As Earth Day Approaches, a Message of Hope: How Grazing Cows Can Reverse Global Warming

Could grazing large herds of cattle reverse global warming? Yes, according to ecologist Allan Savory. And nothing offers more hope for a planet in distress.

For years, environmentalists have believed that removing cattle from land protects the land from turning to desert. But we’ve had it wrong, says Savory and a growing movement of “carbon ranchers”, organic consumers, and climate activists. Turns out that when we remove the cattle, that’s when the land turns to desert. Deserts are not only bad for growing food, they give off carbon – a leading cause of global warming.

Allan Savory: How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

(NOTE: Statements in this talk have been challenged by scientists working in this field. Please read "Criticisms & Updates" below for more details.) "Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk.

We need green technologies to help us reduce our use of fossil fuels. But we’ll never reduce our use of fossil fuels enough in time to avert a climate crisis. There’s another way. By grazing large herds of livestock on half of the world’s barren or semi-barren lands, we could take enough carbon from the atmosphere to bring us back to pre-industrial levels. And just think of all the other problems we’d solve if we raised cattle outdoors, instead of in factory farms which pollute our water and air, and ruin our health with their antibiotics and growth hormones.