Allan Savory’s “How to fight desertification and reverse climate change”: Corrections & Updates

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In his talk at TED2013, “How to fight desertification and reverse climate change,” biologist Allan Savory offered a surprising solution to the spread of deserts around the globe: grazing. By reversing the transformation of grassland into desert, he said, such “holistic planned grazing” could help solve climate change.

Savory notes that such grazing is just one component of appropriate land stewardship, not a prescribed system, and its potential for success is influenced by each unique environment and context. But some critics have challenged the hypothesis. For example, one recent report argues that any gains from greening after grazing are more than offset by methane emitted by the grazing animals.

In other words, the science around Savory’s idea is complicated. As with every area of inquiry, research is ongoing. If you have further comments or information you feel should be added to this update, please do contact us at with the subject line “Allan Savory comment.”