More Than We Thought

A study published in November 2023 found that plants may be absorbing 20% more environmental CO2 that previously thought. I find it intriguing that such a significant change was the result of adding real but seemingly small complexities of “How efficiently CO2 moves within a leaf, how plants adjust to changes in environmental temperature, and how they distribute nutrients most economically.” In Ms. Thompson’s review, just quoted, I found a particular observation particularly valuable, “The researchers found that the more complex their modeling, the more surprising the results – in the environment’s favor.” As I approach the natural world with questions rather than forced answers, I find much more wonder.

Speaking of Unintended Consequences

Last week I wrote about my surprise and concern about the haste to take findings about plant communications to develop “hijack” methods to naively coerce them for vaccines or other crop management interventions. One of the reasons I gave for concern was for unintended consequences, specifically citing “Silent Spring“, by Rachel Carson.

This week we have yet another example of unintended consequences from industrial, chemical crop management: reduced male fertility. A study released this week found that exposure to organophosphate (OP) and N-methyl carbamate (NMC) based pesticides, both commonly used in North America, was distinctly associated with decreased male fertility. The study’s authors concluded, “evidence warrants reducing exposure to OP and NMC insecticides now to prevent continued male reproductive harm”.

With the pervasive presence of and dependence on human-made environmental toxins, it seems evident that we face the silencing of the industrial consumer culture. The prospects of such a future have persuaded some to face the future with more humility in their approach to natural systems.

Apple Pie No Sugar added


1 12 oz can frozen apple juice concentrate
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp salt
6-8 cups of apples, sliced*


In a saucepan combine apple juice concentrate, cornstarch cinnamon and salt. Simmer until thickened. Add sliced apples and cook about 5 min on low stirring every so often. Put into pie shell and place another pastry on top. Flute edges.

*Use 6 cups of apples if using a normal pie dish and use 8 cups if using a deep pie dish.

For a fun treat I’ll make a Dutch apple pie by using a crumb topping on top instead of a pastry. Crumb topping: ¾ cup flour, ½ cup sugar**, ⅓ cup butter

**I like to use ¼ cup sucanat  and ¼ cup coconut sugar