The Importance of Living Things in Our Everyday World

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Keywords: organic, organically grown, pesticides, fertilizers, minerals, nutrition, pollution, air ions, biometeorology, negative ions, positive ions, oceans, wetlands, consumerism, habitat destruction, species endangerment, extinction, weather, climate, natural disasters, magnetic fields, geomagnetobiology, geomagnetic field, entropy, deep ecology, environmental, environment

As with all the web pages on the Living Cosmos web site, this web page is a fully referenced work, and is only a portion of the factual, empirical support for the ideas presented. However, these references are not included on this web page, but are included in the book, The Vital Vastness. This book is now published with the full scope and references, and is available for purchase. An attempt will be made to address queries, but not all queries can be answered. Excerpts are presented here as indented paragraphs, and those lines appearing with quotes are from some of the cited references.


NOTE: Contrary to some search engines listings this web page is a fully referenced work. Some references are listed in the text below. For a full listing of references see The Vital Vastness -- Volume One, and In Defense of Nature.

This web page is presented to offer a glimpse of a myraid of facts that show we are in control of the physical world in the ways in which we treat living things and wilderness. Life has effects at the quantum and molecular levels that stabilize the physical world and change its physical character in such a way that there is literally a different physical world. These examples are only a few of the ways in which the preservation and nurturing of all life can make a difference. Additions may be made in the future. The Vital Vastness presents many more examples of life's dominion over the physical world. In Nature, nurture begets nurture.

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Habitat destruction, and species endangerment and extinction may soon exceed all previous mass extinctions

Over the past 8,000 years -- since the earliest roots of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt -- approximately 11% of world's land has been converted to agricultural land, and 31% of the forests are no longer in a natural state. In central Europe alone, 60% of the land has been converted from forest to farmland in the last 1,000 years. More than 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles) of primary or tropical forests are cleared or degraded every year, and this is figure is growing. If this continues no tropical forests will be left in less than 50 years.

Recently there have been misinformation about the state of forests in the United States. The claims are that there are more forests than 50 years ago. However, while this may be true, the forests are not old growth forests, but forests of saplings. It takes hundreds to thousands of years to reach the level of an old growth forest, which are much, much more biodiverse. So, while there may be more forests on acreage basis, there is less biomass in the forests (i.e., smaller trees).

Another situation created is that when the forest is logged rains often wash away the topsoil, and it takes 1,000 years to develop a mere inch of topsoil. This is all the more worse in tropical rainforests, such as the Amazon, where the soil is kept in place by the trees' roots and the leaves prevent the heavy rains from directly hitting the soil. So, images of seedlings being planted is not the whole picture, as the rains destroy the fertile soils.

Forests control many aspects of climate, and the results will include massive flooding, droughts, and desertification. Without forests, the tropics would be hotter and drier, while the temperate regions would be colder. They are also major sinks for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which would increase global warming. The increase in temperature will melt ice caps and raise water levels around the globe, threatening cities and agricultural areas; the regions most responsible for the problem.

Forests are also major producers of ozone. Without them the ozone holes would get worse. Ozone protects all life on Earth from the cosmic radiation of outer space.

It is a lesson we often overlook and even deny that destroying life is detrimental to our own health and well being. There are a myriad of examples that demonstrate preserving and nurturing life stabilizes the physical world in which we live. Likewise, there is a myriad of examples where destroying life is a threat to our own existence, peace and true prosperity.

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Wetlands are quickly disappearing due to development and erosion.

There were orignally 215 million acres of wetlands in the contiguous United States. Now there are only less than 95 million acres -- that's 44% of the original acreage, and the figure is getting worse. Moreover, 564 plant and animal species that are threatened or endangered require wetlands for their survival.

Wetlands are the most biologically productive and diverse ecosystems on Earth. They are important for the spawning of many species of fish, and are the home of many shellfish, water birds, and other animals. There are 138 birds that are dependent on wetlands for their survival and hundreds more use wetlands at some points in their lives. Wetlands are the home of 43% of the federally listed endangered and threatened species, including the national symbol, the bald eagle.

Wetlands are very important to our well being and health. They are like sponges that store snowmelt and rainfall, and release it gradually. This reduces flood damage, and thereby, protects our lives. Wetlands also improve water quality by filtering heavy metals, waste and other pollutants. Being areas for the spawning of fish, they are also important to keeping the oceans stocked with fish. The benefits are many.

For more on wetlands, and campaigns to save them, visit these sites:

National Wildlife Federation
Audubon Campaign
Sierra Club
Environmental Protection Agency
Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act
Wetlands Activities -- Department of the Interior

For a global perspective on fresh water see The World's Water, and for all types of water see the United States Geological Survey's Water Science for Schools.

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Air ions -- negatively and positively charged molecules in the air -- and weather have a profound impact on physiological and psychological balance

Air ions are essential to the health of all living things. Like most biologically active substances, air is made up of positively and negatively charged molecules. All living things are affected by air ions. When in properly balanced levels they promote health, growth, reproduction, disease resistance, mental alertness, and prolong life.

The first research was conducted in the mid-1700s, and studies have been conducted continually since those first experiments. Experiments with crops produced yields of significantly larger and healthier plants. For example, cucumber seedlings were exposed to high densities of air ions, and the cucumbers grew 46 centimeters (18 inches) larger than normal. Other effects on plants were increased soil nutrient availability, seed germination, chlorophyll and hormones.

Animals, including insects, are also affected by air ions. One of the first experiments exposed mice, rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits to totally deionized air, and within just two weeks most had perished. The reasons for their deaths varied widely from fatty liver to heart degeneration. Detrimental effects were also noted when just positive ions were available.

The Vital Vastness reviews much of this research, and has this to say about the effects on humans:

Human physiology and well-being are regulated by the effects of air ions, as well. Air ions, regardless of charge, are an essential nutrient in maintaining human health. Depletion to 2,000 ions per cubic centimeter (cm3) reduces reaction time, but at higher concentrations there is no loss in reaction time. Higher concentrations (104/cm3 or greater) increase levels of alertness, the ability to think, rapid decision making, and subtle, positive-mood changes, among other effects.

The world at large demonstrates the impact of what might otherwise be considered trivial: "Epidemiological data indicate that increased small positive air ionization due to changing weather conditions is associated with increases in industrial and automobile accidents, suicide, and crime, as well as depression, irritability, and interference with central nervous system function."

Positive ions are known to create or trigger other phenomena. They are associated with negative mood swings, slowed reaction time, increased fatigue, and decreased task performance, attentiveness and sociability. Observations in hospitals revealed that depressives, epileptics, hysterics, psychopaths, neurotics, schizophrenics, alcoholics, and drug addicts react to positive-ion winds. Intelligence and restlessness of children is also affected under these conditions. Other influences are associated with weather and those seasons when positive ions are present in greater quantities.

Winds that are predominately composed of positive ions, often referred to as "evil winds," are recognized around the world. For example, there is the Chinook of the North American Plains; the Autan and Vent Du Midi of France; the Norther of Texas, Australia and Portugal, and a myriad of others that stretch across the globe. In The Vital Vastness these winds are shown to be a product of fields that accelerate particles into the atmosphere, and these fields relate to a new model of the Earth referred to as the Field-dynamical Earth Model (FEM).

The Vital Vastness describes the biological effects of these evil winds:

The biological impact of evil winds can be understood from what transpires when the Sharav blows in Israel. Thirty percent of the population is affected by this "evil wind," causing an observable increase in murders, suicides, attempted suicides, asthma attacks, depression, unbearable tensions, and aching joints. In fact, its influence is so well known that judges are more lenient in their sentencing if a crime occurred when the wind is blowing. Positive ions increase by ten-fold when the Sharav blows. Worldwide, similar winds are noted to increase crime, murder, suicide, tension, irritability, sleeplessness, migraines with vomiting and nausea, and automobile and industrial accidents.

Another well-studied evil wind is the Foehn. Common in central Europe it is a very warm, dry and electrified wind that often blows in the mountain valleys of the Alps in Switzerland and Tyrol (Tirol). In Switzerland it is associated with distress, depression, migraines, irritability, dizziness, decreased self-control, and slow reaction times, leading to increases in accidents, crime and suicide. Significant increases are also noted for perforations of (ventricular and duodenal) ulcers, suddenly ruptured or blocked blood-vessels (embolism and thrombosis), hemorrhages, bleeding in hemophiliacs, deterioration of treated psychoses, and even, birth frequency.

The Foehn is characterized by everything that could be expected of the Field-dynamical Earth Model (FEM) ionizing the atmosphere. There are changes in atmospheric pressure typified by strong gusty winds, a rise in temperature, a fall in humidity, and atmospheric electrostatic fields are intensified, becoming unstable to strongly fluctuating (time-varying). Increases in electromagnetic long waves, the electrical conductivity of the upper atmospheric layers, sudden strong atmospheric radioactivity, ionization, and colloid and dust content are observed. As discussed in Tome One, these observations are what occur when ionized by-products of hydrogen fusion (ionizing radiation) are released along the Field lines of FEM, and here they are shown to be responsible for producing the evil winds (also the latitude locations of these winds indicate this).

The impact of evil winds on murders can be seen in the effects of the Santa Ana Winds, or Santanas as they are called locally, in California. Within 53 days there were 58 homicides in Los Angeles, compared to the 50.8 average for such a time period. In 1965, during the week of 20-26 October, the longest period was noted for the wind within the two years of the study. The author of the study comments: "The total of 10 reported homicides was 47 percent above the 6.8 for a normal week." These winds are also notorious for their effects on brush fires in the Hollywood Hills, and often precede or follow earthquakes.

The ionized by-products of hydrogen fusion not only create evil winds, but change weather in general, and the interrelationships have been observed. Positive ions precede weather fronts by one to two days, because electricity moves faster than air, such as observed for the Sharav and Foehn. In the United States, storm centers that move down from the northwest or up the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys leave behind increased frequencies of respiratory attacks and appendicitis. Marked changes in the mental state of patients occur with low-pressure centers approaching. Most patients experience feelings of futility, an inability to accomplish difficult tasks, or poor mental efficiency. Children display restlessness, irritability and petulance. Adults are more quarrelsome, fault finding, have a tendency for pessimism, and as a consequence, more marital disharmony. Each of these weather phenomena and the associated behavioral problems are the result of air ionization.

There are many more psychobiological effects that are reviewed in the book. Also there are seasonal effects due to the solar linkage of the Earth (for a brief overview of the solar linkage see the web page The Unity of the Sun, Earth and Moon. Moreover, some of the most profound effects are due to urbanization, industrialization, and the destruction of wildlife habitats. Here is just a few paragraphs from the book:

The impact of human participation in the physical world can be observed in air ion imbalances and their effects. Many human-created conditions and human actions produce positive ions. The friction of shoes on a carpet can dissipate into the air, if not grounded by touching a door knob or other metal object. Clothes, especially synthetic fabrics, rubbing against themselves can produce similar results. Only natural plant fibers, such as cotton, do not do this. Heavy, positive ions accumulate in closed spaces, such as offices and stores, especially during business hours when carbon dioxide increases. Buildings with centralized heating and air conditioning remove negative ions and add positive ions. Even more positive ions are created as the result of friction when the air flows through vents. In addition, air brushing past a metal surface or through a pipe also creates positive ions. Fire or heat from anything, such as a match, a candle, a stove or central heating are rich sources of positive ions. Cars and other vehicles, with their metal surfaces and heat rob the air inside of negative ions, while adding positive ions. The exhaust robs the air of negative ions and increases positive ions, as well. Part of the health risk of smoking is that smoke depletes negative ions, and thereby, reduces natural defenses. These are merely examples of everyday activities most of us engage in, but we do not realize that they increase positive ions and decrease negative ions affecting our mood and health.

Meanwhile, urbanization and industrialization have far more of an impact. Air pollution from industry leads to small, air-ion depletion by attaching to molecules, thereby producing the heavier, biologically inactive (Langevin) ions. Though both charges of ions are transformed into these biologically inactive ions, more negative ions are involved. The reason for this is that negative ions zig-zag through the air at great speeds and are more chemically active. Sources of pollution that neutralize negative ions range from particulates (dust), high voltage lines and carbon dioxide to coal and oil combustion. In rural areas particulates may reach 6,000 per milliliter, and are predominately pollen and some dust. However, in industrialized cities in North America and Europe particulates reach several million per milliliter, and are predominately dust and soot.

Main intersections in cities average 50 to 200 ions per cubic centimeter (cm3) at mid-day, when there should be about 10,000 ions per cm3. Scientists in Zurich and Munich took an ion count at noon on a sunny day and found only 200 ions per cm3. Worse still, during the San Francisco rush-hour the smaller biologically active ions were non- existent.

Reaching far beyond the immediate environment, large ions result in a reduced conductivity of the atmosphere. In contrast, the Earth's electrical environment is maintained by a high potential gradient (large ions move more slowly). In the overall picture, this ion imbalance produces all the biological, mental and social ills discussed previously, as well as, weakens the Earth's magnetic field producing effects that literally reach beyond the Earth (this will be discussed).

More of the effects of urbanization and industrialization are discussed in The Vital Vastness. Wilderness, on the other hand, shows definite benefits.

Wilderness is in clear contrast to the urban/industrial picture. Plants, trees, active soils and radioactive substances (nuclides) produce ions. As usual, forests are particularly active in this sense, and are known to generate negative ions. Furthermore, the Earth's surface is negatively charged, attracting positive ions and repelling negative ions. This brings about a one- to two-meter thick atmospheric layer with a preponderance of negative ions near ground level. As can be easily noted, the vast majority of the human population is within this two-meter (6.5-foot) height. Furthermore, we are the only creature on Earth that has its nostrils pointing downward in a position perfectly adapted to breathing in the upward-flowing negative ions.

Negative ions zig-zag pattern conveys its charge to bacteria, dust, smoke particles, water droplets and other particulates cleaning the air. Finally, mental and physical functioning are thereby enhanced, including disease prevention, increased intelligence, greater stamina, better moods and the various other benefits of negative ions. Obviously, it is in caring for the natural world that we care for ourselves.

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United States weather is the most active in the world and its getting worse.

Aside from the Arctic and the Antarctic, the weather in the United States is the most active, and disastrous weather phenomena is becoming more and more common place. For example, in the 1980s there were about 600 to 700 tornadoes each year. In the 1990s the number of tornadoes increased to 1,100 to 1,200 tornadoes each year. That's an increase of about 500 per year over the 1980s, and in the 1970s, 1960s and so forth there were continually less as one goes back in time. In addition, the number of days that tornadoes struck has also increased, in the 1980s it was 150 to 170 days per year, and in the 1990s it was 180 to 190 days per year. Even places that are normally free of tornadoes, such as Arizona and California, are being hit. Injury, destruction and even death are commonplace due to this increase in disastrous weather conditions, and the US spends billions of dollars each year on medical, property and life insurance.

Hurricanes forming in the North Atlantic have also increased. In the 1980s it was 6 to 14 each year, and in the 1990s it was 7 to 19 each year. In fact, 19 hurricanes in a single year is the most ever recorded. In 1999 there were five category four hurricanes, the most of any year.

Property damage has also increased. In the 1980s it was $8 million to $7.8 billion per year. In the 1990s it was $57 million to $26.5 billion each year.

These effects are not limited to tornadoes and hurricanes. For example, the Mid-west floods of the mid-1980s were the most costly in U.S. history.

The United States is the most industrialized nation on Earth. Industrialization and ubanization, both of which the U.S. is prolific at, destroy wilderness to get raw materials. And believe it or not the destruction of wilderness has both direct and indirect influences on weather. The elimination of wildlife systems changes the insolation (heat and cold), the electric characteristics, electrical properties, air ion balances, and more, and the the materials used also prevent the grounding of electrical charges in the atmosphere.

This influence has effects on the Field-dynamical Earth Model -- FEM. The flow of electricity along the Earth's surface stabilizes the Fields, which control weather phenomena. When these facts are looked at in a certain way -- as an Earth that is living -- then increasing and more devastating weather phenomena, destroying areas with lifeless structures or unnatural systems, are like an organism destroying a cancerous growth. Human history shows that civilizations have collapsed around the world along with changing and devastating weather (for a discussion and some excerpts see In Defense of Nature -- The History Nobody Told You About).

Think about how often people have commented that an area devastated by a tornado or hurricane as looking like a war scene. Also, consider how often tornadoes hit human dwellings, towns and cities, but never devastate natural areas (if they are hit they recover very quickly). One fact seems to really show what it is all about, more than ten times the number of people are involved in weather-related disasters in the present than in the 1970s. Moreover, human populations have not grown or become concentrated anywhere enough to account for this increase. Simply, we are in control of these events by what we do to the physical world by not preserving and nurturing all life.

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Organically grown foods are superior for our health and the health of our planet.

There are people who say that there is no real difference between chemically grown foods, and organically grown foods, but let the facts speak for themselves. Some of the facts are even obvious when one stops to think about them. For example, pesticides require more vitamins to metabolize (notably, vitamins B-1, naicin, A and C). Chemical fertilizer applications only satisify the most basic elemental needs of the plant, which is typically only ten minerals or less. Yet, humans require at least 30 minerals. Moreover, pesticides and chemical fertilizers require extensive mining, factories, laboratories, and more energy expenditure. This means that there are much greater impacts on the environment and wilderness habitats, contributing to species endangerment, extinction, pollution, and shifting political agendas.

The Vital Vastness discusses this within the context of human participation at the quantum and molecular levels. Here is an excerpt:

Plants are the most primary food for all of the higher organisms on Earth. Aside from needing water, plants are intimately dependent upon the elemental components of the soil. When humans are reduced to a very simple basis, the importance of the soil's constituents in plant life, the primary food source, begin to be appreciated.

The human body is about 5% ash or about 5% soil (e.g., 7.5 lbs. of 150 lb., or 3.5 kg. of 70 kg. person). About 1.6% of normal body weight is calcium, 0.9% is phosphorous, 0.3% is potassium, 0.3% is sodium, 0.2% is sulphur, 0.05% is magnesium, 0.004% is iron, and the list goes on. Certainly, if the soil does not contain these elements, or in their proper proportions, then imbalances in the plant, and thereby, the animal that consumes it, are inevitable.

A distinct contrast between the trace element requirements of plants and those of animals that use them for food is obvious. Aside from the major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and calcium, there are also minor elements. These minor elements are iron, manganese, zinc, sulphur, copper and boron. The total number of elements required in plant health is far less than those required in human nutrition.

The number of essential elements for humans is at least twenty-seven. More recently the total has reached 30 with every potential for this to increase. Requirements for the elements range from 50 micrograms to 18 milligrams per day for humans. Other elements may be necessary in very small quantities, but our limited knowledge has yet to reveal them. When considering the contrast between plant requirements and those of humans, the possibility of human needs being unmet becomes immediately apparent if the soil is deficient.

Throughout our experiences with plant cultivation we have discovered that it is even difficult to know when plants are experiencing a deficiency. Latent deficiencies, those that do not cause obvious deficiency symptoms, are often ignored and can cause a great deal of damage before they bring about visible symptoms. There may be problems with water utilization (transpiration rate), and decreases in reproductive capacity, yields, disease resistance, pest resistance, and overall quality. Just how much damage these deficiencies cause for humans is not easily determined, especially when considering human needs far outweigh those of plants.

One of the biggest, and possibly the most overlooked, problems is soil erosion. Organic matter helps to prevent soil erosion, and it also helps to develop more topsoil, which is the first component of the soil to be eroded. The Vital Vastness discusses this:

Meanwhile, the worst of conventional agriculture is soil erosion. And, "soil erosion may well be the world's most serious environmental problem." Lost topsoil reduces organic matter, fine clays, water-holding capacity, plant rooting depth, productivity, and crop yields. In the United States alone 6.4 billion tons of topsoil is eroded each year . At least a half metric ton of soil is lost each year for every man, woman and child! Meanwhile, all countries are contributing to the erosion of the soil, and many more so than the U.S. In 50 years all of the topsoil will be lost, exposing the denser, less fertile subsoil (argillic horizons). The entire problem can be summed-up by recognizing that it takes 500 to 1,000 years to develop a mere 2.5 centimeters (one inch) of topsoil, empires have collapsed throughout history partly due to erosion, and recently, since 1914, more topsoil has been lost than in all of previous history!

"Grave though the loss of topsoil may be, it is a quiet crisis, one not widely perceived. Unlike earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or other natural disasters, this human made disaster is unfolding gradually. It is not widely recognized because of the intensification of cropping patterns and the plowing of marginal land that leads to excessive erosion over the long run can lead to production gains in the short run, creating the illusion of progress and a false sense of food security."

It is quite ridiculous for us to continue with such a devastating practice as world hunger and populations grow.

Contemplating the knowledge obtained about these hazards is no trivial matter. Food production must increase 25 million tons each year just to keep up with population growth! Furthermore, new strains of crops usually require additional fertilizers and pesticides, along with a greater degree of water control. More industrialization is then "required," which requires mining and releases waste products that affect the soil, plants, animals and humans. Climates are changing around the world with desertification, droughts, floods and other disasters exacting their toll on food production. In contrast, organic foods, particularly ecosystems, overcome all of these problems, and do not require the endless maintenance and energy input of conventional agriculture.

Furthermore, food and chemical demands increase every day. In three decades there was a ten- fold increase in insecticide use, yet crop losses nearly doubled. The increase in food production by the year 2000 will be accompanied by at least an 180% increase of chemical fertilizer use than was used a decade ago. Yearly, 80 million metric tons were used between 1973 and 1975. Meanwhile, in 2000 it will be 225 million metric tons. A five-fold increase in pesticides will probably be "required." Adding to the overall effects, these chemicals will necessitate extensive mining and industrialization, devastating wildlife, the environment, and undoubtedly, humans. Simply by buying chemically grown foods, we are literally removing mountains with the life on them, and jeopardizing our health, well-being, and the Earth.

This is no trivial matter, as people spend a great deal of money on food each year. And there are direct effects on we humans.

Organic matter plays a key role in enhancing nutrient availability, but also reduces the toxic effects of some substances (free cations). Trace metals (Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn) remain active, allowing increased utilization (chelated forms are more readily used by plants). Iron, utilized in chlorophyll, plays an important role in the form of soluble organic complexes (i.e., root exudates, humic substances, and microorganism metabolic products). Diffusion of metal complexes (cations of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, etc.) are facilitated by the presence of other ions and organic matter enhances this relationship. Not only does it aid in the transport of nutrients to roots, but creates an activity gradient of ions. Generating electric activity, this gradient contributes stability to the Earth's electrical environment and magnetic field (bioelectricity contributes to telluric currents, geoelectricity and the geomagnetic field via electromagnetic induction).

Weak acids, called humic substances (humic and fulvic acids), have beneficial effects on plant growth. Humic substances interact with metal ions, oxides and hydroxides, and more complex soil minerals (they form polynuclear complexes). The accumulation of humic substances is higher under undisturbed (anaerobic) soil conditions than tilled soil. Higher levels of humic substances increase the solubility of the most essential nutrients, carbon and nitrogen, as well as, other nutrients.

A team of scientists expound:

"Organic matter plays a key role in the behavior of micronutrients in soil. Substantial evidence has accumulated to indicate that complexing agents (e.g., defined biochemical compounds and humic substances) play a prominent role in the dissolution of micronutrients and their transport to plant roots."

Organic matter's role in soil fertility is particularly illustrated by a few facts. The correlation between organic matter, soil microorganisms and soil fertility is made clear by the decline in soil fertility following the removal of the surface, humus-rich soil layers. In fact, the temporary increase in soil fertility which attends chemical and physical treatments of the soil is partly due to the enhanced degradation of the life that was destroyed by its application. Not utilizing chemical treatments produces longer-lived greater fertility, as well as, the direct elimination of plant diseases (elimination of pathogens and the enhancement of their antagonists).

Organic matter is the key to all aspects of soil fertility including chemical, biological and physical properties. It is the main recipient of plant nutrients particularly carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, and exchangeable calcium and magnesium. An organically-farmed soil had higher levels of soil enzymes (urease, phosphatase and dehydrogenase) and microorganisms (microbial biomass). Polysaccharides, which serve as active binding agents in soil aggregate formation, bring greater stability in organically-farmed soils. The surface most fertile layer of the organically-farmed soil is thicker (by 3 cm. or 1.17 in.), and yet, seedlings could emerge more easily (lower modulus of rupture). The electrical and chemical qualities of the soil (cation exchange capacity) and physical properties were also enhanced.

The Vital Vastness continues with a review of many studies on the importance of organic soils and the effects of these soils on plant health, and the benefits to human health and the environment. Here is a portion of the discussion:

Soil and the factors that affect nutrient availability are essential to the health of all life on Earth. At the most fundamental level, the vitamin and mineral content of foods depends on the humus content of the soil. For example, organic fertilizer enhances vitamin content, while compost causes a striking increase. Composted crops contained higher levels of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, iron and usable protein; a 50% increase in some cases.

Sodium and nitrates were lower, and fiber is higher in organic foods, indicating disease preventive characteristics for humans and animals. High sodium is a factor in the development of hypertension and heart disease. Organically-grown foods are low in sodium, disclosing one of the possible benefits. Also higher fiber and vitamin C, and lower nitrates are disease-preventive, particularly with regard to cancer.

Organically grown foods have more nutrient availability, including vitamins, minerals, and protein (chelated minerals).

The practices of conventional agriculture have a profound effect, for one, by lowering trace minerals. Minor elements are often neglected when using chemical fertilizers. Deficiencies are often not immediately apparent in the crop itself, and because the main objective is profit, deficiencies are often overlooked.

Chemical fertilizers can also interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. For example, when ammonia or ammonium is added to the soil it displaces other positive ions, typically metals, by leaching them into waterways. Potassium in excess quantities is absorbed at the expense of magnesium, calcium and iron, which are lost. An excess of either nitrogen or potassium lowers the uptake of calcium, phosphate and iron. For example, nitrogen fertilizers have brought about copper deficiencies in cereals, and phosphate has caused zinc deficiencies.

Chemical fertilizers also decrease soil microorganisms, because most require organic matter and these chemicals are too simple to break down for energy requirements. Part of the increase in fertilization following chemical applications is the destruction of microorganisms, which then decompose releasing nitrogen. In addition, humus nutrients become unavailable, causing the loss of metal and non-metal ions.

Compounding the whole problem, each time a crop is harvested those trace elements that were available are shipped to market never to return to the soil. The entire situation makes subsequent harvests more and more deficient in trace elements. The impact is especially pronounced for those soils that have been farmed for one or two centuries.

Chemical fertilizers have profound effects on the plant and soil. Mycorrhizal fungi, which form a mutually beneficial relationship by aiding plant roots in nutrient uptake, are either substantially reduced or absent. An infertile field in Pakistan, which grew corn, wheat and barley when the fungi were added, had all the beneficial effects nullified by the addition of a chemical phosphorous fertilizer. Humus is rarely added and often washed away by rain or irrigation, thereby the consequent loss of nutrients and their availability ensues.

Most microorganisms require organic matter to provide energy, and thereby, soil life plunges to a bare minimum. Bacterial fertilizers, in contrast, can increase yields just as effectively or greater than the typical 68 kilograms (150 lbs.) per acre of commercial nitrogen that is applied. And, there is better nutrient content, storage life and flavor in produce with the use of organic fertilizers. When heavily fertilized with chemicals, corn has lower quality, including less usable (not chelated) and more difficult to digest protein. Due to the effects of chemical fertilizers, the average protein content of grain has consistently declined in the United States, and undoubtedly elsewhere.

The impact of chemical agriculture does not end with food either. Nitrogen and phosphate runoff causes algae to multiply in waterways. Being short-lived, the algae quickly perish and decay, thereby starving the water of oxygen, and the aquatic life that depends on it perishes. Normally dormant, pathogenic organisms become active and outbreaks of previously rare diseases can occur. Chemical nitrate fertilizers are so soluble that they seep into groundwater, and high amounts have resulted in hazardous effects, including infant deaths.

Some of the nitrogen fertilizer converts to nitrous oxide, which is destructive to the ozone layer and is, at least, partly responsible for the ozone holes. In addition, some of the nitrous oxide transforms into nitric acid and contributes to the acid-rain problem. Compounding the problem are multi-stomached cattle and sheep who reduce nitrate in feed grains to toxic nitrite, contributing to the detrimental effects of animal protein in cancers.

Baby foods show excessive levels of nitrite when improperly stored and children under four months are susceptible to its toxic effects. The part of the plant which did not convert to protein, due to chemical fertilizers, is the source of the nitrites. The full scope of the problems created can only be guessed at, because the first year of life is the greatest determinate of mental and physical health throughout life (other than the gestation period).

Again the facts show that in caring for life we care for ourselves, and that life stabilizes the physical environment. See the following section on pesticides for other effects.

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Pesticides increase our taxes, poison or kill animals, have human health effects, contaminate water, destroy wilderness, and more.

Approximately 2.5 billion tons of pesticides are used worldwide and cost $20 billion each year. About 500,000 tons of 600 different pesticides are used annually in the United States at a cost of $4.1 billion. Yet, the price tag is much greater.

For one, the raw materials that go into the manufacture of pesticides have to come from somewhere. There has to be extensive areas which are mined for the materials. This also requires heavy metal machinery, explosives, factories and fuel. When we contemplate this it is obvious that moutains of raw materials are needed each year, and along with them the wilderness that once graced the areas. This effect, compounded by the manufacture of chemical fertilizers, is obviously not a sustainable practice.

Some people think that pesticides are absolutely needed to control pests, but this is not so. For example, insecticide use between 1945 and 1989 increased ten fold in the United States, but crop losses from insect damage increased from 7% to 13%. The pesticides very often destroy natural predators, and thereby, loss of natural controls ensues. Pests often become resistant to pesticides, and without the natural control the results can be devastating. Approximately, 504 insect and mite species, 150 plant pathogens, and 273 weed species are now resistant to pesticides.

Some of us also think that there is no negative human health effects, except with large doses. Yet, a World Health Organization and United Nations Environmental Programme report estimates that one million human pesticide poisonings occur each year, with about 20,000 deaths resulting. Long-term exposure to pesticides has not been studied, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer found "sufficient" evidence that 18 pesticides are carcinogenic, and another 16 pesticides have "limited" carcinogenicity. Certain pesticides, such as organophosphates, have long term and irreversilbe effects. It is well documented that organophosphates cause delayed polyneuropathy, which includes irreversible neurological changes. Other effects include defects on memory, mood (even depression), and abstraction. And this is just one type of pesticide. These and other health problems are a public issue, because everyone is exposed to pesticides in food, water, and the atmosphere.

About 35% of the foods purchased by consumers in the US have detectable levels of pesticides. Moreover, 1% to 3% of the foods have levels above the legal tolerance level. Even worse, the methods used detect only about one third of the 600 pesticides used. The National Residue Program tests only 41 of the 600 pesticides.

Animal poisonings are another problem. About $30 million per year is spent for domestic animal poisonings reported to veterinarians alone. Often farm animals that are poisoned are not treated but left to either fend for themselves or die. The combined costs attributed to livestock poisonings, and contaminated meat, milk and eggs total is at least $29.6 million annually.

Pesticides also destroy animals in the wild. Millions of wild birds and fish are poisoned to death each year. Easily affecting soils, they kill arthropods, earthworms, bacteria, fungi and protozoa, all of which are important to the health and fertility of the soil and the crops that grow there.

Some pesticides eventually end up in groundwater and surface waters. The insecticide aldicarb and the herbicides alachlor and atrazine are the most common pesticides found in groundwater. Nearly one-half of the groundwater and well water in the US is estimated to be or have the potential of being contaminated. The total cost of cleaning and monitoring pesticide-polluted groundwater alone is about $1.8 billion.

Contaminants from pesticides and industrial chemicals have been detected in amniotic fluids surrounding the fetus. In a study conducted in California, one-third of the women tested has a metabolite of DDT (i.e., DDE), which has been banned in the US since 1972. It is known that this pesticide and its metabolite block the action of the male hormone, testosterone. Testosterone is important in central nervous system development and sex differentiation. There were also traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), an industrial chemical used in plastics, and the pesticide lindane. Nobody knows what these chemicals will do to the children who are yet to be born.

Moreover, we pay the high costs of the problems associated with pesticide use, even if we aren't the ones purchasing crops grown with pesticides. That is we pay for them in our taxes. Two scientists who are experts on pesticides describe this:

"Based on the available data, the environmental and social costs of pesticide use total approximately $8 billion each year. Users of pesticides in agriculture pay directly for only approximately $3 billion of this cost, which includes problems arising from pesticide resistance and destruction of natural enemies. Society eventually pays this $3 billion plus the remaining $5 billion in environmental and public health cost. If the full environmental and social costs could be measured as a whole, the total would be significantly greater than the estimate of $8 billion/yr."

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For more information on pesticide toxicity see the Pan Pesticide Database. This database has information on 5,400 active ingredients, breakdown products, and related chemicals. It is the largest and most comphrensive database on pesticides.

Also see the Pesticide Action Network of North America. Here you will find information on the pesticide effects on adults, children and pets. There is also information on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), alternative methods, integrated pest management, organic farming and more.


The Vital Vastness -- Volume One: Our Living Earth

Pimental, D., Acquay, H., Environmental and Economic Costs of Pesticide Use. Bioscience 42(10):750-761, 1992
Pimental, D. Lehman, H., The Pesticide Question. NY, Champman and Hall, 1994
Pesticide Exposure Begins Early. Science News 156 (17 July):47, 1999

See the Organic Consumers Association website where there are thousands of articles and reports on organic foods and the negative effects of chemical agriculture. For example, two of the most widespread amd growing health risks, diabetes and obesity, can be combatted by organic foods.

Nitrates, used in chemical agriculture, cause the release of greenhouse gases from streams, but not organic farming (

Likewise, nitrogen fertilizers are damaging sea life, which is already in trouble due to overfishing (

Organic no-till farming also combats climate change by preventing the loss of carbon into the atmosphere(Christian Science Monitor).

Unlike the chemical industry would want you to believe, organic, diversified systems are more productive (

According to a UN Environment Programme report, organic agriculture can not only feed the world, but it may be the only farming system that can feed developing nations (

The amount of non-fuel minerals consumed in 1997 alone in the United States is a staggering 4,195,400,000,000 pounds or about 1.91 billion metric tons.

Considering the U.S. population was about 248 million that means that 16,917 pounds (2,580 kilograms) where mined for every man, woman, and child in 1997 alone. If we face up to what this means, we will see a trend that cannot be continued. This obviously is removing "mountains" of minerals, along with the wildlife in the mined areas, each year. This says nothing of the fuel and factories with their pollution and destruction of wilderness. We must consider what our collective choice is doing, because much of what is taking place has to do with our consumerism.

The problem takes on a different shade when we look at how much garbage we throw out. The average American, for example, throws out 1,656 pounds (618 kilograms) of garbage each year. That's about 4.5 pounds (1.68 kilograms) each day. The raw materials that went into the manufacture of those goods had to come from somewhere.

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Ocean and water pollution has hit a critical level, and much of the pollution comes from sources that are not directly put into the water

The situtation had gotten to the point that 1998 was deemed the Year of the Ocean. Eighty pecent of marine environment pollution comes from land based sources, such as runoff pollution. Runoff pollution comes from large sources, such as farms and ranches, but also small sources, such as septic tanks, cars, trucks and boats, make a significant contribution. One-drop-at-time "oil spills" onto roads and parking lots from millions of motor vehicles make a daily and significant contribution to runoff pollution. Topsoil and silt from construction sites and farm fields can runoff into waterways, causing harm to wildlife habitats and aquatic organisms, such as fish.

What might be surprising is that air pollution contributes to water pollution by settling into the oceans and waterways. Human generated mercury emissions, for example, have tripled the mercury concentration in the air and in the surface of the ocean since 1900; the beginning of the so-called industrial revolution. Of the total mercury content of the Great Lakes, 83% comes from air polltuion, and 50% of the Chesapeake Bay also comes form air pollution. As will be shown in the excerpt below, mercury comes from commonly used products. Human activity has also doubled the rate of nitrogen in the atmosphere since 1940, and readily ends up in waterways, such as estuaries. One would think that water-borne sources, such as industry dumping and sewage treatment plants, would be the main contributor of nitrogen pollution, but they make up only 25% of the Chesapeake Bay sources. About half comes from farms, lawns, city streets, golf cources, and the like. Another 25% comes from air pollution from power plants, cars, trucks, boats, and so forth. The list goes on.

The Vital Vastness presents some of the facts uncovered in various studies. Here is a short excerpt from Volume One, Tome Two:

The amounts of heavy metals that have been mined and ultimately wasted in the biosphere up to 1979 is astounding. In millions of tons they are: 0.5 cadmium; 20 nickel; 240 lead; 250 zinc; and 310 copper. And this discharge increases in tons each year by at least: 7,300 cadmium; 400,000 lead; 56,000 copper; 214,000 zinc; and so forth. Industrial pollution dumped into waterways also includes lead, cadmium, zinc, nickel, copper, mercury and other potentially hazardous metals (Cr, As, Co, etc.).

Baltic Sea sediments illustrate how coal fly ash alone has increased heavy metals. Cadmium is seven, lead is four and copper is two times greater than a century ago. Comparable levels are discernible on the United States coastal plain.

Mining releases many times the stream load or atmospheric rain-out of lead, copper, nickel, chromium, cadmium, zinc, silver and antimony, all of which are toxic in low concentrations. Various historical records exist that show metal pollution from mining has been toxic to plants, animals and humans. Mining destroys wildlife and results in major instabilities that threaten those who perpetrated the problem, we humans.

Sewage of industrial cities often pose a disposal problem because of toxic levels of the heavy metals: zinc, copper, nickel, cadmium and lead. The most important sources are air pollution, sewage, agricultural chemicals and industrial waste, which end up contaminating plants and soils, thereby entering our foods. Making things worse, hazardous waste has been used as fertilizer. In addition, sewage and other pollutants enter the oceans and shellfish accumulate heavy metals. For example, cadmium is 30,000 and lead 9,000 times greater in shellfish than in the surrounding waters. The resultant changes in natural biological cycles and mobilization of toxic elements by advanced industrialization are increasingly detrimental to all life on Earth.

Mercury, a heavy metal, serves as an example of this toxicity. This element is so toxic that a spill from a thermometer, those tiny drops, can seriously contaminate an entire room. Mining and mercury utilization have increased the mercury content of rivers by about four-fold or more. The "Interference Index" -- an indication of how much humans have disturbed an element's natural levels -- for mercury is the highest of those metals examined, being placed at 1,000% or ten times its natural level. The Greenland ice sheet displays a three-fold increase of mercury in the period between 1952 and 1965 when compared to 1951 and prior; it is undoubtedly worse now. High concentrations have been detected in shellfish particularly, and other fish (with tuna and swordfish as the main species involved). Soil concentrations have also increased making its presence in all foods. This does not include pesticides, paint, some batteries, fungicides, fabric softeners, air conditioning filters, furniture polish, barometers, antiseptics, thermometers, floor wax and anti-mildew agents, all of which contain mercury as an active ingredient.

Metals pose one of the greatest threats to human welfare in very subtle ways. Toxic or even sub- toxic levels could be responsible for numerous mental or physical illnesses for which we are unaware of heavy metals as causative agents. Some are known to cause illnesses, such as lead causing learning disabilities or mental insufficiency (neuropsychological deficit), even at low doses. Hair analysis of black female hypertensive patients revealed that an excess of cadmium, lead and zinc had been absorbed. One researcher comments on the history of known problems: "However, because of man's activities, local concentrations of some of these elements have been multiplied many times, particularly in water. Illness and even death have resulted." We need to consider the future possibilities we are creating because, "The fingerprints of man's technology are readily seen in the enhanced metal contents of his air and water." Our soils and food, undoubtedly, intimately interact with both the air and water.

It is obvious that these metals in the air, water and food are being absorbed by we humans. This is evident in municipal sewage, which has been considered for use as an organic fertilizer, but its use poses a hazard and so it has not been utilized. The reason is that there are heavy metal accumulations in those soils treated with sewage. High levels of cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc have been detected. This is obvious testimony that heavy metals, with their attendant mental and physical effects, are entering our bodies.

For more information on ocean pollution see this EPA site, The Year of the Ocean Website, ocean pollution link , and NOAA ocean pollution facts.

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All of life on Earth orients itself to the Earth's magnetic field, similar to the way in which cells in an organism align in relation to the central nervous system, and is affected by and effects the magnetic field.

Here are some excerpts from The Vital Vastness -- Volume One: Our Living Earth on the subject:

The Earth's magnetic field and life exhibit such unity that a fairly new science has surfaced called geomagnetobiology. In fact, so interrelated are they that it could be just as effectively be termed biogeomagnetology. After all, the fossil record reveals a common time of origin for life and the full strength of the Earth's magnetic field. This correlation is the result of a mutually reinforcing relationship where the magnetic field helps regulate life processes and life contributes electromagnetic energy to geomagnetic field intensity.

Any living thing can distinguish the intensity of the geomagnetic field, and sense the direction of those magnetic lines of force which pass through its body. Many methods have been employed in order to comprehend this sensitivity. Biochemical ions moving across cell membranes, bioelectricity, crystals in biological materials (pyroelectricity and piezoelectricity), and superconductivity, all of which are interrelated, have been deemed responsible for the sensitivity.

After reviewing the various possibilities of what causes this sensitivity to the Earth's magnetic field, The Vital Vastness continues:

Every living thing responds to changes in the Earth's magnetic field and electrical environment, regardless of whether it is daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual or any other fluctuations (i.e., solar and lunar cycles, etc.). Interaction at this level is a well established and a generally recognized fact. A geomagnetobiologist expounds:

"Confirmation of the non-accidental nature of these phenomena is provided by the scale of their occurrence (from global, where they are reported at geographic points separated from one another by thousands of kilometers, to distances of a few centimeters on the same plant). All these phenomena are affected by a sole factor and there is a common reason for their periodicity, rhythmicity and cyclicity."

For example, one experiment measured the air, the Earth and two trees about 25 kilometers (40 miles) apart for electrical variations. All were noted to vary at approximately the same time. Connections between what is normally called the "non-living" world and life are clearly unmistakable.

The relationship is not as we typically perceive it, as only the geomagnetic field's influence on life. It is a mutually influential interrelationship, and life often creates the changes. A scientist declares: "Organisms themselves contribute to their environment's electric and magnetic concomitants of their own physiological processes.". In fact, living things might be considered a sheet of magnets (dipoles) bathed in controlled external energy fields. Together they channel electric and magnetic energy at the atomic, subatomic and quantum levels. The microscopic electric fields and potentials of living things (heterogeneous media) can be taken as the macroscopic electric field and potential of the Earth. While this is known by the scientific community, it is virtually ignored both in science and by society in general.

Interconnections extend far beyond the Earth, including as far as the Sun. The Sun's Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) extends from the Sun to beyond the planets and couples with Earth's magnetic field. A 26.875-day cycle exists in the variation of the IMF polarity that shifts from away from the Sun (positive) to toward the Sun (negative). The period is reflected in variations in the intensity of the Earth's magnetic field (vertical component). Biological processes also display this same period. Solar cycle variations, such as the 11-year solar cycle and solar flares, cause strong storms in the Earth's magnetic field and are manifest in cycles in the biological world, as well. Demonstrating the real impact of life is the fact that the earthly cycles peak before the solar cycles (this will be discussed further in Tome Five, Volume Two).

See the Unity of the Sun, Earth and Moon for some information on solar cycles, and see Cycles in Natural Phenomena for more on cycles in general.

After discussing the numerous studies involving plants and animals that demonstrate this sensitivity to the geomagnetic field, the discussion continues.

The electrical contributions of plants depend on root excretions (exudates), the type of soil, which ideally should be organic (humic substances, soil organisms, etc.), and whether animals are present (bile acids and urea). Meanwhile, humans typically destroy plants, use chemical methods when plants are grown, and prevent animals from being free to roam. Herbicides change a soil's conductivity, usually lowering it, as well. Light enhances electrical activity (ion transport) in plants, while pollution and dust inhibit it. High-voltage electric fields, such as power lines, damage and kill plants.

Life contributes to the intensity and stability of the Earth's electrical environment and magnetic field. As a scientist states: "Organisms themselves contribute to their environment's electric and magnetic concomitants of their own physiological processes.". Living things also produce electricity, semiconductors, conductors and superconductors, and change optically inactive material to an optically active medium (i.e., a chirowaveguide).

In plants, both respiration and photosynthesis obtain their primary energy source by mobile electrons. These electrons flow in a stream through conductors, such as proteins, and can be measured as a current. The rate of transfer depends mostly on its coupling with the environment and occurs at temperatures too low for ordinary chemical reactions.

In animals, cell components (mitochondria) and other bioelectric reactions produce electron transfer. Cell function is controlled by electromagnetic fields that regulate electrical windows. Biological superconductivity takes place at physiological temperatures, unlike the electronic superconductors, which require extremely low temperatures.

Electrical and magnetic activity involving living things is widespread and profound. Flying birds pick up charges from the atmosphere, their 'V' formation transfers electrical charges, and when they land they ground the electricity. Plants, particularly tall and deep-rooted trees, and migrating animals also ground electricity. Organic carbon, present in all living things, and organic soils are electron donors for microorganisms that reduce sulphate, and corrode iron and other metals. The corrosion of metal produces a magnetic field. According to quantum mechanical theory, microscopic electric and magnetic fields contribute to the larger macroscopic fields, such as those of the Earth. Living things can be considered part of the physical properties of the Earth, including the electrical environment and geomagnetic field.

With a stronger electrical environment and magnetic field of the Earth, there would be an increase in the near 100% quantum efficiency of photosynthetic electron transport. Life contributes electromagnetic (bioelectric and quantum electrodynamic) forces to the Earth's electric environment and magnetic field, which are strengthened and stabilized, and in turn, enhance life's abundance and health. An abundance of life contributes more to the Earth, and so on, until a dynamic balance is achieved, producing a world we have never experienced that is superior to anything heretofore.

We humans will benefit in a number of ways, one of which is an increase in intelligence and enhanced central nervous system functioning. Nerve regeneration, repair and reestablished nerve connections is one possibility from an enhanced and balanced electrical and magnetic environment. The stimulation of "internal pain-killers" (endorphins) under these conditions would not only increase feelings of well-being, but enhance the functioning of higher brain-structures (limbic system), and relieve stress and anxiety. A hormone and neurotransmitter (norepinephrine) that exhilarates one's mood and physiology is also increased.

Fossil evidence discloses that human brain size increased along with an increase in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field. This increased strength occurred during the ice ages when grounded ice caps increased the Earth's electrical currents, enhancing the magnetic field, and in turn, increased human intelligence. There are even interactions between the Earth's electrical environment and brain-waves (EEG), nerve conduction and cellular activity. Furthermore, all of these benefits are also available for all mammals and other animals. Enhanced intelligence and brain function also means the capabilities of mind over matter are more readily available, and have been known to increase with strong, undisturbed geomagnetic field conditions.

Aside from the increased mental capacity to alter physiology there are also direct effects. Electric and magnetic forces play a role in the formation of tissues and organs (morphogenesis) by communicating with cells and altering their genetic expression. This can allow for regenerative growth, such as growing back damaged organs, nerves, bone and muscle, and even lost limbs. There is every indication of increased immunity, and combating diseases that already exist, such as cancer. Growth and a number of physiological processes are enhanced by the Earth's magnetic field and electrical environment. This enhancement of growth, physiological functioning and disease resistance is not limited to humans.

These mental and physical effects have been confirmed. Mentally related problems such as pain, nerve blockage, partial deafness, mental depression, memory relapse and schizophrenia have improved with the application of one understanding. Likewise, physical disorders, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic bronchitis, earache, infections and others also improve with the same knowledge. All of this enhanced rejuvenation was accomplished simply by orienting patients during sleep to the north-south component of the Earth's magnetic field. How much more would mental and physical functioning be enhanced with a complete and plentiful life system on Earth enhancing the magnetic field?

Again, throughout this section we have seen the unity of life and the physical world. Here we see the mechanism behind the events that occur in cycles of human history and evolution (these will be discussed). Simultaneous increases in the numbers of animals or insects, which yielded the recurrence and spread of epidemics and plagues, occur throughout history. Mass migrations, swarms of insects out of season, climate changes, war and civil unrest, natural disasters (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc.), and solar and geomagnetic activity are correlated in cycles. All of these phenomena are known to fluctuate together. Furthermore, each of these events can be triggered by the Earth's magnetic field and electrical environment fluctuating (this will be discussed in the following sections, and Tome Five of The Vital Vastness -- Volume Two and Tome Six of In Defense Of Nature -- The History Nobody Told You About). All in all, we are at the controls in such a way that we could make our existence more peaceful, prosperous and plentiful simply by nurturing life, and not destroying it.

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