Losing Ground: The extinction of Soil

Montag, Daro (2014) Losing Ground: The extinction of Soil. In: Facing Extinction: Gustav Metzger, 7-8.6.2014, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Most people don’t think about soil. Even those that do – gardeners, landscapers, farmers – do not necessarily think of it as a living entity that is endangered.

Whilst the vast numbers of micro-creatures that inhabit soil are mindboggling – more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil that there are people on the planet – the vast majority of them remain unclassified by science. Can it matter if some of these go extinct before they are even classified and documented? Surely the loss of a few million of these should not be a matter for concern given the major extinctions of mega-fauna?

And yet this is to paint a misleading picture. Soil is not just a composite of billions of bacteria and other microbes that happen to inhabit the top few inches. Indeed soil is better understood as a living entity that is working in harmony for the good of all species. Without a healthy topsoil, food becomes scares for all other terrestrial beings.

The loss of healthy topsoil – and it has been estimated that a quarter of it has already gone – is not simply a tragedy for all of the beings who make it their home; it is also a disaster for all of the other species that depend on it – and that includes us.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Arts > Fine Art
Courses by Department: The Institute of Photography > Marine & Natural History
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Daro Montag
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 15:54
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 14:07
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2253

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