Fresh energy for rescuing the environment is growing with soil awareness.
Conscious Planet volunteer Taro Joy is touring the South to share a message that could become the ozone layer issue of the 2020s.
‘‘The life within soil is vital to all life on land, but soil can go extinct,’’ Mr Joy said.
‘‘95% of our food comes from topsoil, and some estimates say fewer than 60 harvests remain before Earth’s soil is degraded enough to cause global upheaval — unless unified action is taken.’’
Conscious Planet — Save Soil is a global movement uniting consumers, producers and governments to adjust attitudes toward the organic content in soil.
Conscious Planet’s website states excessive tilling and watering results in megatons of topsoil being blown and washed away, while chemical treatment decimates soil invertebrates and micro›organisms.
Industrial food production has reduced much of the world’s farmland to a sterile sponge that a few basic ingredients are sprayed on to, also resulting in a reduction of nutrients in produce.
The movement knows modern production has to feed booming populations, so change must be measured and co›operative, and their online sites list influential organisations, including the WHO and the UN, who have acknowledged soil health is a requirement in averting a growing food crisis.
‘‘Healthy soil needs at least 3›6% organic content, but increasing that to 10›15% has massive benefits, and New Zealand is in an excellent position to lead,’’ Mr Joy said.
Overworked, lifeless soil releases carbon dioxide, while healthy, covered land traps triple the CO2 stored in living plants, double the CO2 in the atmosphere and is the largest carbon sink in the world after the oceans.
New Zealand farmers are already world leaders in food production technology, where terrain and scale have precluded over›industrialisation.
Less aggressive agriculture may leave New Zealand well positioned to adopt more soil› sensitive practices, growing higher quality product while assisting climate goals.
A New Zealand citizen with Indian roots, Mr Joy is a work› from›mobile›home computer consultant as well as soil advocate.
‘‘No aspect of the ecosystem or the economy functions in isolation,’’ he said. ‘‘Soil is the underlying platform of land life. By considering soil we take a holistic view, and have the best chance of fixing the whole.’’
‘No aspect of the ecosystem or the economy functions in isolation. Soil is the underlying platform of land life. By considering soil we take a holistic view, and have the best chance of fixing the whole.’