cal, ther­mal and ra­di­ant energy to or­der a less or­dered en­vi­ron­ment; ex­am­ple bi­o­log­i­cal king­doms are bac­te­ria, pro­to­zoa and fungi. Fungi were the first or­gan­isms to mi­grate onto land 1.3 bil­lion years ago. Fungi col­o­nized the land by mak­ing a soil habi­tat for them­selves. Later, fungi were joined by land plants and an­i­mals as well as bac­te­ria and pro­to­zoa.

Fungi are soil builders. Fungi, by ex­cret­ing en­zymes, de­com­pose rocks and re­cy­cle or­ganic mat­ter into min­er­als, nu­tri­ents and energy thereby build­ing soil. Fungi cre­ate mi­cro­cav­i­ties that im­prove the soils aer­a­tion and al­low the soil to breathe. Aer­a­tion in­creases soil poros­ity thereby al­low­ing the soil to ab­sorb, re­tain and trans­fer wa­ter. Fungi bind the soil to­gether and build soil co­he­sion thereby re­sist­ing ero­sion. Fungi­cides kill fungi and de­stroy the soils abil­ity to ab­sorb and store wa­ter and re­cy­cle min­er­als and nu­tri­ents. Fungi's lost ser­vices are com­pen­sated by ir­ri­ga­tion wells and fer­til­iz­ers.

Hu­man gut bac­te­ria play a cen­tral role in hu­man im­mune func­tions, hence hu­man health. By ex­ten­sion, soil fungi and soil bac­te­ria sup­port gut bac­te­ria; that is, hu­man health is based on soil health. Dr. Mat­susaki said 'The soil is dead' and talked of com­mu­ni­ties with clus­ters of rare types of can­cers; com­mu­ni­ties in the path of wind driven air­borne fungi­cide laden soil. In de­stroy­ing fun­gal di­ver­sity the mil­i­tary-in­dus­trial com­plex is poi­son­ing Is­lan­ders with fungi­cides, de­stroy­ing the soil, de­stroy­ing the aquifer, and de­stroy­ing the earth. Tony Lloyd, Mount Stewart

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