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Visiting scientist dishes the dirt on dirt

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on Aug. 29, 2009 at 8:01 am |
August 29, 2009 8:01 am

David Montgomery, a UW geomorphologist, is an authority on dirt. Don’t laugh. His new book, "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization," links the decline of great civilizations to the loss of their soil.

Things are getting worse, he said in an interview posted on the Celsias Web site:

Modern agricultural soil erosion rates are as many as 10-100 times faster than soil creation – a minority of farms are a net soil source, but very few, so we are consuming ourselves to death. It’s like a bank account. If you spend money 10 times faster than you make it, you go broke. Soil is no different.

Tacoma’s City Club plans to host David Montgomery at its Wednesday dinner meeting 6 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound’s Wheelock Rotunda. Call the City Club 272-9561 by noon Monday if you want a seat. (It’s not a cheap date: $30 for non-members.)

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