[LMB] OT: Practice for terraforming Beta Colony on Earthly deserts.

Sylvia McIvers sylviamcivers at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 00:47:10 BST 2021

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 2:49 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> Gwynne: A word in defence of deserts.
> I know it's easy to look at them and say, "Wow, empty space to use."
> Obviously they lack the abundance of more temperate climates, but
> there's life there, there are complex ecologies, despite the conditions.
> ...
> There's life in the deserts. Tiny nocturnal creatures, insects, some small
> reptiles, and so on. Sparse and quiet, but it's there, a valid and balanced
> ecology.(snip australian deserts - sorry, gwynne!)
> It's not like the flashy, showy temperate areas with their permanent flora
> and fauna. But it's life, it's an amazing ecology.
> Deserts aren't dead.
> --

So here's a question for the list mind.
People are reforesting, and people are praising that.
Most re-foresting is a reclamation of old forests that were ruined by
agriculture, but given the new techniques, some people want to shrink the
deserts. Reclaim the land for ... wait for it ... agriculture.

Do you think it's likely, and what effect do you think that damaging a
desert ecology will have, a generation or two down the line?
Timeline - ploughing the prairie a la Little House by Laura Ingalls to the
Great Dust Bowl of 1930, eventually blamed on pulling up prairie grasses
with their long roots, ~100 years. Ma & Pa Ingalls were safely dead, Laura
died in 1957.   She was 72 years old when J Steinbeck wrote Grapes of Wrath
in 1939, but I don't know if people realized the cause of the Dust Bowl at
the time.


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