Growing Deserts or Grass

March 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Posted in Economoney, Media, Science | 1 Comment

Large swaths of the earth, clearly visible from space, are turning into deserts. About 2/3’s of the worlds grasslands are desertifying, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. It’s happening not just in Africa but in Asia and the US as well. Allan Savory explores a lifetime of research into the issue and the unexpected solution. They’ve successfully converted large swaths of desert around the world back to grassland at minimal cost just by patterning after nature. What’s been missing from the grasslands? What’s available to restore that?

While the solution lacks the long-term diversity necessary, it certainly helps us understand the interdependence of natural solutions and addresses the immediate needs of some cultures.

[UPDATE]
This film speaks to a different approach where domestic grazing animals are penned and the land allowed to recover on its own. Using local plants, large desert areas have been restored that also restore water systems and support the local community. Permaculture applied en masse.

Near the end, he suggests the export of biomass from tropical areas to help restore more fragile terrains. However, that would also migrate seeds and thus disturb locally adapted plants.

Both approaches have been demonstrated to work repeatedly.

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  1. I later found out this is a message Savory has been promoting for some time but is not based on science.

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