|credit: Spectrum Analytic|
See the sites: (USAF Air University: Center for Strategy and Technology) and (United States Naval Research Laboratory)
|Normal Root Tip & Damaged One|
(I'll post relevant links at the bottom)
Could Acid-Rain be Killing Us ?
Okay, okay, so I got side tracked a bit. So what does all of that have to do with the Killer Rains otherwise known as Acid Rain ? I'll use this term killer rains as the modern day chemical makeup of rainwater appears to be deadly now days in certain areas over a long period of time. When I visited my former property this past Spring, I believe that more was going on than simply a lack of good rainfall. For some years now I have noticed changes in the wild with regards plant growth and foliage health. I have seen it here in Sweden and on my last two visits there in California, but especially this past Spring 2013. Here in Sweden, it was last year's  growth on all broad leaf trees and shrubs that was attacked and eaten by all manner of insect pests and diseases and any and all fruit production [berries, apples, cherries, etc] was almost ZERO in both the wild and urban gardens and landscapes. This Spring almost everything Evergreen [Cypress, Juniper, Yew, Fir, some pines, etc] are either complete dead or halfway there. [ See Here ] This problem also is both in the Wild and Urban Landscapes. Urban landscapes I've always understood why bad things happen as a result of ignorance and mismanagement, but never so thoroughly deep in the wilds. Scandinavia in general is also known for ill effects from Acid Rains which originate from industrial central Europe like Germany and Poland. This is what I noticed with regards Manzanita and Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata) this past Spring in San Diego & Riverside Counties. Both are struggling in many places. The recovery of chaparral after Fire has also been radically slowed when you compare passed performance of where it traditionally always sprang back with a regrowth vengeance. Not this time. Take a look below of my old place and two year photo comparisons and ask yourself, "What is causing all of this ?".
This photograph was taken by me in April 2013. The reason I took this shot was because of the major foliage decline of the two Big Berry Manzanita shrubs and the fact that when I last viewed both of these shrubs in July of 2011, they were the perfect picture of vibrant health and beauty for which they are known. I actually have two pictures, not the same angle, but illustration of what has happened since 2011. See if you can see what I mean below.
The Manzanita on the very right side of the photo is the same as the photo above on the right side. This shrub or small tree was very healthy, although I had concerns over the present owner's major chaparral removal which often times for unknown reasons, will kill Manzanita on people who clear land and leave only what they consider shrubs worth saving, like Manzanitas.
This Manzanita was the prize of the entire property when We first purchased it in 2005. This pathetic looking skeleton is only a fraction of it's former glory. If I have old pictures of it, they are the old Kodak type and buried away in boxes somewhere. But now look over on the right side above at the gal in the pink shirt. That is the Manzanita on the left side of that top photo. Both shrubs which were healthy in 2011 are now in danger of failing completely. Whatever negatives have been going on inside the soil has been going on for some time now. The large tree in the middle was once 10 times the spread of what you see here. It made me sick when it started dying back in the early 1990s. This tree had large branches that grew up into the sky, then angled down to the ground, proceeded to re-sprout roots where it touched the ground and grow out and upwards again, mostly to the west and southern exposure of the main tree trunk. There are some other puzzling indicators that lead me to believe something other than mere drought conditions are causing these issues of plant growth and health decline.
I've started wondering and reflecting lately if something underground that we don't see is perhaps also in decline. When plants decline we look for pests and disease we can detect on the plant itself. If nothing is present to the naked eye, then is it merely dying from old age ? It's so easy (& natural) to take note of all the LARGE living Flora & Fauna we are familiar with when disappears from the landscapes they once occupied and worry or wonder, "Hey what's going on ?" Humans by nature are very materialistic minded with little attention any more given to the spiritual side of things. (spiritual - things invisible to the material eye) That's where the expression, "out of sight makes out of mind", takes on more meaning than you may realize when it comes to environmental issues. Has anyone ever considered with all the excitement in the Eco-Activist world, that there just may be a major rapid decline of soil organisms or even the possible extinction of some species ? Even the smaller hidden insect critters which till and work the soil, generally go unnoticed as many are either permanently underground or only come out at night to perform their biological ecosystem maintenance tasks. The foundation for the material life on earth's surface (aside from water) is it's countless trillions upon trillions of microbiological organisms and other millions of species of nanocritters. I've always often thought that they truly never get the real respect they deserve.
Perform a short Google on Pillbugs and/or Sowbugs. What's the number one viewpoint they are associated with in the description of them ? Perhaps it's something similar to what the University of Kentucky says about them on their website: "Sowbugs and Pillbugs are similar-looking pests . . " and it continues. Now this is coming from a Science Research website of Higher Education. While it does mention their major contribution to the consumption of dead decaying organic matter, it nevertheless calls them pests and/or nuisances. So do most of the other links on the next couple of pages, generally companies seeking to sell their wares of magical toxic Chemical Elixirs to eradicate the pests. So any education from the start is basically squashed like so many insects. When I was a kid we had them, but they were always kept in check by the chickens who scratched the mulch in search of such goodies. These domestic foul actually simulated what takes place in nature with many ground foraging birds who accomplish the same task by rummaging through the dander underneath most trees and shrubs. Even still, I have seen less and less of these much maligned critters. But does anyone else notice this ? Is it important ? As time goes on, real Science of discovery and wonder realizes (too late) the importance of many things humans have killed and eradicated for whatever reasons. So it's an educational problem.
Other things that have perplexed and concerned me are the lack of many beneficial microbiological organisms which should normally be found in very healthy populations out in the wild, but there's a feeling they are disappearing. One of my reasons for feeling this way is the very positive response of some surrounding chaparral shrubs for which I utilize as Mother Trees or Nurse Plants for newly planted forest trees. I've been informed and criticized for inoculating to soil around transplants when out planting in the wild. The reasons given are, "well the microscopic spores are everywhere in the wild, therefore you don't have to inoculate" . Really ? Than why do neighbouring Scrub Oak come to life when their roots connect with a Jeffrey Pine sapling I've just planted and inoculated with a mycorrhizal blend which contains Pisolithus tinctorius. Now the question is, "Wasn't this fungi already present along with countless others ?" What happened to "the spores are everywhere in the air" ? I know, it's not much to look at, but boy it sure creates a rich flush of growth within the host plant community for which it is present. To most folks the truffle from PT Mycorrhizae looks no more than like some Dog's turd. It's true and it's one the the identifying characteristics I look for when hunting them. Which brings me to another important observation this past Spring 2013. I went to all the traditional collecting locations I had frequented in the wild for decades and there was nothing. No truffles. Even the place where I worked which was an urban setting, there were these Canary Island Pines which produced truffles at their root drip line base and that of Australian Bottlebrush for the almost 5 years I was there every single year and there was nothing. So what's happening ? This leads me to the point I made at the beginning here at the top of the page. Could it be the chemistry makeup of the junk that may be infecting our planet's rainfall content ?
Recently, [actually for decades) there has been talk of the detrimental effects on vegetation with regards Acid Rain. Mostly this was really hit hard on back in the late 1970s and 1980s, then it sort of died out. Now it's back in the news and with good reasons. Monday August 26, Eurekalert published the article, "Eastern US water supplies threatened by a legacy of acid rain" , from a research study by the Cary Institute , which researched the effects of Acid Rains on forest soils and fresh water availability. Another paper on the effects of Acid Rain on mycorrhizal root colonization and root hair development was by Penn State's - College of Agricultural Sciences. The title is Acid Rain: Implications for Forest Productivity . Like the Cary Institute's paper, it referenced the acid's ability at dissolving locked up chemical compound like limestone which makes the water more alkaline, but also dissolves aluminum which would normally be locked within mineral, but set free to create a type of toxicity for fungal growth and tree root colonization. Plants themselves with actually shut down nutrient and water uptake as a defensive measure, but that weakens them as you know. Here is a vital paragraph from that paper:
"When acid precipitation moves through the soil, chemical processes take place which allow aluminum to break away from tightly held sites on particles of soil clay. The aluminum is then dissolved in the soil water. If the soil water has a pH less than about 5.4, the aluminum in solution is generally toxic. As German scientists describe it, aluminum under these conditions destroys or at least inhibits the function of the fungal mycorrhizae and small root hairs of the trees."
"Aluminum toxicity is believed to be a primary factor in limiting plant root development, i.e., depth and branching, in many acidic subsoils of the southeastern United States. Disruption of the mycorrhizae and small roots seriously affects the ability of trees to take in nutrients and water, and may even affect the trees' defense against natural pests and diseases. With this deterioration in root function, the vigor of the trees is reduced and may cause lower productivity or death in the most severe instances. For example, oak trees subjected to gypsy moth caterpillars or drought may experience greater mortality than expected if also under stress from acid precipitation."Interesting read and I encourage reading that entire paper to understand acid rain effects not just on forests, but every type of plant community around the globe. One of the things I mentioned was above is the problem of climate change and the terrible solution of geo-engineering or weather modification to reverse this downward weather trend, but in an unnatural artificial manner. This really isn't exactly new, it's been happening for some time, but the accumulation and toxic buildup of a point where nature is now being effected is new. For example, Russian authorities authorized the use of rain making weather modification over Chernobyl to prevent radiation release through west to east storm rainfall from reaching and releasing it's deadly contents on Moscow. This was actually reported on in the British news journal, The Telegraph in the article entitled - 'How we made the Chernobyl rain' . Unbelievably and most sickening is the press release a few hours ago of world leaders embracing Weather Modification to counteract the effects of climate change which has brought drought and freakishly severe storms to many parts of the Earth. Once again, the Telegraph brought to everyone's attention the global meetings which have been arranged for discussing this proposal. Here is the post of a few hours back: Scientists are attempting to control the weather by using lasers to create clouds, induce rain and even trigger lightning No attempt at discussing anything about rebuilding Earth's natural weather creation mechanisms (Various Forests and other Vegetation Communities) or actually curbing the irresponsible industrial activities which have caused this mess in the first place.
But how can you educate an average global population of humans being mostly disconnected from the Natural World around when they are distracted by the artificial one Industrial Science has created for them ? How can you explain the extreme importance of things like Fungus, Bacteria, Insects and other beneficials they have mostly indoctrinated into believing are basically evil to the clean modern day sterile science-based world those in charge have provided for them ? It's hard to convince people to fight for something they mostly hate or have no idea exists or the danger to continued life on Earth if they are lost. With the discoveries good science have revealed, one has to believe that it really is that easy to find real world solutions for changing things around. But something holds things back. What is it ? If you are a regular viewer who get's their science from Discovery, History or National Geographic Channels, then don't hold your breath for much truth on the matter. The latest scientific focus appears to be on Ancient Aliens who once visited and colonized and ran the Earth and governed all of it's inhabitants while providing amazing technologies for building great civilizations. Wow, maybe these aliens are still around and preventing mankind from progress out of jealously. Okay, but is there a better explanation ? What do you people think ? What leadership will you believe in and follow ? Though this sounds absurd, it nevertheless is uncanny why this World's leadership continues on rejecting the real science. Remember, your life and that of your descendants may depend on the irresponsible decisions they make. Now, real quick, start looking under all those boards and rocks. Maybe you've been missing something important all these years ? Turn around and counteract the ill effects brought on by "Nature Deficit Disorder" !!!
Interesting Reading References: *
|Image: United States Air Force University|
Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
|US Naval Research Laboratory (Feb 2013)|
NRL Scientists Produce Densest Artificial Ionospheric Plasma Clouds Using HAARP
|credit: Pakistan Media Watch (2010)|
Some major News Today: