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Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture course highlights dramatic soil degradation
by Global Good News staff writer
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1 September 2012
A course offered recently on Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture Institute so thoroughly covered the topic of agriculture that it delved deeply into billions of years of history in order to fully explain soil formation and the state of soil today.
The course is titled 'Maharishi Vedic Science in Agriculture and Environment: Key to Personal Enlightenment, Global Affluence, and Sustainability', and the first lessons focus squarely on the development of agriculture and the environment, as well as the historic and current state of soil on earth.
The course's creator, Dr Peter Swan, who has taught it around the world, explained that when studying the environment, he believes it is good to have the background of where that environment came from. This is the reason for the topic of Lesson One.
To that end, the course gives an overview even of the formation of the universe, before focusing more intently on the formation of the earth about 4.6 billion years ago. Around 3.4 billion years ago the first cell, the first life on earth, appears. Towards the end of the timeline, the first fungi and plants finally emerge.
Continuing on the timeline, Dr Swan points out the first multicellular organisms, then hard-shelled animals, dinosaurs, and land plants. Finally, with the development of land plants around 450 million years ago, we see the formation of soil.
In those 450 million years, soil and vegetation gradually began to cover the earth, with a steep increase in soil coverage over the last 100 million years. However, in just the last fraction of the soil timeline, the amount of soil has decreased dramatically.
Dr Swan explained:
'Ninety-four per cent of agricultural soils have been degenerated in the last 8,000 years. . . . 50% of woodlands have been destroyed, and the majority of that since 1960—so this is a huge change in the environment that man has brought about.'
He continued, raising the possibility of linking soil degradation with climate changes: 'It is hardly possible that such an enormous change in the world's environment could take place without a change in the climate as well.'
But he was quick to point out that there are methods and technologies, including the use of Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture, to combat this major environmental change.
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