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Paul Stamets 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

May 13, 2008

Video: Ted Talks

I remember reading something from the late Terrence McKenna, suggesting, from memory, that Mycelia may have played a part in the creation of mammals, perhaps in order to help provide feed for fungi, in order to produce spores and then to help move its spores around, and ultimately, they may have also played a part in the sudden and dramatic increase in the size of the human brain, some 2 or 3 million years ago.

Paul Stamets expands on the importance of Mycelia, saying that they are sentient and that they have a range of applications which might help save the Planet. Fungi is the grand molecular disassembler, it was the first organism to migrate on to land, and it’s there that fungi helped produced the first soils and it in fact may help to fight soil erosion now. Fungi is capable of converting pollution to food, it fixes soils and will result in mixed communities of life, in short, it can be responsible for habitat restoration.

Fungi has also been proven to be highly effective against viruses, in fact Paul suggests that saving Old Growth forests, which is critical for these Fungi, should be a matter of National Defence. There is fungi that kills or repels termites from eating houses, and they, on the other hand can be used to attract insects to certain other areas. There is also fungi that can produces econol (ethanol) by breaking down cellulose and it might well be a better way of producing an alternative fuel, rather than using scarce food.

All these possibilities for fungi, yet most of us have never heard of their amazing abilities, one would have to say why, why could such a relatively simple, yet inexpensive solution be over looked, in asking the question you realize you’ve just answered the question… because big business ain’t going to make big bucks from it.


One Response to “Paul Stamets 6 ways mushrooms can save the world”

  1. Ryan Freer on September 15th, 2008 5:15 am

    Though I imagine many people will be skeptical as to how effective his concepts will prove in the long run, Paul Stamets has made a fascinating presentation. Regardless of how far-out he may appear at first, he is among the world’s greatest minds in his field. Paul has—aside from many other things—helped to pioneer a deeper understanding of fungal organisms and the ways in which we can work with their countless varieties. His achievements are hailed by experts everywhere. Not only do his methods work beautifully, they still remain at the advancing forefront of mycology by a lifetime of continued research, experience, and sheer genius. In fact, he employs some of the most intense scientific scrutiny I’ve ever seen practiced.

    Getting back to the relevant presentation; fungi are still quite alien to most people in general…Especially mushrooms. It’s sad to think that a large number of people who see this online might ignore most of what Paul Stamets has to say if they predetermine from the start that it’s just mindless hippie rhetoric. Indeed very little was mentioned regarding any psychoactive species or the issues surrounding them, but I also felt that this deserved some attention on behalf of “saving the world.” Mr. Stamets is right that we do live in a culture that’s fearful of the unknown. For example: Psilocybin Mushrooms are still woefully misunderstood. This can clearly be seen in the way many people have been severely prosecuted by the judicial system; abiding by the absurd laws restricting the cultivation, distribution, and use of these mushrooms. Are they really such a danger to society that possessing them should warrant felony prosecutions? What is actually more devastating to someone’s life? The magic mushrooms themselves, or the enforced prohibition of them? This is just one of the issues in dire need of attention; not for the sake of abusing some drug, but for the sake of people whose lives can be easily ruined by ignorant and unnecessary laws. Since the release of honest literature that has shed new light upon these mushrooms, it now becomes a question of whether it should be an adult’s right to freely grow and ingest Psilocybes—(so long as they’re used responsibly within a safe environment…obviously.) I say the answer to this question is YES! By comparison, the consequences of alcohol abuse have proven time and time again to be far more dangerous.

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