A Good Read

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903454504576486421307171028.html?mod=WSJ_article_MoreIn_Life%26Culture#articleTabs%3Darticle
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Derald wrote:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903454504576486421307171028.html?mod=WSJ_article_MoreIn_Life%26Culture#articleTabs%3Darticle Interesting stuff, I might have to get the book.
I think he makes the point well that transport of plants to grow in new areas can be a great blessing and a curse. These unplanned experiments in tweaking ecologies are still in progress in some cases and their consequences are hard to predict. We cannot ever put that genie back in the bottle.
On the unintended transport of living things in sailing ship ballast there is an interesting local story. The port of Newcastle (on Hunter not Tyne) has been exporting coal for well over a century. On one bank of the river there are retaining walls built of ballast. Nearby are a number of rare (in Australia) trees that came from South America in that ballast, the locals are quite proud of these exotics, they appear on tourist maps etc. As for how many invasive weeds and bugs came here the same way they are not saying.
This leads me to a line of speculation. Assuming it is 1820, you are the Governor of the Colony, your word is law and you are blessed with extraordinary prescience. You realise that not all the new plants being brought in are going to be beneficial in the long run. You also realise that banning all plant imports will be extremely difficult or impossible and that it may not be a good idea even if was possible. What would you do?
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

someone please post the title/author. i keep going offline before getting to this post and then forget later to look up the article. :)

if you catch it early enough you can prevent accidentally imported species from spreading. you do need a very good monitoring program and a bunch of people who are willing to do the work.

i don't think anyone can really know for sure. here in the Great Lakes region of the USoA there are plenty of similar cases. some of the imports are benign, but a few are very damaging (zebra mussels being the primary example). oftentimes it forces the importing of predator species and sometimes the testing for what those predators prey upon apart from the target species doesn't get noticed as detrimental to other natives. so it can cascade...
right now the Asian Carp is a worrisome creature that is on the verge of the Great Lakes.

make it illegal to bring plants in without studies, quarantines, inspections and have standby eradication plans and people who keep an eye out for strange plants. yes it is difficult, but better than letting something like Kudzu or purple loosestrife through.
i think the toughest thing is the actual garden plants like legumes (beans, peas, clovers, alfalfa, etc). which can change the water quality and increase nitrogen loads in the streams and runoff making the surrounding reefs of an island more likely to have algae problems... would you ban these to prevent that type of damage or institute gardening practices and runoff water treatments to soak up the extra nitrogen? me, being an avid water projects tinkerer i'd like to build in seeps that catch and process the runoff so it doesn't contain nitrogen that would feed the algaes. in the USoA we could do a lot more of this to reduce the dead zone in the Gulf, but as of yet there isn't the will to implement this sort of thing on the larger scale. only the little people who care seem to be doing much of it directly. bigger projects are sorely needed all along the rivers. they could be incorporated into flood water overflow type projects which are also sorely needed.
songbird
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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

http://honest-food.net /
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Mr Mann seems to have 1492 surrounded. He also wrote "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann
<(Amazon.com product link shortened) 32059/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid96839060&sr=1-1>
Also a very good read, and the main source of my information on bio-char.
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- Billy
Both the House and Senate budget plan would cut Social Security and Medicare,
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That would certainly explain your general lack of understanding of bio- char and shed light on your use of pseudo science. You do know C. Mann does not mention bio-char anywhere in his book.
Manns comments on Terra Preta de Indio were from promising preliminary findings that are to date still to be proved. Even you and your other bill's oft quoted Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, of the infamous I- SIS says Terra Preta de Indio is not bio-char.... nor charcoal As for more credible sources you will have to sort Hype from fact hopefully better than you did with Mann. If you recall that "anemic little" blog you and the bird tried to diminish to bolster your organo positions: http://www.re-char.com/2011/07/19/setting-the-record-straight-on-biochar-again / in which Jason pretty much summed up the situation to date: We believe that biochar represents a growing industry with gigaton-scale potential. By maintaining a strict code of ethics, and abiding by scientific principles, we can sustainably grow the industry and all benefit. We urge other members of the biochar community to follow-suit and promote transparency.
The state of the Bio-Char Initiative is pretty much following the Organic movement track; loosely defined hype redefined as facts perpetuated by zealots and encouraged by Nuevo-Awareness Entrepreneurs to buy into their product ideas ( act now and we will send you two for the price of one S&H not included, void where prohibited by law) .
To date, Terra Preta de Indio has not proven very effective outside of the tropical soils where it was discovered in the late 1800s. Sadly, neither Terra Preta de Indio nor Bio-char are the remedial panacea for either soil or air, yet they still hold promise, just far from the Eco Holy Grail.
Again if you want to know the subject better than what is not in the book, do join one of the local Bio-Char organizations around the country, there are many Google groups for ya billy.
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Bill who putters wrote:

oh cool! i enjoyed 1491 by him.
songbird
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I remember when the zebra mussels was clogging the coolant intakes to nuclear power plants along the great lakes and some had difficulty in cooling the system. That was interesting to hear on the news.
I remember going to a lecture on invasive plants. The lecturer felt that the greatest problem was weed seeds found in animal feed bags. These came in hundred plus pound bales and even if the bag stated 99.9% pure that still meant thousands of weed seeds can still get into another's environment. Also stated that if the new plant was beneficial, it was not considered invasive.
Their was an episode on NOVA about an plant effecting the Mediterranean. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/algae/chronology.html
One could stop trade between nations completely. But to go without coffee? Another invasive seed :)
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Nad

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