The other day, I posted this TED talk link on my personal Facebook page and on Twitter saying, “If you share one thing today, please let it be this.” And then no one shared it. And I made that mean that I shouldn’t bother.
But of course I should bother. This video is one of the most important things I’ve ever seen. I ask you to take the time to watch and absorb it. And if you are so moved, to pass it along to others.
I have a cousin who suggested that some people, such as herself, are not inclined towards audio/visual stimuli. I wrote this synopsis of the TED video linked above:
The guy who did this talk, Allan Savory, is a biologist from Zimbabwe who was once on a team that managed national parks in Zimbabwe. At one point, they noticed such severe desertification that he dedicated his job to finding a solution. His research showed that trampled foliage, mainly from elephants, was the cause of the desertification. Zimbabwe sent in a team of researchers that confirmed what Savory found and, inside of a year, they shot 40,000 elephants. And the desertification worsened. Trampling is not the cause of desertification.
He discussed at length the affects of desertification on the earth’s atmosphere. That without grass on the grasslands to trap it, the massive rain they receive is almost immediately evaporated. That without grass on the grasslands to trap it, massive amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere. Tall grasses grow on the grasslands during the rainy season, but are typically left standing to dry and then the government burns it – releasing more pollutants into the atmosphere. This isn’t just in Africa, it’s global. In his research and trial and error, Savory discovered that what was missing was what he thought had been the trouble – trampling.
He began to think about land use of the 10,000 years prior to the Industrial Revolution, and he compared it to land use in the last 100 years. The missing factor is livestock. Huge flocks of livestock once roamed the areas that are now becoming deserts. The animals would not deplete the foliage because of nomadic tendencies. They would trample the grass and they would cover it with dung and urine. This created the perfect environment for new grasses to grow more abundantly than the previous season.
They brought in herds of livestock and grazed them in patterns, nothing more. He showed before an after pictures. Within just a few years, cracked and barren landscapes were lush and green. The one statistic I remember was this: they brought planned grazing to a desertified area in Mexico, within one year they saw a 50% recovery of the land.
Savory showed satellite maps that show nearly 2/3 of the planet’s land masses are suffering from some degree of desertification. He claims that planned grazing would absorb enough carbon, storing it underground for biodegrading uses, to bring our atmosphere to pre-Industrial Revolution times within a very short period of time, like 10 years or something.
Please watch and share this video. And please excuse me for using this blog for this purpose. This is something I care enough about to share everywhere I can conceive to share it.
All my best,