2.2 Backed Up Like an Alabama Sh*t Train

Backed Up Like An Alabama Sh*t Train

This episode takes us on a brief global history of biochar and poop. Listen and find out what sewage history has to do with warfare, early globalization, organic certification, and beer.

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Sources:

Alabama Shit Train: “A ‘poop train’ from New York befouled a small Alabama town, until the town fought back.” Erin Shaw Street, Washington Post, 20 April 2018

England and China handled human waste very differently: Dean Ferguson, “Nightsoil and the ‘Great Divergence’: human waste, the urban economy, and economic productivity, 1500-1900” in Journal of Global History, 2014, 9(3):379-402

Justus von Liebig quote about England being a “vampire upon the breast of Europe”

Coprolite mining http://www.bedfordshiregeologygroup.org.uk/leaflets/BLGGCoprolites.pdf

Terra preta & what it’s made of: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2311424/

Beer history/IPA made possible by coke (basically biochar made from coal): Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature 1893

Guano islands off of Peru: https://www.audubon.org/news/holy-crap-trip-worlds-largest-guano-producing-islands

Sarah Taber