Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is a Desert?

Most people think of a desert as a place with an absence of water. A desert is a place with an absence of liquid water. In that sense, Antarctica and parts of the Arctic are deserts. There's plenty of water there, but it's a solid. So, why are we lamenting the demise of these deserts of ice? Life will adapt and change. The polar bears will breed with brown bears and become something else. A new bear will emerge. The same is true for penguins. Unless that is, we begin to understand that deserts aren't really deserts, but extreme environments and that they serve a purpose. The human desire is for all deserts to bloom, is it not? Of course, if humans made the desert, such as the Australian Outback, shouldn't humans repair the environment back to the way it first was before we destroyed it? What is the best solution to environmental change? Not all environmental change will be bad. Shouldn't we only repair what we've broken or destroyed?

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Comments:
North Africa is also a man made desert. In Biblical times it may have only been one fifth of the size.

Pretty hard to reduce the size of a desert unless we reduce water use ie reduce the size of cities, crop use and livestock number.

As population is going up everywhere rather than down use will continue to rise and desertification will continue.

Pete
 
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