Articles, Blog

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

August 17, 2019

Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast The most massive tsunami perfect storm is bearing down upon us. This perfect storm is mounting a grim reality, increasingly grim reality, and we are facing that reality with the full belief that we can solve our problems with technology, and that’s very understandable. Now, this perfect storm that we are facing is the result of our rising population, rising towards 10 billion people, land that is turning to desert, and, of course, climate change. Now there’s no question about it at all: we will only solve the problem of replacing fossil fuels with technology. But fossil fuels, carbon — coal and gas — are by no means the only thing that is causing climate change. Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert, and this happens only when we create too much bare ground. There’s no other cause. And I intend to focus on most of the world’s land that is turning to desert. But I have for you a very simple message that offers more hope than you can imagine. We have environments where humidity is guaranteed throughout the year. On those, it is almost impossible to create vast areas of bare ground. No matter what you do, nature covers it up so quickly. And we have environments where we have months of humidity followed by months of dryness, and that is where desertification is occurring. Fortunately, with space technology now, we can look at it from space, and when we do, you can see the proportions fairly well. Generally, what you see in green is not desertifying, and what you see in brown is, and these are by far the greatest areas of the Earth. About two thirds, I would guess, of the world is desertifying. I took this picture in the Tihamah Desert while 25 millimeters — that’s an inch of rain — was falling. Think of it in terms of drums of water, each containing 200 liters. Over 1,000 drums of water fell on every hectare of that land that day. The next day, the land looked like this. Where had that water gone? Some of it ran off as flooding, but most of the water that soaked into the soil simply evaporated out again, exactly as it does in your garden if you leave the soil uncovered. Now, because the fate of water and carbon are tied to soil organic matter, when we damage soils, you give off carbon. Carbon goes back to the atmosphere. Now you’re told over and over, repeatedly, that desertification is only occurring in arid and semi-arid areas of the world, and that tall grasslands like this one in high rainfall are of no consequence. But if you do not look at grasslands but look down into them, you find that most of the soil in that grassland that you’ve just seen is bare and covered with a crust of algae, leading to increased runoff and evaporation. That is the cancer of desertification that we do not recognize till its terminal form. Now we know that desertification is caused by livestock, mostly cattle, sheep and goats, overgrazing the plants, leaving the soil bare and giving off methane. Almost everybody knows this, from nobel laureates to golf caddies, or was taught it, as I was. Now, the environments like you see here, dusty environments in Africa where I grew up, and I loved wildlife, and so I grew up hating livestock because of the damage they were doing. And then my university education as an ecologist reinforced my beliefs. Well, I have news for you. We were once just as certain that the world was flat. We were wrong then, and we are wrong again. And I want to invite you now to come along on my journey of reeducation and discovery. When I was a young man, a young biologist in Africa, I was involved in setting aside marvelous areas as future national parks. Now no sooner — this was in the 1950s — and no sooner did we remove the hunting, drum-beating people to protect the animals, than the land began to deteriorate, as you see in this park that we formed. Now, no livestock were involved, but suspecting that we had too many elephants now, I did the research and I proved we had too many, and I recommended that we would have to reduce their numbers and bring them down to a level that the land could sustain. Now, that was a terrible decision for me to have to make, and it was political dynamite, frankly. So our government formed a team of experts to evaluate my research. They did. They agreed with me, and over the following years, we shot 40,000 elephants to try to stop the damage. And it got worse, not better. Loving elephants as I do, that was the saddest and greatest blunder of my life, and I will carry that to my grave. One good thing did come out of it. It made me absolutely determined to devote my life to finding solutions. When I came to the United States, I got a shock, to find national parks like this one desertifying as badly as anything in Africa. And there’d been no livestock on this land for over 70 years. And I found that American scientists had no explanation for this except that it is arid and natural. So I then began looking at all the research plots I could over the whole of the Western United States where cattle had been removed to prove that it would stop desertification, but I found the opposite, as we see on this research station, where this grassland that was green in 1961, by 2002 had changed to that situation. And the authors of the position paper on climate change from which I obtained these pictures attribute this change to “unknown processes.” Clearly, we have never understood what is causing desertification, which has destroyed many civilizations and now threatens us globally. We have never understood it. Take one square meter of soil and make it bare like this is down here, and I promise you, you will find it much colder at dawn and much hotter at midday than that same piece of ground if it’s just covered with litter, plant litter. You have changed the microclimate. Now, by the time you are doing that and increasing greatly the percentage of bare ground on more than half the world’s land, you are changing macroclimate. But we have just simply not understood why was it beginning to happen 10,000 years ago? Why has it accelerated lately? We had no understanding of that. What we had failed to understand was that these seasonal humidity environments of the world, the soil and the vegetation developed with very large numbers of grazing animals, and that these grazing animals developed with ferocious pack-hunting predators. Now, the main defense against pack-hunting predators is to get into herds, and the larger the herd, the safer the individuals. Now, large herds dung and urinate all over their own food, and they have to keep moving, and it was that movement that prevented the overgrazing of plants, while the periodic trampling ensured good cover of the soil, as we see where a herd has passed. This picture is a typical seasonal grassland. It has just come through four months of rain, and it’s now going into eight months of dry season. And watch the change as it goes into this long dry season. Now, all of that grass you see aboveground has to decay biologically before the next growing season, and if it doesn’t, the grassland and the soil begin to die. Now, if it does not decay biologically, it shifts to oxidation, which is a very slow process, and this smothers and kills grasses, leading to a shift to woody vegetation and bare soil, releasing carbon. To prevent that, we have traditionally used fire. But fire also leaves the soil bare, releasing carbon, and worse than that, burning one hectare of grassland gives off more, and more damaging, pollutants than 6,000 cars. And we are burning in Africa, every single year, more than one billion hectares of grasslands, and almost nobody is talking about it. We justify the burning, as scientists, because it does remove the dead material and it allows the plants to grow. Now, looking at this grassland of ours that has gone dry, what could we do to keep that healthy? And bear in mind, I’m talking of most of the world’s land now. Okay? We cannot reduce animal numbers to rest it more without causing desertification and climate change. We cannot burn it without causing desertification and climate change. What are we going to do? There is only one option, I’ll repeat to you, only one option left to climatologists and scientists, and that is to do the unthinkable, and to use livestock, bunched and moving, as a proxy for former herds and predators, and mimic nature. There is no other alternative left to mankind. So let’s do that. So on this bit of grassland, we’ll do it, but just in the foreground. We’ll impact it very heavily with cattle to mimic nature, and we’ve done so, and look at that. All of that grass is now covering the soil as dung, urine and litter or mulch, as every one of the gardeners amongst you would understand, and that soil is ready to absorb and hold the rain, to store carbon, and to break down methane. And we did that, without using fire to damage the soil, and the plants are free to grow. When I first realized that we had no option as scientists but to use much-vilified livestock to address climate change and desertification, I was faced with a real dilemma. How were we to do it? We’d had 10,000 years of extremely knowledgeable pastoralists bunching and moving their animals, but they had created the great manmade deserts of the world. Then we’d had 100 years of modern rain science, and that had accelerated desertification, as we first discovered in Africa and then confirmed in the United States, and as you see in this picture of land managed by the federal government. Clearly more was needed than bunching and moving the animals, and humans, over thousands of years, had never been able to deal with nature’s complexity. But we biologists and ecologists had never tackled anything as complex as this. So rather than reinvent the wheel, I began studying other professions to see if anybody had. And I found there were planning techniques that I could take and adapt to our biological need, and from those I developed what we call holistic management and planned grazing, a planning process, and that does address all of nature’s complexity and our social, environmental, economic complexity. Today, we have young women like this one teaching villages in Africa how to put their animals together into larger herds, plan their grazing to mimic nature, and where we have them hold their animals overnight — we run them in a predator-friendly manner, because we have a lot of lands, and so on — and where they do this and hold them overnight to prepare the crop fields, we are getting very great increases in crop yield as well. Let’s look at some results. This is land close to land that we manage in Zimbabwe. It has just come through four months of very good rains it got that year, and it’s going into the long dry season. But as you can see, all of that rain, almost of all it, has evaporated from the soil surface. Their river is dry despite the rain just having ended, and we have 150,000 people on almost permanent food aid. Now let’s go to our land nearby on the same day, with the same rainfall, and look at that. Our river is flowing and healthy and clean. It’s fine. The production of grass, shrubs, trees, wildlife, everything is now more productive, and we have virtually no fear of dry years. And we did that by increasing the cattle and goats 400 percent, planning the grazing to mimic nature and integrate them with all the elephants, buffalo, giraffe and other animals that we have. But before we began, our land looked like that. This site was bare and eroding for over 30 years regardless of what rain we got. Okay? Watch the marked tree and see the change as we use livestock to mimic nature. This was another site where it had been bare and eroding, and at the base of the marked small tree, we had lost over 30 centimeters of soil. Okay? And again, watch the change just using livestock to mimic nature. And there are fallen trees in there now, because the better land is now attracting elephants, etc. This land in Mexico was in terrible condition, and I’ve had to mark the hill because the change is so profound. (Applause) I began helping a family in the Karoo Desert in the 1970s turn the desert that you see on the right there back to grassland, and thankfully, now their grandchildren are on the land with hope for the future. And look at the amazing change in this one, where that gully has completely healed using nothing but livestock mimicking nature, and once more, we have the third generation of that family on that land with their flag still flying. The vast grasslands of Patagonia are turning to desert as you see here. The man in the middle is an Argentinian researcher, and he has documented the steady decline of that land over the years as they kept reducing sheep numbers. They put 25,000 sheep in one flock, really mimicking nature now with planned grazing, and they have documented a 50-percent increase in the production of the land in the first year. We now have in the violent Horn of Africa pastoralists planning their grazing to mimic nature and openly saying it is the only hope they have of saving their families and saving their culture. Ninety-five percent of that land can only feed people from animals. I remind you that I am talking about most of the world’s land here that controls our fate, including the most violent region of the world, where only animals can feed people from about 95 percent of the land. What we are doing globally is causing climate change as much as, I believe, fossil fuels, and maybe more than fossil fuels. But worse than that, it is causing hunger, poverty, violence, social breakdown and war, and as I am talking to you, millions of men, women and children are suffering and dying. And if this continues, we are unlikely to be able to stop the climate changing, even after we have eliminated the use of fossil fuels. I believe I’ve shown you how we can work with nature at very low cost to reverse all this. We are already doing so on about 15 million hectares on five continents, and people who understand far more about carbon than I do calculate that, for illustrative purposes, if we do what I am showing you here, we can take enough carbon out of the atmosphere and safely store it in the grassland soils for thousands of years, and if we just do that on about half the world’s grasslands that I’ve shown you, we can take us back to pre-industrial levels, while feeding people. I can think of almost nothing that offers more hope for our planet, for your children, and their children, and all of humanity. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) Thank you, Chris. Chris Anderson: Thank you. I have, and I’m sure everyone here has, A) a hundred questions, B) wants to hug you. I’m just going to ask you one quick question. When you first start this and you bring in a flock of animals, it’s desert. What do they eat? How does that part work? How do you start? Allan Savory: Well, we have done this for a long time, and the only time we have ever had to provide any feed is during mine reclamation, where it’s 100 percent bare. But many years ago, we took the worst land in Zimbabwe, where I offered a £5 note in a hundred-mile drive if somebody could find one grass in a hundred-mile drive, and on that, we trebled the stocking rate, the number of animals, in the first year with no feeding, just by the movement, mimicking nature, and using a sigmoid curve, that principle. It’s a little bit technical to explain here, but just that. CA: Well, I would love to — I mean, this such an interesting and important idea. The best people on our blog are going to come and talk to you and try and — I want to get more on this that we could share along with the talk.AS: Wonderful. CA: That is an astonishing talk, truly an astonishing talk, and I think you heard that we all are cheering you on your way. Thank you so much.AS: Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Chris. (Applause)

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  • Reply Evan Galea August 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    16:52 just makes me so happy. We can fix this world!

  • Reply George Reynolds August 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Cave paintings in desert regions e.g. the Sahara, usually show savanna animals, giraffes etc. being hunted. These paintings are thousands of years old (as per C14 dating), showing that desertification has been ongoing for at least thousands of years!

  • Reply Simon inSweden August 5, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Greening the world’s deserts would wipe out lots of species of animal that have evolved to live in deserts.

  • Reply JACK STANFIELD August 5, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Plant 1 tree per acre and that will absorb all the CO2 produced by man. AND let the natural herds of animals back on THEIR land. Hence no more anthropogenic climate change. Hey Gore: problem solved; go back to your energy guzzling mansion.

  • Reply BD30 August 5, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    … Man. I can't believe I'm only just finally watching this. This is insane, and frankly is insane when everyone believes that livestock and meat is the bane of the environment. My AP Enviro class was good, but I wish that this was information in it.

  • Reply Christopher Potter August 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Not so simple, actually, give this a read…

  • Reply shashank b h August 6, 2019 at 2:11 am

    This is beneficial knowledge, my humble prayers on your behalf dear sir. I join hands with you for this. Similar efforts are under way in the Indian sub-continent, the land of a billion people. Praise be to Allah. Our Creator, the Most-Merciful, Most-Forgiving, Oft-Relenting. I have also realised my mistakes of greed, arrogance and pride and dedicated my lifestyle to the cause of safe, multi-generational, sustainable lifestyle. This is one of the important things that Allah has commanded, to fulfill the rights of his creatures. It's my duty. May he help us all.
    I live in the city but get in touch with grazers often and they express that they are in dire straits, burdened by debts in the midst of rising costs of living with unseasonal weather changes. I hope that we can give them this beneficial knowledge of optimal usage of the nature around them, permaculture, and the threshold of their usage so that they are aware not to abuse it and cause ruin. A section of our ancestors may have contributed to the health of the earth handed down to our generation, I'm sure today's people can understand much and latch onto that! Oh God, guide us and help us, you are All-knowing and All-hearing.

  • Reply D Woodard August 6, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Vid not playing. Why?

  • Reply Hanno van den Berg August 6, 2019 at 10:49 am

    after 6 years and watching this 3 times. what has the progress been? How can we as a people help or see the progress to expand this knowledge?

  • Reply HubiKoshi August 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Time to pull off Dune On Earth!

  • Reply Jose Muniz August 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Colaboração para o tradutor: "To mimic" – Imitar, simular. – To mimic the nature – Simular a natureza – Imitar a natureza. (melhor que "mimetizar")

  • Reply alpha beta August 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    The world's deserts probably were green 10 000 years ago during the last ice age . Nothing whatsoever to do with human activity.

  • Reply Peter Hartman August 6, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Can we promote this gentleman to be president of the world ? Of course when the total population is 50 billion + we still have a problem. But if this is really working, it should be prio #1.

  • Reply Tommy mcvee August 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    You can not control the sun or pole shifting . CO2 is the lifeblood of the planet and if you lower the levels any more than it is now plant life will start dying off.Then we all die.98 percent of the gases in the atmosphere are water vapor.The earth changes with the activity of the sun and has little to do with us. As goes the phases of the sun and the position of magnetic north so goes the climate of regions of the planet.Any one who kills thousands of elephants to solve a problem probably still has that mind set so sorry if I don"t take you seriously.

  • Reply wolfgang weber August 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    hope the divine is with us, helps us to survive on this planet , allan savory is a saint

  • Reply some body August 6, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Liberals told me I was stupid for suggesting this very thing.

  • Reply Thylacinus cynocephalus August 6, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    More pseudo science? HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA

  • Reply IZ Ewert August 6, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    There is nothing more scary than humans trying to correct nature, over and over again with disastrous results. People replaced cattle ranches by factory farms, what a tragedy! I give "climate change" scam 10 more years as well before people will realize that THE SUN CYCLES are controlling the weather and climate, as it was for millennia. To realize that CO2 is not a pollution but food for plants, something that was thought in schools 50 years ago. That was when scientists were scientists not puppets controlled by politicians and bankers. Carbon taxes will not make plants grow. Nature have it covered, do not destroy it stupid!

  • Reply Jack Wyatt August 7, 2019 at 2:56 am


  • Reply Dean Overholt August 7, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Upping CO2 will help a lot…up to at least 800PPM if not 1000PPM. Earth will green itself.

  • Reply Christopher Potter August 7, 2019 at 3:40 am

    To the contrary, here are the main conclusions from a review of the scientific literature by Nordborg (2016):
    1) Review studies that have compared different
    grazing systems are few and difficult to perform due to large variability in systems and local conditions. To date, no review study has been able to demonstrate that holistic grazing is superior to conventional or continuous grazing.
    2) Improved grazing management can improve conditions on many degraded lands. Based on this review, holistic grazing could be an example of good grazing management, but nothing suggests that it is better than other well-managed grazing methods.
    3) Improved grazing management on grasslands
    can store on average approximately 0.35 tonnes of C per ha and year – a rate seven times lower than the rate used by the Savory Institute to support the claim that holistic grazing can reverse climate change. Holistic grazing (alone) can thus not reverse climate change.


  • Reply jeff westbrooke August 7, 2019 at 6:13 am

    I'd just like to point out we could never
    " reverse climate change " like the title suggests. In all history of the the universe the planet the climate has never not changed.

  • Reply probablystalkingyou August 7, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Answer is at 11:30

  • Reply dictyostelium562 August 7, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Bizarrely, deserts have quite a high albedo, leading to a cooling effect.

  • Reply Robert Redfern August 7, 2019 at 11:51 am are changing thousands of lives and millions more could be helped if more people could 'see the wood for trees'.

  • Reply Sweep Stakes August 7, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    40k elephants omfg dude.

  • Reply Sweep Stakes August 7, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    I think youre wrong, once again. 7 years go by

  • Reply Fidel Coller August 7, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Why am i watching this in 2019?

  • Reply Justin Hollohead August 7, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    The term 'Fossil Fuel' is a lie and the so called satellite image shown is a cartoon just to begin with. Nothing but a royal freemason fraudster on stage pushing another hoax. The terra firms is flat and the fraudster on stage has no proof that a sphere exists, only the imagination thanks to tv, cartoons, hollywood and cgi.
    Allan Savory is a con artist and criminal.

  • Reply Carl Swanson August 7, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Turning deserts into cropland is climate change. Holy smokes these people are so two faced it's not even funny.

  • Reply some dude August 8, 2019 at 12:35 am

    no one can alter gods plan, no matter how much i love this video and the efforts put forth to do so. i would prefer it if this cycle of humans ended so that we could end up a higher developed being.

  • Reply Mark Miranda August 8, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Here in California Central Valley we are literally sinking because of all the mono crops using all the top soil and taking the nutrients and water from the ground.

  • Reply Unknown Dissident August 8, 2019 at 5:56 am

  • Reply RyDaddy August 8, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Grant Woods has developed and done the same thing on marginal lands in the USA, specifically geared toward improving wildlife habitat. He calls it The Buffalo System as it mimics the herds of American Bison trampling the grasses down. His "buffalo" is a roller-crimper on a tractor, but he results are the same and no herbicides needed, ground holds moisture under the layer of terminated grasses or grass-crop (wheat, rye, etc.).

  • Reply Hughy Hughes August 8, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I tried to do this by putting 1000 sheep on my 100 acre block. They all died of starvation within a month.

  • Reply Jr C August 8, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I see that half of you on here are brainwashed. With comment like:"Why haven't I ever heard of this"?? and "We need to get started on this!".. Do you think this is NEW technology?? They are CONTROLLING the weather to KEEP it DRY! Wake up people! If it was so good and they mean so well, why aren't they doing it!?? Population control is their agenda, not making things better for you with green grass and livestock! They are spraying the skies ALL over the world…none of you see that??? Haven't heard another word about it have you REVERSE climate change?? They CREATED it!…..8/8/2019

  • Reply M K August 8, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    This is the first time I am having some hope, to do some thing to slow down climate change

  • Reply Nemra August 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I am so confused, this doesn't feel like any news, this was common knowledge when I did the obligatory school in the 90's early 2000.

  • Reply Lobogris August 8, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    You deserve the Nobel prize for this work.

  • Reply Schin Heilos August 8, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Can someone with mathe skills recheck this claim with burning billions of hektre and how much carbon whil be released by that and count that against what cars produce per year in europe, usa etc.
    Of course its just theoretically. Buts dämn interesting

    PLs do me that favour. Would thank your forever

  • Reply Patrick Milewski August 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    How do we save the planet? Kill off all the humans.

  • Reply Starstorm August 9, 2019 at 2:49 am

    This video is great, but what can I do as an average human being to reduce climate change, better the world, etc. without getting 10,000 cows to walk over dry land?

  • Reply Borden August 9, 2019 at 6:43 am

    amazing! what did he do to mimic the preditor part of nature? I must have missed that.

  • Reply Borden August 9, 2019 at 6:45 am

    much more practicle than turning Sahara into oasis ??

  • Reply NICK COIN August 9, 2019 at 7:00 am

    The way the world manages land, produces and eats food has to change to curb global warming or food security, health and biodiversity will be at risk, a UN report on the effects of climate change on land said on Thursday (Aug 8 2019 )

    The report said global population growth and changes in consumption patterns have caused unprecedented rates of land and water use. It called for big changes to farming and eating habits, but stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat free.

    Dietary changes, featuring plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food, could free up several million square kilometres of land by 2050 and potentially cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in the report.

    "Delaying action … could result in some irreversible impacts on some ecosystems, which in the longer term has the potential to lead to substantial additional emissions from ecosystems that would accelerate global warming," it said.


  • Reply Bobby K August 9, 2019 at 7:11 am

    So, he's figured out that fertilizing land makes it more fertile. OMG, what a genius (sarcasm).

  • Reply Wile CKoyote August 9, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Fascinatingly, money, political power and single-minded groups are involved that prevent this from becoming a solution. It is staggering to see this in 2019 and not being practiced. I am sad.

  • Reply Gnawer Shreth August 9, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Well, it all sounds good but unfortunately no one else seems to be able to confirm his claimed benefits so I'll remain skeptical for now I think.

    If people look up "Holistic management (agriculture)" (his rotational grazing idea) and go to "Criticism" it says things like:

    "Claims that holistic grazing can have a profound effect on climate change by making grazing cattle carbon negative have no basis in any peer-reviewed scientific literature and are based on literature only available on the Savory Institute website. [40]"

    "Range scientists have not been able to experimentally confirm that intensive grazing systems similar to those at the center of holistic management show a benefit, and claim that managers' reports of success are anecdotal.[41][42]"

    "Earlier research[46] that 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. That study found no evidence for soil improvement, but instead that increased trampling had led to soil compaction."

    It does seem a bit odd that no one else can apparently replicate his results by following his ideas.

  • Reply william buck August 9, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    wow ive said this for ever and finally someone is getting listened to its a system all parts are needed plants animals and weather

  • Reply Victor Rosales August 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Amazing speech now I wish a billionaire cared about this and made this theory into a reality.

  • Reply James Carmody August 10, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Shepherds and cowboys are the way of our future.

  • Reply 49ers1975 August 10, 2019 at 3:40 am

    china is doing it…

  • Reply Dante Howlstice August 10, 2019 at 6:11 am

    "we're all wrong except me, I have the answers."

  • Reply John Edwards August 10, 2019 at 6:53 am

    This guy should be silenced immediately as this totally destroys the propaganda that Global Warming is totally caused by fossil fuels.

  • Reply Advocatus Diaboli August 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    6 years later, terraforming is happening just not the way we hoped to happen

  • Reply Advocatus Diaboli August 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Who said intensive mass animal farming was bad?

  • Reply MyFAT69 August 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    if we really wanted we could stop the Desertification, but then we should get rid of the debate about terraforming, and create a line of defense with solar power panels around the edge of the dessert so that line would fall into shade, and because the panels absorb the heat off the sun during the day time, and the dessert nights get really cold, these panels would then start to condensate and create moist, and that moist in combination with eternal shade creates an ideal environment for fungi and moss, however it will most likely take decades and generations of moss and fungi to start composting and slowly build up to into a nice layer of fertile ground, but if that layer would be like say 5 cm, it could already be a good foundation for small plants or grass and such to grow on, and if the solar panels would be like 1 meter above the ground or more, then eventually there could be room for the first small trees to start growing, but the solar panels have to be adjustable and able to pitch, kinda like the blinds we use to block the sun from shining in to our homes , because the plants need light to create energy to grow, so in the morning and evening or late afternoon would be best to give them a couple of hours to photosynthesize.

    This is just a theory of course, but if we don't try, we never know if this might have worked 😉

    the upside of this project would be massive amount of energy generated by those solar panels, and that alone would be worth it, because the global demand for energy keeps growing every year 🙂

  • Reply MyFAT69 August 10, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    you need to look at the big picture, it's all about foundation, if we start cutting the roots, eventually nothing will last, and keep growing!

    what happens on the mountain pistes where we like to go on our ski holidays, they cut the trees, and what happens?

    you create more chance of avalanches!

    What happens when they cut the trees in the hills to create land for new settlements or agriculture, more chances of mud slides!

    and why?

    well because those trees roots are like metal for concrete, they hold the ground together and keep it more stable, also the leafs absorb lots of sun rays, and the roots absorb the rain, and keep it well stored in the ground, so the ground doesn't dry out that easily, the leafs keep the ground in shade, so the ground doesn't warm up as much, and works as a natural air conditioner, and keep the climate well balanced, and last but not least, the trees absorb cO2 during the day, and breath O2 at night!

  • Reply Mr. Yi August 10, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    It's time to eat steaks for the environment.

  • Reply jaco van heerden August 10, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Country's is willing to spend millions on wars but they cant spend millions to save the world, cant believe this inst big news in the world!!

  • Reply Nick Taylor August 11, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I saw this with my own eyes in the 70s on my cousins Peter and Joan Southey's farm near Middleburg in the Karoo. The difference between their farm and their traditional farming neighbour looked exactly like the one in Savory's picture. I live adjacent to a similarly badly managed farm in the Sandveld Western Cape now .. It's ignorance not ill will that creates the problem. They could transform this landscape if they'd hear this talk.

  • Reply Maarten Deiters August 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    goats are the worse

  • Reply Jules Marten August 11, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Stop saying people thought the earth was flat! They didn't. Flat earthers is a new thing. The first person to measure the circumference of the earth was an ancient Greek. The fact that he keeps repeating this as fact makes me doubt everything else he says

  • Reply Jason Olson August 11, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Were all in this together you guys keep talking about blame and who did wrong but know wants to do what's right we already know what got us all into this mess but no one wants to do what we can to get us all out of this mess

  • Reply doyrtwq August 12, 2019 at 5:36 am

    We have been listing to doomsayers like this person for the last 100 years.There is no such thing as man made global warming,and I'll leave some links below.You shot 40000 elephants on the predication that they were turning the grassland to desert?What a utterly stupid thing to do!So you are using that story to What?convince people that now you know what you're talking about?What kind of so called researcher would kill all those animals on an unproven and may I say half baked theory as that?You are a far left activist much like the liberal leaders of western nations who with the great climate emergency are extorting money from their country's populations just as they are replacing them with people from alien cultures with cries of Diversity is our strength!Do everyone a favour and just retire rather than continue to virtue signal your half baked pseudo science and add to the damage you have already done.

  • Reply Truth Seaker August 12, 2019 at 6:24 am

    he didn't answer the question at the end. If there is not one blade of grass in a hundred miles what does your 3 X stock feed on until the system recovers.

  • Reply Allen Clark August 12, 2019 at 11:46 am

    OMG! This is basic stuff, I had no idea "the science community" were getting it so very wrong for the last 100 years and making it worse. He slaughtered 40,000 elephants before he even thought about it. Someone should send him to farming college instead of a fancy university.

  • Reply Gary Evans August 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    This TED talk is not backed up by any science. Claims that cows can reverse climate change may sound great, but they're a large part of the problem. Think critically when confronted with such claims!

  • Reply Gary Evans August 12, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Meanwhile, beef is increasingly being banned at institutions which are aware of the damage it is causing to the climate: See:

  • Reply Phi August 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    We are most certainly poisoning the planet for ourselves. As for life, it will most certainly continue. Might be we are not included in the mix. As for controlling the climate, well, to do that we need to control the Sun. Any takers?
    For the most part these 'scientists' are just hungry for something or other and are willing to spout any nonsense to get it. Sad that we don't care to look at our own lack of scientific understanding as a problem and instead put our trust in charlatans and computer models instead of the raw data. You do know that real scientists have done all the hard work. Right? They have developed the instruments, gone out and slogged in often dangerous environments to get the information we need to have a better understanding of what is happening around us. And we are too lazy to look at it? Seriously?
    I guess we really do deserve what we get.

  • Reply Kyle Vin August 13, 2019 at 3:23 am

    Instructions unclear. Ive got 20thousand dead sheep decaying in the sahara desert right now..

  • Reply Patricia Pensyl August 13, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Wow!!!!!! I love the idea. Thanks for all the hard work and research.

  • Reply Viggen August 13, 2019 at 8:52 am

    That idiot blamed elephants for desertification and killed 40000 of them. He deserves a bullet in his head

  • Reply vinegarypoo August 13, 2019 at 8:59 am

    This could work

    But it works much much better using bird to do the same job

    They have a bigger range for their droppings, they don't kill the plants like cattle and sheep do, and they don't as often digest the seed of the berries etc they eat

    No offense to this guy but I think he just wants to grow cattle to eat, he doesn't actually care about rewilding

  • Reply brentkn smith August 13, 2019 at 8:59 am

    6 years later and no progress.
    Now the Arctic is burning.
    Well at least you made money.

  • Reply Giovanni P. August 13, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Getting more trees in improves the environment as well. Raising the water table on a vast scale will reduce sea water levels. Using fossil fuels strategically and reclaiming plastics from the sea will save this planet.

  • Reply MUGO MUGO August 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    so why was vegetation not growing where the elephants were populated?

  • Reply Sunandan Dhar August 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    I was so puzzled as to why such an incredible solution isn't being implemented by every government and climate conservation organization in the world! Apparently, there's still a lot of debate about this in the scientific community and no conclusive proof that it actually works. It may still be partially true, but the claim that it can single-handedly reverse climate change to pre-industrial levels is definitely highly exaggerated. Read the Criticism & Support sections on the wikipedia page:

  • Reply triskellian August 13, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    I agree with him that proper land management is good for us in terms of retaining vegetation and moisture.However, I'm not so sure about this method influencing climate as a whole.I would think that solar radiation is the primary engine driving the climate.Therefore there are some places that there is not enough sunshine to allow for enough warmth or light to encourage photosynthesis.I suppose that his idea would be a good way to mitigate effects of unseasonably high temperatures.

  • Reply BillyBrains Folse! August 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Dig water wells not oil wells. The ancient ppl had large underground water systems. Our technology can do this if you use free energy devices for electricity. We all know there’s a no stop running Searl generator patent. If you rich people really want to help the world you would find these oasis projects in all deserts. We challenge you good guy in high petitions to get it done

  • Reply BillyBrains Folse! August 13, 2019 at 6:48 pm

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

  • Reply Angela Moses August 13, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    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!

  • Reply Ace Golfman August 14, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Flood the deserts with ocean water, then go down 300ft filtered by the sand, you get fresh water. Genetic engineer "seaweed land plants" that can thrive in salt water land conditions. Flooding deserts with ocean water is easy

  • Reply Yared Tesema August 14, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I don't want to be on a negative side of things but why would you say Violent Horn of Africa. You could have just said the horn of Africa. You are doing such a great job on the restoration of the lands in many countries i applaud for that but there are something that you could have just left out like VIOLENT.

  • Reply Stupenz August 14, 2019 at 9:57 am

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

  • Reply jebes909090 August 14, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Lol greening world deserts.will lead to.more warming ???

  • Reply Helvio Silva August 14, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Two diferent things. Savory believes that the C02 and Methane causes warming. This is not true.
    But this experience with the soil and animals is nice.
    Although the global warming is not happening, this herds mnagement are very important. Keep the land with vegetation is absolutely important to prevent soil erosion and desertification.
    About the C02, it is 0,038% of the atmosphere… and 97% of C02 production in the Earth is made by NATURE. Not by the man.
    Relative to methane, its content in the air not increase during the last 40 years, regardless the huge increase of cattle at all world.

  • Reply Hana Smith August 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Maybe you shouldn’t have removed as you put it “ the drum beating people”. Typical arrogance of white saviour you never listen.

  • Reply Trayton Shelton August 14, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    What if you took human waste water and poured gallons of it on completely bare spots dominated by deserts?

  • Reply Diana Oaks August 14, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Save the earth. Eat grass-fed meat.

  • Reply Louise August 15, 2019 at 12:39 am

    All those people on the Paleo diet are bringing us closer to the edge.

  • Reply DAY LITE August 15, 2019 at 3:46 am

    hey TED if you can't dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bullshit

  • Reply ForTheLoveOfMusicAndPeople August 15, 2019 at 8:07 am

    If what he says is true than, WE NEED TO DO THIS!

  • Reply john s August 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Send this to AOC!

  • Reply Laura ZBendada August 15, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Mr. Savory's message is profound! In short, he is saying, we simply need to mimic nature if we want to solve our climate change problems. We need to pay attention to how nature works and not try to change it. I would like to further this message by saying, nature – if we follow its design and living style – can solve most of mankind's problems (health, climate, food, stress)…

  • Reply - Webster August 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Molten Salt Reactors

  • Reply meygaag kabacalaf August 16, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Standing ovation was the least he deserves this brilliant Gentleman!.

  • Reply Lawrence Wall August 16, 2019 at 9:51 am

    The little acre my family and I live on used to be a cow pasture before it was developed. Anything and everything will grow on it like crazy without additional fertilizer.

  • Reply Adam Forest August 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Very sad, but way to go guy, you wouldn't be human if you didn't make mistakes. Thank you!

  • Reply Lesley Gibbs August 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Can’t help it. You should be ashamed of your ‘brilliance’. Killing animals, as you did is SO human. I hope you spend the rest of your life making up for your stupidity. Unfortunately, there are still humans thinking the way you did then. Nature is and will always be smarter than any human. Any true farmer would have been able to explain that to you while you were learning things in a classroom.

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