“Greening” the Desert


“Burning one hectare of grassland gives off more, and more damaging, pollutants than 6,000 cars. And we are burning in Africa, every single year, more than one billion hectares.”  – Allan Savory


Imagine that.

Climate change can cause (and exacerbate) desertification (Read this and this). Desertification severely affects the local population, forcing human migrations to greener pastures (Read this).  We carry out prescribed burning of  ‘used’ sections of grasslands to restore, replenish and maintain grasslands (Read this and this).  So, to rephrase that:

To fight desertification —>we burn grasslands —> which emits carbon dioxide —> which causes climate change –> which causes desertification…. Confused? Me too.

This is where Allan Savory enters the picture. He delivers a quietly powerful talk on the holistic management of grassland through rotational grazing, as an alternative to the conventional grassland management practices. (Trust me, it is way more exciting than my boring paraphrasing suggests.)

Watch the video below to see the terrifying scale of the problem and this surprisingly low tech solution to a complicated issue in global sustainability:



Image courtesy: http://www.ted.com



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