Reversing Desertification

My latest post over at Forbes is about how responsible management of livestock can reverse desertification. If these procedures are followed, it would alleviate some concerns that I had expressed earlier this month.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Environment
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. john personna says:

    So basically you take the position that you opposed me for taking in the older thread?

    I might as well give you material for your next article as well:

  2. Alex Knapp says:


    Note I didn’t say that this would happen – it’s just a means of doing so.

    But yes! Credit where’s credit’s due — I started looking to see if people were figuring out how to reverse desertification after I read your comments. 🙂

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    My father works for the USDA on a local level, developing low cost, low tech farming techniques to improve arability. It’s amazing just how much “new” procedures are simply the way they did it back in, say, the middle ages.

    Look at no-till planting: it was laughed at in the 80s, and now is a staple for farming on land with varied elevations.

    I know that’s not quite the same as the desertification lecture but I do like the idea of looking back 100, 500, 1000 years to answers for our current problems.

    A quick anecdote:
    A farmer came into my father’s office with questions on how to dredge a lake, where he could hire the equipment, how to best target the areas that needed to be dredged, etcetera. The problem? His lake was slowly draining, and its deepest point was now at only 3 feet.

    The solution they found was to simply let a neighbor keep his cattle heard in the pond field for about 3 months. All those hooves compacted the soil and stopped the drain.

  4. Herb says:

    I’m much more interested in this subject than I should be. I blame Frank Herbert.