From GENE LOGSDON
Despite the scolding some of you have given me, I still don’t think science has explained worldly global warming any better than religion has explained otherworldly hell. But the debate has taught me something. While scientists like to point out, correctly I think, that theologians are influenced more by ideology not facts, when I accuse them of falling into the same trap, they don’t like it one bit.
Allan Savory is a world-recognized expert and advocate of scientific pasture farming. Lots of you have heard him speak or read his writings, I’m sure. He has recently given a profoundly awesome speech (posted on Ukiah Blog and above). He admits in his talk that he once made a really terrible scientific mistake. (How often will you ever hear a theologian say that?) He lives and works mostly in Africa in the vast arid regions there that to an Ohioan look like desert. Quite a few years ago now, he and fellow scientific experts on desertification became convinced that overpopulations of wild animals were overgrazing these dry regions (rain falls four months and then eight months of no rain) causing the grasslands to deteriorate into barren desert. They made a decision to kill 40,000 elephants and did it. But instead of improving the grassland, desertification got worse. Once more the scientific faith in the infallibility of numbers was proven wrong.
For years, Savory has tried to find the right answer. He now thinks he has found it, and believe me, it will pickle your brain. I can’t believe that he is totally correct but his evidence is rather convincing. The way to turn deserts back into green grass and flowing rivers, he maintains, is to fill this land with cows, like it once was with wild animals. His research gives quite astounding evidence that the animals will graze the grasses that normally grow there, trample some, and spread their manure and urine heavily on a given area. The cows won’t eat where the manure is heavy and so move on to another area and repeat the process— natural rotational grazing. The grass, fertilized by all that manure, comes back quicker, and the soil surface stays covered with enough vegetation in the dry period to lessen erosion and more importantly, evaporation. More carbon is sequestered.
I have been leery of mob grazing, which is sort of what he is talking about on a very large scale, but I’ve had no experience with it. It seems to me that it would be better to restore the elephants, wildebeests, zebras etc., but managed cowherds might be a more economical and a quicker way to accomplish the same result.
He drops more than one shoe. He states that desertification may be a bigger cause of global warming that the increased burning of fossil fuels. He also hints that perhaps the climate itself isn’t changing significantly, but the earth itself is changing because of mishandling by humans.
The solution: more animals on pasture, less animals in those horrid confinement factory buildings. I shouldn’t trivialize or make light of the problem by seeming to joke about it, but I can’t resist saying that if you want to save the world, eat local meat — as Dave Smith says on Ukiah Blog.