First off, it took me two days to watch this video. I had to stop after "40,000 elephants" and mourn for the rest of the day.
Cristo Balete wrote:Greening the deserts seems to occur to people who think that deserts aren't doing the planet any good. It couldn't be further from the truth. The notion that if people can't live there, everything else that does live there, doesn't matter is not a very planet-healthy notion, is it?
Despite understanding this point entirely, it just doesn't work out for me in practice. When we bought our parcel in the desert my thoughts went immediately to stewardship. Basically, keep the ATV and dirtbike enthusiasts out, stay primarily on a few trails to contain damage, don't cut down trees or dig out "inconvienient" plants, enjoy the birds but don't put out feeders, etc.
After a couple years of observation though, my thoughts have changed. Open range grazing takes a massive toll without any doubt. We only saw up to 6 cows at a time, grazing through for 3 to 4 days before making it to the next property. Then another small group (or the same one) would come back through in a week. I didn't think this was such a burden to the land until the following year, when the rancher ended his lease and rounded up the heard. What a difference it's made! Grasses and flowers are growing all over the place. During the monsoon, it looks like a green municipal park. There are "new" plant species pushing up that we had no indication whould even grow here.
It would seem that the Sonoran desert to our south and the Mojave to the west have spread with the cattle to areas like ours that were never meant to be desert. (As "spreading desertification" is explained in the video.) My thoughts on land-care now align with restoration. This area is severely damaged by human hand, and will not heal on it's own.
I don't think that Savory or any other ecologist would table that the deserts are not of massive importance to Earth. But the unnatural spreading of them is a different topic altogether. I had a deep appreciation for this land even before realizing how deeply wounded it is, and certainly would not get it in my head to "re-green" it to make it more palatable to humans anymore than I would de-salt the ocean so I could farm on the beach. Walking the surface, meeting the animals, and learning the local cycles change one's perspective.