Episode 65 - Above the Paving Stones, the Desert

Two-thirds of Spain is at risk of permanent desertification. The cold and wet country of Iceland holds half of all Europe's deserts. China's Gobi Desert is expanding rapidly, swallowing thousands of villages and threatening to envelop the capital city Beijing. In just 40 years a third of the plant's arable land has eroded, and each year desertification destroys the potential to grow 20 million tons of grain.

Once again, a show all about sand, but this time we're not building with it; we're running from it. What are some of the long-term systems that lead to desertification? What are some of the simple causes? And in what ways does human and economic development play a role in this process?

full transcript available

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  • 00:32 Civilizations Rise and Fall
  • 12:00 "Spain, Iceland, China, Mongolia"
  • 24:54 Global Aridity
  • 31:30 Desertification Causes and Feedbacks
  • 44:28 Land Use
  • 53:07 Incentives
  • 59:09 What can we do?
  • 1:06:55 Carbondale Spring

Recommended reading and viewing

(1a) Deserts in Asia - Destroyers of Civilization Pt. 1
(1b) Deserts in Europe - Destroyers of Civilization Pt. 2
(2) World Atlas of Desertification, 3rd Edition
(3) Carbondale Spring, Illinois
(4) Global Land Use:

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/yields-and-land-use-in-agriculture


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Published 14-03-2019 00:39