Environment TED Books

An infographic cheat sheet for key concepts in “The Grazing Revolution”

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Allan Savory has spent decades studying the devastating effects of “desertification“: healthy land degrading into deserts all around the world and accelerating climate change in the process.

On the TED2013 stage, Savory offered a fascinating idea for reclaiming degraded land — using livestock to mimic the behavior of herds that used to roam these lands. The idea is bold and counterintuitive, and sparked lively debate the minute Savory stepped off the stage. Savory returns today with the TED Book The Grazing Revolution, which digs much deeper into this idea.

The process of desertification is complex, and Savory’s holistic solution requires many moving parts. So we’ve provided these handy visual Cliffs notes of key terms Savory uses in the book,  to help everyone get the footing to understand this fascinating read.

Desertification. A look at the process that's turning more and more land to desert.

Healthy landscape. A look at what it takes for land to support plant life and, in turn, wildlife.

Ancient Land Cycle. How wild herds kept land healthy for millions of years.

Overgrazing. Why its critical that livestock not graze on the same land for too long a period of time.

Overresting. And why its critical that animals not stay away from land for too long.

Burning. A widely-accepted land management strategy, this graphic hints why it may not be so good after all.

Mimicry of nature. A look at what Savory's holistic management strategy aims to accomplish.

Detailed planning. Why land managers must take into account weather and other conditions as they move large herds of livestock.

Return. The end result: land can be revived, with big impact for human beings.

Read much more in the new TED Book, The Grazing Revolution: A Radical Plan to Save the Earth, available for the Kindle or Nook, as well as through the iBookstore. Or download the TED Books app to get access to this title — and the entire TED Books archive — for the duration of your subscription.