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It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's
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(community and personal)
problems addressed by TIA:
violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, other addictions, road rage, office
rage, bullying, homelessness, teenage rebellion, thrill-seeking and
depression, major crime, even illiteracy, high divorce rates and
personal problems that lead to neuroses, bankruptcy or emotional
Copyright 2003-2012 BillAllin.com,
All Rights Reserved
Aliens Are Among Us And Available to Help Us and Our Planet
I know some of my hypotheses sound rather extraordinary.
I may be a little weird, but I'd rather be weird and right than normal and wrong.
- Paul Stamets, scholar of ancient mycotechnology, owner of Fungi Perfecti
Stamets is definitely not like you and me. He knows stuff. He knows how
to clean up the land around Fukushima without burying millions of tons
of contaminated dirt. He offered a method to clean up, naturally, the
oil spill from Deep Horizon. Despite his proof, yes proof, no one in
power took him seriously.
after reading what I have about him, I would not be surprised if one
day I learn that he has ways we can adapt to global warming and its
inevitable consequences. (But not yet for that. Bear with me.)
article is not about Stamets, but about the beings he cares about. You
may think you know about these beings, but chances are you will be more
than a little surprised.
I was a kid (maybe when you were too) I was taught that everything
could be divided into three categories: animal, vegetable or mineral.
Everything we could think of fit into one of those three categories.
beings I refer to are living things on our planet. Yet not animal,
vegetable or mineral, by common definitions. These things may be more
shocking, based on what they can do, than any you might have imagined.
True, a few people have died over the years through contact with them,
but the fault was with the ignorance of the people, not of the beings
that these are not the vicious conquering type of aliens we have read
about or seen in movies for decades in science fiction. They are about
as friendly and helpful to humans as it's possible to be.
never could figure out why humans thought of aliens from other worlds
as conquerors who would destroy us and what we know. Would we do that
if we sent a ship through space to another inhabited planet? Would our
astronauts be expected to destroy any life they may find on Mars in
coming decades? No.
we get to the names, descriptions and modus operandi of these alien
creatures, I want you to try to imagine what you think aliens might
look like. The fact is, we have no idea. We don't even know if we would
recognize aliens as life forms if they did not conform to our sci-fi
images. Remember, it was not that long ago that homo sapiens without
white skin were considered to be subhuman, simpler life forms, with
much lower intelligence than those with white skin. We really know very
little about life of any kind.
an alien breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide? Ours do. At least
some of them do. How would they move? On feet, hoofs, paws or flexible
skin (think snakes), as we are familiar with? Ours don't. They have
roots, at least some of them. They spread or "re-seed" as some plants
do. In fact, one being in the west of the USA is so large that it lives
in the ground under four contiguous states. No other living thing we
know is that large.
it have a brain? Almost certainly. At least something we might consider
a brain. In fact, some of our beings contain pathways inside that,
under a microscope, look very similar to pathways of the human brain.
they engage in agriculture? Some of our creatures are known to feed
trees, from which they later gain nutrients for themselves. In fact,
evidence suggests that they have been known to provide extra nutrients
for young trees that are suffering because they can't get enough
sunlight because other nearby taller trees are blocking light from
they create chlorophyll, as plants do? Ours don't. In fact, they might
consume dying plants (as we do) to extract chlorophyll and other
nutrients from them. Keep in mind that all life forms we know consume
other life forms to continue their existence--every single one of them.
of our aliens live in a symbiotic relationship with plant life we are
more familiar with. Some live in a symbiotic relationship with animal
life we are familiar with.
may even have some of our alien life forms in your refrigerator. In
fact, health aficionados recommend them highly as extremely beneficial
for your health. Not long ago they were considered junk, not worth
eating, parasites to the plant world. How our thinking changes as we
with the teasing. The aliens in your refrigerator are mushrooms. The
dangerous ones are called toadstools. Both are fungi, a huge group now
considered to be a Kingdom (like animals and vegetables) of their own.
When you look at a mushroom in the ground, what you see is the fruit,
what you eat is the fruit of the organism.
are now known to comprise an enormous Kingdom with some 1.5 million
members. Among the more familiar ones are yeasts and molds. Yes, they
do breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, like animals. Yes, some
do have neural systems that look similar to that of human brains. They
are subject to many of the same diseases as animals. Like animals, who
lack the ability to make chlorophyll and to photosynthesize, they eat
other forms of life.
are a diverse Kingdom. Some, such as yeast, are single cells. Others,
like molds, are multicellular. And, yes, the largest known living being
is under four states in the western USA. But don't plan a vacation to
see it, it is underground. It feeds trees and it feeds off trees.
Strange, huh? Kind of....alien.
humans did the same sorts of things as some fungi, they would be said
to be farming, acting in sympathetic or even empathetic ways to other
beings, possibly altruistic. As it is, most people think of fungi as
some kinds of strange plants.
To conclude, let's look at several ways in which fungi could help us to save our planet.
have made use of fungi for thousands of years. Ötzi, the famous 5000
year old "Ice Man" whose body was discovered a few years ago, carried
amadou with him. The spongy inner layer of the horse hoof fungus,
amadou has been used for everything from making clothing (it feels and
is worn like felt, and is as warm), as tinder for starting fires, for
dressing wounds because of its antimicrobial properties, and for
is the first medicinal ever recorded. Hippocrates (he who created the
Hippocratic oath, sworn by new medical doctors-- basically: first, do
no harm) recorded it in 450 BCE as an anti-inflammatory. Of course you
would not likely see it for sale today because it is available
naturally on every continent and cheap to make (thus making it of no
interest to drug manufacturers).
could be enhanced with mycorrhizal fungi which would eliminate the need
for toxic chemical fertilizers while improving crop yields.
Biodiesel made from mushrooms would require less soil and other resources than crops used at present. And mushrooms grow fast.
and radiation could be removed from contaminated soil and water as
mushrooms can break them down and absorb them. Slimy spike-cap
mushrooms gobble up radioactive cesium-137, for example. Mushrooms will
not harm the environment, rather they improve it. They would improve
soil formerly contaminated with glyphosate.
Mushrooms could be used to clean runoff from storm drains, farms, logging roads or contamination from mines.
fungi could be used to kill off certain species of pests while
remaining safe for others and not harming the ground in which they are
selected mushrooms could be used to make new antibiotics, antivirals,
immune-boosting compounds and even chemotherapies. Agarikon mushrooms,
for example, could be used to protect against bird flu, swine flu, even
could be used to symbiotically enhance growth of new forests or
reforestation of clear-cut land. They help trees grow and, in turn,
gain nutrients from the same trees.
grow quickly, provide many essential nutrients and grow in almost any
environment. They could be used to provide quick and fresh relief in
disaster zones and refugee camps using just wood chips or
saltwater-soaked straw as a starting medium.
could be used not only as freshly-grown food for space travelers, but
also as materials for terraforming on new planets due to their ability
to create new soil relatively quickly.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,
a book of solutions for problems that affect every family and every
community, but almost everyone believes they are simply consequences of
[Primary Resource: "Mushroom Manifesto", by Kenneth Miller, Discover, July/August 2013]
It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's