The number one cause of acid rain is fertilizer.
Corporate monoculture farming depletes soil and requires massive inputs of fertilizer. Soil biota that keeps the soil healthy are killed by fertilizers and plants get weaker as their natural circular economy breaks down. BigAg has to buy more fertilizers from BigChem to stay in business. Another pattern then emerges that is destroying plants all along our eastern seaboard.
Excess fertilizer washes out when it rains and dissolves in streams and rivers. It fertilizes algae and other green plants causing massive growth in rivers and lakes that chokes out other life forms in the water. A lot of studies have been made on this problem.
This isn’t the biggest problem, because the bulk of fertilizer ends up in the ocean and causes algae blooms. An algae bloom occurs when an influx of fertilizer causes massive algae reproduction to take advantage of the increased food supply. Algae individually release tiny amounts of sulfuric acid and algae are essential in the ocean’s circular economies. A lot of studies have been made on algae and blooms.
Large amounts of sulfuric acid produced by algae blooms are dissolved into the surface water of the ocean then evaporated with the water to become dilute sulfuric acid. The rainwater is then too acidic for plants along the eastern seaboard; therefore, trees and other plants are dying from acid rain. Acid rain is breaking natural circular economies around the world.
There is a lot of publicity for secondary causes of acid rain, like you driving to work. Although never mentioned, emissions from moving food across the planet every day is a massive source of emmisions. Individuals have reduced auto emissions dramatically by making small changes in their habits, yet acid rain continues unabated because the biggest cause is ignored.
The main source is BigAg and BigChem and the politicians that protect them. It seems a pretty tight association and petitions and such have little impact. Profiteers don’t have incentive to change, nor do the politicians paid to protect them.
Their basic motivation is, of course, profit. They profit from shifting food (and any other product or function) into the market economy. Corporate profit is not a criminal act in itself, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing for individual human beings.
Our current food supply lines span the globe. Even food that grows very well here is being outsourced to other countries. For example: apples grow in Washington State. You can easily buy 30 or more varieties there. The best shipping varieties are trucked all over the country and shipped across the planet. In the last few decades, apple growers have been going out of business because apple processing companies are buying from other countries.
This a natural action for a market economy and even though processors know it isn’t good for our country, they do it for personal profit.
There is a lot of fuss about these issues and everyone has heard the BUY LOCAL slogan. It is a good choice. I don’t want to go to the grocery store one day and discover that the global supply chain can no longer bring apples to me when I know darn well that apples grow in most of the USA.
GROW YOUR OWN is a better idea. It pulls food out of the market economy and puts it back into the natural circular economy where it is sustainable. Where it has been for millenia.
Food is essential to my individual survival. I have removed as much of my basic survival requirement from the market economy as I can manage. How much I manage varies depending on where I have lived and how I garden. I consider this Food Forest a new garden and it’s production will increase every year.
I am glad to have market economy foods. In the winter I crave Texas Sweet Oranges. Wine is good. Chocolate and cinnamon are essential for a good life. I do not want my basic survival to depend on the market economy… to have cash to purchase food… to depend on global supply lines to supply food.
I bring my food production home where it does not cause acid rain.