How to Green the World's Desert's and Reverse Climate Change
Livestock are often villainized, especially by environmentalists, as the cause of desertification. With the majority of our land undergoing desertification, and desertification accelerating climate change, that’s a serious charge against livestock. Allan Savory used to be among those who blamed desertification on livestock. But as he began his search for concrete evidence that removing livestock from land would stop desertification, he found just the opposite: removing livestock from land actually accelerated desertification. It isn’t livestock per se that cause desertification, but mismanagement of livestock. By mimicking the patterns of grazing animals that traveled in dense herds in response to predators, Savory created a process called holistic management and planned grazing. Holistic management not only takes into account “all of nature’s complexity” but also “our social, environmental, economic complexity.” In his TedTalk, Savory showcases the amazing results holistic livestock management has produced, bringing thriving life back to deserts. But holistic management doesn’t only have the ability to turn deserts green, it also has the potential to actually reverse climate change and store enough carbon in our soils to revert atmospheric carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels. Most discussions about climate change revolve around how to reduce emissions, which is unarguably crucial. But by changing our land management practices we could transform agriculture into an economic sector that actually sequesters, rather than emits, carbon. That potential exists in no other economic sector, and its high time we stop vilifying livestock, and instead work with them to heal our badly damaged deserts and atmosphere.