Living Soil
Soil Pioneers
Trace Elements
Sea Minerals
Rock Powders
Micro-organisms
Terra Preta
Biochar
Trace Elements
Missing Links
Fire in the Water
Molybdenum
Cobalt
Earthworms
are the intestine
of the soil.
    —Aristotle
Remineralize
the future of food

Seer Centre report
rock powder
soil amendments
Universal Law
what goes around,
comes around

Molybdenum
Missing Element
in Climate Change Equations

by David Yarrow , September 2005

IN THE WAKE OF THE KATRINA CATASTROPHE that laid low Louisiana’s levees to utterly empty the streets of New Orleans and all that jazz, Americans must rethink George “the burning" Bush’s claim that global warming is unproven science, and that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is too costly for America’s economy. The sudden surge in prices for fuel oil, gasoline and natural gas gives lie to this U.S. government mindset. Total loss of America’s third largest port—the one crucial to ship grain, soybeans and oil—requires reassessing climate change consequences. The $200 billion price tag to rebuild Gulf communities in three states from a single superstorm casts long, dark shadows across our future to highlight continued federal inaction and denial of the number one threat to global security.

Early this summer, I broke my commitment to preserve our dwindling forests by buying a newspaper. Page one of USA Today headlined: Global Warming not a Theory. In 1975, I first read about the rising level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, and I took serious the likely consequences of this steadily climbing curve. By February 1990, I saw enough data to convince me climate change is the overwhelming onrushing reality of the 21st century. So, 30 years later, I had to read what America’s daily paper said about our imminent climate change challenge.

Katrina Takes Aim
on America's #1 grain port
I was impressed—but disappointed. Each paragraph quoted a scientist or corporate executive with evidence or action about this rising global thermal imbalance in the atmosphere. But once again, all the usual experts proclaim their human intellectual ingenuity, while ignoring the inherent power, intelligence and integrity of Earth's natural communites. No one mentioned the effects of sea and soil in the planet's thermal and carbon cycles. The article failed to identify the fundamental factors driving global warming: destruction of topsoil, trees and forests. And no mention of molybdenum—a trace element that can tip the climate change equation in favor of future generations.

While the USA Today article told of tailpipes and smokestacks as sources of greenhouse gases, the writers made no mention of invisible fumes rising from farm fields and clear cut forests. Technologies to remove carbon from Earth’s air were reviewed, but nothing on how photosynthesis combines CO2 and H2O to create carbohydrates, one of nature’s two fundamental carbon-fixing strategies. And nothing on how micro-organisms have created and kept the planet's air and soil balance for over one billion years. As ever, our industrial fixation is favored, while ecology is forgotten.

ON THE DOWNSIDE, FARM AND FOREST SOILS have released uncounted quantities of CO2, CH4, NO2, NH4, and other volatile gases. Regular readers of Acres USA need no instruction about soil destruction. For three decades, the pages of this pioneer publication for ecological farming were filled with warnings about America’s fundamental fertilizer follies. But here’s a thumbnail:
Whirlpool
nature's reaction matrix

Deforestation: Removing centuries-old ancient forests first broke the carbon cycle that captures greenhouse gases to sequester them as carbohydrates and nitrates in soil. Carbon held in living trees and understory was squandered. Most trees weren’t cut for timber, but burned for fuel, charcoal and potash. Exposed to solar heat, waters sank below soil surface. Carbon stored as humus oxidized into vapors rising from naked soil. Thousands of years of leaf litter, rotting roots and decaying limbs and trunks turned into gases in the air.

Annual Plowing: Then came moldboard plows, turning and exposing former forest soils to sun and wind to accelerate oxidation and erosion. Plowing the prairies sliced away networks of fine roots that captured nutrients, to send them upward in sap to grow new shoots each year. Organisms that recycle minerals between root and shoot, and—in death and decay—back into soil again, perished as their habitat was ripped up and ruined. Declining soil organic matter not only thinned the land’s already thin skin of topsoil, but accelerated the loss of minerals as silt and trace elements raced down streams into lakes, estuaries and seas, where soil carbon fermented into methane.
Climate Change Equation as Illustration

Limestone fertilizers squandered millennia of fossil carbon stored in carbonate bedrock. Acid fertilizers sped the release of soil carbon, nitrogen and trace elements. Organic matter once safely stored as soil carbon now floats free in the atmosphere. Confinement feeding of grain to livestock adds more methane and nitrous oxide to this growing chemical imbalance in The Biocycle.

Fossil Fuels: This destruction was underway well before industrial society began to mine carbon fossil into fuels to fire the wheels of machines and factories. Huge amounts of fossil fuel and natural gas are required to manufacture those fertilizers and pesticides, and then ship, spread and spray them on fields. Mechanized farms burn vast volumes of fossil fuel—sure to rise in price in Katrina’s aftermath, driving up next year’s food costs.

On the opposite side of The Biocycle, these processes not only release accumulated carbon, but they disrupt the capacity of the soil’s food web of plants, microbes and other organisms to remove the growing load of greenhouse gases. Both ends of the carbon cycle are disturbed. Nature’s ability to heal her damaged, unbalanced Biocycle is degraded when forest is removed and soil sterilized.

Industrial farming and forestry were major contributors to the release of greenhouse gases to give us our unbalanced climate change equation. And their rates of release are still on the increase.

A FARMER BET A PHYSICIST he could make more free energy with an ounce of molybdenum than the physicist with an ounce of uranium.

The farmer won: he sprayed his ounce of molybdenum on an acre of alfalfa.

Molybdenum

Nitrogenase

Rhizobia

Nitrates

Alfalfa

Chlorophyll

Sunshine

Carbohydrates
Molybdenum is a trace element essential to four cell enzymes. Three are in our liver detoxication system. A microdose of this metal allows our immune system to tag poisons in blood to eliminate in our kidneys. Infection and disease immunity are boosted by a microgram of molly in your body.

The fourth fixes nitrogen and oxygen in air into nitrates in soil. Nitrogenase enzyme unites these two most abundant gases into water soluble chemical. This molecular magic requires a single atom of molybdenum carry the chemical charge in this reaction. Rhizobia bacteria specialize in creating this enzyme, and form intimate partnerships with roots of alfalfa. These micro-organisms grow in pink nodules on roots of this three-leaved plant and other legumes. Rhizobia inhabit these subterranean condominiums, and pay their rent by feeding nitrates to alfalfa roots. In return, roots secrete sugars to empower this microbial synthesis.

By ecological farming, an ounce of molly makes more nitrogenase, to feed a population explosion of Rhizobia in root nodules. Thus, these microbes can fix more nitrogen into nitrates, and pump this nutrient into roots. Plants then grow more leaves full of chlorophyll for photosynthesis to fix more sunshine into sugars. The added solar energy captured as carbohydrates by the acre of alfalfa is greater than is liberated by fission of an ounce of uranium.
“Organic agriculture systems absorb and retain ... 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per hectare out of the air."

Dr. David Pimentel
scientist, 2005
Cornell Univ. Ag. Economics

LIKE THIS TALE, OUR CHOICE IS CLEAR between a solar-biological versus nuclear future. The nuclear equation doesn’t balance. Radioactivity released from Earth's underworld into the biosphere has incomprehensible consequences. The nuclear demon is unleashed from Pandora's box. Nuclear wastes pile up awaiting accidents to spread them. Earth's reproductive life is held hostage by the god of the atomic underworld.

In coming decades of global warming, a nuclear winter will be but premature onset to climate change. Even if the nuclear genie is put back in his underworld bottle, we still must stop burning fossil fuel, and put the carbon back in stone and soil.

This simple story reveals how nature gets the most from the least. Trace elements amplify and accelerate life’s fundamental metabolisms. As co-factors in enzymes, vitamins, hormones and other key regulator molecules, these least of the elements are critical factors in biochemical reactions. Thus, a microgram of trace element means more than an ounce of major minerals.

Ecological destruction in recent decades has thrown the global carbon cycle out of balance. The folly of chemical dependent, oil addicted agriculture now requires action in the century to turn back the clock and return carbon back to the soil, and turn human society in a new direction—or, in the direction of renewal.
Recycle the Sea
Nature's ultimate storehouse
of trace elements

Cornell agriculture scientist Dr. David Pimentel recently reported, “Organic agriculture systems absorb and retain significant amounts of carbon in the soil. The implication for global warming is that soil carbon in organic systems increases 15-28%, equivalent to 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per hectare out of the air." Multiplied by the number of hectares in agriculture, this is a significant quantity of carbon. And then there are the forests—nature’s number one producers of topsoil.

THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION to this forgotten factor in the climate change equation is in the sea—the single best source for molybdenum and other trace elements missing from soil. For two billion years, minerals in stone and soil have washed into the ocean. The sea doesn’t have one, or two or a few elements. The sea has all 90 water soluble elements in nature’s most perfect proportions—the same ratios as in blood and amniotic fluid. Molybdenum, iodine, chromium, cobalt, and every essential element are present in Earth’s most complete and balanced solution. And only the sea exceeds the only soil at fixing CO2, locking it up in carbonates (limestone) formed from fossil shells of living organisms.

So, ecological balance begins by recycling the sea. Soil renewal requires the return of the full spectrum of minerals in the sea to the land from whence they came. But putting missing elements back in soil isn’t enough to repair the unbalanced climate change equation. The necessary micro-organisms must be present to digest the micro-nutrients. Nitrogenase isn’t exclusive to Rhizobia. Bacteria that fix nitrogen live freely in most soil and water, and proliferate in compost and similar sites of fermentation and digestion. Microbial inoculation to renew the soil food web is the second step to soil renewal.
Katrina Comes Ashore
global warming boils out of the Gulf

Just as each element must be present in proper proportion to all the others, micro-organisms survive and thrive in a community of organic life. Rhizobia needs not only legumes and other hosts to house it. Nitrogen-fixing microbes must be in healthy balance with photosynthetic bacteria, lactobacillus, mycorhyzae, fungi, yeasts, algae, amoebae and all other living creatures. Everything from viruses to earthworms is required for a complete and healthy soil food web to nurse seeds into mature, healthy plants.

TO BALANCE OUR PLANET’S BROKEN BIOCYCLE and restore carbon to earth’s soils isn’t merely a matter of recycling elements from the sea. More deeply, humans must regain a lost respect for nature, and agree to live within the limits of earth’s cycles and capacities. Such a shift in thinking is as revolutionary as constitutional law and democracy. Mankind must abide by nature’s law, rather than alter and engineer nature to suit exaggerated ambitions and appetites. And we must teach this humble wisdom and discipline to our children, and instill this commitment in our culture we pass on to future generations.

Not for nothing is a thriving blend of bacteria called a “culture." Culture isn’t just community, but memories, instructions and rituals passed on to our offspring. Our most fundamental of culture is how to grow, harvest, cook, and share food. Agriculture isn’t merely technology and technique, but the ceremonies and philosophy to live within the bounds and bounty of nature.

SeaAgri, inc.
4822 Kings Down Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
770-361-7003
info@SeaAgri.com
www.SeaAgri.com

Turtle EyeLand Sanctuary
44 Gilligan Road
East Greenbush, NY 12061
518-330-2587
dyarrow@nycap.rr.com
www.championtrees.org

However, based on my reading of USA Today earlier this summer, we aren’t even looking in the right direction yet. Katrina was another wake up call, but most Americans are still sleeping, and blaming nature for disturbing our oil-driven dream.

Indonesian farmer
Muhammad Yacob

harvests his record rice crop
after the Tsunami
Elements
in the Human Body
element symbol
%
atoms
%
weight
ORGANIC
Hydrogen
Oxygen
Carbon
Nitrogen
H
O
C
N
62.0
26.0
10.0
1.5
9.7
65.0
18.6
3.2
MAJOR
Calcium
Phosphorus
Potassium
Sodium
Sulfur
Chlorine
Magnesium
Ca
P
K
Na
S
Cl
Mg
.2
.2
.06
.06
.05
.04
.03
1.8
1.0
.4
.2
.04
.2
.06
TRACE
Iron
Iodine
Silicon
Flourine
Copper
Manganese
Zinc
Selenium
Cobalt
Molybdenum
Chromium
Tin
Boron
Nickel
Vanadium
Fe
I
Si
F
Cu
Mn
Zn
Se
Co
Mo
Cr
Sn
B
Ni
Va
.007
.0005
.0000003
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
.0002
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
[na]
now available
Dr. Maynard Murray's
Sea Solids
SEA-90
Recycle the Sea

"My research clearly indicates Americans generally lack a complete physiological chemistry because the balanced, essential elements of the soil have eroded to the sea. Consequently, crops are nutritionally poor, and animals eating these plants are, therefore, nutritionally poor.

From the start, my sea solids experiments produced excellent results, and have conclusively proven that the proportions of trace minerals and elements in sea water are optimum for growth and health of both land and sea life."

We must alter the way we grow food, the way we protect plants from pests and disease, and the way we process food.

Dr. Maynard Murray
Medical Research Doctor
Sea Energy Agriculture

workshop for farmers & our future
Soil Fertility, Biofuels,
& Carbon Sequestration
local agriculture & global climate
renewing our regional farm economies
Molybdenum
Missing Element
in the Climate Change Equation
September 2005
how one trace element in soil essential to a single enzyme in a bacteria, can accelerate removing carbon from Earth's atmosphere to slow—perhaps reverse—climate change


The Earth Renewal and Restoration Alliance — www.ancientforests.uswww.carbon-negative.uswww.nutrient-dense.info2/14/2009