Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Montana Governor allows bison to roam outside Yellowstone National Park

BILLINGS, Mont. — "Wild bison will be allowed to migrate out of Yellowstone National Park and stay in parts of Montana year-round under a Tuesday move by Gov. Steve Bullock that breaks a longstanding impasse in a wildlife conflict that’s dragged on for decades."
Photo courtesy Neal Herbert, National Park Service

Bison in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley

Interesting headline, but as usual not without controversy. Ranchers of course will use the same excuse over and over such as grazing competition, but also that all important, "Bison are disease carriers"
"The move has been eagerly sought by wildlife advocates — and steadfastly opposed by livestock interests. Ranchers around Yellowstone are wary of a disease carried by many bison and the increased competition the animals pose for limited grazing space." 
"Yellowstone has one of the largest wild bison herds remaining in the world. Since the 1980s, more than 6,300 have been slaughtered and almost 1,900 killed by hunters, largely in response to fears over the spread of the disease brucellosis."
"Roughly half of the park’s bison test positive for exposure to the disease, which can cause pregnant animals to abort their young. No bison-to-cattle transmissions of brucellosis have been documented and most infections of cattle over the past decade have been traced to diseased elk. Yet it remains a major concern for ranchers who can find their operations stigmatized after an outbreak."

The irony here is that it was originally the cattle brought in by white Europeans which infected Bison or the Buffalo at Yellowstone which seem to have an immunity to the Brucellosis disease. Of course 100+ years later no one remembers that nor wishes to. Some of the more interesting facts are that it has been tested under controlled lab conditions that Bison might possibly infect cattle, but never documented in the wild. Most likely possibility of infection they say as wild herds of Elk. This just continues to set up an on going never ending controversy of Ranchers versus Bison-Huggers forever.

Cartoon illustrator David Parkins

Interesting References on the disease and the Cattle versus Bison controversy
Buffalo Field Campaign: Brucellosis in Wild Bison Fact Sheet
USDA: Brucellosis and Yellowstone Bison
CDC: Transmission of Brucellosis from Elk to Cattle and Bison, Greater Yellowstone Area, USA, (2000-2012)
PBS: The Buffalo War: The Disease

Monday, December 21, 2015

Climate Change & Industrial Agriculture's "Get-Out-of-Jail-Free" card

Why shouldn't Industrial Agriculture to get policed as much as Oil & Gas ???

illustration: Mercury News

photo credit: Critical Information Collective

Military Police protecting Soy field being sprayed
 with Pesticide
Well the heavily advertised Climate Change talks in Paris have come and gone. All is well if you are to believe the News reports by this world's Media. But some of the poorer developing nations like India believed they have had to compromise way too much while industrial developed nations not enough. Well, more than likely that's probably true, you know how it is. But there were some commercial enterprises which more than likely got a free pass from having to change any of their behaviour and in fact they will probably be get some legal protection as a result of some clever loophole scheming on the part of their legal teams months prior to the conference. From history, we now know that it is common for corporate industrial business interests to fudge and fuzzy (50 shades of gray & counting) the truth to where things are no longer be viewed as black or white. There's historical precedent for this kind of behaviour. Muddling and making murky the waters of truth have been done before by the giant Tobacco Industry when it came to hiding the what they knew of the strong link between cancer and smoking cigarettes. Lately we are hearing about the State of New York now investigating Exxon-Mobil for allegedly misleading the public about climate change. But we all understand that this is how our world has always worked throughout history. So it should be no surprise that the industrial biotech agricultural industry and the entire synthetic chemical pesticides & fertilizer industry have been undercounted and misrepresented America’s agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It's not a secret they often engaged in political backroom deal making and their influence over legal decisions as is evidenced where the USDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have agreed on the silly statement that agriculture contributed only about 10 percent of U.S. GHG emissions in 2013, when in fact it was far more than 25 percent. All of this manipulation took place back in May of this year well ahead of the Climate Pact meeting in Paris. Take a look at the chart USDA provided on their website as proof of Agriculture being innocent of any earth damaging accountability with the link to their website below it. Painting industrial ag as being pure as the driven snow was ultmately the goal in mind.

USDA: "Agriculture accounts for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions"

This distortion of the reality on the ground is ludicrous as it doesn't even attempt to factor in many other variables linked to Industrial Agriculture. Another website, Grain.Org, was more realistic and honest in it's assessment of the massive scale damage caused by the practice of industrial agriculture. In fact they broke up that reality into several identifiable segments with easy to understand explanations of just what Industrial Ag really does contribute when it comes to global warming or climate change.

Yup, sure enough, industrial agriculture and it's successful expansion actually requires the destruction of massive amounts natural ecosystem landscapes all over the globe, not just those poster child rainforest regions. As per their estimation, this is anywhere from 15% to 18% causing further global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This makes sense since destruction of whole plant weather creation and climate moderating mechanisms are the very biological machinery which deal with regulating the CO2s along with soil disturbance which also frees up and releases huge amounts of Carbon to create more of that carbon dioxide.

So these emissions produced by actual farming are somewhere between 11 and 15% of all global emissions. What often gets deliberately unsaid, however, is that most of these emissions are generated by industrial farming practices that rely on chemical (nitrogen) fertilizers, heavy machinery which runs on petroleum, and highly concentrated industrial livestock operations that pump out methane by means of animal waste produced at massive scale feedlots. You know, prior to the introduction of the 1950s Green Revolution where both Axis and Allied bomb and other munitions manufacturing by the major Agro-Chemical companies, Nature's soils were generally nitrogen poor and yet Nature flourished for 10s of 1000s of years. Why ??? How ??? Soils loaded with massive amounts of healthy microbiological components allowed soils to efficiently percolate water, but also breathe. Our Earth's atmosphere is loaded with tonnes and tonnes of nitrogen and nitrogen fixing soil organisms have always provided plants with just the right amounts they have always needed. Life on Earth was actually extremely successful and far more efficient long before these companies claimed to come along to the rescue. Take real close note of this 1977 Chevron science-based propaganda video which justifies an irresponsible worldview of the natural world being flawed, inept and badly designed. Otherwise better known as "Argument from Poor Design". Seriously folks, count how many times this animated video trashes Nature in this cartoon and how only science-based technological innovation from Chevron and it's subsidiaries can counteract those flaws.

Keep in mind that the chemical emissions damage is really twofold here. 
First, nitrogen is infused into the soils at a huge rate and the reasons are that the industrial scheme requires a numbers game to be played. Root systems today are mostly non-mycorrhizal which means root absorption is extremely limited compared to what nature once accomplished without the aid of intellectual human beings. So at best if Farmers are lucky, perhaps 20% gets absorbed into the plant's limited root system, while 80% of the synthetic junk the Chem-Folks have artificially produced, packaged, labeled and sold to farmers at a hefty profit ends up leaching into the groundwater or as runoff into streams, lakes, rivers & oceans creating further eutrophication and emissions by micro-organisms breaking the water pollution down which releases more methane released directly as GHG into the atmosphere.  Second, the actual manufacturing process of  Nitrogen fertilizer itself is a high energy-intensive 
(Haber-Bosch) process and requires massive amounts of energy for it's manufacture. Again, yet another component not factored in the global climate problem. What is worse, earlier this year I posted a link from the United Nations which revealed how the uses of these fertilizers, "Fertilizer Use to Surpass 200 Million Tonnes in 2018"(Source)

The mechanization, (this should alway include the massive amounts of energy consumed by Tractors, Sprayers, Combines, etc) the Packaging Houses and general transportation through trucking is another obvious factor not reflected in the USDA-FDA 10% whitewash. 

This is another given. Agricultural Waste into landfills and animal waste from industrial animal farms is yet another factor. Methane emissions are far worse than the justification argument they often use of the Earth at one time having millions upon millions of wild herbivore animals roaming the plains and savannas. The historical wild grassland diet is the exact opposite of what confined livestock are force fed today. The higher carbohydrate content of rich diet of grain feed is far worse from a methane emissions standpoint than grazers and browsers of times past out in the wild. 
Latest News & Historical perspectives on on Industrial Agriculture and Earth's Ecology
Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP/File

The sun rises during light morning mist at lake H
 See in Alt Zeschdorf, eastern Germany, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
First, this bit of News from The Christian Science Monitor on how Lakes are heating up faster than oceans and the reasons behind it. After reviewing all the well known sources of increased carbon dioxide like automobiles, trucks, factories, etc, it finally sums things up with industrial agriculture's contribution to climate change. Makes one realize why so many GMO Advocates are so adamantly against Climate Change which they insist is a hoax. Don't believe me ? Follow some of the writings and speeches given by some of their staunchest proponents who are funded by the biotech & agro-chemical industries like Henry I Miller and Patrick Moore who claim to use Science to disprove climate change is happening.
"It suggested updating electricity efficiency standards, providing incentives for clean energy use, increasing fuel efficiency standards for cars, addressing methane from livestock, and improving soil management to reduce emissions from agriculture." 
"For example, nitrous oxide emissions, primarily from the breakdown of nitrogen fertilizers, make up 64 percent of agricultural emissions. Methane is the next largest source at 34 percent. US Environmental Protection Agency programs that reduce methane from livestock and the use of nitrogen fertilizers decrease emissions as well as improving drinking water, lakes, and wetlands, according to the UCS."
Unbelievable Historical Scientific Perspective from Scientists about Mankind and their invention of Agriculture
(Image Wiki Commons)
"When did human domination of the planet start? A new study in the journal Nature reports a dramatic shift in one of the rules of nature about 6,000 years ago—connected to growing human populations and the rise of farming. UVM’s Nick Gotelli used his world-leading expertise on ecological statistics to find the pattern."
This next bit of scientific News published in Nature from the University of Vermont is in many ways both interesting in the sense that it clearly demonstrates the historical pattern of human ignorance from the very beginning when they self determined just how they would proceed in their original version of land management with agriculture right to our present day and also equally curious is why the prevailing Scientific Orthodoxy which presently rules all Scientific thought with an iron fist (reminiscent of Christendom's Dark Age past) would even allow such a findings to be published. Here's a hint "6000 years" when farming first began & humans spread across the globe ???
“When early humans started farming and became dominant in the terrestrial landscape, we see this dramatic restructuring of plant and animal communities,” said University of Vermont biologist Nicholas Gotelli, an expert on statistics and the senior author on the new study.  
In the hunt for the beginning of the much-debated “Anthropocene” — a supposed new geologic era defined by human influence of the planet — the new research suggests a need to look back farther in time than the arrival of human-caused climate change, atomic weapons, urbanization or the industrial revolution.   
“This tells us that humans have been having a massive effect on the environment for a very long time,” said S. Kathleen Lyons, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History who led the new research.
What the Historical Chart from Nature really means
Interestingly the online journal Nature which published the research also provided a chart to try and illustrate the data they used in the timeline. Still, it's quite a mystery how they concluded such a lengthy period of time had such an even plateau of plant and animal ecosystems lived in relatively peaceful harmony for 300 million years prior to human land mismanagement. I have no real idea of how they really determined their dating here, but keep in mind that modern Science a traditional love affair anything to do with deep time numbers. In fact the reality is they demand it. Still, whatever amount of time one wishes to believe or promote, the point being is that the natural world functioned as smoothly as a well oiled machine for perhaps 10s of  1000s of countless millenniums prior to the appearance of human beings inventing and practicing agriculture which would have required stripping the land barren for farming and making gradual expansion of these practices as population increased and/or if the land became unproductive over a long period of time before technological advancement accelerated the ecological decline from the industrial revolution perspective right down to our present time. 

Weighted Loses curve with shaded 95% confidence intervals illustrates reduction in the proportion of aggregated species pairs in the Holocene (log scale). Dotted vertical line at 5,998 years delineates the linear model breakpoint in the trend. I'm not sure how they actually get to the 5,998 years, but that must be why the average 6000 years is used for the benefit of the readers.
For modern communities of plants and animals, recent studies show that segregated species pairs are more common than aggregated ones. But when the team investigated the composition of ancient communities using data from fossils, they were surprised to find the opposite pattern: from 307 million years ago to about 6,000 years ago, there was a higher frequency of aggregated species pairs. Then, from 6,000 years ago to the present, the pattern shifted to a predominance of segregated species pairs. An ancient rule had changed.
The bottom line here is that irrespective of what your ideological flavourite worldview take is on all of this subject of origins, human beings have been disruptive with irresponsible land management practices from the very beginning of Agriculture, which apparently from this scientific research paper was about 6000 years ago. This in turn has had an effect on weather creation and climate monitoring mechanisms found within the natural world. Healthy old growth plant community ecosystems of every variety found across the global are major drivers in creating weather and in moderating climate. Dismantling of these forests and other plant community ecosystems has caused major breakdown of these mechanisms from the beginning to the point where industrial revolution with all it's celebrated technological advancements have only accelerated these degrading processes. The saving grace in the 1000s of years previous was the fact that the massive amounts of synthetic inputs didn't exist and human population was minimal and restricted by limited ability to produce food on a grand scale. But boy how the Haber-Bosch Nitrogen process served as the so-called "detonator of the population explosion", enabling the global population to increase from 1.6 billion in 1900 to today's 8 billion+. Now we're hearing more and more calls for other science-based solutions to population explosion like Abortions, Eugenics and Euthansia programs to be brought back online. Here is the concluding three paragraphs from the research news from the University of Vermont's website on effects on the climate:
Climate considerations
"And this change in an ancient natural pattern may have implications for modern conservation. “Isolating species has consequences — it can catalyze evolutionary change over hundreds of thousands to millions of years,” Behrensmeyer said, “but it also makes species more vulnerable to extinction.”   
“We humans have influenced the landscape, but perhaps for a lot longer than we had previously recognized,” says Gotelli, a professor in UVM’s biology department. “When we look at landscapes and say, ‘this is pristine or unaltered,’ that's not necessarily true. We may have changed the rules over a much larger scale than we appreciate.”   
"Modern human-driven forces, like climate change and pollution, are “orders of magnitude more destructive than what early humans were doing,” Lyons said, but even at the dawn of human civilizations, people were certainly having major — and unprecedented — ecological impacts, she said. “If we are thinking about how we’re going to restore ecosystems, or how they're going to respond to climate change,” UVM’s Gotelli said, “we need to understand how they were organized before humans ever came on the scene.”
(Source - University of Vermont)
(Source - Nature)
In Summary
There is no question or argument against the fact that Industrial Agriculture has accelerated the Earth's general decline in the climate department. But this cowardly manipulation of data on the part of industrial agriculture to suggest they should be given a free pass from changing their business model the way other industries will be forced to do so under signed agreements only illustrates how much political power and influence they have over the very people supposedly in charge of their various country's welfare of it's citizens. While the article mentioned the industrial revolution as the change, real change especially accelerated from World War I (1914) to the present. This is the same year that Austrian Forester and self-taught Physicist Viktor Schauberger (1885 - 1958) stated the Earth's environment started it's downward spiral from the start of World War I to the present. He certainly was in a position to observe first hand since most old growth forest environments were still mostly intact. The debates on this research will no doubt provide some interesting entertainment between both the religious and secular ideologues, neither of which appear to have a handle on truth. Get your popcorn and sodas handy folks, it'll be entertaining if not time wasting. But it would be fun to compare what the Bible's Genesis account actually said on the subject and compare that to this research. Let's take look anyway about what the account foretold would happen after mankind's choice of democracy over theocracy.
Genesis 3:17-19 & 4:2
" . . . cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles (weeds ???) it will grow for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Well, first it states that human beings started off as an agrarian society (as opposed to the hunter-gatherer dogma) which apparently starts off in a pursuit of self-determination (democracy over theocracy) which caused the original ignorance with regards to responsible land management practices whose farming methods actually would result in a plague of "thorns and thistles" (otherwise known as weeds - especially ruderals) which would cover the land as a result of such ignorance. The account even offers a bit of scientific reality check when it states emphatically that humans came from dirt and return back to dirt when they die. Hmmm, that's odd, isn't that scientific ???
" . . . And Abel came to be a herder of sheep, but Cain became a cultivator of the ground."
Okay, more references to animal and plant agriculture as the preferred choices for making a living. Bottom line here is that both the traditionally religious and secular peoples have deliberately ignored proper custodianship of the Earth for several thousands of years and look where we are now ? Nobody today has the upper moral high ground on this. In the beginning of agriculture the ignorant land management consequences weren't so noticeable as far as the negative effects would have always been local and regional, not effecting whole continents or the entire globe as we experience it now. We have several major historical references to great Empires which came and went where they misused and abused the land by stripping it of it's forests and other plant communities which eventually created drought and helped bring a decline to those empires. Romans deforesting North Africa and other parts of their empire, the Nazca, Mayans, Aztecs, Anasazi, Easter Island inhabitants and the list goes on. Their misfortune was generally local or regional and didn't necessarily effect other regions of the globe, but that is not the way it is today. Industrial Agriculture is now obsessed with growing bigger, even by mergers with one another. There is no doubt they are having an accelerating effect in our environment's collapse despite all the denials and political favour asking behind closed doors. This climate pact from Paris won't mean anything as long as the same games and players are involved. The Industrial Forestry business model is not far behind. Plantations loaded with 10s of 1000s of GMO Trees are not a viable replacement for healthy biodiverse old growth forests. Ponder all this the next time your hackles are raised because you hear or read where someone criticizes your favoured biotechnology which hides behind a cloak of Scientific Orthodoxy like some Druid Priesthood.

More Breaking News - University of Vermont & Gund Institute for Ecological Economics 
"Wild Bee Decline Threatens U.S. Crop Production"
Dec 21, 2015 - from Gund Institute for Ecological Economics 
Incredible map showing most of the counties within the United States in which Wild Bee populations are most at risk of extinction. These counties are also heavily committed to Industrial Agriculture for their economies.

 (PNAS doi:10.1073.pnas.1517685113)

"A new UVM study of wild bees identifies 139 counties in key agricultural regions of California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas and the southern Mississippi River valley that face a worrisome mismatch between falling wild bee supply and rising crop pollination demand."

Now take a close look at a contrasting map they provided in the research revealing where the Wild Bee populations are doing best

(PNAS doi:10.1073.pnas.1517685113)

"The first national study to map US wild bees suggests they're disappearing in many of the country's most important farmlands. Relatively low abundances are shown here in yellow; higher abundances in blue."

See also the article from the online journal ArsTechnica which deals with the subject on the role of synthetic fertilizers from agricultural fields release of  Ammonia into the Earth's atmosphere:
New global data suggests air pollution kills 10 million people per year 
 "What exactly is it about growing plants that causes pollution? Agricultural pollution is often attributed to the release of ammonia from fertilizers and domesticated animals. Ammonia released into the atmosphere can undergo several chemical reactions that affect air quality."
Hyperion, a 700-800 year old coast redwood found in Northern California, is the tallest known tree in the world. At 115.61 m (379.3 ft), Hyperion dwarfs both Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty. Discovered on August 25, 2006 by naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor

I'm certain both business models (Industrial Forestry & Industrial Agriculture) will provide a token legacy of what old growth Forest life on Earth once was. So I guess all is not lost if zoos and museums are all you care about. Still one wonders why the average person believes this world's leadership will ever correct anything. 

Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

A Lone Brazilian Nut tree stands in an industrial Soybean field

Thursday, November 26, 2015

All I ever did was respectfully ask a simple Question (time to delete my DISQUS account)

Hmmm, comments removed and banned from "The Hill", "The Daily Caller" and sometimes even at the "The Heartland Institute" & "The Genetic Literacy Project" online journals ??? In the modern world of Free-Thought, when supposedly enlightened society is above an power obsessed Orthodoxy of Censorship, nothing's really changed. You are free to think what you wish as long as your free-thought is in line with everyone else's free-thought on a particular subject. 😞

The News headline in an online journal I have never in the past  visited nor really read before had a headline over the Yahoo News  feed which rang out:
"Nevada Girl Makes School Pay After They Denied Her Pro-Life Club"  The Daily Caller 
(Source: The Daily Caller)

Image: The Daily Caller
"A Nevada girl who fought a long legal battle with her school over a pro-life club didn’t just get her club approved, she got her school to pay for it."   
"The Thomas More Society, the religious liberty legal group representing junior Angelique Clark, announced Friday they would drop their lawsuit against Clark County School District in Las Vegas and that the school has agreed to pay $30,000 in attorney fees. The school agreed in September to allow the pro-life club after legal pressure."
Okay that much of the quote basically provides the gist of the article and what the subject is all about. Frankly I was just curious when it came over the News feed. I don't have television and so most of my news comes mainly from online news feeds and this was one of them. I'm not overly concerned about who the girl is or anything about her club's mission and purpose other than I asked a simple question about the name title chosen for the school club which was, "Pro-Life Club". Here is what I asked:
"I'm wondering if maybe her club should have been instead labeled as Anti-Abortion Club. Frankly I do not support abortion either, but I also feel it's none of my business what others do. The problem with the terminology of "Pro-Life" is that these people need to be consistent in their beliefs on living a pro-life lifestyle. For example, many people who label themselves pro-life to save a child have no problem with that child growing up and going to war and going out and killing someone else or being killed. Here in Europe people were stumbled by both world wars and church involvement on all sides by people of the same identical religious persuasion. But especially after World War II did most of Europe become secularized and stopped going to churches. In Central and Northern Europe, Secularism rules, not religion. Often times the only religious folks are those immigrants coming in from other countries. What if all the churches had followed their leader Jesus Christ and kept themselves separate from the world having nothing to do with Nationalistic pride and War, in other words taken a true Pro-Life stance ? Would secularism have really gotten a foothold ? Something to ponder and again I am against abortion personally, but I find it sad when religious leaders have failed horribly at teaching the common man morality but then ride the backs of politicians to have their personal version of morality legislated on others. True pro-life stance should have the same morality throughout life, not just the beginning."

Well, okay, not everyone was pleased on this news website. One comment stood out from someone whom I imagine was a typical American God & Country flag waving American.
Navyvetew1: "You live in Europe yet you seem to support that people do not go to war if they are "pro life" So, I guess it was a mistake for the US to set foot in Europe in WWII?"
Here was my respectful reply to help bring him around to what I was trying to say previously. Personally I don't think it was overly complicated nor did I use the usual foul language, derogatory insults or name calling generally aimed at me in the comment box sections:
"Okay now Navy Vet, I want you to slow way down here, think, ponder and mediate real long and hard on what your next answer to this question is going to be. Okay ??? What would have happened if ALL the Churches [Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Baptists, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Mormon, etc] in Nazi Germany and Austria had in the very beginning before the war ever started REFUSED to support Adolf Hitler and his racist anti-Christ message and ideology where using scientific Social Darwinism set out to conquer the world and exterminate those who didn't genetically measure up to his blonde hair blues eyes standard of the way things should be on the Earth ??? Now remember, his agenda was known a decade long before the war, so no one can say people were unaware and ignorant and fooled. Geesh folks, this is so simple, even a child gets this."
This was never meant as a snark or a put down of their religious beliefs, but rather a reality check of those belief systems. It was a serious question. It was a legitimate question. How different would history have been had these people actually believed the teaching contents found within their own holy book ? Especially in the section of what many call the New Testament. I'd say the world today would look far different. But this wasn't the only site to refuse my questions. The two other online journals besides "The Daily Caller" are called, "The Hill" & "The Heartland Institute" (both heavily politically conservative), which I have only been to once as a result of recent News feeds which both have carried articles dealing with their strong pro-GMO stance. In all three journals, people concerned about GMO Crops and Agro-Chemical companies are called left-wing liberal hippies. Oddly enough on another Pro-GMO website called the, "Genetic Literacy Project" which indeed is indeed a liberal trans-humanist ideology promoting website, the anti-GMO people are made fun of and labeled anti-science religious conservative Luddites and those are the more cleaner things I can repeat in this post. Other Pro-Science sites on Facebook and elsewhere around the internet which are likewise Liberal and Left-wing sciencey sites likewise point fingers and parrot the same anti-science - pseudoscience - right-wing - conservative - religious nut job Luddite sound blasts rather than actually discussing any of the issues in any intelligent manner. All these sites have many of my posts Pending or Removed in my DISQUS backoffice. I find the fact that Pro-GMO and Agro-Chemical people are from both ideological worldviews to be extremely humorous. Like Revelations picture illustration of world religions depicted as a Harlot riding the back of a Scarlet Coloured Wild Beast [which represents world government (religion and politics in bed with each other), so too the left and right pro-gmo folks need to turn on the bedroom light and see who they've been playing slap and tickle with under the same BT Cotton bed sheets all this time. Frankly, they deserve each other. Whatever!

All these silly websites (Left-wing Right-wing, Middle-wing, No-wing or Buffalo-wing) have rejected my posting of these people below who are hardly anti-science Luddites as per accusation of the Pro-GMOers. See what you think about these professional people who have been labeled Anti-Science Luddites below:

Frankly I believe my time is up on DISQUS. I opened the account in 2009 and up till a month ago I only had around 900 posts in that time. Most of the others have been there since 2014 and have anywhere from 7000+ to almost 20,000 posts. What do any of them do for a living in order to rack up that type of time wasting mileage ? Most all are wearing Sock-Puppets avatars so you have no idea who they are, even when many claim to be Farmers. I don't know many hard working farmers who have that kind of 17,000+ post time to kill while ignoring all that hard farm work that needs doing. Many folks suspect they are all biotech and agro-chemical company damage control trolls, but there is no way to prove that. In any event my time there is finished over there, just like Facebook. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

HEADLINE NEWS FLASH: Biotech World & Organic World duke it out for that much coveted Scientific Consensus Prize

In other News no matter who wins the debate, Mankind and the rest of the Natural World will probably still lose
Illustration by Erin Dunn

The illustration in the animation above is most likely not what you think it is. It's not mycorrhizal fungi clinging to the roots of plants. Look closer and you'll see the roots of the corn are shaped like the DNA double helix model commonly used to represent genetic codes etched along the DNA strands. However the article, "The Complex Nature of GMOs Calls for a New Conversation" written by author Maywa Montenegro, from the online Agroecology magazine ENSIA focused mainly on the two competing Agricultural sides of Industrial Biotech & Industrial Organic who have two opposing views on how to acquire drought resistance in corn through genetic traits. The Organic side proposes that this can only be accomplished by breeding and cross breeding for inherited traits while the other Biotech side focuses mainly on the usual modern day popular molecular manipulation for a genetic trait from one organism into another to obtain drought resistance. Hence the reason for the animation. This same debate topic about Drought Resistance and how to go about it was first brought to us all via the now infamous (and waste of time) Intelligence Squared Debates for which I previously gave my own critique and personal comment on this specific argument of how to acquire drought resistant traits for cultivators of Corn/Maize for Africa. Both side were wrong then and they are wrong now in this article. Here are the same tired old arguments from this article:

image cradit: Guy Calaf/Polaris/eyevine

Loss of crops to drought contributed to a food crisis in Ethiopia in 2008

The Organic Argument as given by the Author:
"Conventional breeding also appears to be outperforming genetic engineering in the race to develop crops that can maintain productivity in the midst of drought, extreme temperatures, salty soils and shifting pest regimes. A September 2014 Nature News article describes the work of researchers from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, or CIMMYT, in Mexico City and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, around the use of non-GMO methods to develop drought-resistant corn varieties in 13 African countries. In field trials, these varieties are matching or exceeding yields from nonresistant crops under good rainfall — and yielding up to 30 percent more under drought conditions. The project already has 153 varieties in trial stages, and other seeds are already well beyond trial stage, enabling some 3 million smallholder farmers in Africa to increase yields by an average of 20 to 30 percent."
At the Intelligence Squared Debates in December 2014, Charles Benbrook and Margaret Mellon stated that there were programs in Africa at that time which had been breeding and cross breeding for drought resistant traits in Corn/Maize for over a decade now and they had been successful thus far with drought resistant cultivators of Corn/Maize. *sigh*
The Biotech argument as given by the Author:
"Meanwhile, Monsanto, CIMMYT and other researchers are still hoping to get a transgenic drought-tolerant seed trait to Africa “by 2016 at the earliest.” Even then, Monsanto’s drought-tolerant seeds [Drought Guard] have been shown to increase yield only about 6 percent in the U.S., and only under moderate drought conditions. Direct comparisons are always tricky, of course, but as the Nature article put it: “Old-fashioned breeding techniques seem to be leading genetic modification in a race to develop crops that can withstand drought and poor soils.”
Here also is the link to the article in Nature which she referenced
Nature: Cross-bred crops get fit faster 
If you again recall from the Intelligence Squared Debate back on december 4th 2014, Monsanto's Robb Fraley and UC Davis' Alison Van Eenennaam insisted that the Biotech giant Monsanto was been working very hard on genetic engineering in choosing traits from heat tolerant organisms and incorporating these into the genome of Corn/Maize seeds. They assured the audience that these seeds would be ready for African Farmers in about 10 years. Seriously, that's what they said. This was the most disappointing thing I found in that entire debate from both sides since drought resistance in any plant/crop can be obtained that very first growing season using the proper tool from Nature's tool-kit. Here is that photograph once again from the University of Florida study where they tested Mycorrhizal Application Inc's (Grant Pass, Oregon) product MycoApply on Corn for drought resistance.

image credit: Mycorrhizal Applications Inc

And there it is folks, the picture that is worth a thousand words. I've posted it before and I'll post it again and again. The problem here  really is that it translates to the loss of many many 10s of 1000s of dollar$ for the interested parties. That's most of the problem here. Often the investment in mycorrhizal fungal spores is relatively little in comparison to the huge investment in so-called special seed and the many chemicals they are engineered to be working with for success. But the photo cannot lie, drought resistance is glaringly successful when compared to the control part of the experiment illustrating the conventional farming practices. First seasons corn planting. No decades of research, cross breeding or years of genetic manipulation in some top secret expensive high tech lab. You can even see where the mycorrhizal fungi has moved underground over to the control site where the outer rows have been colonized and the health benefit effects revealed. The use of mycorrhizal fungi also requires far less fertilizers or the fungi will disconnect from the plant. Actually, the over abundance of fertility will cause the plant to have no need for the fungi's services and the plant will stop producing the chemical signature which signals the fungi to colonize it's roots. Previously I wrote about another University of Wisconsin and Maine study on growing potatoes with mycorrhizal fungi where common conventional industrial requirements on fertilizer for conventional grown potatoes required 130 lbs of phosphorus per acre, but with the fungal colonization only 30 lbs per acre were required. Even the yield of potatoes increase per acre with less money on investment. Again, can everyone here reading understand the economic reasons giant Agro-Chemical and Biotech companies won't even remotely mention or pursue this practice ? Here is the link to that post.
Using Nature's Mycorrhizal Tool-Kit to compete with Weeds vrs killing them with Glyphosate

Recently when I posted this same photograph of mycorrhizal corn in a discussion forum, I was accused of promoting an unproven idea based simply on a single photograph which meant nothing. The accusation came from a Nebraska resident, Carl Lux, who is supposedly the principal Manager of Almalgamated Sugar Co LLC which runs GMO Sugar Beets (a nonMycorrhizal plant) through their factory farm. The usual derogatory approach to debate is not important, but I'll provide a gallery of other photographs of other Mycorrhizal Corn at the bottom references. The sad thing on the Corn again is that apparently neither the Biotech side nor the Organic side appears to have any interest in bringing it up for discussing and it is hard for me to believe that either side is ignorant of the potential here. As I stated, this debate has always been about money and the power over global food supply. Now shifting focus here with an article from Nature News which has some interesting observation with what goes wrong with scientific research. Many of you will relate to these major problems with scientific research below.
How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop    


"Humans are remarkably good at self-deception. But growing concern about reproducibility is driving many researchers to seek ways to fight their own worst instincts." Article's Introductory Forward
I won't re-post all the points listed in the article which I enjoyed thoroughly, but simply provide the Author's four main problem subheadings which will be made clear as to what really goes on behind closed Lab doors. I'll post the link at the end and you can further read what he regards as solutions to the problems, although I am skeptical when it comes to human imperfection motivated by personal and corporate and/or group biases and prejudices. This first one deals with tunnel vision and any lack of peripheral vision or thought which is one of my pet peeves when it comes to scientific researchers who prefer to work in their own personal comfort zone of thought which is most often motivated by personal bias, prejudice, fame glitter and glory for some amazing discovery and that ever present flaw of personal economic enrichment. I have no problem with making money and helping the economy, the world needs healthy economies. However, many of these corporate firm's scientific researchers are pressured for quick results, not only by their corporate Executive task masters, but also those Wall Street investors who figuratively [sometimes literally] want return on investments yesterday or they'll pull the financial plug. It should also be noted that Academia faces the same financial challenges and pressures as the Industrial world.

Hypothesis myopia 
[ translation - Tunnel Vision, incapable of any peripheral view]
"One trap that awaits during the early stages of research is what might be called hypothesis myopia: investigators fixate on collecting evidence to support just one hypothesis; neglect to look for evidence against it; and fail to consider other explanations. “People tend to ask questions that give 'yes' answers if their favoured hypothesis is true,” says Jonathan Baron, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia."
"For example, says Baron, studies have tried to show how disgust influences moral condemnation, “by putting the subject in a messy room, or a room with 'fart spray' in the air”. The participants are then asked to judge how to respond to moral transgressions; if those who have been exposed to clutter or smells favour harsher punishments, researchers declare their 'disgust hypothesis' to be supported. But they have not considered competing explanations, he says, and so they ignore the possibility that participants are lashing out owing to anger at their foul treatment, not simply disgust. By focusing on one hypothesis, researchers might be missing the real story entirely."

The Texas Sharpshooter   
[ translation - This is an informal fallacy which is committed when differences in data, evidence, lab results, etc are ignored, but similarities to one's pet theory are stressed. From this reasoning a false conclusion is inferred] 
"A cognitive trap that awaits during data analysis is illustrated by the fable of the Texas sharpshooter: an inept marksman who fires a random pattern of bullets at the side of a barn, draws a target around the biggest clump of bullet holes, and points proudly at his success." 
"His bullseye is obviously laughable — but the fallacy is not so obvious to gamblers who believe in a 'hot hand' when they have a streak of wins, or to people who see supernatural significance when a lottery draw comes up as all odd numbers."
"Nor is it always obvious to researchers. “You just get some encouragement from the data and then think, well, this is the path to go down,” says Pashler. “You don't realize you had 27 different options and you picked the one that gave you the most agreeable or interesting results, and now you're engaged in something that's not at all an unbiased representation of the data.”

Asymmetric attention
translation - When things don't turn out as religiously assumed because of one's faith commitments, then blame the data, evidence, experiment, fellow scientists, etc, but don't you dare touch my worldview]
"The data-checking phase holds another trap: asymmetric attention to detail. Sometimes known as disconfirmation bias, this happens when we give expected results a relatively free pass, but we rigorously check non-intuitive results. “When the data don't seem to match previous estimates, you think, 'Oh, boy! Did I make a mistake?'” MacCoun says. “We don't realize that probably we would have needed corrections in the other situation as well.”
"The evidence suggests that scientists are more prone to this than one would think. A 2004 study observed the discussions of researchers from 3 leading molecular-biology laboratories as they worked through 165 different lab experiments. In 88% of cases in which results did not align with expectations, the scientists blamed the inconsistencies on how the experiments were conducted, rather than on their own theories. Consistent results, by contrast, were given little to no scrutiny."

Just-so storytelling
the long definition - most people consider Science to be the Revealer of the Grand Story. Except more often than not it's a collection of numerous metaphysical short stories loaded with assumptions, assertions, speculations in which creative and purposeful storytelling is used to fill in either small gaps or large Grand Canyon-like chasms where data and other evidence are lacking. Origins science is loaded with massive amounts of  story telling irrespective of what position a person favours. Most often the storytelling itself will be denied as just so story telling. Astrobiology is yet another example of creative storytelling since in reality it has yet to discover it's subject. It's the science discipline of 'could', 'might', 'probably' and maybe.  (see post on Astrobiology)
"As data-analysis results are being compiled and interpreted, researchers often fall prey to just-so storytelling — a fallacy named after the Rudyard Kipling tales that give whimsical explanations for things such as how the leopard got its spots. The problem is that post-hoc stories can be concocted to justify anything and everything — and so end up truly explaining nothing. Baggerly says that he has seen such stories in genetics studies, when an analysis implicates a huge number of genes in a particular trait or outcome. “It's akin to a Rorschach test,” he said at the bioinformatics conference. Researchers will find a story, he says, “whether it's there or not. The problem is that occasionally it ain't real.”
For further read of the article by Author, Regina Nuzzo, follow the link here: 
NATURE.COM: "How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop"
There never really was any such thing as "The Scientific Method" (Berkeley)
Below is an excerpt taken from Berkeley's own website inside their pages of understanding evolution. Science as a strictly neutral unbiased process or method to obtain true understanding of the observable world around us according to them is a myth. This is true as long as human beings are in charge of practicing science irrespective of their background, education, culture, race, ethnicity or worldview. Now you'll understand why this attempt at obtaining consensus or at least claiming consensus is so sought after. The simplified so-called layman version of the "We have Scientific Consensus" soap box stumping is, "Anybody who's anybody knows and believes this."
"If you go to science fairs or read scientific journals, you may get the impression that science is nothing more than "question-hypothesis-procedure-data-conclusions."
 "But this is seldom the way scientists actually do their work. Most scientific thinking, whether done while jogging, in the shower, in a lab, or while excavating a fossil, involves continuous observations, questions, multiple hypotheses, and more observations. It seldom "concludes" and never "proves."
Important Update, October 25, 2015 - Discover Magazine
Discover Magazine: "The Scientific Method is a Myth"
 "It’s probably best to get the bad news out of the way first. The so-called scientific method is a myth. That is not to say that scientists don’t do things that can be described and are unique to their fields of study. But to squeeze a diverse set of practices that span cultural anthropology, paleobotany, and theoretical physics into a handful of steps is an inevitable distortion and, to be blunt, displays a serious poverty of imagination. Easy to grasp, pocket-guide versions of the scientific method usually reduce to critical thinking, checking facts, or letting “nature speak for itself,” none of which is really all that uniquely scientific. If typical formulations were accurate, the only location true science would be taking place in would be grade-school classrooms."
Well, that was the first paragraph in the article. It is popular now to hear terminology and expressions such as "Anti-Science" and Pseudo-Science" being lobbed by one side towards another side's position in hopes of elevating another's position as that of the enlightened version of Science. The real hard facts are that there is truly only good science and bad science. The terms above as cuddled by those who have need to be reassured that their worldview of life is still the warm and fuzzy one.
Such now-familiar pieces of rhetoric as “science and religion,” “scientist,” and “pseudoscience” grew in prominence over the same period of time. In that sense, “scientific method” was part of what we might call a rhetorical package, a collection of important keywords that helped to make science comprehensible, to clarify its differences with other realms of thought, and to distinguish its devotees from other people."
Yup, sure enough. And while both sides of the Agricultural argument will claim "scientific method" as their own and at the same time demonizing their opponents, often times neither side has really utilized such scientific method practice in coming to their conclusions as it was originally intended. There is too much to gain financially and even more to lose as far as from a "Prestige" standpoint because more often than not the scientific method exposes both side's flaws. Take note of the real motive behind the competitiveness of both sides from the article:
All of this paralleled a shift in popular notions of science from general systematized knowledge during the early 1800s to a special and unique sort of information by the early 1900s. These notions eclipsed habits of talk about the scientific method that opened the door to attestations of the authority of science in contrast with other human activities."
 "Such labor is the essence of what Thomas Gieryn (b. 1950) has called “boundary-work”that is, exploiting variations and even apparent contradictions in potential definitions of science to enhance one’s own access to social and material resources while denying such benefits to others."
Wow, no wonder our world looks the way it does. The so-called superior business model is nothing more than a cloak of Science wrapped around the the hidden ulterior motives of power, wealth, prestige and fame. This is what 100+ years of scientific enlightenment has brought us. It is insisted upon by many that the peer-review process is what keeps these flaws in check. The problem however is who are these peer-reviewers. Why we are told  that they are the Watchers and Safe Guarders of Science, but as someone once said, "Who's watching the Watchers ?" This is why true biomimicry or the practice of biomimetics can be used and practiced by the average person around the globe. Don't worry, you won't need some fancy title before your name nor Alphabet Soup initials after your name to arrive at correct conclusions. The  practice biomimetics is nothing more than viewing nature, observing how it really works and making practical application in your management practices after that. Word of caution however. Nature have been damaged. Much of the natural phenomena that used to be observed is either no longer existing or if it does, it's a bit rusted and in need of restoration. So the actual task will be more of a challenge than it was back over one hundred years ago when enlightenment took over and started to correct the imaginary perceived flaws that the later day experts saw in Nature when they attempted to make shortcut innovations to counter Nature's bad design and mistakes by means of those infamous copying errors and bad luck. Take a look below at areas where nature's engine still operates when all pistons are firing and no rust can be found.   
Back to the topic of Drought Resistant and what can be found outdoors when you read Nature's Book on the subject
image: Alpha AG Solutions 

image: Plant Healthcare Inc
Soak up the full view once again folks of the photo at top and the one to the right. This is not hidden rocket science for which only an arrogant self-promoting intellectual can grasp and understand. This is so simple that even a child gets it. Let's recap thru illustration. The pine seedling on the left represents a brand new factory stocked 1960s Chevrolet Chevelle SS 427 on the showroom floor of the Car Dealer. But the type of buyer for such an automobile is not satisfied with a factory stocked automobile. Clearly this buyer while originally attracted by the car's outward appearance and what the brochure said was under the hood (Bonnet), this type of buyer wants more and the pine seedling on the right represents a stock out of the showroom muscle car which is now equipped with Hooker Headers which provide further  enhanced performance. This same performance can be obtained with agricultural crops as well as plants in the urban landscape or the wildscape through the addition of mycorrhizal fungi. 

Now I figure there are a couple of reasons why BOTH the conventional Industrial Agro-Chemical-Biotech business model and the Industrial Organic business model leadership  refuses to discuss mycorrhizal fungi for enhanced performance, especially with regards the subject of drought resistance. First, let's be perfectly clear about what the reason is not. Neither side is ignorant nor stupid here when it comes to this specific subject of mycorrhizal fungi modifying and enhancing the performance of plants in resisting drought stress either under normal circumstances or in the News Reports of the coming apocalyptic climate change event which is forecasting hotter temps. So clearly it's something else and that something else is wealth, power and influential control over the globe's food supply. So let's illustrate even further to get the full flavour of how nature's mycorrhizal after market add on parts can improve high performance.

photo image by Terry Shea

Factory Stock 1970 Chevelle SS
The image above is a typical Dealership factory stock 1970 Chevelle SS with just the basics, much like any nursery grown plant germinated in a sterile environment minus all the modification tools and aftermarket parts found in Nature. Below is the after market purchased car where the owner has modified it with many add on parts, mostly unseen and under the hood where it counts, but also reflective on the outside with exterior decor. Any Questions ???
image: Wikipedia by Vegavairbob
1970 Chevelle SS 396 Hardtop Coupe
So how does this above illustration help us understand the unseen modifications which make all ecosystems a success in an undisturbed scenario where humans hands are absent ??? There is also a word of caution to be noted here. Going the holistic approach route is not going to be an over night success story where you take a bag of Mike Amaranthus' MycoApply and view it as magic dust which is going to provide you with a high yield success story that first farm crop growing year.
Anyone who would believe this is not taking into account of the need to rebuild the soil health by increasing the mycorrhizal fungi  through cover crops which the industrial agriculture business model has for the most part effectively destroyed through excessive overuse of industrially produced synthetic chemicals [fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, etc] Those 'glittering promotional Adverts' are the type of advertising normally found in the propaganda storytelling from the real world of Agro-Chemical sales pitchmen. Like building a high performance muscle car, any Car Mechanic will tell you there are far more after market parts which are needed for that full muscle car potential can be realized. A Film TV or Movie Star, Sports Star, Political darling or whatever takes years building up their careers to attain that celebrity status. It doesn't come over night. however, one single act of stupidity and foolishness can destroy a career seemingly over night. In order to recover, they must rebuild and hopefully regain the public trust that was lost by a stupid life changing decision. The same believe it or not is true of soil health. Nature took 10s of 1000s of years to build and sustainability maintain that healthy soil systems for which one act of industrial irresponsibility has ruined in a short period of time [mere decades] that cannot be repaired over night. You need to rebuild the soil with not only the multi-species blends of mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacterial, but also the cover crops for which they thrive and do their work at building up the microbial soil carbon necessary for crop success. This may take a year or two, but the long term health benefits and money savings are well worth it.

image by Mycorrhizal Applications Inc
Factory Stock Corn Plant on the left and Corn Plant on the
right modified with Nature's aftermarket high performance
modification parts.
Any Questions ???

While certainly there is money to be made in the farming and sales of mycorrhizal products, it's not the same type of obscene profiteering that comes with the deluge of chemical cocktails and outrageously priced seeds as the situation exists today. The Mycorrhizal approach is long term, where the agro-chemical & Biotech business model practices are short term. Both effect the environment in differing ways, one good and one bad. Aside from providing drought resistance, in order to thrive, it is imperative that mycorrhizal crops not be heavily fertilized or the colonization process is in danger of failure. In conventional farming, the biological crop root absorption components are limited as compared to performance enhanced mycorrhizal rooting infrastructure. Hence under the industrial model, it's a numbers game. Saturate the soil with heavier than necessary chemical fertilizers than is actually required by the plant and hope like heck a certain percentage sucks in somewhere. All excess as we know becomes runoff waste which pollutes lakes, streams, rivers and eventually the oceans. Over fertilization of plants triggers an epigenetic off switch which informs the plant that it doesn't need the mycorrhizae and that causes the crop plant to stop the manufacture of the signaling chemical formula released from it's roots which alerts the fungal spores to germinate onto the potential plant host's root system. Over abundance of food resources tell the plant it doesn't need help from any mycorrhizal partner. So perhaps you can see why very powerful Industrial Agro-Chemical companies would prefer to keep the status quo and why Biotechs will never discuss or consider it for drought stress. But there is no excuse for the Industrial Organic side unless they too have their own version of products for sale. And yes they do. The biggest problem is that most people haven't taken the time to read Nature's book and really decipher what is being said and in turn making practical application of what has been observed.

Human Beings forget or maybe take it for granted that Nature is really an owner's manual book that is not only decipherable, but eager to be read, as if in the very beginning it were written to be so. The problem today is that powerful forces from this world's various authorities [both powerful political & corporate business interests] have tried to censor what is written in nature's book with their version of a Gestapo tactics of a black marking pen to blot out what corporate entities imagine to be damaging information to the present consensus science. In other cases they have gone and deliberately ripped pages out of this book by means of grand scale habitat destruction by means of a figurative book burning demonstration in public squares and the invaluable information is no longer available by observation. It's called extinction at worst, whether we are talking various component organisms or entire ecosystems or at best, still existing, but in hidden away in small niches still untouched and unexplored by humans. Much of what was natural phenomena no longer exists in most places around our globe and trying to bring back what was lost can only been found in some cases in historical journals or diaries of early explorers over one hundred years ago. Nature's book today is a mere shadow or dust cloud as far as the full richness of what it's former historical glory once was. There are attempts to say the information in that book was never there, or such and such functions in Nature never worked that way. There are clearly attempts by large corporate business interests to rewrite Nature's book, but the spurious scriptural texts they replace the original information with are exposed when we see it doesn't harmonize with the rest of the chapters. Most chapters in Nature's book can be looked upon and viewed as various ecosystems which though clearly different from one another have the same basic fundamentals and principles which guide and direct the life within them.

Illustration by Jakub Vitek
The idea of viewing our natural world as a book of nature is not just a metaphor. In nature's book you can even cross reference and find that it will easily and clearly define itself. This makes it easy to spot spurious texts (modern day innovations-techniques which actually ruin) which have been altered by outsiders with ulterior motives. From the WikiQuotes page, Albert Einstein famously remarked that "the eternally incomprehensible thing about the world is its comprehensibility." Clearly, he knew that it is possible to read Nature's book and unveil the mystery within, but it takes great effort, patience, determination and the proper motivation in making practical application of things learned through observation. Unfortunately, we don't actually have a scientific world which follows this rule. There will be defenders who will insist otherwise, but the main problem has always been historically the people who run the scientific orthodoxy and they are committed to giant corporate business interests. Academia is shackled to the same flaws, they need funding and this more often than not soils and corrupts the landscape of truth. The old time traditional Science of Discovery and Wonder has been replaced by industrial corporate interests. 

I'll close this with another interesting link from Penn State University's Agricultural Extension on the subject of mycorrhizae which I found very simple to read, understandable and very informative at the same time. After that I'l provide the promised picture gallery which itself is educational.
Mycorrhizal Fungi and Crop Root Photos  Gallery

image: Mycorrhizal Applications Inc
Corn Control vrs Mycorrhizal Corn in Thailand
Millborn Seeds Inc - South Dakota, USA


Photo courtesy - Eddie Loy of Star Seed Inc - Delphos, Kansas, USA


Corn Drought Stress Graph - University of Wisconsin, USA
Special note on cover crops and their importance which also has implications for restoring large acreage involving both ecosystem habitats and mismanaged rangelands infested with noxious weeds 
Image: DuPont - Pioneer Seed

These photo images both above and below are crops which exhibit what is called Crop Fallow Syndrome (CFS Syndrome). The Corn in the picture above on the right hand side in the photo is exhibiting (CFS Syndrome) following corn planting after the growth and harvest of Sugar Beets (nonMycorrhizal plant). In the picture below here the Corn on the left hand side of the photo was grown after Soybean (Mycorrhizal host plant) cover crop, but the Corn on the right hand side was grown following Canola (nonMtcorrhizal plant). Allowing the land to remain fallow between crops is also detrimental to a mycorrhizal soil. The Mycorrhizal fungi cannot live and thrive without a host and therefore perishes and allows a bacterial system to take control of the soils. This favours other nonMycorrhizal plants used as cover crops like Mustard, Canola, Buckwheat, forage Radish, Camelina, etc. But you should also take note that this is what allows weeds (ruderals) to thrive and it should illustrate why weed invasive plants have taken over many parts of the earth because of ignorance towards land management. This includes both agricultural crop production, Rangeland management for grazing operations, weed problems faced in the urban landscape both with homeowners, commercial and municipal landscape projects and their employees. Can you now understand how the practices which favour a bacterial soil system also favour the industrial Agro-chemical business model and why these entities try so hard to stifle and squelch any positive information to be published or spoken about ?

Had mycorrhizal fungi been more respected and understood in it's role as an ecosystem maintenance tool, we wouldn't be fighting wild mustard and radish, we would be dealing with Yellow Star Thistle and Cheatgrass, etc, etc, etc. Please ponder, meditate and think deeply the next time you are outdoors in any type of plant restoration establishment and maintenance project (garden, urban landscape, habitat restoration, commercial farm, etc), because disrespecting what you cannot see will reveal itself eventually by the eventual negative conditions you do see. As for Farmers, for agriculture to improve, there are some major deprogramming to be undertaken with both men and women being sent back to school to study Nature's tool-kit book and how the real world in the outdoors really works. Same can be said for people who claim they love gardening and landscaping, even habitat restoration.

On a similar topic note, you may find two New York Times article on combating Cheat Grass by microbiological controls, one a bacteria and the other a fungus very interesting & informative:

Researchers Find Ways to Fight Cheatgrass, A Western Scourge
Out West, ‘Black Fingers of Death’ Offer Hope Against an Invader

Photo: Penn State Agricultural Extension

Important Update October 15, 2015:  
"Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil"
I'm including this video about building up soil health which is being presented by a North Dakota Farmer named Gabe Brown who farms over 5000+ acres. For all the in your face Industrial Agriculture proponents who tell you an organic approach that replicates Nature's biological soil building program won't provide high yields, they are either totally ignorant of how nature actually works or they are out right lying for their preferred business model. The video below is exactly what I have been doing in Habitat restoration and commercial landscape installation and maintenance. It runs about an hour, some give yourself some time.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
Upton Sinclair