Re: Making Deserts Bloom? (was Re: Global Climate Manipulation & Con

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 18 Nov 1996 19:25:10 -0500

Michael Butler wrote:
> <<
> This sounds sorta sick but couldn't you terraform deserts by dumping tons
> of raw sewage out there and have it cover the desert for miles and create a
> thick layer of topsoil?
> >>
> That's been an idea since at least the '50s. There are a lot of
> problems with it; even if you could craft a soil-substitute out of
> mixed waste and sand, sand's drainage is "too good" and it shifts too
> much. Real soil is (a) complicated matter. And if you don't have the
> right climate and hydrology to back it up, it doesn't develop turf
> the way grasslands, savannahs or (somewhat misnamed) barrens do.
> If you just dump the muck there, all you get is mucky sand until the
> first few rainstorms--then you get the sand back and (maybe) some
> muck many feet down. Now if you had a magic device that could
> transform the sand into clay... Hmm, I think I hear the n-word
> police coming... :)
> MMB, at but not for OCC

Actually, if you laid down a few layers of the sort of material used by
construction companies all over the world for soil retention on
hillsides, or even something so simple as _hay_ (what a concept, eh?) it
would provide the necessary retention. You could also dredge up delta
silt, mix with sand and hay, and get a pretty heavy lower layer to put
your high quality mulch on.

Sorry, living in Cow Hampshire, I know about soil retention.