I blamed the effing goats...

... well, to an extent, I was right but that wasn't the whole picture. http://www.wimp.com/greendeserts/
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On 13/05/2013 13:39, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Didn't watch past the first 30 seconds ("perfect storm" did it for me) but I see there is yet another media story saying how Sub-Saharan Africa will be desert by the end of the century and it's all our fault.
Curious how the the authors and journalists don't seem to know that much of the Sahara was green and fertile a thousand years ago, with quite substantial human settlements. Until the climate changed, well before the industrial revolution.
It's interesting to see that house sparrows are making a significant come-back, if my garden is anything to go by, after virtually disappearing over the past 30 years.
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On 13/05/2013 13:51, newshound wrote:

I watched that one some time back, and would say its well worth watching the whole thing... when you see where the guy is coming from you will see what I mean...
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Go back and watch a bit more. You've completely missed the whole point of the message which is that we need a lot more grazing, not less.
Tim
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On 13/05/2013 14:42, Tim+ wrote:

First of all, the whole thing is just a thinly disguised advert for Savory's own rotational grazing system.
Second, do read the Wikipedia entry for him - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Savory
Researchers of the United States Department of Agriculture concluded "these results refute prior claims that animal trampling associated with high stocking rates or grazing pressures in rotational grazing systems enhance soil properties and promote hydrological function".[19] Similarly, a survey article that examined rotational grazing systems, including Savory's system, found "few, if any, consistent benefits over continuous grazing." [20] These confirm earlier evidence, where a researcher [21] compared short duration grazing (SDG) and Savory Grazing Method (SGM) in southern Africa and found no evidence of range improvement, a slight economic improvement of a seven-unit intensive system with more animals but with individual weight loss. He found no evidence for soil improvement but the increased trampling had led to soil compaction.
Third, read this http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/04/allan_savory_s_ted_talk_is_wrong_and_the_benefits_of_holistic_grazing_have.html
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http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/04/allan_savory_s_ted_talk_is_wrong_and_the_benefits_of_holistic_grazing_have.html
Ah, that's disappointing. Thanks for those links.
Tim
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There is another theory that the Sahara will green up, so take your pick.
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I've always suspected that the Sahara (and others) were deserts precisely because they were once green and fertile, so that people moved in and 'improved' things.

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On Tue, 14 May 2013 00:23:15 +0000, Windmill wrote:

I thought it was deforestation to make land available for grazing crops. The soil starts to erode and over many years becomes desert.

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Thanks for that. Fascinating. I can now tell my vegan daughter that she has a duty to eat meat to save the planet. ;-)
Tim
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On Mon, 13 May 2013 13:39:11 +0100, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

I Agree about the Goats...,,,,
Far too many greedy goats about the place,,,,
Bill Oddie offers an interesting insight here..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2013/may/14/bill-oddie-hsbc- spoof-documentary-video
............
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Only if "interesting" is a strange way of spelling "utter bollocks".

Still, Bill Oddie and the Guardian, what did I expect?
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On Monday, May 13, 2013 1:39:11 PM UTC+1, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Interesting, watched most of it, will watch the rest later and read the cri ticsms levelled against it.
I'd have thought the grassland was grassland because grass is the plant t hat best tolerates being grazed to the ground whilst being stomped and crap ped on by ruminants. I'd bet there were other dominant plant species there before the nomads passed through with their goats, killing and burning ever ything but the grass.
The few bits of the UK that I've seen that had been untouched by humans a nd grazing herds had reverted to nearly impenetrable jungle, unless trees h ad shaded out the ground cover. Much of the rough hill land was covered wit h forests and has turned to wet deserts when the tress were felled, now cap able of supporting a few sheep per acre in summer.
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Supposedly the deal is that goats eat the roots of the grass, thus killing it, whereas sheep just graze it down, so it keeps growing.
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On 15/05/2013 20:58, Onetap wrote:

As a matter of interest, where were they?
The only bit I know of - Askham Bog, near York - is indeed nearly impenetrable. There's almost no untouched land in Britain.
Andy
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On Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:26:35 AM UTC+1, Andy Champ wrote:

A few on private land; bits of MoD trainig areas where it's inadvisable to go.
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On 16/05/2013 11:25, Onetap wrote:

I'll be surprised if many of them have been untouched for more than a couple of hundred years.
Apparently Askham Bog hasn't been touched since the glaciers wiped it over.
Andy
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On Thursday, May 16, 2013 2:28:23 PM UTC+1, Andy Champ wrote:

I meant for a generation, or so. After that i'd think it would revert to forest with fewer plants at ground level.
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On 16/05/13 09:26, Andy Champ wrote:

My back garden for one. OK untouched by humans for about 40 years. It was dark impenetrable thorn scrub under which NOTHING grew except mushrooms.
I cut all but a couple of trees down, and now its a wildflower meadow instead :-)
Whether the land is managed by man or animals, its always being 'managed'

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I've been watching a bit of abandoned *hand dug* gravel next to my boundary.
It started off as brambles and neatly mown herbage (Rabbits).
1953 brought Mixie and seedling Hawthorn/Blackthorn got a start.
These have now matured so the canopy prevents much undergrowth and you can walk easily. There are some hardwoods but not as many as the literature promises. Open rides are choked with Nettle and Bramble.
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