There is nothing like lying on a sandy beach relaxing with a cool drink listening to surfer tunes. It’s like having access to an eternal hourglass. You just pick up a handful of sand and let it slowly seep through your fingers as the history of the world reveals itself through each unique grain. For this beach to exist, its constituents have allowed themselves to be transformed and shaped by wind and water so that they can temporarily settle at your feet as tiny crystals until their next great adventure back out to sea…or into the service of humans.

There are those heroic silicon molecules who sacrifice themselves to the assembly line of a computer chip factory and thus live on in spirit right at my fingertips and right across from me now as they transmit their vibrations up to my brain then back down again through my fingertips creating an endless circle of energy (well at least until I move my toosh).

What of those grains of sand that form vast communities by not traveling the coastlines but by watching everything else around them uproot themselves or just evaporate (with a little helping hand from humanity of course), those grains of sand that exist as a result of desertification?

On those crusty deserted lands there is nothing like lying on a sandy beach relaxing with a cool drink listening to surfer tunes.  There are only the sounds of insects and the occasional tourists uttering explicatives while thumbing it on the side of the highway because they decided to blast their air conditioning without paying attention to their gas gauge. Whoops!

Our planet is becoming dryer even as it is becoming wetter. Weather patterns are not only changing because of global warming and climate change, but also from direct human manipulation either through geoengineering techniques such as cloud seeding or unsustainable irrigation and farming practices. Even global trade is indirectly affecting the distribution of moisture across the planet.

When we buy produce from California for instance, we are taking water from a converted desert (using water from elsewhere in the first place) and shipping it across the continent. We are irrigating food in an ecosystem which just laps up water into the atmosphere and blows it away to rain somewhere else another day. It makes little sense.

When we buy bottled water or any liquid for that matter which originates from outside our own watershed, we are stripping the source of its life force and flushing it down someone’s septic system far far away. It makes little sense.

When we pull water from water rich areas to stop lush green golf courses in the desert from turning to dust as they would normally do in that climate, we aren’t fixing the desert that already exists. It makes little sense.

Water which moves through artificial means does not return to its source. Instead, water stolen (yes…aquifers sold for pennies to water corporations is in fact an act of piracy…Arrrrrrrrr!) from the rich in water to feed the poor in water just ends up eventually creating a new desert. Then instead of one desert we have two.

Here is a great article from the Eden Foundation on the real reason why the Sahara desert is growing at 4 miles per year. A lesson we can learn from perhaps?

The solution?

Oh it’s becoming repetitive now but I keep feeling that decentralization of our food and water sources is the key along with developing self-sustainable communities and cities through local farming: vertical, horizontal, upside down, in greenhouses, out of greenhouses, in your bathtub, in fish tanks, on window ledges, on city allowances, on golf courses (yes…Grampa McIntyre is turning in his graaaaave but we don’t need all those golf courses), inside supermarkets themselves, shopping malls turned into farming malls, etc…

Let’s get creative.

Do you have any other solutions to put a stop to desertification?