The Helpful Gardener
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And perhaps certain biological amendments to mitigate them. Certain organisms seem particualry suited and I am sure there are others...

But the current means are scary and untested...

HG
Scott Reil

rot
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compost protest

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Curiously enough, from The SF Chronicle business section and it's an AP story.

Organic activists protest San Francisco compost

https://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/03/05/financial/f001153S33.DTL

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The Helpful Gardener
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Rot thanks, I hadn't heard about that Georgia ruling; I think it is a seminal ruling on the matter and I hope to see it followed up...

HG
Scott Reil

rot
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A telling ruling

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Yes, I found the Georgia ruling telling as well. Cows died and the link was made.

I wonder exactly what the mechanism was that killed the cows.

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The Helpful Gardener
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Good question, I'll dig around...

The judges comment was most clear...
U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Alaimo concluded that "the EPA cannot assure the public that current land application practices are protective of human health and the environment."
Nuff said.


HG
Scott Reil

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Yikes!

[url=https://www.earthsave.org/news/sewagefertilizer.htm]Found it.[/url]

Hard to pick when the mess is this bad, but it looks like thallium leads the charge; that's rat poison!
The sludge contained levels of arsenic, toxic heavy metals and PCBs two to 2,500 times federal health standards.
Funny, I just finished rereading Silent Spring; it seems [url=https://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3854/is_200201/ai_n9036182/?tag=content;col1]Ms. Carson commented on poisoned Georgia cows[/url], but fity years later, here we are...

And here's [url=https://www.examiner.com/a-1345612~A_sludge_nightmare_along_the_Susquehanna.html]a lady who got sick in Pennsylvania[/url]...

Annd here's [url=https://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/toxicpoison.cfm]more people in Washington and Florida[/url]...

And here is a [url=https://www.ejnet.org/sludge/aeoh2007.pdf]specific health test showing increased incidence of a number of health issues[/url](most telling, giardia is a known fecal biotoxin)...

Now supposedly EPA is supposed to stop any program in early stages that shows clear signs of public health concerns. Despite the clear dangers outlined here, despite concerns that go even deeper and are clearly in need of research, there has been a complete breakdown of government oversight on an emerging industry that is creating 7 million tons of product a year, spreading it on food producing land and public spaces, and obviously not getting it right. We must act from the bottom as the top has failed...

HG
Scott Reil

rot
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little consolation

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"There are no records that anyone became ill because of milk tainted with heavy metals or other contaminants that could have come from sludge."

Small consolation.

Digesting. I'm going be very busy with other things I fear.

Thanks for the very valuable info. Thanks for providing the unusual value of information that is relevant and telling.

To sense

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I just read through this topic and I knew some of the problems with sludge. I think it may be safer to use it to grow bio-fuel crops than food considering how hard it is to kill prions. We are dumping the waste and also sending treated wastewater into our rivers, estuaries and oceans helping to creating dead zones in the oceans; fertilizer run off is a big contributor. In the estuaries an algae has taken off due to the large amount of nutrients dumped in to them, it changes state to feed on what ever is available to eat and in one of its states releases a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage even from the water vapor. There are a number of algae that grow in the sea such as the Red Tide ECT. Here is just one page on this issue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_bloom

The real issue is as spices we live in large groups and nature cannot deal with the amount of waste we produce. Now we can never go back to a hunter-gatherer society but we cannot continue exponential growth of our population. If one looks at the charts of population growth of the human animal we see most of it is in the last 100 years and keeps growing at a high rate. Population control is a hard and messy subject most often over looked buy people touting environmental issues but it is the one factor that will over whelm the environment and make all our efforts to save the Earth a stop gap measure. Not that we should not try every thing we can to help the environment.
I know I may get some negative feed back for telling the truth but lets face it we can not continue like this for very much longer with out paying a price on the environment and depleting resources.
I was reluctant to post this reply, as it is not a happy topic.
It is a hard truth that few people are willing to talk about but silence will not change any thing.

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Tom, I am happy to hear any reasonable voices on this topic, especially from those who have obviously done the homework. This topic is of international concern, and needs good answers soon.

I think the work Paul Stamets is doing with mycology offers our best possible angle as he has already found viable cures for terrestrial petroleum pollution, H1N1, smallpox, termites and ants, and a number of other world threatening issues, among the fungi he loves so much.

This kingdom offers us a number of world changing technologies if we can recognize the importance of maintaining it's ecosytems as well as our own. Chemical culture damages the fungal net first and foremost, this kingdom that increases soil fertility and structure and breaks down carbon in manners not replicable by our best technologies. We need recognize the values of natural systems above and beyond what we think they may provide, as it seems likely they are our best bets to save this planet and our race from an ugly end...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Mon May 03, 2010 3:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
Scott Reil

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No need to hide in a corner and be afraid to voice your opinion Tom. And actually, I agree with you. People are not only living longer, but reproducing longer too. Some sort of population control needs to happen somehow. I'm all for big families of that's what someone really wants, but don't people ever wonder where the kids of their 5, 6, 7 kids are going to live? How they're going to eat?
I'm a firm believer in people only having 2 children, so unless I have twins this next time around our next one will be our last.

rot
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We have met the enemy and they are us

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I don't blame tomf for lying low. No easy thing telling someone they can't procreate. I'm certainly not wise enough to determine who can have kids and who can't. I can't believe the state is either.

So far, there has been nothing to show that population doesn't outstrip the food supply or any other resource. I can't imagine any fungus among us is going to rescue us from the fate biology has provided us.

As far as Paul Stamets goes, I see a lot of wonderful talk but the details cost money. Gotta send money if you must know. I never see the Saskwatch in the cage or the Loch Ness Monster carcass. I wouldn't expect to see a real mermaid or real unicorn after paying money either. I'd like to see some peer reviewed demonstrations of true efficacy before I buy a bridge from that guy. But then I buy into the whole Joe Jenkins line of thinking. Perhaps I'm simply price driven.

As far as sewer sludge goes, there are too many unknowns that go into sewer sludge to make it reliable enough to safely dispose let alone actually use it someplace on some thing.

to sense
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Population control is a difficult topic and way more complex than it seems at first. I believe it is absolutely necessary. We keep working on reducing our (per person) environmental impacts (pollution created, energy used, etc) but as long as we keep having more and more people, we don't see the benefits. And we can make agriculture more efficient, but all resources are finite. So now we are doing all these huge mountain top removal mining projects, because most of the easy to reach minerals, ores etc are already gone.

I was a member of an active population control advocacy group ZPG, zero population growth, back in the 1970's. But since most of the areas of the world with the highest birth rates and population growth rates are the poorest countries and many of those are people of color, ZPG somehow got tarred with the genocide brush, like we were just trying to keep dark skinned people from reproducing. So the whole movement just disappeared for 30 years. It never was about race. Americans use many times the resources and create many times the pollution of any one else in the world, so it is most necessary to limit our population growth.

Total world population in 1970 was 3.7 billion. Today we are rapidly closing in on double that. We hit 6 billion in 1999, now 'Latest official current world population estimate, for mid-year 2009, is estimated at 6,790,062,216." https://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm Think how much easier all the problems we talk about would be if we had been successful at stabilizing population back at 4 billion or so.

But China tried the experiment with their mandatory one child policy starting in 1979 and maintained very strictly until the 1990's and less strictly since. It was spectacularly successful in reducing birth rate and population growth and likely contributed to China's amazing economic progress since then, but it has also caused many social problems:

https://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=128&catid=4&subcatid=15

One result was in a country that reveres sons, the one child policy led to a lot of female infantacide and abortions of female fetuses. So now they have a generation of spoiled only child boy babies growing up:

If both parents are only children, that means the entire family — including the grandparents — focuses their attention on that one boy or girl, imbuing the child with a dangerous sense of power. No wonder they’re called “little emperors.â€
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Maybe the answer to this question was in one of the links I didn't read, but what have they been doing with sewage "biomass" for the last however many years?

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Despite the fact that everyone seems to think that chemical culture has misproven Malthus' theories (what a crock, as we are simply spending the natural capital of soil in an unsustainable fashion to make that population possible), they are so common sensical that they are the salient point in this discussion to this day...

Succinctly, his theory was...
"The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man"
His reasoning was...
"Must it not then be acknowledged by an attentive examiner of the histories of mankind, that in every age and in every State in which man has existed, or does now exist...

That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,

That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,

That the superior power of population it repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice."
So the more people you get, the less happy they will be (he was sort of responding to John Stuart Mills who was pretty sure we could get to a Utopian society in short order; I think history has borne out that Malthus is probably right, but Mills was daydreaming...)

Every person born to this planet increases exponentially the demands on natural capital, open space, and national treasure. The days of limitless expansion of the human race need to come to a logical and rational close until we havev more room to expand, and as my wise old grampy used to say, put your money in real estate because they ain't making any more land...

Rot, no lesser pile of money than the DOD is sponsoring a good deal of Dr. Stamet's work at this point, and many of his inventions are being picked up by industry and will see production soon... faith, bruthuh...

HG
Scott Reil

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Waiting for the fun guy

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I'll wait to see if anything comes from fun guy Stametz but he promises too much I think.

I expect to see real progress in the area of mycology but not necessarily from Stametz.

Meanwhile my slow bin has gone fungal and I'm real pleased now that it's a digesting machine. I keep adding and it keeps reducing.

to sense
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The Helpful Gardener
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Paul Stamets has an ecologically sound fuel (instead of using food crops like corn you can use any biomass; weeds, twigs, stems, etc, to make the fuel). He has a pesticide application for ants and termites that actually attracts the creatures and has them take it back into the nest, that the pesticide companies are excited about. Oh, and it immunizes the house as it does that.

The rare deep forest fungal extract that immunizes against small pox, H1N1, bird flu and many more influenza strains has DOD really excited. And the work Paul did to create food boxes going to Darfor (that were mycorhizally innoculated so you spred them out, watered it piled you seed and soil over it , and the mycorrhizae organically feed the seeds from the carbon in the cardboard) was pretty cool in a number of ways...

His work on fungal bunker spawn bundles willl likely be of keen interest now considering his work in removing oil contaminants from soil. His amazing method using oyster mushrooms still is without a modern technological equivalent for remediation of soil. What exactly are you waiting for rot? I think the guy is doing miracles already; some need tweaking but the concepts are reasoned and functional...

Is he maybe a little intense about shrooms? I'll give you that. But he is doing cutting edge work and we should all be paying attention...

HG
Scott Reil

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Just some fun guy on the net

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As I recall, his house was still razed because of termites.

Small Pox, H1N1 and bird flu. Uhm. Why isn't the WHO beating down the door?

I recall the hoopla around the San Francisco Bay oil spill. He seemed to make a few media appearances but I haven't seen any follow up on just what happened to all those hair mats and oyster mushrooms. Wasn't one of the problems was getting money for his oyster mushrooms?

Seems anecdotal. Long on promises, thin on results that others can replicate.

I remain skeptical.

You don't trust Joe Jenkins but he doesn't over promise and makes his books available free. Fun guy Stamets promises to fix all the problems you could possibly have and wants fists full of money to get a little information.

You might argue you get what you pay for but I'll advise caveat emptor.

to sense
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His house was razed due to termite damage. The termites were all dead and gone at that point... as for the WHO thing, perhaps his contract with DOD precludes dissemination just yet, as they are still working on propagating the extremely rare fungus that this is derived from; it only grows deep in old growth forest...

Mushrooms and saltwater aren't a great mix; one reason why ammonia salt ferts are h*ll on wheels for fungal biology in soils. Not sure a marine application for that mushroom technology is a good fit, but that doesn't mean it's not a good technology...

I offered Dr. Stamets' work not as an individual example as much as a call to recognize that human growth is reliant on sustainable technologies, and these will come increasingly from natural sources. In keeping with that thought, we must preserve open, natural space that allows natural biodiversity to flourish, as we are hardly smart enough to determine which organism will provide us with what tools. The genetic pool must grow deeper to sustain this process; we cannot simply substitute biomass for biodiversity. Humans are the apical species but an apical species needs a ecosystem as much as any other creature in it. We stand to overwhelm the natural systems we need to survive...

HG
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Re: Sewage sludge.

Homesteader wrote:I would be very concerned with heavy metals as well as pharmaceutical residues.
It is a scientific fact that what goes in comes out. That is how crystal meth is purified. You get all your friends at a party to pee in a bucket then the crystal meth is extracted from the pee and it is better and more pure the second time around. I would not be worried about heavy metals unless there are factories dumping in the sewer system. By law all cities a certain size and or with certain type factories are required to have monitors in the sewer pipes. If anyone dumps illegal stuff in the sewer it sets off an alarm. With several monitors it can be traced up stream to find out who dumped it. Fines can run into millions of $$$$$$$$.

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Pharmaceutical residues are turning up in water supplies based on just the example Gary gives above. The birth control estrogen is well documneted as a low level contaminant as are many antidepressants, antibiotics, heart meds and others. We pass on our chemical dependancies to the rest of the world...

Luckily it seems that the rest of the planet deals well with our waste; I saw a white paper from Cornell that showed our old friend Lactobaccillus did a pretty good job of breaking down low level antibiotics, frinstance...

HG
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Where I work we have an ISO 1400 certification for environmental protection and they are proud of it. We have wastewater treatment plants that treat some nasty stuff. I had to take a number of classes just to be able to go in the areas. With proper treatment bad things can be taken out of the water but you need to know what you’re dealing with and how to treat it.

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