Desertification: The Cancer of Earth

by christos10 on February 14, 2017 - 10:10am

Desertification: The Cancer of Earth


Allon savory talks about a global issue that we face now and in the future that can affect our future lives. In our society nowadays we think we can solve our issues with technology and it’s understandable because we are living in an era where technology plays a big part in our daily lives. This global issue is desertification which is when land turns to desert. This is caused by us humans when we create too much bare ground. It is also caused by the earth’s population, which is increasing to 10 million inhabitants.

We have climates around the world where humidity is guaranteed throughout the year, on those, it is nearly impossible to create large areas of bare ground. No matter what we do to these environments, nature covers it up quickly. Desertification is happening in environments where we have months of humidity followed by months of dryness. We have the technology to views these areas from space and we can properly see these proportions. The lands that are desertified cover about two thirds of the earth. We are told that desertification only occurs in environments which have none or little availability to water. We are also told that desertification cannot occur in grasslands but if we look down into them we see that they’re covered by crust and algae, which is the main cause of desertification. It’s the cancer of desertification.

What we already know about desertification is that it is caused by livestock, mostly cattle sheep and goats overgrazing the plants, leaving the soil plain while releasing methane. Even with this information we still don’t know what causes desertification. We can still prevent desertification and eventually reverse it by making a change in management. To prevent desertification there must be a change in governments and a change in people attitudes. We can do this by, implementing land and water management to protect soils from erosion, salinization, and other forms of degradation. Protecting the vegetative cover, this can be a major instrument for soil conservation against wind and water erosion. Integrating the use of land for grazing and farming where conditions are favorable, allowing for a more efficient cycling of nutrients within the agricultural systems, which means to create a safe environment to supply animals with food, to pretty much do what Mother Nature does but in a controlled state. Giving local communities the capacity to prevent desertification and to manage dryland resources effectively. One way I can help prevent desertification is to be more involved in communities who are trying to protect and save the earth from it also to come up with new ideas and plans to protect are world from this “cancer”. I can do this by following up on current news about desertification and researching on desertification to get a better understanding for it. By following these steps I believe it is possible to prevent future lands from getting destroyed by desertification.


Heavy Stuff

Very informative article. Desertification is definitely big deal. In drylands, more and more people are depending on ecosystem services for basic needs in their life. Many of our resources including crops, livestock, fuelwood and construction materials. All these things we use depend on water availability and climate conditions. The only way we can prevent or reverse this desertification is to use sustainable resources.

Very interesting! After months of humidity it is surprising that months of dryness follow. The information provided was very intriguing in terms of realizing that humans, technology and too much bare ground created by humans is the main cause of desertification!

This reading was incredibly enlightening on desertification, I had no idea that the threat level was so high. I believe that all humans should feel responsible for the desertification of the earth. We contributed to this horrible fact directly or indirectly and should come together to solve this issue.

I would even say that it is our ethical duty to help reverse the process of desertification as our current actions greatly expedite the process. I am also willing to go as far as to say that people who are not trying to help this issue are acting in an unethical way, making them unethical individuals.

I really think that showing the ethical side of this issue is the best way because it can greatly affect the outcome of desertification and hopefully help reverse it. If enough people would understand that we are all contributing to desertification, something can be done to stop it completely. Awareness for this matter can touch upon a lot of people worldwide if we label it as an ethical issue that must be handled.