Ukraine's eroded Carpathian Mountains
First, it's important, IMO, to understand how geology has blessed Ukraine with so much of the planet's best soils. Soil is a living thing composed of interactive elements that work there best when in balance. Ukraine's are perfectly balanced in acidity naturally because of how two independent geologic factors have, over millions of years, colluded to build it.
One is the limestone formations underlying much of western Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountain's limestone which has through the eons since their uplift been eroded to nubbins. Limestone is one of the most quickly and easily eroded of rock types and as every farmer and gardener knows is essential in achieving a balance in acidic soils. The acidity the limestone's erosion is balancing comes down the Dnieper River from its headwaters in Belarus and Russia where it has for millions of years drained the huge peat bogs there. Peat is very acidic but loaded with micro-nutrients that can only be taken by plants when that acidity is balanced by an opposite base, like limestone.
From millions of years the Dnieper was held back and forced to slowly drain those swampy peats by the valley's limestone which the iver inevitably wore away during that long period. The river during that period formed huge a flood plain before enough limestone was worn away by the river to create the channel we see now, including the rapids upstream where the limestone in the river bed is still exposed. That flood plain, and those of Ukraine's other rivers who had nearly the same conditions, composes today most of the valley land between the Dnieper and the Carpathians, which we call the western Ukraine.
The Dnieper River Valley was first extolled for its abundance in writing by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC as Borysthenes. But this territory of Ukraine has been continuously inhabited for at least forty four thousand years. It is where the horse was first domesticated and a candidate site of the origins of the Proto-Indo-European language family. It's history is our history.
All of Ukraine has very productive soils and its agricultural industry still has huge potential because it has not been privatized. Instead it continues to be managed for the long-term good of the many not the short-term speculative 'profits' on the few. The banksters want to 'capitalize' on that, want to spread their poisonous chemical fertilizers and pesticides, their GMO seeds and rape one of the few remaining great productive areas our descendants will have to have if they will survive in a future world where almost all of the other great natural agricultural areas will have been destroyed by short-sighted industrial agriculture.
Once the living soil is killed by chemicals it no longer can hold moisture properly and it simply blows away or erodes away into the oceans. Once there it both can't be retrieved so millions of years of real wealth creation is thrown away and it covers the existing ocean bottom's bio-sphere choking it out [eutrophication].
This terrible scenerio is being played out around the globe by the vultures with slight variations in each locale. In the US, for instance, private equity vultures are, as Carey L. Biron writes, "attepting to grab half of US farmland". Times are tough for America's farmers, high interest payments on loans required to finance the capital necessary to keep their chemical, GMO intensive industrial ag model afloat combined with dwindling water resources from depleted aquifers, near continuous drought and nosediving prices that are manipulated by those same vultures, have nearly bankrupted every longtime family owned farm.
The same theft is being perpetrated by the same vultures just as strongly in Iowa and Calif. as it is in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Brazil, Australia and Mozambique to name just a few. as it is in Ukraine. 'Corporate consolidation' of everything is inevitable unless.... How can it not be when ever fewer people control an ever greater share of all wealth. Water will be next and when they can figure a way out to do it the air we breathe.
The G8 Brings Big Ag Colonialism to Africa' explores. It also tells part of the story of how our western 'democracies' are working as handmaidens to the vultures, how the propaganda they spin at home about foreign aid really works and what it's actual purpose is. But the Africans, perhaps because they've already seen what assholes the developed nations are run by, are organizing and fighting back. They seem to understand that as Vandana Shiva says, " In nature's economy the currency is not money-it is life."
Tomorrow The Mud Report will stay focused on Ukraine. This time on its long history of West-East cultural division and along the two sides of Dnieper River Valley. On how these recent events aren't really so recent and how now, as so many times in the past, this division has been exploited by each epic's surrounding Empires.