How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change | Allan Savory

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  • Published on:  Monday, March 4, 2013
  • "Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work so far shows -- that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at TED news on Twitter: TED on Facebook: to our channel:
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  • Brendon Walker

    Brendon Walker

     a years ago +1887

    I live in Florida Panhandle and the soil is pure sand. I have some horse and began to spread the soiled hay and manure as ground cover to firm the soil and create some surface cohesion in the sand. I did this, for those reasons, maybe four or five years. This year, after the rains, my entire property grew green grass! Seen from google earth, my place looked like a brown postage stamp on a big green envelope. But not anymore. Green on green.

  • DiyCraftProject


     2 months ago +706

    how am i only hearing this in 2019

  • TheMad Country Woodsman.

    TheMad Country Woodsman.

     2 months ago +308

    to admit your wrong is powerful enough to give your life meaning.

  • General G. Washington

    General G. Washington

     14 days ago +83

    6 years later in 2019 - Isn’t taught in schools. This lesson should be shown in every school and science class worldwide. This lesson should be mandatory.

  • Constant


     1 months ago +106

    This was 7 years ago... We need to get this going.

  • Damion Copeland

    Damion Copeland

     2 months ago +186

    In others words nature was doing perfectly fine before we messed with it. Excellent presentation, let's hope we take heed.

  • Steeltoedboots


     1 months ago +65

    How is this not main stream news !
    My god this is incredible.

  • BillyBrains Folse!

    BillyBrains Folse!

     4 days ago +8

    You could have relocated those elephants to Russia India China Asia in general instead of kill 40,000

  • John Will

    John Will

     2 months ago +56

    When we mix pragmatism, with industriousness and intelligence - we get outcomes like this. Great work. meaningful work.

  • Sebastian Fernandez

    Sebastian Fernandez

     2 years ago +1954

    Well now it makes sense why the American Great Plains are desertifying, because we killed all the buffalo which kept the land in shape.

  • Stupenz


     3 days ago +3

    Something practical to do rather than tax the bejesus out of everyone

  • Angela Moses

    Angela Moses

     4 days ago +6

    I have brought rain to my desert home. when I mention it people think I'm crazy. Moving to a desert area and not seeing rain for 2 years I was so sad. When a little rain came I was very thankful and appreciative and ask for more and in the meantime began to love the earth. The desert seemed lonely. So O began to surround myself with plants and covered the Earth with mulch and my extra food scraps and garden cuttings So that it could be put back onto the ground. The plants brought shade and I made ground cover, to help them maintain their moisture and stop the stickers from growing. I created a water feature to give my space a spirit of life and before I knew it I had a mini Oasis and then The clouds began to gathered above my home several times a week to bring rain and sometimes only over my home but, more rain in general is starting to come to this little desert town. When I found this video I was pleased to realize there is a science behind it! I have an instinctive love for plants, and great appreciation towards God for the gift of rain and his continual inspiration which has allowed me to do the things similar to what you're speaking of. Sometimes it rains just over my house, and insects and birds come here too! All because I missed the trees so much that I created a green oasis and covered the dry barren ground to bring it relief and cooling!I The thing that was mossing was the life water brings. So, I added water. I was thankful as the rain came but was amazed when it seemed as if a miricle occered when it kept coming! When I saw that sometimes it was just over my house . I realized that the little oasis was somehow stimulating small rain clouds to go over my house on a regular basis. I am part native American and I think that we have known this instinctively for years. But I didn't realize it could happen so quickly!

  • Melanie Nini Bong

    Melanie Nini Bong

     1 months ago +30

    Finally something that makes sense, not money. Thanks for sharing!

  • Landwolf


     1 months ago +47

    Animal feces contain ammonia, during heavy rainfall they mix, containg the building blocks for healthy vegetable land.
    It's mind boggling that people still don't understand how the ecosystem works, plants need animals, humans need animals, too much or too less of anything is harmful, don't reinvent the wheel but realign it!

  • Light Bulb

    Light Bulb

     3 months ago +303

    terraforming deserts would be 1000x easier than terraforming mars

  • natureboy tom

    natureboy tom

     2 months ago +46

    I actually did this in high desert. I ended up with 8 feet tomato plants. The place turned tropical highland.

  • Diana Oaks

    Diana Oaks

     3 days ago +3

    Save the earth. Eat grass-fed meat.

  • Owen Xu

    Owen Xu

     1 months ago +25

    wait... HE KILLED 40,000 ELEPHANTS?!

  • Mouhamed Ndiaye

    Mouhamed Ndiaye

     14 days ago +6

    The peasants in my country Senegal knew about livestock longtime ago and they were even practicing it.

  • Alex Polacco

    Alex Polacco

     2 months ago +388

    Take this to ELON MUSK. So he can start Terra-forming Planet Earth before he starts on MARS!!!!!
    Cause we need it HERE 1st..,DONT WE?????