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Friday, March 8, 2013

This really could work: Allan Savory: How to green the desert and reverse climate change

At minute 2:20, he shows a true-color map of the world.  If you look at Brazil, you can see the brown on the eastern portion.  That is not the Amazon, that is what was once the semi-temperature rain forest.  You are looking at a region of deforestation that is twice the size of California.  The Portuguese began cutting down the trees there over 500 years ago.  I lived in that region for 14 years.  It is almost entirely denuded.  The elderly locals told me that the rainy season used to last for 6 months before the trees were cut down.  Now, they are lucky if they get 3 months of rain.  In fact, right now, it is drier than it has been since 1934.  Water is rationed in the city where I lived (400,000 people).  In the smaller places that used to get all their water from rivers, water is being trucked in. 

" 'Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,' begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work so far shows -- that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert."


1 comment:

Killian said...

Savory's work is excellent, but limited. It only applies to grasslands. Also, others have done very similar work. This confirmation and repeatability is a good thing, but we need solutions for all climates and geographies.

This is why #permaculture as an umbrella set of ethics and, very importantly, design principles is so important. Having a set of guiding principles that apply to any people in any location allow for solutions completely tailored to place.

In terms of climate, Savory's version of regenerative grasslands management coupled with reforestation, afforestation, food forests and regenerative farming/gardening practices can not only help bring down carbon below 300ppm within 30 to 100 years - even with no changes in industrialization! - but can feed up to 12 billion people in virtually any area of the globe with LOCAL food and reduce resource consumption very significantly.

Add to this real social changes to get to resource sustainability as well as climate, and the future can be better than ever before.

Some other examples of regenerative agro-ecology:

Regenerative farming/gardening study:

Regenerative farming in practice, deserts:

Perennial/#permaculture-based gardening (1 of 4 videos):

Reforestation, regeneration of denuded land and community-building: