Moving dust is full of life, but this life is not what makes it move. Since the establishment of the germ theory of disease, dust has mainly been viewed as being invisibly threatening and visibly distressful. In this article, the author emphasizes that there has been another view on dust all along: This view both links the presence of dust in the atmosphere to meteorological events crucial for life and acknowledges its vital impact on the global ecology of land, water and air in a deep-time perspective. Moving dust is a planetary force of inseparable organic and nonorganic matter that shelters, transports, feeds but also kills life. Recently the force of dust, which has yet to be fully comprehended, has been employed in controversial geoengineering practices.

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