Bad agriculture is killing our soil
Use of fertilizer has radically changed our soil, according to a study of the American prairie conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado. Soil fertility could disappear because fertilizers are damaging a range of microbes that play a little-studied but vital role, according to a study published in Science magazine (Nov. 1, 2013).
The study showed that uncultivated soils contain bacteria that restore nutrients to the soil. These bacteria are not present where fertilizers have been used, which means that fertilized soils have no way of replacing lost nutrients except with more fertilizer. The trouble is, “[W]e can’t just keep adding fertilizers,” said prof. Noah Fierer, who headed up the study.
“In the past, great civilizations have fallen because they failed to prevent the degradation of the soils on which they were founded,” says Mary Scholes, of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and Robert Scholes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, also in South Africa, who wrote the Science article. “The modern world could suffer the same fate at a global scale.”
Citing Fierer’s study, the two authors warn, “We have forgotten the lesson of the Dust Bowl: Even in advanced economies, human well-being depends on looking after the soil.” Scholes and Scholes conclude that “feeding the world and keeping it habitable” will require major changes in farming practices.
Robert Scholes warns, “We are using up our nutrient capital and face a looming food crisis over the next 30 to 40 years. … Famine is a very real possibility.”
One of the laws in the Old Testament is the “land sabbath.” God commanded that every seven years, farmers must allow their land to rest—do no pruning or planting, and no harvesting except for personal consumption (Leviticus 25:2-7, 18-22). This law seems obsolete, and modern agriculture has kept production levels high with fertilizers—so far. Yet scientists are learning about the damage modern practices have caused. Most still will not admit that Leviticus 25 is better science than anything that modern soil scientists, the usda or Monsanto’s laboratories have concocted.
America terrorized by ‘knockout game’
A string of unprovoked attacks has left several people on the pavement—battered, bruised, unconscious, even dead. While some believe the assaults—which perpetrators call the “knockout game”—are being sensationalized by the media, the threat of being jumped by a hoodlum with no motive or provocation is inciting fear in U.S. cities.
In the “game,” a person—usually a young black individual—suddenly punches a stranger with the goal of knocking him or her out cold with one punch. The attackers generally do not rob the victims afterward. They simply punch “for the fun of it,” as one teen said, and dash off.
The media began reporting on these crimes in October when there appeared to be a sudden uptick in attacks. In New York, seven “knockout” attacks were reported this past fall, many of them targeting Jews. Attacks have also been reported in San Diego, St. Louis and Chicago. Fox News reported in late November that these assaults have killed seven people.
Nearly 2,500 years ago, God prophesied that, in these latter times, children would oppress society (Isaiah 3:12). Bible prophecy also foretold another aspect of society that is evident today: a deterioration in race relations. Why this violence, fear and racial tension? The Bible makes the cause clear: our sins. America is being cursed because we have forgotten God, and these curses will get worse before they get better.
Why are teenage girls eating cotton balls?
A new generation of girls and young women are swallowing cotton balls to lose weight. The “cotton ball diet” isn’t new, but its popularity dried up in the 1980s. Now, YouTube and other clips are popping up of 9-to-16-year-old girls demonstrating the method, which normally involves dipping up to five cotton balls into juice or a smoothie, then swallowing them whole—or even downing the cotton balls dry. The cotton takes up space in the stomach, causing adherents to feel full without ingesting calories.
The practice is obviously dangerous. Most cotton balls are made not of cotton but bleached polyester fiber full of chemicals. The practice can lead to malnutrition and possibly choking or blockages in the intestinal tract.
Dangerous weight-loss fads often come into vogue; others in recent years include the “air diet,” the “cigarette diet,” ear stapling, and even the “tapeworm diet.” These trends reveal a society obsessed with superficial beauty. Women and even girls face intense societal pressure to be thin, even at high cost to their health. The National Eating Disorder Association says that up to 60 percent of American girls ages 6 to 12 harbor anxiety over their body shape or size. Around 20 million women will suffer from some kind of “clinically significant” eating disorder at some point in their life.
The Holy Bible provides a different perspective that millions of women and girls desperately need: “Beauty is vain” (Proverbs 31:30). The loving Creator does not want us to chase after vain beauty, but instead have abundant, healthy lives (John 10:10; 3 John 2). God’s laws and guidelines show how to obtain this higher quality of life.