A Quick History of Chemical Fertilizers
Where Do We Go from Here?  article, 3-24-2022


This is a quick history of chemical fertilizers, how to get off our addiction to them, and what to replace them with?

Making the Case for:
Brown Thumb Green Thumb

Please share this article with everyone, in any group, link to it from your website, or in any way ethically.

We are living in very important and extreme times.

Let me begin by saying that in 2022 agricultural products will be in extremely short supply. This is due to the throttling and high price of natural gas and oil from Russia. Russia and Ukraine supply 30% of the world’s wheat. Along with food shortages will also be fertilizer shortages, due to natural gas and oil from the OPEC countries. I’ll get into the petrochemicals later.

It is PARAMOUNT that you understand how to grow food for yourself in any way that you can. In Any Way!

THERE IS NO WRONG TIME TO START LEARNING. THERE ARE BETTER TIMES BUT YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. THAT'S BETTER THAN NOTHING.

After all, it’s easy, said billionaire Michael Bloomberg when running for president in 2020, “Just stick a seed in the ground, spit on it, and up pops a corn plant. If you can do that, you can be a computer programmer”. Say Waaaaat!? 😮

I’m not preaching gloom and doom just responsibility and truth.

If I had told you, in 2019, about C0-vid, toilet paper, gas prices, inflation, Ukraine invasion, lockdowns, supply chain interruptions, 30 trillion dollars in debt, 94 counties still have not passed anti-slavery laws, or we generally have 3 months of food supply before the next shipment (which are sitting on barges rotting), etc. etc., you would NOT have believed me. These are the scenarios that made my family start learning to be self-sufficient in the 1990’s.

After writing Brown Thumb Green Thumb (at the beginning of 2021) the already high food prices began to rise even more, due to the 2020 pandemic. It was part of my inspiration for writing the book.

In 2020 I knew a record amount of people would want to grow their own food. Of course, this comes with a lot of practice, patience, and persistence. It’s March of 2022 and I think it’s warranted to say,

We’re in a food, energy, health, or any fill in the _____ CRISIS!”.

I don’t care what anyone’s politics are or how they think we got here, BUT…WE’RE HERE!

It really is a big wakeup call. The unfortunate situation is…a crisis is no time to start learning anything. The best time to garden, prep, practice, etc., is in the good times, no matter how uncomfortable it is, cause you know, “bad times are a comin”. However, you’re here now. So, KUDOS!

The recent news stated that chemical fertilizers are rising in price and becoming in short supply, even for people wanting to start a garden. They’re in for a BIG AWAKENING. My wife watched some YouTubers talk about not being able to get any fertilizer at their local feed store. If they don't learn how to grow plants organically, they're also in for a rude awakening.

The History of Chemical Fertilizers Dates Back Over 150 years.


Chemical fertilizers are created from oil and natural gas. Let’s look at the current situation and our appetite for this energy source, go back in time, then look at where we go from here. This is a trajectory I call, “
Let the Past be Your Compass”, as quoted by Mandy and Hermi in, The Beneficials screenplay.

All we self-sustaining farmers love to throw darts at the well-known Monsanto, but they weren’t exactly the first kid on the block, or should I say, “drug corner”. We could date some of the first known chemists over 150 years ago, starting with Bayer (who acquired Monsanto in 2018). However, it started over 350 years ago with Friedrich Jacob Merck, of the now Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. (More about Merck, later)

For hundreds of years, chemists have become heavily fascinated with the matter of plants, animals, minerals, coal, natural gas, and petroleum (oil/fossil fuels). Petrochemicals contain hundreds of compounds with which to extract and chelate many types of formulas. It’s like using the 26 letters of the alphabet to create thousands of words. Why do petrochemicals contain so many rich ingredients? We first go to its origin.

It’s been widely studied and known, but I’ll quote National Geographic:

Millions of years ago, algae and plants lived in shallow seas. After dying and sinking to the seafloor, the organic material mixed with other sediments and was buried. Over millions of years under high pressure and high temperature, the remains of these organisms transformed into what we know today as fossil fuels.”

One of these fossil fuels is coal. However, coal tar is made from coal by using heat, absence the presence of oxygen, known as pyrolysis. This is much like how biochar is made today from wood. Coal tar can even be made from biochar or wood.

In 1897, saccharin was accidentally discovered by a researcher from Johns Hopkin’s University who was looking for new uses for coal tar derivatives for pharmaceuticals. As the story goes, he accidentally forgot to wash his hands and tasted something sweet on his fingers.

Other than using coal tar pitch to line the bottom of boats since ancient times, it was used over 100 years ago to treat skin diseases, even to this day.

Aspirin (originally from Bayer and mixed with willow bark) is from acetylsalicylic acid, which is made from chemicals reacting to the petrochemicals benzene, cumene, and phenol.

Nitrogen
The famous “NPK” chemical fertilizer ratio is also made from petrochemicals. This can be debatable depending on the company. Some will argue that none of this is from oil. Again, it depends on the source. However, using petrochemicals has become more cost effective, and if its use was to be less oil dependent, then it's definitely not the standard today.

In 1909, German engineers, figured out how to extract Nitrogen from the air. BASF scientists Haber and Bosch discovered the chemical reaction of Nitrogen and Hydrogen to make ammonia. This called for extreme temperatures and high pressure to distill about 200 pounds per hour. It was an engineering marvel.

After World War I, the secret was out. Britain, France, and the US would be creating fertilizer for crops in the same way. Today, because it takes a lot of heat for the extraction process, many companies will use natural gas to heat the process, much like using coal to create steam to spin the turbines for making electricity.

Today, many chemical fertilizer companies not only use natural gas for the heating process but also use the methane from it as the hydrogen source for making ammonia and/or urea. Why get any hydrogen from the air when it’s already piped in from the natural gas pipelines?

From Reuters, “Fertilizer plants separate hydrogen from natural gas and combine it with nitrogen taken from the air to make ammonia, which farmers inject into soil to maximize crop growth.

Production generates carbon emissions that CF says it can avoid by extracting hydrogen instead from water charged with electricity.” CF is a chemical company that makes several fertilizers. Reading the MSDS safety sheet on UAN (urea-ammonium- nitrogen) is tantamount to pouring gasoline all over you. It even mentions possible death, along with many bad side effects. They also stated that prolonged exposure can have side effects too.

CF stands for Central Farmers Fertilizer Company, based in Illinois.

Let’s get this next statement from the horse’s mouth, a company in Norway called, Yara.

In a modern plant, nitrogen fertilizer is produced from natural gas. In several transformation steps, natural gas, essentially methane, is upgraded by combination with nitrogen from the air to form nitrogen fertilizer. 80% of the gas is used as feedstock for fertilizer while 20% is used for heating the process and producing electricity.

They go on to say,

Based on the two main end products, ammonium nitrate and urea, different fertilizer types are manufactured by mixing with ingredients such as phosphorus and potassium to form NPKs, dolomite to form CAN or by mixing urea and ammonium nitrate solution to make UAN.

Here’s a company from Canada, Nutrien

It was difficult to find their actual words. They do have the drawing on their website, but the PDF on page 10 (chrome extension) says it clear. You should read the rest.

Nitrogen (N) is required by every living cell and is part of the genetic blueprints RNA and DNA. It is a fundamental building block of plant proteins that improve crop yield and quality. Nitrogen is also essential for proper animal nutrition and maturation. Synthesized from hydrogen sources (primarily natural gas or coal), steam and nitrogen from the air, ammonia (NH3) is a concentrated source of nitrogen and the basic feedstock  for all upgraded nitrogen products. It is also used to make industrial products and as a direct application fertilizer.”

They also boast of their recent ESG report (chrome extension). This is basically a climate score, or grade being imposed on big corporations and later, to mom & pop startups, much like the coming of an individual social credit score (SCS) in America and other countries.

Need I get into other companies in Germany. This is implemented all around the world.

All these companies boast about how clean, safe, and environmentally friendly they are. Contrary, they also say how they are working on trying to reduce their emissions and know they are contributing to “climate change” or “dirty” air, water, and land. Every company also boasts of being the biggest chemical fertilizer company in the world. I don’t know. Maybe they ALL come under one umbrella.

Some, argue that methane is natural, except the methane is from natural gas and natural gas is from oil deposits, thus, PERTOCHEMICALS. This is going into our food. The number of products pulled from shelves or recalls by the FDA is staggering per year. This is not all from chemical fertilizers but some we use on our body and consume in pharmaceutical medicines. Others are mislabeling and some recalls are microbial outbreaks, to be fair.

Benzene (from petrochemicals) in Brut and Sure Deodorant. Benzene can be cancer causing.

I won’t bore you with a list. Go to the FDA website and check it out for yourself. Look for products containing chemicals made from oil, natural gas, and coal. This will take due diligence.

Phosphorus
Some chemical companies (maybe not all) mine phosphoric ore. They combine the rock with phosphoric acid, sodium carbonate, and calcine. Now we have a potentially high amount of salt.

Potassium or Potash
Potash used to be made by controlled burns, using the ashes. It’s still it to some degree today. To quote Thermo Fisher Scientific, “Potash was originally made by leaching tree ashes in metal pots. The process left a white residue on the pot, called “pot ash.” Potassium increases water retention in plants, improves crop yields, taste, etc., etc.

Potash is mined from underground dried up sea beds from Canada, Russia, Belarus, US, etc. It’s brought to the surface and mined into potassium salts. If it’s hard to get too, other solvents are used like, brine, magnesium or other salts to pump to the surface and recrystallize.
Alright, Salt! Now, that’s really great for the soil microbes, eh?

As I cover in Brown Thumb Green Thumb, all this kills a living soil that depends on certain symbiotic microbes. The plant is completely dependent on the synthetic fertilizer for everything. Most of it leaches into streams and lakes and can’t be uptaken properly. I believe it’s BASF that is now coming up with a poly coating for slower release, “saving the environment” from such things as algae blooms, dead fish, and amphibians.

How can 70+ trace minerals be chelated properly into a plant and it’s surrounding soil from synthetic fertilizers? It can’t. Therefore, we aren’t getting our minerals properly. They have to be poorly added and cause our lands to be void of life and minerals.

The History of Chemical Fertilizers Saga Continues…


This is a patent for using coal as fertilizer:

Process for producing coal-based fertilizer and the products produced
“This invention is connected with the products and the process of coal-based fertilizer, the process of which starts with coal crushing, filtering, mixing with other substances such as salt and essential nutrients maturing and forming the fertilizer into granules or prills (granulation).”

But Don’t Worry! It's OKAY! The patent states that coal is 100% organic. I think oil, and even high fructose corn syrup comes from the ground. (Stop this planet. I want off!)

As covered in Brown Thumb Green Thumb, Chapter 4 - Synthetic Chemical Effects, I discuss some of the earth’s main gasses. Nitrogen in its most abundant state, is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, and mostly diatomic non-metal gas in the atmosphere of about 78%. Oxygen is <20%, Argon <1%, Carbon Dioxide <0.04%, and Hydrogen about 0.00005%).

It’s a wonder to me how plants make such great use out of such little CO2. Of course, there are different measurements if taken near places with tremendous wildfires and erupting volcanoes.

Hawaii is a great example, but plants do wonderful there. What Oxygen the Amazon and African jungles create, they use. Contrary to daytime, during the night, plants gas off CO2 and take in Oxygen at night. It can be seen from space. This was mentioned in National Geographic's series One Strange Rock (Amazon  link) with Will Smith. Read one of my articles on Diatomaceous Earth and where the planet probably get most of our oxygen.

Let me make one note about labeling.

Every gas I listed above can be stated as “natural gas”. Oxygen is a natural gas. So, when you read many chemical sites stating how natural gas is pulled from the air, it’s correct. However, they can really make things seem as pure as “natural gas”.

I eat clean. When the ingredient states carmine, I avoid it. Maybe the ingredient states, “natural flavors” Well, Now HECK! That could be anything, including carmine. I have no idea what’s in the food or it’s derivatives. I call and talk to the label companies often too. It’s proprietary…Sssshhhh! Be cautious and wary.

Alright! Let’s Discuss Monsanto.

You may not believe some of the things I write in this article. That’s okay with me. I don’t want you to agree just because I opine on many issues, especially in making the case for Brown Thumb Green Thumb. If you agree with me 100%, you’re not your own thinker. This is why I also included links to outside sources, even from the horse’s mouth. So, you decide.

Another source I’d like to share with you is a man named Bart Elmore, “An award-winning professor and writer who investigates the impact of big business on our environment”.

Bart has traveled the world to witness the dumping grounds of some of these petrochemical companies (namely Monsanto). He’s sat in on court cases, knocked on people’s doors to talk with those who’ve worked with these companies and who live next to the facilities. He’s written many articles and holds lectures.

Bartow has also written a few good books, Seed Money  - Monsanto’s past and our food future, and Citizen Coke - An absorbing history of how Coke’s insatiable thirst for natural resources shaped the company and reshaped the globe. You’ll never look at Coca-Cola the same again.

Monsanto got its start in the early 1900’s by John F. Queeny and named it after his wife, Olga Monsanto Queeny. He produced saccharine and later, Coca-Cola became a heavy purchaser of it.

From Reuters:
1920s and 1930s - Manufacturers sulfuric acid and other chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are later implicated in reproductive, developmental and immune system disorders.”

They also created Agent Orange (later known to be cancer-causing, including encoded into the DNA of offspring linked to thyroid diseases and many other issues, for those that had a relative that fought in Vietnam). Agent Orange was popular in the Vietnam war in deforestation. It would lead to the creation of Roundup™.

In Bartow’s research, Coca-Cola asked Monsanto to create a synthetic caffeine, which to Coke’s surprise, they did. They created it from coal tar, then turned into urea. Most of the synthetic caffeine today in soft drinks is from coal tar.

It was used as a flavonoid and people loved that kick. Caffeine used to be sourced from tea leaves and coffee, but Coke and other brand names couldn’t keep up with demand and needed a cheap form of it.

Now, we all know Coca-Cola used to use the coca leaf and the cola nut in its ingredient. Guess what? They still use the coca leaf today. They are the only known company to import it legally today. Contrary to popular belief, the coca leaf does not have a cocaine affect just by eating a leaf. It has to be concentrated and processed via human intervention to get cocaine. It would still have medicinal properties when ingested, just not that cocaine affect.

Coke extracts certain alkaloids that remove those drug-like properties leaving the flavor of the leaf behind. This is where Coca-Cola gets its unique flavor aside from other colas. According to Bartow, Monsanto would not have existed without a big contract from Coca-Cola.

When the new Coca-Cola came out in 1985, they removed the coca leaf extract. Whoops! Big mistake, so they went back to the original formula. New York Times 1988 archive.

I hate to be the “bayer” of bad news but the ghost of Monsanto still exists today as they were sucked up into the Bayer Mothership of all acquisitions.

Bayer acquires Monsanto in 2018. I wonder why they don’t brag about that one? This is their only mention of Monsanto when reading the history of Bayer.

Bayer closes Monsanto acquisition. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company.”

You can’t even Google Monsanto.com. It redirects you to Bayer... BUT I CAN!😊

Be patient as it takes time to load: Monsanto 2001-2022 You can play around by scrubbing through the dates.

Bayer produces Roundup™ and its next generations, XtendFlex™, and XtendiMax™. It’s not clear to me if the next generation is sprayed on top of Roundup™ for those extra pesky weeds, plus herbicides, and fungicides.

Bayer Products from A-Z

Bayer got it’s beginning making textile dyes from coal tar over 150 years ago. They dabbled in heroin, but it never took off.  Later, they would go on to make Aspirin® which they’re known for today. They go through many setbacks with two world wars but would come out on top with a series of mergers.

Bayer becomes heavily invested into pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals from which we get polyethylene, polyurethane, Rubbers, and other plastics. Much of the plastic industry is from Bayer and its acquisitions.

Monsanto produced many seeds to be engineered for Roundup™ which caused issues with pests, and fungus disease as they had no natural immune system. Monsanto would have to create new generations of seeds and its still an ongoing issue today. It could wipe out a farmer’s entire crop for the year if they don’t use Monsanto’s chemicals.

This would lead to several bankrupt farmers committing suicide, especially in India.

There are billions of dollars in class action lawsuits set aside for victims of Monsanto (Bayer), many people will die before they get any of it.


The History of Merck - enter the time machine

In 1641 Friedrich Jacob Merck leaves his hometown of Schweinfurt after receiving an apprenticeship at City Hall Pharmacy and later, owns a pharmacy in Wesselburen. In the 1660’s he moves to Darmstadt an takes over an existing pharmacy located on Schlossgraben.

This will historically become the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company.

He becomes well known for making the distinction between vegetable and mineral preparation as well as animal and humans. Friedrich will go on to do research using his laboratory and complicated extraction methods to make medicine to fight diseases. One such example is certain methods for using quills from the blow fish for remedies.

This became common practice among pharmacists/chemical companies in the 1700’s and is where we get such terms as “snake oil”. However, some chemical companies will use much “slicker” ideas but a different kind of oil than from animals and plants.

As an alchemist, but more a pharmacist, Friedrich also sees the potential of gold, copper, and sulfur, which is “omnipresent”, as a way of “prolonging life. It resists decay and poisoning” in his words.

Friedrich would also trade or purchase dried goods (plant material) from other countries for conducting experiments and invent many types of compounds. The term, drug (Oxford Dictionary, Middle Dutch) means dried vats or contents. According to Merck KGaA, Friedrich’s preparations of sulfur into notions of medicine are documented in antiquity.

---Sidenote---
Today, Sulfur is also used for,

  • Gunpowder
  • Matches
  • In the vulcanization of rubber (very important); as a fungicide, insecticide, and fumigant; in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers
  • We can’t have electric vehicles without sulfuric acid, which is a major component of car batteries, and
  • In the refining of oil and in processing ores, etc.

 ---

In 1720, Johann Frantz Merck sells arsenic to a man as medicine for his severely ill wife. The remedy would become the poison that kills her. An examination would reveal that Johann would not be responsible but shows that a pharmacist has a great deal of responsibility.

I think being a weatherman is the only profession where one can be allowed to get it wrong most of the time. I digress.

According to the Merck website, the family history is somewhat “mercky” (Pardon the pun and spelling). Friedrich dies childless but leaves the pharmacy in the hands of his heirs within the Merck family.

From the 1740’s to the 1820’s the Merck family (before any partnerships) will go on to prove their profound credibility and be appointed to many renown scientific societies.

They will solidify their names in the academic disciplines of:

  • Chemistry,
  • Mineralogy,
  • Paleontology,
  • Comparative anatomy,
  • Pharmacy, and
  • Physicians

They would also have a large tome of their studies and catalog their research in the “Wirtenburgica Pharmacopoeia” (picture slide #4) . This book cannot be Googled in the U.S. or Germany. (no results) I could only find the mention of its existence at the Merck website. If it does exist, it’s probably locked away and heavily guarded in the “Mercky” basement.

Their logo was a picture of the twigs of a medicinal plant. From the 1740’s the “Chamomile Man” will be a symbol of the company’s origins. Accomplished in their plant-based healing alkaloids, three Merck brothers would go on to shape the company for several generations.

In 1853 Merck is represented at New York’s World Fair for the first time and received a distinction for its alkaloids (nitrogenous organic compounds of plant origin which have pronounced physiological actions on humans). Merck would go on to more world fairs, including the famous Chicago World Fair. Later, the brothers branch out to major continents, including North America.

Up to now, this is how medicines should be practiced

From the 1850’s to now, much of Merck’s website history boasts of several acquisitions, expanding into chemical and biopharmaceuticals in the 20th century.

From the 1890’s, Merck would invent the smallpox vaccine, have the ability to detect tuberculosis and typhus, serums for anthrax and diphtheria, produce lactic acid and ascorbic acid, and much more. Still not too bad, eh?

They ventured east into St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1921. However, ten years later “there seem to be no prospects that will ever do business in Russia again”. Hmmm! history is about to repeat itself again.

In 2018 Merck celebrated their 350th anniversary. In 2019 they acquire another company, Versum Materials Inc., a leading supplier of electronic materials focused on the semiconductor and display industry.

Merck went public in 1995 with a volume of DM 2.4 billion, this represents the largest public offering in German history at that time with the family holding the majority of the capital. They no longer deal with any managing aspects.

Merck KGaA today, is quoted to stand for “Purity and Reliability”.

Although, I still do not know a lot about Merck KGaA. They are coming out with a C0vid pill. They are doing quite a bit in the organic world, including green solvents, organic LED lights, and sustainable packaging.

Merck majors in Healthcare, Electronics, and Life Science.

This was a quick history of chemical fertilizers mostly from oil, natural gas, and coal tar.
Don't exit the time machine just quite yet.


After the humble beginnings of Merck, other companies in chemistry and pharmaceuticals arose. Many in Germany. A lot of these companies are dependent on coal, natural gas, and oil.

We are addicted to oil, but we cannot turn the spigot off too quickly. Right now, we still need it until we can find solutions to inspire growers like you and I. The good news is, WE ARE, WE HAVE BEEN.

We’re getting there with organics; it just takes time to educate. Sadly, we’re making the “cure“, a disease. An addict, who’s been on drugs for decades, can’t quit cold turkey or they can die. (many do from withdrawal). Their babies die because their mothers were addicted to drugs. The best way to get off something harmful is by making gradual steps or you shock the system and create a bigger problem.

Not all petrochemicals are necessarily bad. We’ve removed a lot of toxic chemicals and we have more work to do.  However, they say, “Our current cure is to not even drill at home at all”.

But if we can control our own energy, we CAN control the best way to use it. It has gotten so much better today than even a few years ago. America has some of the cleanest energy and energy policies in the world. However, we’re creating a different monster. There’s more oil being drilled than ever just not in America.

Enjoy our money all you petro countries that hate us!

We’re dependent and empowering oil countries that don’t care about how they extract oil. We’ve nearly stopped all oil extracting in America. Our dollars are being mined and sent to our enemies or countries that don’t like us.

After we got off the gold standard in 1971, the value of the dollar was replaced by the petrodollar. We made a deal with Saudi Arabia to deal only in the American dollar if we promised to buy A LOT.

That meant that oil bought from any country had to be in American dollars. This made the dollar strong again all over the world. The American petrodollar is being replaced by the Russian ruble because we refuse to produce any energy "Made In USA".

Now, Saudi Arabia will not return the president’s phone calls and may only deal in the Russian ruble or Chinese Yuan.

This will further weaken the US dollar tremendously. We have no more leverage. If America does not lead, that void will be filled by another country that will lead but not by American values. I believe Americans are the kindest and most caring people in the world because of our constitutional freedoms and how hard we had to fight for them.

If I were the richest man in the world, I wouldn’t borrow money from the mafia or the cartel.

When asked about rising gas prices Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm said, "The gas prices, of course, are based upon a global oil market. That oil market is controlled by a cartel. That cartel is OPEC." Oct. 31st 2021, NBC NEWS

Gas prices had already risen by $1 at the time of her comment. Notice the date? Kind of scary! This was also before Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022.

President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine does have somewhat to do with the current rise of oil. I fully recognize that. That’s because the U.S. buys a lot of oil from an “oil cartel”. Please Look at the picture of the oil supplied from Russia (I cannot use the pic from Nat Geo, due to copyright infringement).

Oil and natural gas use separate pipelines and are Russia’s biggest exports. It flows to Ukraine (which feeds 30% of the world’s wheat), Belarus, Italy, and Poland. There are other countries. The pipelines end in Germany.

Although Russia is a big chemical fertilizer exporter, Germany supplies quite a bit of the world with many types of chemicals for food crops alone. Monsanto (now Bayer), headquartered in St Louis, MO. U.S. makes a lot too but where does the money go? To Bayer, headquartered in the United States and Germany, but it’s still German owned.

According to the article in Successful Farming,

Around a decade ago, BASF termed itself as The Chemical Company. Recent acquisitions, though, have given it a considerable presence in the seeds and traits business. BASF now owns former Bayer CropScience technologies like Liberty Link herbicide-tolerant system, InVigor canola, Credenz soybeans, and Ilevo seed treatments.

“The business environment has changed dramatically over the last 10 years,” says Vincent Gros, president of BASF Agricultural Solutions. “These days, interconnectivity between crop protection, seed treatments, seed, traits, and digital tools is the best way to serve BASF’s customers”, he says.

We are not yet a global seed company because that takes time, but we have a very strong foundation,” he says. “We are well equipped to be in that market.”

Some fun oil charts to look at and play around with based on who’s in office and other criteria:
https://www.macrotrends.net/1369/crude-oil-price-history-chart

That's The History of Chemical Fertilizers.
You may exit the time machine

Some may say we don’t get much oil from Russia anyway. The amount that we do get (because United States consumes a lot) is enough to line the pockets of Russia’s army. Our dollars fund their agenda because almost all the profits go to the government (now, to help bring back the old Soviet Union).

Even if we ban all Russian oil imports, our dollars still end up in their hands due to the purchase of chemical fertilizers and other petrochemicals from their oil and natural gas. Germany, China, and much of Asia, get their petrochemicals from Russia. So, Russia doesn’t need us anyway.

Now there’s talks of banning “directly” from Russia and getting oil from Iran (which gets 50% from Russia) and Saudi Arabia, and now Venezuela?

THESE AEREN’T EXACTLY GREAT, TRUSTWORTHY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES.

They are countries with a personal agenda. WHY are we getting energy from them? It's because there are a lot of dirty politicians (on both sides) that own stock in oil. They want to keep the price as high as possible. Remember, it’s not illegal for Congress to have insider information on stocks or even their spouses to buy/sell large volumes.

One more note about the oil cartel: Russia has a seat at all these tables. They are a very BIG player with an enormous amount of leverage. If we went back to producing our own energy, we’d have more leverage than any country because of how efficient we make it.

President Biden’s recent State of the Union focused on “Buy American”. Both, bidden and Trump promoted this. Why do we want to buy everything American except energy? The United States and Canada have more then 1,000 years of energy locked up in the ground. Instead, we get it from other countries extracting oil from the ground less efficient and much dirtier. I don’t understand.

We’re lifting sanctions on Iran and begging them for oil. In return, we’ll allow them to let Russia show them how to make nuclear energy, along with that comes nuclear weapons.

With Iranian death chants to America, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, it concerns me deeply.

This doesn’t mean that we burn through oil like there’s no tomorrow. We will always be dependent on oil and natural gas because it’s in almost everything we touch.

Polyester, nylon, spandex, are from oil. Two-thirds of the world’s clothing is from petrochemicals.

Almost any chemical containing the word “Poly” is from oil. Just about everything in our homes is derived from or produced by using oil. Latex paint is much safer than lead paint. Carpet, vinyl flooring and siding, insulation, electrical wire coating, light bulbs, efficient LED lighting, all electrical components.

Tires, foam, syringes for needles, styrofoam (which meal worms love to eat), many life-saving hospital equipment (the artificial heart), tools, and machines is produced from oil. Tar for roads (asphalt) and roofing shingles, which also have tar, fiberglass sheeting, and a fire-retardant chemical.

The facemasks people have been wearing for the past 2 years is made of polypropylene and even the elastic can be from latex, spandex, or neoprene (from petrochemicals). Most of our tax dollars (borrowed) went to China for these masks. Look at where masks are ending up in this article from US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

I’m not against petrochemicals as some may think. I believe there are many great products in this world made from oil and natural gas. I think I know a little bit of what I’m talking about. I was in the plastic industry for 14 years, my brother and brother-in-law, for over 20 years, my mother, uncle, & aunt, (for a few years), and my father was a process engineer for 50 yrs.

You could say it’s in our DNA. However, I will not eat it or put it in my garden as a source for plant fertilizer. There’s a smart way to work with chemicals and there’s a greedy way.

I worked with many safe food-grade plastics like, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) and one they got rid of due to harmful toxins. I forgot the name, but dad would have remembered (BPA is one). One of the most difficult to work with is polypropylene but it’s still a safe plastic.

PET is a type of polyester. The plastic bottles have a thin layer of EVOH (Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer, Nylon) to keep oxygen out. Most of our food packaging, like fresh meats is made from this plastic, again, from petrochemicals.

Today, candles are mostly paraffin wax, a byproduct from the refining process of petroleum. Electric vehicles and their huge battery systems are heavily dependent of petrochemicals.

Our greenhouse coverings are made from polyethylene. Plastic Rubbermaid bins and plastic planters, such as the Garden Tower (that can house up to 70 plants) are made from safe plastic. As a matter of fact, The Garden Tower is made from HDPE with approved FDA UV inhibitors and fully recyclable.

I know this plastic very well and have also used the Inhibitors and was a technician for the Husky injection machines used in conjunction with stainless-steel molds.

The Urban Worm Bag (A worm bin product) is from an Oxford 900D material which is made from a Polyester or Nylon material. Many tents or backpacks, shoes, luggage, etc. are made from this breathable durable material. BTW, The Garden Tower and The Urban Worm Bag are two completely different products and uses. I own both of them.

Am I Making a Case FOR or AGAINST Chemicals?

Both. There are some good chemical companies and some bad ones. I discussed a little about Merck and Monsanto/Bayer above.

I really don’t like getting political. I only want to state the facts, but it’s the very reason I tried growing food for my family in 1994 and I was struggling with chemical fertilizers up to 2007.

I awakened to the truth of my dependency on big corporate greed to control my decisions. That’s why I won’t use chemicals in my garden. I know the effects these chemicals are having and the links to the diseases today, glyphosate being one of them.

Just because a plant looks like it does great from the use of chemicals doesn’t make it right. It’s a sick plant on the inside. It’s why it needs more help from other synthetic chemicals to help fight diseases.

I am more afraid of the herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides sprayed on crops than the chemical fertilizers in the soil. I still don’t like either.

Sometimes, what I fear the most, is big government, big corporations, and a lot of ignorant/apathetic voting people.

We all need to wise up to “snake oil” salesmen (human greed). Start understanding labels with certain ingredients, misleading headlines, and politicians that dodge questions.


I evaluate someone by what they say and judge them by what they do.

The only true vote we have anymore is with our money (for now).

Mastercard and other companies are teaming with the United Nations in the way you purchase your products. If you go over your “climate footprint limit”, your card will be suspended. Some companies are imposing an items limit in their stores, no more than 135 items.

From Mastercard Website:
“Doconomy is now launching the world’s first credit card with a carbon footprint limit, DO Black. The launch of this premium card marks the first milestone in the support that Doconomy provides to the UN Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) to encourage global climate action. DO Black not only helps users track and measure CO2 emissions associated with their purchases, but also puts a limit to the climate impact of their spending. Users can now sign-up to register interest for DO Black”.

This means the cutting off your gas buying power and other products that are made from oil, or anything they deem to have a “climate Footprint” (it may also be a way of picking who they want to do business with, goodbye mom-and-pop). It’s to help you (for your own good) to make the right decisions and “feel good” about doing your part in changing the climate. It's like your parents cutting your allowance. Thanks MOM & DAD! It sure feels good to feel responsible (I mean punished).

This could mean ANYTHNG they don’t want you to buy, or forcing you to buy alternative products (linked to a stock that politicians have a stake in). So, call me a conspiracy theorist, but just wait, give it time.

Remember Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who during the lockdown, allowed going to the essential liquor stores and grocery stores but can’t go buy seeds. What in the world does THAT have to do with the lockdown? A garden isn’t essential? Well, I suppose buying fruits and vegetables brings in more state tax than growing your own food.

America must be economically independent. Just as families should be economically independent when they have all the necessary resources at their disposal.

This means producing its own energy and buying American or its citizens will be enslaved to countries that we get our energy from and be enslaved to governments and monopolies.

I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t want clean energy/electricity, but we’re not there yet. We’ve been getting there. But we’ll never get there if we become dependent on other countries for energy.

Everyone has a little bit of everything they want, right?

We have windmills, solar power, hydro power, nuclear power, oil, natural gas, and coal for power. Just as we have a constitutional republic, democracy, socialist programs, and capitalisms.

Why isn’t everyone happy? 

We’ve been making strides to go green since the hippy days, or really since we saw how bad petrochemicals (pharmaceutical drugs and fertilizers) are for the body.

We've been going green mainly since the 1960’s and recently since the 1990’s with the invention of GMO’s and the many pesticides to deal with the GMO monocrops. Some people have never stopped being natural/organic.

I’ve been going green for many years, but it can’t be forced from the top down. It needs to be from the grass roots. The people have to want it and fall in love with it without the pain.

I’ve seen many chemical-loving gardeners change their ways to fall in love with natural and organic growing, especially when the outcome proves much better.

As I’ve mention in The Worm Farming Revolution, it took about 20 years to go from cassette tape to compact disks and 20 years from CD’s to streaming. It takes around a generation to go from dial up Internet to Cable Internet. It just takes time for people to fall in love with something. We are showing them a better way. People ARE waking up.

You can’t force someone to love you. It must happen naturally, or they will dislike you. I feel as if the government is rushing a good thing. They shouldn’t even be involved. The government has never run any program well at all. They only fatten their wallets. Let us do it! We WILL get there, and we ARE getting there.

But the government gets in the way when we're forced to buy wheat from other countries, and they buy wheat from us. It keeps the prices up, therefore, the sales tax is higher. If the price of commodities remains high, so does the sales tax.

There’s talks of passing the gas tax onto the gas companies. Companies only pass the prices onto the consumer when they’re forced to implement programs like this. Who suffers the most? Lower middle class, poor, and impoverished families. This is the majority.

Ticktockers who've been given talking points from the Whitehouse say, “There’s this cool app called Gas Buddy. Just download it and it will find you cheap gas.” Wake up kids. Even if I find gas 20 cents cheaper, IT’s NOT CHEAP GAS!

The economy may turn around tomorrow or next week. I don’t know, but this article applies to readers anytime they read this, no matter what year it is or the economy we’re in. Remember, the time to start preparing for anything is in the “good times”, whatever that looks like to you.

We started gardening, raising chickens, raising goats, and storing small portions of food back in 2007. We don’t hoard. We simply save/buy a little extra while the stores have ample supply. Otherwise, stores send it to the landfill if we can’t recycle it easily.

Compared to now, those were pretty good times. We all remember the bumper stickers that read, “Miss me yet?” It doesn’t matter who’s President either.

So, what’s the petrochemical monocrop big AG answer?

Many great things come out of hard times. I don’t want it like this but we’re here now. This year will be the biggest gardening, growing, and prepping wakeup call in history.

We’ve been going green, and I’ve seen many people and companies making a difference. It’s a whole other game now, much like wars always impact us like this.

More mom-and-pop gardeners will move to suburbs and to the country to farm and garden like Americans used to. There may not be a big selection at first but at least the staples will be grown.

As more and more people grow their own food and start businesses in agriculture, we’ll begin to see more variety. We’ll build greenhouses on grocery store roofs. We’ll work more and more with LED lighting with colors, timing, and intensity to grow controlled outcomes of size, nutrition, taste, and yields.

We’ll see less and less of monocropping and more of a variety of crops grown together naturally. It can be done. But we won’t get there by quitting oil cold turkey. We’ll still depend on big AG using petrochemicals. It has to happen gradually, and will, IF you vote with your wallet and vote for smart policies.

I feel sorry for the Ukraine farmers. They’ve lost everything including their land, families, and lives. There will be little to no farming in Ukraine for quite some time. This will cause a world-wide shortage. We will need to grow our own food for such disasters as this. If we must leave our homes, at least we can take the knowledge with us. The knowledge from failures and successes in the good times.

This is one of the reasons I show you how to make fertilizer/compost with just the material in your backyard.

Some of these links or the words I write may end up in the dust bin of history, but as we all know about recycling, history is no different. It’s just human nature. Again, it’s why we started preparing and learning how to self-sustain in the good times.

Some people used to think I was a tin-hatter, but not anymore. It was once said, the difference between conspiracy and truth, is time. Now, almost every permaculturist or natural gardener has incorporated worms, worm castings, compost, and compost tea in some form or fashion.

I think a lot of people are finally seeing the light. If not, they’re still under a rock, whistling past the graveyard, or shuffling chairs on the titanic.

Who in their right mind can ignore,

  • Droughts/famine
  • Floods
  • Tornados
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Pandemics
  • Job loss, laid off, or health issues
  • Low on money or debt
  • No retirement or poor retirement planning
  • Empty shelves at any store for any product
  • Wars and displacement of people
  • High food prices
  • Power outages from brown outs, ice/snowstorms, sunspots, and hackers
  • Did I mention zombies? Just kiddin’, but one more…
  • Being “Held hostage by the oil cartel” or the ignorance of our own government leaders.

Now, we’re in a perfect storm: Supply chain issues, government mandates, inflation/shrinkflation (mostly due to the petro dollar/oil prices and a $30 trillion debt), war, and agriculture chemicals in short supply. Oil feeds the world in many ways other than chemical fertilizers, and it always will.

But where does the list end? This is the mother of all trifectas.

Heck! Just 100 years ago America was in the “Roaring 20’s”. History repeats itself for sure.

Since I’m no fan of chemical fertilizers, certain chemicals, and certain chemical companies, this entire article may end up as another statistic of cancel culture. My name is already out there so I don’t care. I’m not looking for any fame, just truth and those willing to tell it. If you share this article (please do) Big Pharma, Chemical Companies, or Big AG may team up with Big Tech titans and cancel me, and those that think like me, altogether. I will not be silent when nature can, and has, shown us a better way than synthetic fertilizers.

I show how to get great soil amendment for free in Brown Thumb Green Thumb.

However, there is this little-known tool called the WayBack Machine with over 600 billion webpages archived. https://web.archive.org/  Please donate if you can.

Don’t believe something just because it’s on the first page of a search engine either. Big tech controls what you see or don’t see on the first page or any page for certain keywords and websites. I know big AG and chemical companies won’t like me and they own some pretty big lobbyists.

However, you can find almost anything ever posted by any website, even when they think they’ve deleted pages or removed portions of it. I’m for real, so… Look me up sometime, eh?

BTW! I don’t only write books. There’s over 700 pages of free information at the website. Use the search link at the bottom of every page. The MENU is full of topics. You’ll find information not in the books and vice-versa.

Hindsight is 20-20. If you’re a beginner gardener or you’ve been having issues growing food, find someone who’s has been through years of hindsight, and you’ll have the 20-20 this year and looking forward.


Let me end with this thought:
No one ever wins an argument in the moment. They defend their perspective. It’s just part of the battle. They both bombard each other with their set of “facts”. But when the argument is presented in love, each person will go home and think about what was said, and (once in a while) one of them will drop the lies they’ve been led to believe, and the war will be won.

They'll be happy to meet with you again and again.

No one ever wins a war or battle when an argument is presented in hate, threats, or worse. The other side will only build their brick wall higher and higher. In this scenario, the only way to tear it down is by brute force and compliance. No one wants to belong to a party of hate if they are a person who truly wants to help. If they truly want to help, watch their actions.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I do know when someone is conspiring.” ~Pauly P

If you want to grow your own food, it has never been more clear.

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