Re: Making Deserts Bloom? (was Re: Global Climate Manipulat

Michael Butler (
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 10:44:49 PST

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.

Yeah, but--

Cow Hampshire has the hydrology and climate that would let hay work.
Plus, it's not surrounded by more desert. What's your yearly rainfall?

There is no hay in most deserts; you'd have to truck *it* in too. Not
what whas originally specified. :) The in-situ studies in Israel and
Egypt indicate that it's impractical with available tech.

Now, if you moved the sand to US Midwest first... :) But I seem to
recall that desert sand is a different *shape*, too, which might or
might not complicate matters.

Some people have gotten rsults just *pavig* the desert and poking
holes in it. You plant things that can live in sandy soil, and the
asphalt cover reduces moisture loss--you trickle-irrigate and voila.

Of course, Chris is probably talking about "magiucally" importing
gigatonnes of waste to the entire desert all at once....