9

votes

No livestock = desertification. How can we move this reality to the public agenda?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 09, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Biologist Allen Savory gave a startling TED talk (http://bit.ly/Y0VBMP) last month that described how our species' move away from grazing livestock is rapidly killing the land we all depend on. In fact, according to him, it poses a greater permanent (and eventually irreversible) threat than fossil-fuel use, which can be fixed with technology, unlike desertification. Our best-practice ecologists have been removing grazing animals, both wild and domesticated, from the land for a century in order to save it, but it's had the opposite result. Reintroducing animals reverses the damage, and Savory shows remarkable photos.

To me, this is a profound (though counterintuitive) vindication of the paleo mindset. The argument seems unassailable, and both liberals and conservatives should endorse it.

My question: How do we bring this new understanding from the margins to policymakers? How do we broaden the conversation about climate change to include cost-effective policies that will almost immediately prevent starvation, keep family farms productive, and literally save the planet? For me, this issue sits at the intersection of "lifestyle" choices and social change. The fact that we'd have lots more grass-fed meat is a nice bonus!

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:48 PM

It's not our species move away from grazing livestock that has caused deserts. Pastoralists throughout the world were and are still causing desertification with their roaming flocks, but slowly. When all grazing was removed desertification quickens. Allan Savory discovered that if livestock can be increased to the size of massive natural herds and caused to move about to mimic natural grazing patterns then deserts are restored to grassland. My headline would be "livestock that mimic natural herds restore desert to grassland". :D

D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on March 17, 2013
at 07:36 PM

When a scientist does some major crow-eating, I don't think it's very "macho." If only some of the big-name nutrition gurus could summon the same courage to revise their grant-funded opinions.

D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on March 17, 2013
at 07:30 PM

What headline would you have written that better captures the presenter's point?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:55 PM

Oh, and I disagree with some of his message as well. I was trained in biomes and natural conservation (as a part of my major) so this is too close to home.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I am glad that at least one person does not think I hate men. Because I love some of them (some more than others), especially cute ones.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:32 PM

I find this convo sort of amusing because some members of the student group I'm a part of at my college saw this guy and had strong disagreements over their opinion of him. Not even his message, which they generally agreed with, but mostly the guy himself. The fact that basically the same response occurred here on p-hacks is, well, amusing.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:04 PM

I hate some women with equal passion (and even more). I have a long list of women I hate, I just cannot mention them on Paleohacks. I will let you know when an opportunity arises.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Whatever, VB. Wrapping up aggro-feminism in some pseudo-intellectual wrapper... meh.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 04:38 PM

It is NOT about men, I swear! If a woman would decide to kill 4,000 elephants or to drain swamps I would say exactly the same thing!!! And I don't have any testosterone, I am totally estrogen-wired which means I am passionate about things and would not kill any elephants or drain any swamp.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Methinks you watched a little to much man-hating propaganda on International Women's Day last week... Either way, you've completely derailed the discussion... talk about testosterone-wired...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 03:13 PM

And now when I think of it it was 1 out of 4 for men. So it is about all people.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:46 PM

Or was it every 10th woman? Not sure.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:45 PM

One more time, it is NOT about sexual discrimination. 16 % of entire world population has testosterone-wired brains. Every 4th woman and 3/4 of all men. For more info, watch Helen Fisher (Science network or TED).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Again, it is NOT about sexual discrimination. It is about testosterone-driven brain. If you do not understand the difference, maybe it is the proof?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 01:48 PM

Not cool? You're the one off in sexual discrimination land. Hadn't noticed this before, what dumbass theory did you latch onto yesterday?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 09:20 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see the big picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see the big picture first.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 08:44 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see a bigger picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see the big picture first.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 08:29 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see a bigger picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see a bigger picture first.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:54 AM

Matt- not cool. Again, both men AND women can be testosterone-driven. Both men AND women are mammals and primates. To drain off wetlands to reduce methane production is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:51 AM

@Travis - so he participated in killing off 40,000 elephants just to preach now how wonderful it is to have large herds. He has sinned, but he is redeeming himself now by preaching how many good things he has done for humanity. If you cannot see the REAL point of his presentation, clearly you need more estrogen.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:49 AM

It is not about man-hating. There are plenty of women with testosterone-wired brains as well. So it is not because he is a guy, I swear - I do not discriminate. It is testosterone-hating.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:23 AM

The senior prom was 30 years ago! Let it go, Bernice!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:19 AM

If you want to discuss, fine. Otherwise, f' off.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:18 AM

What's with the man hating today, VB? Oh yeah, hating on men is completely fine! Seriously, not welcome.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:05 AM

Wait, wait...feed his ego? How could one possible come to that conclusion?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 05:31 AM

Matt, Joel Salatin wants to drain wetlands. Yet another testosterone-driven monkey.

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4 Answers

3
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 10, 2013
at 03:19 AM

The same way that we get all facts into the public arena. When you figure that out, short of a $1,000,000,000 budget, let us know.

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 01:05 AM

I've seen talk of that TED talk for a while now and I hadn't sat down and watched it yet, so I did.

The problem with this proposed solution is that it is so out of the mainstream that it has little chance of gaining foothold with policy makers. Because, as pointed out in that video, we've operated under the opposite conclusion for the past 100 years: that livestock grazing is the the problem (and it is the problem, sometimes!)

For me, as a livestock farmer (actually more of an interested outside party nowadays), this is really exciting. Infinitely more exciting that what Joel Salatin does in his corner of the world actually (and I like what Joel does!)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:19 AM

If you want to discuss, fine. Otherwise, f' off.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:54 AM

Matt- not cool. Again, both men AND women can be testosterone-driven. Both men AND women are mammals and primates. To drain off wetlands to reduce methane production is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:46 PM

Or was it every 10th woman? Not sure.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 09:20 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see the big picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see the big picture first.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 03:13 PM

And now when I think of it it was 1 out of 4 for men. So it is about all people.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 05:31 AM

Matt, Joel Salatin wants to drain wetlands. Yet another testosterone-driven monkey.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 08:44 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see a bigger picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see the big picture first.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Whatever, VB. Wrapping up aggro-feminism in some pseudo-intellectual wrapper... meh.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:23 AM

The senior prom was 30 years ago! Let it go, Bernice!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:04 PM

I hate some women with equal passion (and even more). I have a long list of women I hate, I just cannot mention them on Paleohacks. I will let you know when an opportunity arises.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 08:29 AM

In addition - I get really upset when I see somebody (not always a man, sometimes a woman) to destroy, kill, wipe off, drain, change, re-organize, re-structure, etc. etc. etc. just to say 10 years down the road - oops, we were wrong. But we followed all the scientific data. It really drives me mad because I actually understand why they are doing it. It has something to do with testosterone, because they zero in on their aim and don't see a bigger picture. Even now, when they want to re-introduce large herds of cattle, I think they need to see a bigger picture first.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Methinks you watched a little to much man-hating propaganda on International Women's Day last week... Either way, you've completely derailed the discussion... talk about testosterone-wired...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 01:48 PM

Not cool? You're the one off in sexual discrimination land. Hadn't noticed this before, what dumbass theory did you latch onto yesterday?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:45 PM

One more time, it is NOT about sexual discrimination. 16 % of entire world population has testosterone-wired brains. Every 4th woman and 3/4 of all men. For more info, watch Helen Fisher (Science network or TED).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Again, it is NOT about sexual discrimination. It is about testosterone-driven brain. If you do not understand the difference, maybe it is the proof?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 04:38 PM

It is NOT about men, I swear! If a woman would decide to kill 4,000 elephants or to drain swamps I would say exactly the same thing!!! And I don't have any testosterone, I am totally estrogen-wired which means I am passionate about things and would not kill any elephants or drain any swamp.

0
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 11, 2013
at 01:19 AM

This was just amazing. My head is spinning at how much this overturns conventional wisdom. It completely upends everything that has been and is being taught about desertification.

Secondly, I frankly think the thread headline is not at all what the presenter was getting at, but I can see how the OP took that from the presentation.

D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on March 17, 2013
at 07:30 PM

What headline would you have written that better captures the presenter's point?

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:48 PM

It's not our species move away from grazing livestock that has caused deserts. Pastoralists throughout the world were and are still causing desertification with their roaming flocks, but slowly. When all grazing was removed desertification quickens. Allan Savory discovered that if livestock can be increased to the size of massive natural herds and caused to move about to mimic natural grazing patterns then deserts are restored to grassland. My headline would be "livestock that mimic natural herds restore desert to grassland". :D

-1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 05:28 AM

Thank you so much for sharing this video! Even though that I hate the guy (he clearly did this presentation to feed his ego and satisfy his testosterone-wired brain), but I totally agree with the premise - let the nature run its course. What is "designed" by nature is 1000s times better and will always be better than anything any monkey with a large brain can invent.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:18 AM

What's with the man hating today, VB? Oh yeah, hating on men is completely fine! Seriously, not welcome.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:51 AM

@Travis - so he participated in killing off 40,000 elephants just to preach now how wonderful it is to have large herds. He has sinned, but he is redeeming himself now by preaching how many good things he has done for humanity. If you cannot see the REAL point of his presentation, clearly you need more estrogen.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I am glad that at least one person does not think I hate men. Because I love some of them (some more than others), especially cute ones.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:32 PM

I find this convo sort of amusing because some members of the student group I'm a part of at my college saw this guy and had strong disagreements over their opinion of him. Not even his message, which they generally agreed with, but mostly the guy himself. The fact that basically the same response occurred here on p-hacks is, well, amusing.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 11, 2013
at 06:55 PM

Oh, and I disagree with some of his message as well. I was trained in biomes and natural conservation (as a part of my major) so this is too close to home.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 10, 2013
at 06:05 AM

Wait, wait...feed his ego? How could one possible come to that conclusion?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 10, 2013
at 07:49 AM

It is not about man-hating. There are plenty of women with testosterone-wired brains as well. So it is not because he is a guy, I swear - I do not discriminate. It is testosterone-hating.

D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on March 17, 2013
at 07:36 PM

When a scientist does some major crow-eating, I don't think it's very "macho." If only some of the big-name nutrition gurus could summon the same courage to revise their grant-funded opinions.

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