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WOW--what an idea. Liquid "nano" clay onto desert sand.  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Ole Morten Olenson gives this Ted Talk,



About research that his father did in the Sahara. He developed a clay processing technique (that he says was not in itself any amazing feat, just accidentally effective) that allowed the tiny grains of clay to slip through sand's surface and permeate the medium.

The clay does nothing for biology directly; it only provides water retention where there wasn't any--and to a depth where there wasn't any, and begins the biological processes to life. Simple enough. But indirectly, the moisture allows bacteria and fungi which are naturally occurring to take up residence in the sand, and nitrogen fixation and conversion of organic mollecules can begin. (Fertilizer and water are required to kickstart the cycle of course--which present their own set of difficulties in the desert.)

But if this works...wow...what an amazing step! Is this snake oil? Is there some shortcoming that I am overlooking because my eyes are glazed over?

Does Geoff Lawton know about this guy?
Anybody?
 
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So-called "nanoclay" approaches to greening deserts have been in the news in past 6 months as China had a big publicity push for it's attempts (apparently successful, if their reports can be believed) to rapidly change sand dunes to arable land for orchards and farming. Not sure if Ole Martin Olenson was involved in the work the Chinese did, but it didn't sound like it from the clips I heard.  Here's one YT clip from their publicity machine:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8_Hnmty4vY
 
Michael Sohocki
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I didn't hear the word clay mentioned in the Chinese newsreel--but innoculation with nitrogen fixing bacteria was. I guess I would have  hard time denying a UN secretary ( if I understood that correctly) interview on the subject. If HALF the photos of reversing the Bucuqi desert are true, it's just mind-boggling.

Mortenson admits that the innovation his father developed was not from an episode of Star Trek--it was a simple accidental discovery by a lifetime HVAC repair man. Had something to do with aeration--patented process, I'm sure he's not chomping at the bit to hand out recipe cards.

Chinese newsreel also placed alot of stock in gridpattern of straw, I saw zillions of solar panels (income), and quite a lot of piped water--which is dubious, for sure.

In either case, I see....dare I say it...HOPE.

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like it can't be true. Like, we've been fighting this thing for...what...when did Egypt extend irrigation past the banks of the Nile? Three thousand years or so? It just couldn't be that easy. Could it?
 
Michael Sohocki
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I made my best effort to contact Geoff Lawton from his website--by emailing "volunteer student help line" or something. I asked if this is legit--if this is something to believe.

It's a long shot, really can't expect anything. But if I get an answer I'll tell you immediately.
 
He repaced his skull with glass. So you can see his brain. Kinda like this tiny ad:
Got a New Homestead? Here is What You Need to Know to Before You Start a Homestead
https://permies.com/t/97104/Starting-homestead-strong-foundation
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