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Another TED talk takes a pounding

26 March 2013
Climate change

I posted a link to a TED talk video on 9th March that appeared to delight some people and cause others to grimace. It was Allan Savory's talk and it appears to have spread very rapidly across the blogosphere, seen by sceptics as much as greens. There has been quite a bit of criticism, which is not limited to one side of the climate debate. See for example http://chelseagreen.com/blogs/jtellerelsberg/2010/02/25/following-up-wit… … which only seems to show he has been peddling these ideas for a long time, and TED has provided him with a new platform. When Anthony Watts posted it up on his web site in early March he was obviously impressed but many of his commenters were not. There is even a major paper out there that disputes the thrust of what Savory reckons – go to http://allenpress.com/pdf/i1551-5028-61-1-3.pdf and now we have Dr Tim Ball, the Canadian sceptic scientist adding his four penny worth, in a fairly devastating fashion – go to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/25/the-climate-mechanisms-of-world-de…

His point is that savannah environments are quite distinct from actual deserts, and different climatic factors aspply to each. Savannahs have a higher precipitation rate, for example, while deserts are usually found within 15 to 35 degrees latitude each side of the equator. Savannahs include the Russian steppe zone, the Great Plains of N America, the Llanos of northern S America and the Pampas of southern S America, the Veldt in South Africa and the Sahel, between the equatorial rainforest belt and the Sahara desert, and so on. Establishing these parameters he then goes on to highlight environmentalist misconceptions in the past (droughts in the Sahel and eastern Africa) and the attempts to get local people to change their lifestyles – even though they have had cattle raising cultures for thousands of years.

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