Re: warm the Sahara
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 18:45:19 -0500 (EST)

> > That's a big risk we'd be taking with the only planet we have. The global
> > climate system is, at this point, complexety beyond our comprehension (many
> > factors, some not understood, relating in non-linear ways) and should
> > consequently be treated with greatest possible care.

> I disagree with that it is beyond our comprehension, but caution is
> certainly adviced when doing climatic engineering - always have a
> backup ecosphere.

Well, it's beyond our current comprehension, anyway. Ie, we don't
know all that much in any great scientific sense. Climatic
experiments are few, far between, and generally not scientifically

Climate-ecosystem interactions are even more iffy.

For instance, I've read in several locations that the reason the
Sahara is a desert, now, rather than a prairie, is because of
centuries of sheep grazing.

Whether that is right or wrong, I can't say.

I also can't say if the overall climate changes were a factor in that,
caused by that, or completely independent of that. But I think it
behooves the literal terraformer to study these questions very, very

Then ask where you're going to put all the displaced people you've
created by flooding coastlines.

John S. Novak, III 
The Humblest Man on the Net