This represents an amount of territory equivalent to the country of Bulgaria and which annually could produce 20 million tonnes of grain. Since this loss is compounding – 12 million hectares the first, 24 the second, 36 etc. – since 1950 we have now experienced land degradation totaling 1.9 billion hectares* (4.7 billion acres) which is only slightly less than the combined land masses of the United States and Europe.
With global populations still well on the rise and already one-and-a-half billion human beings dependent on degrading lands for their survival*, the pressures for social unrest, resource-related wars, species-wide extinction and environmental collapse are rapidly intensifying and will likely spare no nation as conflicts inevitably bubble over pulling those who remain in the periphery into the fray*.
If these techniques are comprehensively & swiftly applied, this could mean halting global temperature increases, restoring vast stretches of land to nature, reforming our fossil-fuel intensive industrial farming practices with ecologically sustainable alternatives*, restoring water & food security and in so doing for the first time make major inroads in solving the myriad of real-world planetary-wide crises we presently face.
Possessed with the knowledge that we do have the means to overcome these critical issues at their source – and by doing so a world of abundance far & above anything that exists today could be made a reality – what possible excuses can we now seriously entertain when the grim alternative is to deliver us, our children and grandchildren into a world of needless suffering?
... if you enjoyed this special and are interested in viewing John D. Liu's documentary excerpted above here it is in its entirety:
Hope in a Changing Climate
... and lastly, this phenomenal TED talk from Allan Savory brings even more hopeful evidence to bear on what we can now do if we upgrade our thinking to come into alignment with the interwoven life systems here on Earth:
Allan Savory: How to Green the World's Deserts and Reverse Climate Change.
Related to this topic see Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love with a Fish.