How To Green Deserts & Address Climate Change At The Same Time

Two thirds of the globe is turning into desert, at the same time that our population is heading towards ten billion, and we are disturbing weather patterns by pouring heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are behind the “greenhouse effect” that is warming our atmosphere, but our land use habits, especially those of industrial agriculture, play a much bigger part in our changing climate than is usually acknowledged. It’s TED Talk Tuesday on 350orbust, and in today’s talk by biologist Allan Savory he addresses this issue, and offers a surprisingly hopeful vision for the future:

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, 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.