The floodplain does the job that ecology might expect it to, which is to take-up the excess water when the river is in flood.
The real story is one of thousands of years of accelerating population growth, ruthless greed, countless wars, enormous suffering, and catastrophic ecocide.
A new conservation practice reduces cropland erosion to sustainable levels even on moderately sloping land: contoured strips within corn and bean fields, planted to native prairie grasses. The deep rooted grasses slow runoff, trapping suspended soil and nutrients. They also provide habitat for insects and wildlife.
A statement in JM Greer’s blog last month challenged everything I thought I knew about soil management in American cropland.
Without soil, and the overlying atmosphere, with its 20% oxygen content, life on the surface of the earth could not exist. Certainly there would be no humans.
Environmental destruction, like other sins, is not just the result of ignorance. There is ignorance to be sure, but mostly we know what we are doing.