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Civilizations That Depend on Annual Agriculture Collapse

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A society that builds its foundations on annual agriculture cannot survive, according to Mark Shepard, CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and founder of New Forest Farm, a 106-acre perennial “agricultural savanna.” In the video above, Shepard speaks to organic farmers not only about his farm but also why annual agriculture is doomed from the start.

In short, annuals — which include the grain crops and soy that make up most U.S. farmland — are chemical intensive and enemies of diversity. Eventually, Shepard says, the destruction caused by this type of shortsighted farming, i.e., annual monocropping, will cause the civilization that depends on it to collapse.

What’s needed, instead, are perennial ecosystems that “redesign agriculture in nature’s image.” In other words, as stated by Forest Agriculture Nursery’s restoration philosophy:1

“Annual monocropping produces nearly all of the grain, meat, vegetables and processed foods consumed today. These practices require giant machinery, tilling and the application of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, resulting in the eradication of biodiversity, the erosion of topsoil, and contributes 30 percent of global carbon emissions — more than from any other source.

Despite the massive human efforts applied to farming, we are woefully short of the inherent resilience, stability, and outright beauty of natural ecosystems. We need look no further than native ecosystems for a template of how to move forward from the many woes of annual monocropping.”

What’s the Cost of Corn and Other Annual Crops?

There’s now so much corn grown in the U.S. that the Corn Belt (typically said to include corn grown across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and parts of Nebraska and Kansas) can be seen from space, courtesy of satellite chlorophyll-sensors.2 Rather than corn being grown as a food source for humans, the two major consumers of corn are industrial in nature: concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and ethanol.

The first part of the devastation comes in making room for the vast swatches of monocrops, as valuable prairies are often turned under as a result. Since the early 1800s, grasslands in North America have decreased by 79 percent — and in some areas by 99.9 percent.3

Carbon erosion from the land and into the water and air is one result of this turn toward industrial agriculture and annual monocrops. The removal of forests that not only can sustain, but also regenerate our soils and solidify this fragile carbon balance is a major part of the problem, but so, too, is industrial agriculture, including the removal of grasslands to plant more corn.

Previous estimates suggest that one-third of the surplus carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stems from poor land-management processes that contribute to the loss of carbon, as carbon dioxide, from farmlands.4

A 2017 study revealed “hotspots of soil carbon loss, often associated with major cropping regions and degraded grazing lands” in the U.S. and suggested that such regions should be “targets for soil carbon restoration efforts.”5 Specifically, while deforestation is said to have resulted in 127 billion tons of carbon lost from the soil, the study found industrial agriculture has led to losses of 121 billion tons.

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Annuals Are Dependent on Chemicals, Machinery and Tilling

While contributing to the loss of carbon from the soil, monocrops also add a number of harmful elements to the environment, namely pesticides, fertilizers and harmful farming practices like tilling. These are things that must be added yearly in order for the system to survive, and therein lies the problem.

Agricultural chemicals are polluting waterways, leading to toxic algae and red tide, while tilling can destroy the integrity of the soil structure while encouraging runoff. It’s a system based on degradation, rather than restoration. In an interview with Ethical Foods, Shepard explained:6

“Modern agriculture exists today because the native, natural ecosystem has been intentionally destroyed, and the existing perennial vegetative cover wiped out by tillage or herbicides. Most of agriculture today also relies on large fields of a single species of plant like corn, beans or rice.

These monocropped annual plant systems are the most at-risk for catastrophic outbreaks of pests and diseases because there are no natural controls. The ecosystem is gone, and we are left with an ecological wasteland that continues to degrade over time.

Soil fertility declines catastrophically and plant fertility has to be imported from elsewhere. Annual agriculture, whenever it has been used to provide the staple diet of any culture, has always led to ecosystem collapse and eventually societal collapse.”

Annual monocrops destroy the soil and the surrounding ecosystems, whereas regenerative agriculture rebuilds it, increasing soil organic matter and leading to a number of beneficial outcomes. For instance, soil organic matter is 50 percent carbon, so by rebuilding soil you’re putting carbon into the ground.

The importance of carbon sequestration simply cannot be overstated. Not only will it reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) load in the atmosphere, but once sequestered in the soil, the carbon actively nourishes soil health and improves water retention. What’s more, restorative agriculture systems like the one Shepard designed are self-sustaining.

“In a restoration agriculture system, annual tillage eventually ceases,” Shepard told Ethical Foods.7 “You plant the system once and it’s there for 1,000 years. I’ve personally touched hazelnut bushes in Spain that were 1,400 years old and I’ve visited the chestnut tree in Sicily that is 4,000 years old. Their perennialism has paid back their cost of establishment many thousands of times over.”

Monocrops Contribute to the Eradication of Biodiversity

The very definition of monoculture is a system of agriculture with very little diversity. It defines the wide swatches of corn and soy being grown across the U.S. and worldwide. A whopping 35 percent of cereal and soy harvested globally is actually fed to animals being raised on CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).8

Because of the vast amounts of annual crops being grown for CAFO animal feed, conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) found that 60 percent of global biodiversity loss is due to meat-based diets straining resources.9 As further revealed by Stop the Machine, a global campaign aimed at relegating CAFOs to museums,10 even wildlife are affected.

For instance, there are only 15,000 jaguars left in the wild. Half of them live in Brazil, where grasslands and rainforests are increasingly being converted into soy plantations. Most of the soy is being grown to feed CAFO animals. “Agricultural intensification,” including pesticide usage, year-round tillage and increased use of fertilizers, has also been named as a plausible cause for why insect populations are declining.11

“Annual monoculture farming erodes the soil and depletes its natural fertility, all while destroying wildlife habitat, wild pollinators, birds and beneficial insects,” Shepard continued to Ethical Foods.12Monarch butterflies are but one example, numbers of which have decreased by 90 percent since 1996.13

As usage of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) has skyrocketed, milkweed, which is the only plant on which the adult monarch will lay its eggs, has plummeted. In 2013, it was estimated that just 1 percent of the common milkweed present in 1999 remained in corn and soybean fields and, tragically, while milkweed is not harmed by many herbicides, it is easily killed by glyphosate.14

Why Perennial Ecosystems Are Better

Shepard’s farm is centered on perennial foods like fruits grown on trees, nuts (hazelnuts, chestnuts and walnuts) and berries. Not exactly a “farm” but rather a perennial agricultural ecosystem, the design combines brushland, woodlands and oak savannah, a type of grassland that also includes oak trees, to create the type of environment that might naturally occur.

“Overall, the land attempts to mimic the oak savanna biome. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food, fuel, medicines and beauty,” according to New Forest Farm’s website.15

Shepard describes it as a three-dimensional system that includes “a tree canopy layer, a smaller tree subdominant tree layer, shrubs, vines, canes, shade tolerant plants, ephemeral plants, fungi forage and livestock”16 all of which work together to naturally increase biodiversity and soil fertility. Grazing animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys and chickens, are also part of the system, helping with grass, pest and brush control.

“Whether you call it Permaculture, Agroforestry, Eco-Agriculture, Agroecology, or Restoration Agriculture … ,” Shepard’s Forest Agriculture Nursery explained, “By intentionally designing and planting perennial ecosystems, we remove carbon dioxide from the air, provide habitat for wildlife, produce food, prevent soil erosion, and begin the creation of ecologically sustainable human habitats.”17

Allen Williams, Ph.D., a sixth-generation farmer and chief ranching officer for Joyce Farms, a well-known “grass fed guru,” also uses regenerative farming with great success. Williams’ Joyce Farms describes some of its noted benefits and principles as such:18

Build Soil Health — By farming without harsh chemicals and tilling, regenerative agriculture allows microbes in the soil to thrive. These microbes are essential for preventing runoff and nourishing plant growth. “Soil doesn’t work without microbes,” they say, as soil should be alive, not dead. “Dead soil cannot hold carbon, so it is released into the atmosphere as CO2.”

Diverse Cover Crops and Plant Life — Planting a diverse variety of plants increases microbial populations and organic matter in the soil, while also covering and protecting the earth. “By introducing a diverse variety of plants to the soil, the microbial population in the soil becomes stronger. With soil life, ecosystems thrive,” they say.

No Till — Tilling destroys soil structure and reduces soil organic matter while increasing weeds and the release of CO2.

No Chemical Inputs — The use of chemicals like fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides kill off beneficial species, like pollinators, and pollute waterways with chemical runoff. It’s also a relatively recent practice that traditionally was not part of farming.

“For hundreds of years chemicals were not needed or used in farming because, sensibly, chemical inputs aren’t needed when you are working with (not against) the systems Mother Nature already has in place,” Joyce Farms explains.

Livestock Integration — Rather than housing livestock separately from other animals and crops, livestock is integrated into a symbiotic, complementary system that mimics the way nature works.

“The way we do this at Joyce Farms is by mimicking the dense herds of grazing ruminants that used to roam across America, grazing and trampling plants into the soil. This trampling provides an armor of plant life for the soil and feeds the soil microbes.”

Support Local Perennial Crop Farmers

Shephard recommends that those living in urban or suburban environments get involved by trying to imitate nature in their backyard, and if that’s not possible supporting local perennial crop farmers and buying more perennial foods like nuts, berries and tree fruits.19

Similar to my own dietary advice, Shepard also recommends avoiding annual grains in favor of grass fed meats, eggs and dairy, along with vegetables. By centering your diet around these foods, you get a diet of nutrient-dense foods to fuel your body while supporting the sustainable regenerative agriculture practices that create them.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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