The Weekend Wonk: Alan Savory on Greening Deserts and Reversing Climate Change
March 9, 2013
I’ve been hearing from a lot of people about this TED talk, asking me if I had seen it, and what do I think.
Finally got around to watching it last night, and I agree, this is a worthy topic for discussion, for a couple of reasons.
a) We are clearly in carbon overshoot, and need to come up with novel ways to manage forests and soils over coming decades, to soak up as much carbon as possible
b) This speaks to what is for some, a standard ecological prescription, which is that animal husbandry is always in every case destructive, and contributes to climate change and desertification. Savory agrees that there is a right and wrong way, but makes a case that with the right practices, ruminants can become a powerful tool for healing damaged land and sequestering carbon.
One remembers that when European settlers (ok, illegal aliens) came to America, they found black soil 6 feet and more thick in Iowa, Illinois and the plains. That soil has now been reduced to inches by technological agricultural practices, and a major project for the coming century would be to turn that around, if we are to maintain a viable agricultural base. And those original soils, well, the Buffalo had something to do with that…